Breastfeeding isn’t always straightforward, but there is lots of information and help to support you - wherever you are in your feeding journey.
Many mums struggle with breastfeeding in the early weeks, but support can make all the difference. Watch this video as two mums share their experiences.
Call us if you have any questions about feeding
If you have questions, concerns or need support, you can speak to our friendly breastfeeding counsellor by calling our support line on 0300 330 0700, whether you are exclusively breastfeeding or using formula milk or both.
Our breastfeeding counsellors have had extensive training. They will listen without judging or criticising and will offer information and suggestions tailored to your needs.
What breastfeeding support is available?
Breastfeeding isn’t always straightforward and can be physically and emotionally challenging. It can take time to feel confident about breastfeeding, but there is lots of support available online, over the phone and in person, to help you get there.
Before you leave hospital
If you have your baby in hospital you may be offered breastfeeding support from midwives, NHS breastfeeding support workers or independent breastfeeding peer supporters. If you’re concerned about how your baby is feeding or would like more breastfeeding support talk to a health professional while you are still in hospital and request a visit from a breastfeeding supporter or infant feeding specialist while you are still there.
Make sure you are happy to be discharged before going home. If you would like further breastfeeding support once you are home, contact your local NCT branch. They may have a regular breastfeeding support group, as well as breastfeeding counsellors who may be able to visit you at home.
If you need to speak to your midwife or health visitor in between appointments, you should find contact details in your baby's red book. You can also drop in to your local baby clinic to talk to a health visitor face to face.
Family and friends
Don’t forget to ask friends and family, or your partner if you have one, for their support. Practical support like helping with cooking, washing up and laundry can be really helpful, so you can focus on feeding your baby or simply give you a chance to rest. Emotional support is really important too. Read more in our how can dads and partners help support breastfeeding.
Help from others who having, or have had, similar experiences to yours can make a big difference to how well the early months of parenting go. Known as peer support, spending time with other new parents also gives you the chance to make new friends and reduce loneliness, stress and low mood. Check your local NCT branch to find out more about local breastfeeding drop-in groups where you will be able to meet other breastfeeding mums and their babies.
One-to-one breastfeeding support
Contact your local NCT branch, as they often have a trained NCT breastfeeding counsellor available for one-to-one breastfeeding support. They've had extensive training and will use their person-centred counselling skills to support you. This includes listening to you without judging or criticising and offering relevant information and suggestions - whether you're breastfeeding, formula feeding or a bit of both.
NCT breastfeeding counsellors can also provide new mums with face-to-face support. You can find them at breastfeeding support groups, such as Baby Cafes, and the breastfeeding session if you attend an NCT antenatal course.
If you have any breastfeeding questions you can get 24/7 information and advice from Start4Life’s Breastfeeding Friend chatbot (via Facebook Messenger). Another webchat service is available from the Breastfeeding Network. If you're in the Bradford area, our Bradford Breastfeeding Buddies Facebook page offers a webchat support service.
On the phone
Call our support line on 0300 330 0700 (everyday, 8am to midnight, including bank holidays). You’ll can talk to one of our specially-trained breastfeeding counsellors who will listen without judging or criticising and offer relevant information and suggestions. Help is available whether you breastfeed, formula feed, do combination, or you’re thinking of introducing solid foods.
All NCT courses are led by specially trained and experienced practitioners who understand what matters to you. Choose from our range of classes whether you're preparing for birth or need support postnatally.
More resources and support
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Breastfeeding helpline: 0300 330 5453 (9.30am - 10.30pm). Trained breastfeeding counsellors available.
- Breastfeeding Network supporter line: 0300 100 0210. Specially-trained mums who have breastfed.
- Breastfeeding Network Supporter line in Bengali/Sylheti: 0300 456 2421 (9.30am - 9.30pm, 7 days a week). Breastfeeding support available for Bengali and Sylheti speakers. If a volunteer is not available to take your call, a message can be left and someone will get back to you.
- La Leche League: 0345 120 2918. Friendly, mum-to-mum breastfeeding support.
- National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212 (9.30am - 9.30pm, daily). Independent, non-judgemental breastfeeding support and information.
- National Breastfeeding Helpline available in Welsh and Polish: call 0300 100 0212 and press 1 for Welsh and 2 for Polish
- Ask your midwife, health visitor or GP about local breastfeeding support services.
- Contact your local Children's Centre or Family Information Service, as they often have information about local breastfeeding support groups.
- Use the NHS Breastfeeding Support services search to find a breastfeeding drop-in group near you.
- Our website has lots of practical information about breastfeeding, including the benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding problems and solutions and breastfeeding and return to work.
- Baby Café is a network of breastfeeding drop-ins. You can find your nearest drop-in on the website by entering your postcode.
- Best Beginnings vision is to give every child in the UK the best start.
- 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.
- Cleft Lip and Palate Association has information on breastfeeding babies with a cleft lip or a cleft palate.
- La Leche League offers mother-to-mother support with breastfeeding.
- Start4Life online guide to baby breastfeeding positions.
- The Lactation Consultants of Great Britain has a search facility to help you find a lactation consultant local to you.
- NHS Choices has detailed information about how to breastfeed, positioning and attachment and breastfeeding problems.
- The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) has information about feeding twins and triplets.
- UNICEF – The Baby friendly initiative. Transforming healthcare for babies, their mothers and families in the UK. Also has information about Tongue-tie and 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.
- Best Beginnings - From Bump to Breastfeeding videos.
- Human milk, tailor-made for tiny humans video – independent public health initiative.
- NHS Video - how do I know if my baby is properly latched?
- NHS Video – how to breastfeed twins.
- Start4life – breastfeeding help with latching on animation.
- UNICEF – UK mother’s talking about their breastfeeding experiences.