The Infant Feeding Team

All staff in our maternity, neonatal, and transitional care areas are trained to give you help, information and advice on feeding your baby, however you choose to feed.

The Infant Feeding Team is here to provide specialist support with feeding your baby in some of the more challenging circumstances. We can also provide information and advice for other healthcare professionals who may be supporting you.

We’re extremely proud that Maternity services achieved full UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation in 2012, and our neonatal team in 2019. Together, we’re now working towards the UNICEF Gold award. For more information on the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, please click here.

We work with families both before (antenatally) and after (postnatally) birth and can support you with a wide variety of issues that are affecting feeding, including:

  • debriefing in pregnancy if a previous feeding experience was very difficult
  • hand expressing and specialist support before you give birth in certain clinical situations
  • inducing lactation
  • help to establish or continue breastfeeding if normal midwifery care is not sufficient
  • help to express and maintain milk supply in certain clinical situations
  • assessing tongue tie, and division if it’s affecting feeding
  • improving effectiveness of feeding if baby has greater-than-average weight loss or their growth is slower than expected
  • support to feed babies with some congenital anomalies
  • help you understand which medications you can take while breastfeeding your baby

We adapt our support to fit the requirements of the individual family. We usually see babies until they are 12 weeks old, though we do not have a formal cut off, and are happy to discuss issues and refer you to alternative services if that’s more appropriate.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 update

Community-based infant feeding support services will be reduced during the Covid-19 risk period. Therefore we are extending our support to all patients and staff who need help during this time.

If you’re a healthcare professional working with a family that needs feeding support, please still make your referral in the usual way.

We will be working 7 days per week to meet demand and offering support via phone, email and video calling. If it’s clinically necessary for a face to face appointment, as long as it remains possible, we can see patients at the Nest on Wheal Fortune Ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

For more information about feeding your baby during the coronavirus outbreak, please read the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative statement on infant feeding during the COVID-19 outbreak.

You can also find up-to-date information on Coronavirus and breastfeeding on the Breastfeeding Network website.

Get help from the infant feeding team

You need to be referred to the Infant Feeding Team. We accept referrals from any healthcare professional working with you and your baby (for example your GP, midwife or health visitor). You can also be referred to us by peer supporters and holistic care practitioners.

The Infant Feeding Team

We have three midwives and two maternity support workers in our team, all of whom have a specialist level of interest and training in infant feeding.

We work to cover as many days as possible, but are unable to offer a 24-hour service. We try to respond to referrals within 72 hours.

We are based in The Nest, on Wheal Fortune ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. From here we provide support across the wider Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust provision.

Infant Feeding Team Coordinators (Maternity Services)

Janey Ashton
Helen Shanahan

More information and support on feeding your baby

  • Real Baby Milk – Local information source with excellent resources, and up-to-date information on local support groups in Cornwall.
  • Off to the best start – a leaflet from the Department of Health with key information about breastfeeding
  • Guide to bottle feeding – a a leaflet from the Department of Health with key information about bottle feeding, including how to make up formula safely
  • First Steps Nutrition – guide to responsive feeding and to choosing formula
  • Breastfeeding Network – a source of valuable information to parents including support with medications and breastfeeding

Clinical guidelines and support for healthcare professionals

RCHT Guidelines

Other guidance