Infant feeding in Merton

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Our infant feeding support service provides mothers with information on breastfeeding, delivered by our breastfeeding supporters and Health Visiting team who are all breastfeeding trained in line with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. This is available at local children's centres as per below:

Name and venue Day and time Booking information

Breastfeeding Drop in Support Group – Acacia 

Acacia Childrens Centre, Grove Rd, CR4 1SD


10.30am – 12pm (prompt finish)

No need to book, just drop in! 

Wherever you are on your breastfeeding journey (exclusive/mixed/expressed) and regardless of your baby’s age, come along for practical, moral & social support 

Note: closed during some school breaks. Please call to confirm/check Instagram: @merton_bf_nhs.

Breastfeeding Drop in Support Group – Lower Morden

Lower Morden Childrens Centre, Aragon Primary School, Aragon Road SM4 4QU


When you arrive come through the school gates turn left and walk to the left past the buggy park to the centre entrance up the ramp and buzz.


12.30pm—2pm (prompt finish)

No need to book, just drop in! 

Wherever you are on your breastfeeding journey (exclusive/mixed/expressed) and regardless of your baby’s age, come along for practical, moral & social support 


Note: closed during some school breaks. Please call to confirm or check Instagram: @merton_bf_nhs.

Merton Health Visiting Breastfeeding Support

Church Road Children’s Centre, 243 Church Rd, CR4 3LS



Booked appointments only – can self refer. Booked via your Health Visitor or by calling the duty Health Visiting line: 03300539264

Free service to all Merton mothers


Merton Health Visiting Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic


Referrals from Health Care Professionals after first line support received

Free service to all Merton mothers

We also support parents who are formula feeding their babies by providing information on choosing milks and making up feeds, and helping them to feed safely and responsively. Please get in touch with your health visitor for more advice and support on this: 0330 053 9264

You can also follow us on Instagram for more details before attending.

Our breastfeeding support service is available for all mothers that live in Merton.

Our team can be contacted on: 03300 539 264.

Stay connected: Follow us on Instagram  

Top Tips for feeding in public:  

  1. Practice: try feeding at home in front of a mirror so that you can see what others will see when you’re feeding – you’ll likely notice you’re not showing as much of your breast as you thought since babys head is covering it! You can also try practicing in front of someone else such as a partner, friend or close family member 
  2. Clothing: there are many different options when it comes to what to wear to make breastfeeding in public (an in general!) easier. You could try wearing a vest top underneath a looser tshirt/jumper so the top layer goes up and the bottom layer goes down creating a space for baby to attach to the breast. 
    • Wear a loose scarf of cardigan to wrap around baby & breast 
    • Try wrap around style tops and dresses, clothes with zips or buttons (check out this Facebook page for tried and tested breastfeeding friendly clothes from other mamas in the UK!) 
  3. Like-Minded peers: find a local group where there will be other breastfeeding women. This peer support and having the support of a qualified practitioner might increase your confidence in many areas of breastfeeding, not just feeding in public. Check out our local services under the “Breastfeeding Support” tab. 
  4. Company: it can be handy to have someone with you that first time you head out with your baby for support. It can help to go with a friend who has an older baby and can take you to places that she already knows 
  5. Plan ahead. Before you go out, it can help to think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding when your baby gets hungry. Ask breastfeeding friends for recommendations. Did you know: you can pop into any Children's Centre in Merton and they are more than happy to provide you a space where you can breastfeed. Have a look on the "Merton Children's Centres and Offerings" tab above to locate the nearest children's centre for where you will be on your outing.  
  6. Responsive breastfeeding also means responding to your needs so you can offer baby a breastfeed to fit into your lifestyle - if you are planning to go out, have an appointment etc you can feed your baby before you go even if they are not showing hunger cues. 
  7. Avoid the loos! Do not feel that you should sit in a public toilet to breastfeed. You would not eat in there, so do not feel that your baby should be fed there.

How to Law protects you:  

It is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport.  

You are protected in public places such as parks, shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, hotels, sports and leisure facilities, public buildings and when using public transport such as buses, trains and planes.  

The Equality Act 2010 says that it is discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and association. Service providers must not discriminate, harass or victimise a woman because she is breastfeeding.  

Discrimination includes refusing to provide a service, providing a lower standard of service or providing a service on different terms. Therefore, a cafe owner cannot ask you to stop breastfeeding, ask you to move or cover up or refuse to serve you.  

For more information please visit the NHS guidance on breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding while out and about on the Maternity action website.

Our children's centres offer services for parents and carers from pregnancy through to the end of their child's reception year at school. A range of programmes and services to support your child's learning and development are available at the centres. These include baby massage for first-time parents, speech and language and parenting programmes and support for families with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

You can talk to a specialist advisor about any concerns you have about housing, finances, relationships, your child’s development or behaviour, access to training or employment and more at a personal Family Information and Support Hubs (FISH) session. Click on the following links to learn more and book FISH sessions:

Your health visitor will visit you at home between Day 10 and 14.

There are Well Baby Clinics and Breastfeeding Support clinics local to you and running throughout the week.

Please call to book an appointment on 0330 053 9264. 

For more information on Health Visiting please click here

Out of hours support and helplines:

  • NCT Helpline: 0300 330 0771, 8:00am to Midnight
  • National Breastfeeding Helpline: available 24/7
  • La Leche League: 0345 120 2918, 8am – 11pm


Expressing breastmilk: 

Medications and breastfeeding: 

UNICEF - Infant formula and Responsive bottle feeding: 

General information, support and advice 

For health reasons, we recommend that babies are fed solely on breast milk or infant formula for the first six months. At around 6 months we recommend introducing solid foods alongside milk feeds.

Introducing solid foods to your baby can be an exciting but also daunting time. Your health visiting team is available to help you with advice and discuss any concerns you may have. 

Is your baby aged 16-26 weeks?  

Your health visiting team runs virtual introduction to solids workshops on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, call to book your place: 03300 539 264. 

Parents, carers, grandparents all welcome to attend!

Here are some helpful resources to support you and your baby with introduction to solid foods.

Breastfeeding 6 months+

The World Health Organization recommends that all babies are exclusively breastfed (give them breast milk only) for the first 6 months of their life, and from 6 months babies should start eating solid foods as well as being breastfed for up to 2 years or longer.

It's important that solid food should not simply replace breast milk. Breastfeeding still has lots of benefits for you and your baby after 6 months. It protects them from infections and there's some evidence that it helps with the digestion of your baby's first solid foods. It also continues to provide the balance of nutrients your baby needs.

Once they're eating solids, your baby will still need to have breast milk or formula as their main drink up to at least their 1st birthday.

Cows' milk is not suitable as a main drink for babies under 1 year old, although it can be added to foods, such as mashed potatoes.

If you're wanting to stop breastfeeding or having problems, you can get help and ideas from a health visitor or by coming along to one of our breastfeeding drop-ins (details at top of this page).

Infant crying is normal and it will stop.

A baby’s cry can be upsetting and frustrating. It is designed to get your attention and you may be worried that something is wrong with your baby. Your baby may start to cry more frequently at about 2 weeks of age. The crying may get more frequent and last longer during the next few weeks, hitting a peak at about 6 to 8 weeks. Every baby is different, but after about 8 weeks, babies start to cry less and less each week.

If you are doing any breastfeeding, we encourage you to do responsive breastfeeding. This means offering your baby the breast when they are distressed, fractious, or appears lonely and when they show signs of hunger (see more information including pictures of hunger cues under the “Additional Breastfeeding information” tab). Breastfeeding can also help settle your crying baby after an immunisation, if your baby is unwell or to reassure them in an unfamiliar environment.

  • Responsiveness will not spoil babies.

Some additional calming techniques you can try:

  • Talk calmly, hum or sing to your baby  
  • Let them hear a repeating or soothing sound
  • Hold them close – skin to skin
  • Go for a walk outside with your baby
  • Give them a warm bath

These techniques may not always work. It may take a combination or more than one attempt to soothe your baby.

For more information, advice and support see:

Remember – if you are concerned that your baby may be unwell, contact your GP or NHS 111 (go to or call 111- the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). In an emergency, ring 999.

0 to 6 months:

CLCH have produced a video about normal sleep and how to promote sleep in the antenatal period as well as the postnatal period, up to the first six months:

Safer sleep for babies resources:

You can download the Basis app where you can find further information on safe sleeping practices for you and your baby.

You can also download The Baby Check app by The Lullaby Trust which features 19 simple checks that parents can do if their baby is showing signs of illness and further information regarding safer sleeping practices.

Older infants:

You may have heard or read that ending breastfeeding might improve your child’s sleep. It’s important to understand what’s normal when it comes to how babies sleep. Research and studies show no difference in night wakings or night feeds are found between mothers who were breastfeeding or formula feeding. Infants who received more milk or solid feeds during the day were less likely to feed at night but not less likely to wake. Increasing infant calories during the day may therefore reduce the likelihood of night feeding but will not reduce the need for parents to attend to the infant in the night. ‘Normal’ sleep in infants in the first year of life, regardless of feeding method, involves bouts of sleep alongside episodes of waking.

More information can be found here

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