Get off to a good start with this guide offering help and support for breastfeeding.
1-to-1 support for breastfeeding
Midwives, health visitors and trained local volunteer mothers (peer supporters) are there to help you get breastfeeding off to a good start. They can give you lots of information and support when you need it.
If you need to speak to someone between midwife or health visitor appointments, you should find their contact details in your baby's personal child health record (PCHR), known as their "red book". Ask your midwife or health visitor to show you the page when you first get it.
You could also go to your local drop-in baby clinic to see a health visitor face to face.
Breastfeeding drop-ins, cafes and centres
These are all great places to make new friends and share the ups and downs of looking after a baby. There's no need to make an appointment – just go along when you can.
To find out what's available in your area:
- talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP
- contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (9.30am to 9.30pm, daily)
- contact a local Sure Start Children's Centre or Family Information Service, as these often have lists of local breastfeeding groups and activities
- use our services search to find a breastfeeding drop-in near you
Breastfeeding helplines and websites
- National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0300 330 5453
- La Leche League 0345 120 2918
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT) 0300 330 0700
- The Breastfeeding Network supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421
- Baby Café is a network of breastfeeding drop-in centres. Find your nearest drop-in by entering your postcode.
- Bliss is a special-care baby charity that provides vital support and care to premature and sick babies across the UK.
- The Breastfeeding Network provides breastfeeding support and information.
- La Leche League offers mother-to-mother support with breastfeeding.
- Lactation Consultants of Great Britain can help you find a lactation consultant near you.
- Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) has information about feeding twins and triplets.
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is a charity that provides information and support on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, including breastfeeding.
- UK Association for Milk Banking has information about using donated breast milk if your baby is premature or ill, and how to donate breast milk.
Got a breastfeeding question?
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How your partner can support breastfeeding
Getting support from a partner can be very helpful for women who are breastfeeding. Practical ways dads and partners can help with breastfeeding include:
- going to antenatal or breastfeeding sessions – some sessions are organised especially for partners. Ask your midwife or at a local Children's Centre for details.
- giving emotional and practical support – praising and encouraging a breastfeeding mum can help to build her confidence.
- arranging paternity leave – talk to your employer about paternity leave early, so you can plan leave that suits your family's needs.
- making her life easier – for example, bring her dinner if the baby wants to feed at the same time, bring her a cup of tea and a book or magazine while she's feeding the baby, or perhaps arrange for family or friends to keep her company while you're at work.
- doing your bit around the home – then your partner can focus on caring for your baby and getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
- providing some stress relief – if you already have young children, take the stress away from mum by keeping them entertained while she feeds the baby.
- getting involved in your baby's care – giving your baby their bath, changing nappies and being part of getting ready for bed are great ways to get close to your baby.
- giving your baby a bottle of breast milk – once your partner feels happy and confident with breastfeeding, they may choose to begin expressing breast milk. You could give your baby a bottle of breast milk.
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