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 volunteers (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.
You can contact your midwife or health visitor between your usual appointments if you need to speak to someone.
You could also go to your local drop-in baby clinic to see a health visitor face to face.
You should find contact details for your midwife or health visitor in your baby's personal child health record (PCHR), known as their "red book".
Ask them to show you the page when you first get it.
Breastfeeding drop-ins, cafes and centres
Breastfeeding drop-ins, cafes and centres 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 your local council on GOV.UK who can put you in touch with a Sure Start Children's Centre or Family Information Service, as these often have lists of local breastfeeding groups and activities
- use the NHS 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
- Bliss is a special-care baby charity that supports families of premature and sick babies across the UK.
- The Breastfeeding Network provides breastfeeding support and information.
- La Leche League offers 1-to-1 support with breastfeeding.
- Lactation Consultants of Great Britain: find a lactation consultant near you.
- Twins Trust: 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.
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How your partner can support breastfeeding
Getting support from a partner can be very helpful when you're breastfeeding.
Practical ways 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 someone who is breastfeeding can help to build their confidence
- arranging paternity leave – talk to your employer about paternity leave early on, so you can plan leave that suits your family's needs
- making life easier – for example, bring your partner dinner if the baby wants to feed at the same time, or bring them a cup of tea and a magazine while they're feeding the baby, or perhaps arrange for family or friends to keep your partner company while you're at work
- doing your bit around the home – so your partner can focus on caring for the baby and getting breastfeeding off to a good start
- providing some stress relief – if you have young children, take the stress away from your partner by keeping them entertained when the baby is feeding
- getting involved in your baby's care – bathing your baby, changing nappies and helping at bedtime 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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