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Breastfeeding your baby – information and guidance

It is well known that breastfeeding is good for babies. When a baby is breastfed, they are receiving human milk which is made by their mother to meet their needs for food and also provides comfort and protection, reducing the risk of infection and other health problems as they grow. A breastfeeding parent will be less likely to have health issues like breast and ovarian cancer and heart disease.

There is a lot of evidence to confirm why breastfeeding is so important, but the UK has one of the lowest number of babies being exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, in the world.

The health visiting team will be able to support you with breastfeeding your baby after you have been discharged by the midwife (which is usually at about 10 days after your baby is born). We will help to build confidence in breastfeeding your baby by listening to you, making assessments of how feeding is going and offering practical and emotional support and guidance.

Take a look at this video for more information on the value of breastfeeding for you and your baby:

In our events section you will find breastfeeding support available near you. If you are having difficulties, contact your health visiting team – the contact details can be found in your baby’s/child’s Personal Child Health Record (red book). Your health visitor will offer support and refer you to the specialist infant feeding team if you continue to experience challenges.

Continuing breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby wish will provide on-going nutrition and protection and helps you to build a loving relationship with your baby.

Finding out as much as you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born, will help you to get off to a good start and continue breastfeeding for as long as you wish – at least for the first year and maybe two years or more. When breastfeeding does not go to plan, or through parental choice, babies are fed infant formulas and you will find more information about that in our bottle feeding your baby post.

The following information may be helpful and support you with knowledge and skills for breastfeeding your baby

The following helplines may also be helpful in getting further advice on breastfeeding.

For further information and support speak to your midwife or health visitor.


This page was last reviewed on 10-01-2024

This page will be next reviewed on 10-01-2027