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Finding breastfeeding support

From local antenatal and breastfeeding groups, to organisations offering advice and information, to support from family and friends, there's lots of help out there for breastfeeding mums. You just need to know where and how to ask for it!

How can I meet other breastfeeding mums like me?

In the early days, it’s normal to feel a bit lonely. You might be tired and sore after labour and having a bit of struggle getting used to feeding, but it does get easier with time. With so many things to carry and remember, getting out of the house becomes that little bit more tricky. But meeting new mums at support groups will help to build your confidence.

The great thing about meeting other breastfeeding mums is that they know just how you feel, and you don't need to feel shy about breastfeeding in front of them because you'll all be in the same boat. Breastfeeding support groups are a great way to meet and chat with other mums who are going through the same things you are – you can find out what to expect and how to find a local group by following the links below.

What can I expect at a breastfeeding support group?

There are many different types of breastfeeding support groups. Some are run by charities, such as NCT, the Breastfeeding Network or La Leche League, and some by your local midwife or health visitor. They are all there for the same reason, to help support mums as they get to grips with feeding.

Your local group might meet in a health centre, community building or café. Whatever type is available to you, they're all a great way to meet other mums in your area, make new friends and share the ups and downs of breastfeeding. You'll generally meet a mix of new mums and volunteers who have breastfed before and are trained in breastfeeding support. You don't have to book a place – just go along when you can. They aren’t just for newborn babies, but also for mums with older babies who want some support with feeding a growing baby. It’s a friendly and very supportive community network and a few friendly words of advice and wisdom might help make life a little easier.

Infant Feeding Advisors

If you are having more complicated feeding problems, your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you if there are any specialist Infant Feeding Advisors and clinics in your area. Watch the following film to see how different mums find the support they need in a variety of places – towards the end of the film you'll see mums enjoying a chat together at their local breastfeeding support group.

The National Breastfeeding Helpline

Call 0300 100 0212 whenever you need breastfeeding support and information.

The National Breastfeeding Helpline offers non-judgmental, independent, evidence based, mother centred breastfeeding information, support and reassurance.

Whether you want to breastfeed for one day, one week, one month, one year or more, we're here for you. All calls are answered by volunteers – all are mums who have breastfed, and all have been highly trained by the Breastfeeding Network or the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers.

The helpline is open on 0300 100 0212 every single day of the year, 9.30am-9.30pm. A webchat service is also available here.

Coronavirus update

The National Breastfeeding Helpline continues to be open as usual from 9:30am – 9:30pm every day on 0300 100 0212. If you're looking for evidence-based, independent, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information then we would love to hear from you. All calls are answered by volunteers in their own homes. They are all mums and are all trained and supported by the Breastfeeding Network and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers to provide breastfeeding support over the phone.

We know that your usual sources of breastfeeding support probably aren’t as accessible right now and we have adapted to ensure we can support as many families as possible. We have increased capacity on the Helpline so almost all callers are currently able to get through first time. We have also introduced a voicemail option so that if you can’t get through, you can leave a message and someone will return your call within 24 hours. If talking online is easier for you, our live webchat is open as much as possible and our volunteers also offer support via messenger on our social media pages.

In areas where face-to-face groups would usually run, various alternatives types of peer support have been set up. These include social media, email, telephone and video call support, the details of which can all be found on the Breastfeeding Network website.

So please, reach out for support. We are here for you. 

Helpful links to breastfeeding support

Ready Steady Baby

The Ready Steady Baby website guides you through the stages of your pregnancy and through the first 8 weeks with your new baby.

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UNICEF - The Baby Friendly Initiative

Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative was established in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals to start following the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The website has great info on the key benefits of breastfeeding, based on trustworthy research.

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The Baby Friendly Initiative: Breastfeeding Assessment Tools

Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative has also created handy checklist tools, so mums can look out for signs that their baby is breastfeeding well and safely.

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National Childbirth Trust: feeding your baby

The National Childbirth Trust is UK's leading charity for parents, supporting them with accurate and up-to-date info, plus the evidence to back it up.

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The Breastfeeding Network

The Breastfeeding Network is a recognised Scottish Charity and an independent source of support and information for breastfeeding women. It has a wealth of downloadable leaflets on lots of useful topics.

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La Leche League

La Leche League aims to help mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information and education. As well as info, the site has online forums where mums can ask each other for advice and share their experiences.

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Association of Breastfeeding Mothers

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) website offers up to date breastfeeding information, the latest research, details of breastfeeding support groups throughout the UK, and links to other useful sites. You can apply for membership, order publications, or find books on breastfeeding.

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Best Beginnings

The Best Beginnings website is a great source of info and has a brilliant series of videos, "From Bump to Breastfeeding", showing you what to expect when meeting your baby for the first time, breastfeeding, attachment, feeding in public and overcoming challenges.

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Bliss: for babies born premature or sick

Bliss have produced a great downloadable booklet to help mums of premature or sick babies express their breast milk and breastfeed their babies. It includes the benefits of breast milk, a feeding plan, guidance on expressing and storing breast milk, and loads of top tips. This booklet is also great for health professionals supporting parents of of premature or sick babies.

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Please note: all links on this page are to external sites and will open in a new browser window. The Scottish Government cannot be held responsible for the information appearing on websites outside their control.

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Last updated: 26 Feb, 2021