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Professional support

Who can support you with infant feeding?

Hospital Midwifery Team


The hospital midwifery team can help you with breastfeeding during your stay in hospital. They can support you to have skin to skin contact with baby straight after giving birth (or at any time later during your stay in hospital) and can help you with the positioning and attachment of your baby to feed if you would like extra support. Ideally a trained member of staff will sit with you to observe an entire feed and will help you to identify the signs that baby is feeding well. Members of the midwifery team (in hospital or community) can also teach you to hand express your milk, and this can be a useful skill for you to help you manage any breastfeeding challenges as they occur.

Community Midwifery Team


These are the midwives who you see during your pregnancy and after you and baby have gone home. They will be able to discuss your infant feeding options with you, and will explain why breastfeeding is recommended. When you and baby are at home they will ask how feeding is going and any concerns you may have. They may be able to observe you feeding baby, and give some advice to make sure it is comfortable for you both, and effective. Your community midwife is likely to be the first point of contact for any feeding concerns you have in the first 10-14 days.

Health Visitor


Your health visitor can be a key source of support with breastfeeding after you have been discharged for the care of your midwife. You can contact health visitors any time and they will be able to offer extra support for you if you need it. Not all health visitors have in-depth breastfeeding training, but they may be able to refer you to a member of the team who can offer more specialist support such as an infant feeding lead health visitor. Health visitors can also direct you to local breastfeeding support groups, or other specialist support services. Health visitors can also support you when it is time to introduce baby to complementary foods. If you want to introduce bottles, health visitors can talk you through how to sterilise and make up a bottle of milk safely, and how to feed your baby from a bottle.

Peer Supporters


Some local authorities offer a breastfeeding or infant feeding peer support service. Typically peer supporters are mothers who have previously breastfed their own baby and have had some amount of additional training in the management of common breastfeeding difficulties, as well as how to provide this information to you in a supportive way. They will be able to spend time with you to help you manage your concerns, optimise positioning and attachment, and overcome any difficulties you experience with breastfeeding.



Your GP is able to assist with any health concerns you have regarding yourself or your baby. If you need medications your GP should look for options that are suitable for you to take whilst breastfeeding. They can assist with problems such as fungal or bacterial infections of the breast tissue (thrush or mastitis) by providing medications. Most GPs are not able to assist with positioning and attachment or specific feeding-related issues, but may be able to refer you for specialist support.

Lactation Consultant


A qualified lactation consultant (in Britain these are IBCLC registered- see will have undergone in depth training about breastfeeding and breastfeeding management and will have built up experience of helping mothers overcome breastfeeding difficulties. In addition to support and information around normal breastfeeding issues, Lactation Consultants can be helpful when you have a more complex breastfeeding difficulty, or you are breastfeeding in special circumstances (e.g. premature babies, multiple births, or you or your baby have a condition that makes breastfeeding difficult). Lactation consultants are sometimes employed in hospitals or public health services and your midwife, health visitor or GP may be able to refer you to them. However, this is not offered everywhere. Many lactation consultants offer breastfeeding support by private practice.


Get support now!

The National Breastfeeding Helpline


The National Breastfeeding Helpline can be reached on 0300 100 0212.  This is run by the Breastfeeding Network and Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. Calls are answered by specially trained peer supporters, who are mothers in their own homes and have both training in breastfeeding management and also personal experience of breastfeeding. The helpline is open 9.30am to 9.30pm every day, and is charged at the same rate as included calls on your mobile phone plan. This can provide an opportunity to seek reassurance or talk through concerns or difficulties you are having with breastfeeding.  

La Leche League GB Helpline


The LLLGB National Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be reached on 0345 120 2918. Calls are answered by volunteer breastfeeding counsellors (LLL leaders) from their own homes. They are mothers who have breastfed their own children and who have the most up to date breastfeeding information available. They can listen to your questions, offer practical suggestions and support and can help you search for a local group. Calls to this number will cost a maximum of 2p per minute, plus your phone provider’s access charge.

National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Breastfeeding Helpline


NCT supports all parents, however they feed their baby. If you have questions, concerns or need support, you can speak to a breastfeeding counsellor by calling the helpline on 0300 330 0700, whether you are exclusively breastfeeding or using formula milk. Feeding counsellors have had extensive training, will listen without judging or criticising and will offer relevant information and suggestions. Feeding advice is available from 8am to midnight every day.  

Other Organisations 

The following organisations all offer support with infant feeding.  Many of the organisations encourage you to join up for a fee, but most will offer support to new parents regardless of membership.

National Childbirth Trust (NCT)


NCT offers support to parents from pregnancy and through the first two years of baby’s life. Their website includes information about breastfeeding and bottle feeding.  They run a parenting helpline.  They also offer antenatal and postnatal classes in your local area for a fee. Additionally they offer a qualification in Breastfeeding Counselling to mothers who have breastfed their babies.

The Breastfeeding Network


The Breastfeeding network offers online information about breastfeeding, a web chat service and support the breastfeeding helpline as well as running their own phone line. They offer training to breastfeeding mothers who want to be peer supporters and run peer support projects, with some areas having breastfeeding groups run by the BFN. They also manage the Drugs in Breastmilk Service which offers information about which medications are safe to use whilst breastfeeding.  This can be helpful for reassurance, or to take with you when you speak to your GP.

All of their information, resources and support are free to families. 

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers ABM


ABM is a charity founded by breastfeeding mothers who want to support other mothers to breastfeed.  Their website includes lots of detailed information about breastfeeding especially in specific circumstances.

They also offer training to mothers who want to become breastfeeding counsellors or peer supporters.

La Leche League


La Leche League is an organisation offering mother to mother support for breastfeeding.  They have local La Leche League groups with offer regular opportunities to meet other breastfeeding mothers, sometimes home visits are available, and they have a national helpline, as well as other forms of support such as via social media locally or email.  The website also contains lots of information about breastfeeding. 

Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative


This is an organisation working to ensure high standards of care for mothers and babies in the UK, providing structures for education and training of health professionals to support breastfeeding and relationship building, and prevent practices which are damaging to breastfeeding and to the family bond. They offer accreditation to maternity units, neonatal units, community services and universities, which are based on meeting their standards of training and practice around infant feeding and relationship building.  Most of their work is aimed at health professionals but their website also includes information aimed at parents.

Best Beginnings


Best beginnings are a charity working to support parents to give babies the best start in life.  They have produced a range of easy-to-digest resources around parenthood, including having a baby in the neonatal unit, and breastfeeding.  Their website also includes access to lots of videos discussing different topics around breastfeeding from other parent’s point of view. They also offer the baby buddy app which allows you to watch these videos on your tablet or mobile.