Breastfeeding naturally

There is nothing better you can give your baby than the health-enhancing benefits of breast milk. Philips AVENT's range of breast pumps and accessories have been designed to help you do so for as long as you like, as easily as possible. The revolutionary design of our pumps has been acclaimed by mothers and health professionals worldwide.

Feeding statements

  • Breast milk is the best nutrition for babies. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding can continue during and beyond the introduction of solid foods.
  • When you are breastfeeding, good nutrition is vital for you and your baby. Continue with the varied & healthy diet you were following during pregnancy and try not to skip meals.
  • Combining breast and bottle feeding can affect your breast milk supply unless steps are taken to counteract this.
  • If you decide not to breastfeed, this decision may be difficult to reverse if you change your mind.
  • If you decide to use infant formula milk, it is vital that the appropriate type of formula is given and that the milk is prepared correctly. Ask your Health Visitor or pharmacist for advice. Milk feeding equipment should be sterilised using an appropriate method for the first 12 months.

How to breastfeed

Although some new mothers find it easy to breastfeed right away, others need a bit of practice and patience before it goes smoothly. Remember, your midwife, doctor or other health assistants are there to give you any help and support you need in getting started. In the meantime, Philips AVENT has put together an overview of breastfeeding basics for you.

Read about Pratical tips or Step by step guide to breastfeeding below.

Breastfeeding begins

Did you know your body needs a ‘trigger’ to start producing breast milk? It's provided by your baby when it suckles, so put your newborn to the breast as soon as possible after delivery. Your midwife can help get you and your baby into the best, most comfortable position for this.

At first, your breasts will just produce a small amount of a thick, yellowish liquid called colostrum. Extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies, colostrum is very good for your baby. The more frequently you put the infant to the breast, the faster you will start producing breast milk - generally in about 3 days.

Once your milk 'comes in', you’ll probably feel a tingling in your breasts when you're ready to feed. They can also leak a bit - this is known as the 'let down' reflex. You may feel mild tummy pain, which is your womb contracting as you nurse.

Helpful video's

How to breastfeed
How to express milk

Practical tips:


Babies don't 'nipple feed', they 'breast feed'. Proper latching on makes it easier for the baby to drink, stimulates your milk supply, and prevents sore nipples. You should feel the baby's tongue and jaws actively working against your breast, and see the ears moving slightly. If your baby doesn’t have enough of your breast in its mouth, use your little finger to gently open the side of the mouth, break the suction, and latch on again.

Feeding frequency

The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce. If you feed 'on demand', you should produce all the milk the baby needs. Breastfed babies generally cry when they are hungry, which is every 2-3 hours in the first weeks. Each feed can take up to half an hour.

Wind or colic

Some babies suffer from wind or colic. If yours does, burp the baby against your shoulder after feeding. If the baby feeds from both breasts, you may also want to burp in between.

Weight gain

If your baby's birth weight was low (under 2.5kg/5lb 9oz), or if you had a difficult delivery, it's especially important to establish a good breastfeeding routine and to keep track of your baby's weight in the early weeks. Don't hesitate to ask your midwife or health visitor for help.

Step by step guide to breastfeeding:

1. Positioning yourself

If you’re lying in bed, your midwife can help you find the best position. Otherwise, sit up straight in a chair, holding your baby at breast level across your lap. Since you’ll be breastfeeding for about 30 minutes, it’s important that both of you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Strategically placed pillows and a low footstool can provide support.

2. Positioning your baby

Hold your baby’s body closely facing you. The head should rest on your forearm, not in the crook of your arm. You can support the neck and head from behind with your other hand. Remember to bring your baby to the breast – not your breast to the baby.

3. 'Latching on'

Brush the baby's lips against your nipple until the mouth opens wide, like a yawn. Smoothly bring the baby's mouth to your breast so it covers as much of the areola as possible, with the nipple well inside – not at the front - of the mouth. There should be a small gap between your breast and the baby’s nose. Be patient. It may take a few tries to 'latch on' properly.

4. During feeding

Once your baby has started feeding - relax! The baby always gets a thin 'foremilk' first to quench the thirst. The calorie-rich 'hindmilk' that satisfies hunger will come afterwards. That's why it's important not to hurry a feed. Let the baby nurse as long as desired from one breast, and then offer the other. If the baby has had enough, offer the 'second' breast first at the next feed.

Philips AVENT breast pumps

There is nothing better you can give your baby than the health-enhancing benefits of breast milk. Philips AVENT's range of breast pumps and accessories have been designed to help you do so for as long as you like, as easily as possible. The revolutionary design of our pumps has been acclaimed by mothers and health professionals worldwide.

How to express milk

Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump

The Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump was the first ever designed to stimulate milk flow in a way that closely mimics the suckling action of a baby. There is simply no gentler, faster or more natural way to express milk. Our manual breast pump has not only been clinically proven to be as effective as a hospital-grade electric pump - it was rated significantly more comfortable and pleasant to use. Read the independent clinical study.

Philips AVENT Electronic Breast Pump

The Philips AVENT Single and Twin Electronic Breast Pumps take the clinically proven design of our manual breast pump to the next level. They help you express milk quickly, naturally and effectively - and effortlessly too - thanks to an electronic memory. It notes the speed, rhythm and suction level at which you’re expressing, and then automatically continues it for you.

The Let-Down Massage Cushion

The secret behind Philips AVENT Breast Pumps is the patented Let-Down Massage Cushion. This soft silicone cushion has five oval 'petals' that gently massage the area around the nipple as you pump - just like your baby does when nursing - stimulating the let-down reflex. By lightly pressing the handle, you can also adjust the suction power to the perfect level.

How to breastfeed

Clinically proven

An independent clinical study conducted by leading British paediatricians and infant nutrition specialists compared the performance of the Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump and a hospital-grade electric pump. Published by Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) in June 2001, the randomized trial proved that mothers using Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump expressed more milk than those using a hospital electric breast pump.

Read the full clinical study

Breastfeeding tips

We all know having a baby can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever experience, but it can also be a bit daunting. We have a list of common Questions & Answers to help you on your way

Can women with small breasts breastfeed?

All shapes and sizes of breast make milk, and almost all women can breastfeed, but sometimes it needs a while to get it right. Ask your midwife, health visitor or doctor for help if you need it. Even if you had problems feeding your first baby, try again with your second. You are likely to dins it much easier second time around.

How can I make sure my partner and other family members feel included?

Babies need lots of attention apart from feeding, such as cuddling, bathing, nappy changing, entertaining and taking out for walks. Later on, when your breastfeeding routine is well established, you can express and store your milk so that another carer can give a bottle of breast milk if you want to go out alone, with another child or with your partner.

How will I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

If your baby is suckling well, feeding 8-12 times per 24 hours and emptying each breast, seems happy, healthy and content, is active and alert when awake and is content after a feed, he is almost certainly getting enough milk. Another good sign is around 8 wet nappies every 24 hours. If you're worried, ask your midwife or health visitor to make sure all is well. You can also take him to the local clinic to be weighed.

Is it worth breastfeeding if I'm going back to work soon?

The more you can be with your baby for the first 4 months, the better for both of you, as the early weeks at home are when your milk does most good. Even when you return to work, you can continue to breastfeed your baby in the morning, in the evening and at weekends and in between he can have bottles of your expressed milk. The Philips AVENT Breast Pump has full detailed instructions on how to express and store your breast milk and is very easy and comfortable to use. The Philips AVENT Bottle and Newborn Teat were specially designed to imitate the way your breast works so your baby will switch easily between the two.

How long should I go in breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding for the first six months gives your baby an excellent start in life. After six months your baby will probably be ready to start solids as well. You can go on breastfeeding your baby for as long as you and he want to. Ordinary milk is not recommended for the first year, so if you stop breastfeeding or giving expressed breast milk, you should use powdered milk, also known as infant formula.

How can I overcome flat and inverted nipples?

One in ten women suffers from one or two flat or inverted nipples. If your nipples normally come out when you are feeling cold or sexy or if they respond to the pinch test, you shouldn't have a problem breastfeeding.

Pinch the area around your nipple between your finger and thumb. If the nipple comes out you should be fine — provided your baby is positioned correctly at the breast, his suckling action should pull the nipple out. If, however, you do have a problem getting breastfeeding established, you can use the Philips AVENT Niplette for the first few days for a few minutes before each feed to draw the nipple out before you position your baby at the breast.

The Philips AVENT Niplette can also be used before pregnancy or in the early stages, if your breasts are not too sore, to permanently cure flat or inverted nipples.

How can I overcome engorged breast?

When your milk 'comes in' (see How to breastfeed), your breasts may become hard and uncomfortable. Breastfeed your baby as often as possible and if necessary express a little milk with your Philips AVENT Breast Pump before a feed if you need to soften the breast to allow him to latch on. The swelling can be reduced by applying ice cold flannels or ice packs from the fridge.

Feed your baby long enough to remove the swelling and lumpiness and in between use Philips AVENT Breast Shells inside your bra. Their gentle pressure will help relieve the engorgement and collect leaking milk.

If your breasts become very full and uncomfortable between feeds and you really don't want to wake your baby, use your Philips AVENT Pump to express your milk. You will be able to use it to build up your own breast milk store.

How can I overcome leaking breasts?

Embarrassing leakage between feeds can be overcome by using Philips AVENT Reusable or Disposable Breast Pads. The reusable pads are made of 100% cotton and are machine washable and dryable.

The disposable pads are made of soft cotton with a leak-proof liner that draws the moisture away from your breasts and stops your clothes from staining. Remember to change pads frequently to avoid getting sore nipples.

How can I avoid sore or cracked nipples?

If your baby is correctly positioned at the breast from the beginning, you should not get sore or cracked nipples. Squeezing a drop or two of your milk onto your nipples at the end of the feed and spreading it around the areola can help. Make sure you keep your nipples dry and change breast pads frequently.

Feeding expert Vicki Scott

My name is Vicki Scott and I have been appointed by Philips AVENT to advise them on all the fantastic products they manufacture to make MUM, Dad and baby's life as easy and stress-free as possible.

I will also be helping you solve any problems you may be facing in feeding and caring for your little one, so look out for my pages in Mother & Bay and Prima Baby magazines. I also post monthly updates with top-tips and topical features to Philips Avent's advice website

I have been working with mums and their babies for over 17 years. During this time I have qualified and worked as a Nursery Nurse (NNEB), Registered Midwife, Maternity Nurse, Babycare Consultant, Breastfeeding Advisor and Ante/Post Natal Teacher.

I also teach new and expectant mums at various antenatal classes across London and run a Breastfeeding Workshop for Night Nannies. Four years ago, I launched my own advisory service, Babyconference, which provides mums and dads with practical advice and support in caring for their newborns.

I also teach new and expectant mums at various antenatal classes across London and run a Breastfeeding Workshop for Night Nannies. Four years ago, I launched my own advisory service, Babyconference, which provides mums and dads with practical advice and support in caring for their newborns.

Vicki Scott
Philips AVENT Feeding Expert (UK)

I know exactly what you are going through as I am experiencing it all firsthand too..