Breastfeeding your baby

Breastfeeding is recognised internationally as the best way to provide babies with complete nutrition until they are about 6 months old as well as supporting good emotional development between baby and mother.

Page contents:

Breastfeeding worries or concerns

Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of. Many mums wonder if their baby is feeding well and getting enough milk - especially during the first few days. It is important to remember that it can take a while to feel confident about breastfeeding but you are not alone. Your midwife and health visitor are there to help, guide and support you. There is also additional advice available online or from support groups, helplines and websites.

If you have any breastfeeding worries or concerns, the best thing to do is speak to your midwife or health visitor or join a local breastfeeding support group. You can drop into any of the baby hubs across South Gloucestershire to meet other parents, talk to one of the health visiting team or get support for feeding your baby. Visit the baby hubs Facebook page for a list of South Gloucestershire baby hubs.

What extra support for breastfeeding is available and how to get it

Barnados co-ordinates the South Gloucestershire breastfeeding support service which is commissioned by South Gloucestershire Council Public Health.

The service gives support for women in South Gloucestershire both at regular groups and at a weekly clinic.

Support groups

Throughout South Gloucestershire there are breastfeeding groups which offer a social and supportive space.   All groups welcome mothers doing any amount of breastfeeding and you can drop in any time. There are also two breastfeeding counsellors who attend the groups most weeks.

You are free to drop in at a location that suits you.  Groups welcome siblings, partners, grandparents and friends and offer a drop in environment.

If you are expecting, do feel free to go along and have a chat with the group before your breastfeeding journey begins.

You do not need to be in need of support, you can join a meeting to meet other mums, share your own experiences and any useful tips.

Specialist breastfeeding Clinic

There is a weekly breastfeeding clinic for mums who feel they have a persistent breastfeeding challenge. You will need to ask your midwife or health visitor to refer you on  0117 9580320. You will then be contacted and offered the next available appointment.

Barnardo's are commissioned to give information, support and extra help to parents.  Breastfeeding groups give on-going support to mothers.  They are run by trained peer supporters.  All pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are welcome to go along!

The groups are in Bradley Stoke, Cadbury Heath, Downend, Kingswood, Patchway, Thornbury and Yate.  Full details about the venue, day and time of each group are available on the Barnardo's website.  If you are going for the first time, you may want to check it's running that day by phoning, as occasionally, details can change.

National breastfeeding helpline

You can contact the helpline for independent, confidential, mother-centred, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information.

Tel: 0300 100 0122 Lines are open 9.30am to 9.30pm, every day of the year.

There are two videos on the Best Beginnings website aimed at helping new and soon-to-be parents.

Restarting breastfeeding

You can restart breastfeeding at any point.  The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers information on Restarting breastfeeding after a gap is a good place to begin.

Other helpful information about breastfeeding

The following leaflets give useful advice

Other local support

Bristol Breastfeeding Mummies Facebook page provides information and support for those in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and surrounding areas.  If you would like to find out more and read the posts on this page you can request to join the group.

Donor milk

Some mothers also choose to give their babies donor milk.  Ideally, this is obtained from a milk bank where milk is screened and carefully prepared.  Visit the UKAMB website for more information.  The Precious Drops Milk Bank at Southmead Hospital in Bristol is one of the 15 UK milk banks and the only one in the South West.