Your pregnancy and baby guideBreastfeeding help and support
Get off to a good start with this guide to help and support for breastfeeding.
One-to-one support for breastfeeding
Midwives, health visitors and local trained 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 just 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 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 new 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 Children's Centre or Family Information Service, as they 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
- Baby Café is a network of breastfeeding drop-ins. You can find your nearest drop-in on the website 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.
- The Lactation Consultants of Great Britain can help you find a lactation consultant near you.
- The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) has information about feeding twins and triplets.
- The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is a charity that provides information and support on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, including breastfeeding.
- The 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 partners can support breastfeeding
Women are much more likely to breastfeed for longer when they have their partner's support. Practical ways dads and partners can help with breastfeeding include:
Go to antenatal or breastfeeding sessions. Some sessions are organised especially for dads. Ask your midwife or at your local Children's Centre for further details.
Give emotional and practical support. Try to make time for each other when you can. Do little things to make each other feel cared for and included.
Arrange paternity leave. Talk to your employer about paternity leave early on so you can plan how this best suits your family needs.
Make 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 magazine, or perhaps arrange for family or friends to keep her company while you're at work.
Do your bit around the home. Then your partner can focus on caring for your baby and getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
Provide some stress relief. If you already have young children, take the stress away from mum by keeping them entertained while she feeds the baby.
Get involved in your baby's care. Giving your baby their bath, changing nappies and being part of getting ready for bed are great ways of getting close to your baby.
Give your baby a bottle of breast milk. After a few weeks, if your partner begins to express her breast milk, you could give your baby a bottle of breast milk.
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Page last reviewed: 20/04/2016
Next review due: 20/04/2019