Infant feeding in the first 6 months

Babies need breastmilk or infant formula milk from when they are born until they are at least 12 months old.  Learning to feed your baby can be an exciting time, but it can also feel overwhelming.

There are lots of different approaches to feeding your baby. You may have even read about some of these in preparation for the birth of your baby.

Not all approaches work for all babies, or even for you! Trial and error is often the best way of finding out what works for you and your baby. Trust your instincts.

Benefits for the baby

Breast milk is specially made for your baby.  It contains all the fluid (drink) and nutrition (food) that your baby needs and is full of vitamins and minerals. It also contains antibodies that protect your baby from infections and it helps improve your baby’s long-term health.  Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), obesity and diabetes.    

Benefits for the baby’s mother

Breastfeeding also benefits the baby’s mother. It lowers the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis (weak bones), heart disease and obesity.  It also helps the mother’s uterus (womb) get back down to size after delivery and can help strengthen the bond between mum and baby.  During breastfeeding a hormone called oxytocin is released that helps you feel calm and connected with your baby.

How long to breastfeed for?

Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial. The World Health Organisation and UNICEF recommend that babies have their first breastfeed within the first hour of birth. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Breast milk adapts to give your baby everything they need. This means they do not need any other foods or liquids, including water before they are 6 months old.  Babies should be breastfed on demand. That means as often as they want, day or night.

From the age of 6 months, babies should begin eating solid foods while continuing to breastfeed until 2 years old or older.

Preparing to breastfeed for the first time

In the first few days, you and your baby will be getting to know each other. It may take time for both of you to get the hang of breastfeeding.

The milk your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. It's thick and usually a golden yellow colour. It's a very concentrated food, so your baby will only need about a teaspoonful at each feed.

To begin with your baby may want to feed often, perhaps every hour. After a few days they'll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds, once your breasts start to produce mature milk.

Your baby's sucking causes muscles in your breasts to squeeze milk towards your nipples. This is called the let-down reflex.

Some women get a tingling feeling, which can be quite strong. Others feel nothing at all.

You'll see your baby respond when your milk lets down. Their quick sucks will change to deep rhythmic swallows as the milk begins to flow. Babies often pause after the initial quick sucks while they wait for more milk to be delivered.

The NHS has more information about breastfeeding in the first few days.

Visit our page on how to 'How to tell if breastfeeding is going well'


When a baby breastfeeds, they latch on to your breast.


Breastfeeding Support

Your midwife, health visitor and locally trained peer supporters have special training in supporting mums who are breastfeeding and can offer 1 to 1 support.

Start for Life have lots more information on breastfeeding such as if you are experiencing any challenges whilst breastfeeding, unsure if you can breastfeed, are considering returning to work, or want advice about breastfeeding in public.


National Breastfeeding support 

 National Breastfeeding Helpline. Call 0300 100 0212 9.30am to 9.30pm every day.


Start for Life detail more helplines and online breastfeeding support.

Breastfeeding Friend is a 24/7 digital tool from Start for Life on Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Google Home.  It offers lots of useful information and advice on breastfeeding.

The NHS has a search engine for finding your local breastfeeding support group.

The Breastfeeding Welcome scheme. Find local venues that have signed up to actively support mums breastfeeding whilst they’re out and about


Bradford and Craven 


Leeds Maternity Breastfeeding Clinic, telephone 0113 2065367 or email

Leeds Community Healthcare 0-19 support is available on 0113 8435683

This includes

  • The Preparation for Birth and Beyond antenatal course
  • 1 to 1 virtual or face to face feeding support
  • Breastfeeding peer support groups see Leeds Bosom Buddies on Facebook
  • Breast pump loan scheme
  • Enhanced breastfeeding support


Calderdale and Kirklees


Expressing your milk means getting the milk out of your breasts such as by using a pump or your hands.  It can then be stored and used to feed your baby later.  Some reasons why you might want to express milk:

  • Your baby is premature or has problems after birth and is struggling or unable to feed directly from the breast. They could still have your expressed breast milk
  • You want to boost your milk supply
  • When starting solid foods you might want to use breast milk with the food, for example mixed with cereal
  • You’re returning to work or study. Direct breastfeeding does not need to stop. Some mothers choose to express their milk to help maintain their milk supply and to provide their breastmilk when they are away

Hand expressing

Videos also availabe on hand expressing in Arabic, Farsi, KurdishRomanian and Tigrinya

Find out more from Start for Life on expressing breast milk such as how to express by hand, expressing with a pump, storing breast milk, feeding advice, and more hints and tips.


Speak to your midwife if you would like to collect your colostrum for your baby.


The first breast milk your body makes is known as colostrum. Colostrum is very concentrated. They only need a small amount of colostrum to receive enough nutrients. If your baby needs extra feeds, you may be able to use your colostrum instead of formula milk.

Colostrum is the perfect source of nutrition for your baby because it:


  • contains antibodies which protect your baby from infection 
  • helps your baby’s digestive system to develop
  • protects your baby from allergies
  • encourages your baby to open their bowels and pass ‘meconium’ (your baby’s first black sticky poo) which reduces the risk of jaundice


Colostrum Collection

During pregnancy, your breasts will start to produce colostrum (the exact timing varies from person to person). You can collect and freeze this milk during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.

Collecting your colostrum will be especially beneficial for your baby if they are likely to have difficulties with feeding or maintaining their blood sugar levels during the first few days after birth.

This may be because your baby: 

  • is large or small for their gestational age
  • is a twin or triplet
  • has a cleft lip or palate
  • has Down’s syndrome or a heart complication

Colostrum collection can also be beneficial for your baby if you:

  • are taking beta blockers to control high blood pressure
  • have pre-eclampsia
  • are diabetic 
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • have breast hypoplasia (a condition in which the breast doesn’t fully develop) or you have had breast surgery
  • have a raised body mass index (BMI)
  • plan to give birth by Caesarean section

Before you start colostrum collection

You may be advised not to collect your colostrum before your baby is born if you have:

  • a cervical suture (stitches) in place
  • had premature labour in the past
  • had contractions, vaginal bleeding or premature rupture of membranes (your waters breaking early) during this pregnancy

We would recommend reading a helpful booklet called ‘Off to the best start’ which explains the technique for hand expressing breast milk in more detail. Ask your midwife for a free copy or download it from the NHS Start 4 Life website.


How to start colostrum collection


If you would like to collect your colostrum, you can start hand expressing for a few minutes once a day when you are 36 to 37 weeks pregnant.

Gradually build up to gently expressing for about 5 to 10 minutes at a time, two to five times a day. Then as often as necessary in the first few days after you give birth. If your baby is premature or unwell, you may be encouraged to start expressing within two to three hours of giving birth.

You can collect your colostrum while you’re pregnant by hand expressing in the same way that you will express milk when your baby is born. While you’re pregnant you should only use your hands for expressing. Do not use a breast pump until after you have given birth.

Hand expressing your colostrum


1. To collect your colostrum you will need a clean, sterilised syringe (these may be provided by your midwife) and a clean, sterilised larger container.

2. Make yourself comfortable and try to relax. Warmth will help, so try expressing in the shower or bath at first. You can gently massage your breasts with a warm flannel.

3. Use your hand to cup one of your breasts. Your hand should be in a ‘C’ shape around the nipple with four fingers under the breast and the thumb at the top. Your thumb and fingers should be about 2 to 3cm away from the base area around the nipple.

4. Use your thumb and index finger to gently squeeze. Release the pressure and then repeat to create a rhythm. This shouldn’t hurt. Avoid sliding your fingers over your skin as this may cause discomfort. If the colostrum doesn’t flow, try moving your fingers slightly towards the nipple or further away, finding the spot that works best for you. You could also try gently massaging your breast.

5. Collect your colostrum with the sterilised syringe and if necessary decant to the larger sterilised container. Colostrum is very concentrated and will come out of your breast drop by drop. At first, only a few drops will come out at each session. But with practice and time, you should get more.

6. When the drops slow down, move your fingers round to try a different section of your breast and repeat.

7. Repeat the process for your second breast. The amount of colostrum you collect when you express can vary from just a few drops to a teaspoon full. Every drop counts, so don’t lose heart if you feel you haven’t collected much colostrum. This doesn’t mean your baby will find it difficult to breastfeed.

Antenatal expression of colostrum Patient information factsheet from Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospitals is available.


It is very rare for colostrum collection to cause the onset of labour. You may feel your womb tightening and relaxing. This is called a Braxton Hicks contraction and isn’t a cause for concern. If you begin to feel ‘period-like’ cramps or mild labour contractions, stop expressing, rest and then start again slowly.


Storing your colostrum or breast milk

  • Label the syringe or container with your name, date and time you expressed the colostrum
  • Put the syringe or container in a clean re-sealable bag and place it in your freezer. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge (-6°C) or for up to 6 months in a proper freezer (-18°C)
  • You can store it in the back of the fridge at a temperature of 2 to 4°C for up to 24 hours before you freeze it
  • Defrost in the fridge and use within 24 hours 
  • If stored only in the fridge (4°C ) it must be used within 5 days

Bringing your milk to delivery suite

You can express and freeze your colostrum at home and bring it into hospital when you have your baby.

To bring your colostrum into hospital you will need:

  • re-sealable food bags
  • a small cool bag
  • 2 large ice blocks

Put a few of your labelled frozen syringes into a re-sealable food bag. Place this inside the cool bag between the 2 ice blocks.

Tell your midwife that you have colostrum with you as soon as you arrive. It will be labelled with the date and time it was removed from your freezer and stored in the hospital fridge or freezer.

Feeding your baby with colostrum

Some newborn babies struggle to feed well at the breast and others can't maintain their blood sugar levels at first. In these situations you can feed your baby with your colostrum. Your midwife will take your colostrum out of the hospital fridge or freezer and check the label with you first. The syringe of colostrum will need to be brought to room temperature. You could immerse a plastic bag containing the syringe of colostrum in a bowl of warm water or place it next to your skin. Your midwife will show you how to feed your baby with a syringe or a small cup. This small feed will give your baby energy and increase their blood sugar levels. It often encourages babies to breastfeed well.

Useful link


You can also talk to your midwife who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

It is important to eat a wide range of healthy foods when you are are breastfeeding.  If you think something you are eating is affecting your baby through your breast milk, talk to your GP or health visitor, or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212.

Find out more about foods and drinks to include, and food and drinks to avoid from Start for Life.

Vitamins whilst breastfeeding

Vitamin D is found in certain foods (including oily fish (salmon, sardines, and mackerel), red meat, and some breakfast cereals) and sunlight.  It is hard to get enough vitamin D from food and sunlight alone.  If you are breastfeeding, consider taking a vitamin D supplement which contains 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.

If your baby is only having breast milk (no first infant formula top-ups), you should give them a daily vitamin D supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms. These are available from your local community pharmacy and most large supermarkets.

If you are on a low income you may be able to get free Healthy Start food and vitamin vouchers.

The NHS website has more information on vitamins for children.

What about mixed feeding?

Mixed feeding is when you combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding (either using expressed breast milk or infant formula).  Start for Life have lots more information about mixed feeding, mixed feeding challenges, how to express your breast milk, and introducing formula feeds.

Bottle feeding

Bottles are used for feeding babies with expressed breast milk or infant formula until they are ready to use a cup.  If you decide to use infant formula, first infant formula (first milk) should always be the first formula you give your baby.  You can use it throughout the first year.

Bottle feeding equipment

You will need several bottles, teats and a bottle brush.  Bottles and teats needs to be sterilized until your baby is at least 1 year old.  You will need a cold-water steriliser, microwave or steam steriliser.    

Start for Life have lots of information about how to make up a feed, how to bottle feed, bottle feeding challenges, and where to get support.

Safe bottle feeding

  • Always wash your hands before preparing any feed, expressed breast milk or formula
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your chosen sterilising method
  • Make up 1 bottle of formula feed at a time following NHS advice
  • Do not add extra scoops of formula to a bottle

For more advice and information see:

Attachment is the bond that develops between you and your baby as you communicate with each other by touch as well as talking. Strong attachment helps your baby's brain to grow, particularly the part of the brain that is important for communicating and forming relationships with others. Your baby feels safe, secure and loved and so learns to love others.

What is skin to skin contact?

Skin to skin contact is where a baby’s body is put in direct contact with the skin of another person.

Skin to skin contact straight after birth is where the baby is dried and laid directly on the mother’s bare chest. They are covered in a warm blanket below the baby’s head, and left for at least an hour or until after the first feed.  Skin to skin contact can take place any time a baby needs calming or comforting. It can help boost a mother’s milk supply. Skin to skin between fathers and their babies can also help with their bonding.

More information on skin to skin contact is available from UNICEF.


Feeding is a really important time for developing a bond with your baby whether you choose to breast or bottle feed. It isn't just about giving your baby energy to grow into a healthy child and adult. Hold your baby close to you, make eye contact and talk in a loving way. Responsive feeding describes how you recognise and respond to your baby's hunger signals or 'cues'. Learn to understand when your baby is no longer hungry and trust your baby's feeling of fullness. Sometimes your baby will only want to feed for a few minutes, sometimes for much longer.

There are a few differences between responsive breast and bottle feeding:

Responsive breastfeeding

  • A baby will not breastfeed if they do not want to. You can offer the breast whenever you or your baby wish, including when your baby seems distressed. Breastfed babies are in control of their feeding and cannot be overfed or 'spoiled' by frequent feeding. A sit down and a cuddle, even if they do not take much milk, will help your baby develop trust and security.
  • Parents often worry that they do not know how much milk a breastfed baby is taking. Part of this is learning to trust your body and to trust your baby to know what they need. West Yorkshire Healthier Together page How to tell if breastfeeding is going well has more information. Speak to your midwife or health visitor if you are worried.

Responsive bottle feeding of expressed or formula milk:

When a bottle is put into your baby's mouth, milk comes out of the teat with little or no effort from the baby. As the milk touches the back of the tongue, it triggers the swallow reflex and your baby has to swallow the milk to avoid choking. It is easy to interpret this as a signal that your baby is definitely hungry. For this reason it is very easy to over feed a baby from a bottle whether it contains formula or expressed breastmilk. This puts your baby at risk of gaining too much weight.

  • Hold your baby close to you, look into their eyes to help them feel safe and loved.
  • Hold your baby fairly upright, with their head supported in a comfortable, neutral position.
  • Rub the teat gently against your baby's lips to encourage them to open their mouth wide and draw the teat into their mouth. Do not force the teat into your baby's mouth.
  • Hold the bottle level, in line with the ground (horizontal), and then tilt the bottle upwards enough to ensure your baby is taking in milk and not air through the teat.
  • Babies feed in bursts of sucking, swallowing and short rests. As your baby is in a fairly upright position, when they pause for a rest the milk will stop flowing allowing them to decide when they are ready to start sucking again.
  • During the feed you will see bubbles in the bottle. If you can't see any bubbles, break the suction between your baby's tongue and the teat by moving the teat slightly to the side of their mouth. You should then see bubbles rushing back up into the remaining milk.
  • Interrupting the feed from time to time gives your baby a chance to register how full they are and allows them to control what they want. It also gives them the chance to bring up any wind.
  • Try to keep the number of people who feed your baby to as few as possible. If another close family member gives an occasional feed, make sure they use the same technique as you so that your baby does not feel frightened or confused.
  • Your baby should always be held and never left unattended while feeding from a bottle.
  • Do not try to make your baby finish the bottle if it is clear they have had enough.
  • Do not use a fast flow teat as babies can find it difficult to control their breathing if they are forced to swallow large volumes of milk quickly.

It is important to recognise when your baby is getting full. You can do this by 'pacing'. This means letting your baby pause every few sucks to see if they want to stop feeding, taking the bottle out of your baby's mouth and then only starting again if they draw the teat into their mouth themselves. Never force the teat into your baby's mouth or keep trying to feed if your baby turns their head away or pushes the teat out with their tongue. 

Look for early feeding cues. They may start to wriggle when they wake up or find something to suck, for example their hands.

Crying is a late sign and you may need to soothe your baby before trying to feed. Crying does not always mean your baby is hungry. They may want a cuddle or need their nappy changing. They may have drunk too much and feel uncomfortable, or are feeling unwell.

  • Your baby's stomach is very small in the first few days and they will only want small amounts of milk at each feed.
  • Breast fed babies control the amount of milk they take from the breast. If needed the health professional looking after you can help you recognise that your baby is taking enough milk.
  • Babies being bottle fed are given the milk so are at risk of being over fed. Your baby will probably want to have small amounts more often to start with.
  • Bringing up small amounts of milk is normal. Speak to your health professional for advice if you are worried.

Pace the feed:

  • A breast fed baby will usually be able to control how much milk they want and will stop taking milk when they are full.
  • A bottle fed baby is not always able to do this. You will need to control the amount of feed you give your baby. Use the pacing technique described in the responsive feeding section above to help.

Overfeeding bottle fed babies:

  • Overfeeding your baby can lead to vomiting. It can cause them to put on too much weight.
  • Feeding your baby large amounts does not mean they will sleep for longer between feeds. It can make them more uncomfortable and less able to settle.
  • Overfeeding your baby in these early weeks can increase their risk of being overweight as a child and adult.

Size and volume of a newborn's stomach

This picture shows the approximate size of your baby's stomach and how much milk it can hold at each feed.


  • Day one - size of a cherry 5-7ml or 0.2oz
  • Day three - size of a walnut 22-27ml or 0.75-1oz
  • One week - size of an apricot 45-60ml or 1.5-3oz
  • One month - size of a large egg 80-150ml or 2.5-5oz


This is the easiest way to feed your baby when out and about. You do not need to take any equipment with you, just yourself. Breast milk is the correct temperature, amount and no preparation required.

How do I re-heat my expressed breast milk?

From the fridge

  • Your expressed breast milk can be used straight from the fridge.
  • Warm your milk gently by placing the container in some warm water.
  • Try not to overheat your milk.

From the freezer

  • Try to defrost your breast milk in the fridge and use it within 12 hours of removing from the freezer.
  • If you need to use your breast milk quickly, and it is still frozen, place the container under cool, then warm, running water.
  • Use your defrosted milk immediately

We do not recommend using a microwave to warm any of your baby's milk or food. Microwave cooking causes hot spots which can burn your baby's mouth.

Did you know?

To support breastfeeding mothers to feel more confident to feed their baby in public, Breastfeeding Welcome Schemes are being introduced in many towns and cities. Private and public sector buildings are welcoming mothers to breastfeed their baby.

Remember you are protected by law to breastfeed in public.

Formula Milk

Pre made formula

This is the easiest way to feed your baby formula when out and about.

  • Take an empty sterilised bottle with you and transfer the pre made formula.
  • Pre made formula cartons/bottles can be stored in a cool bag with an ice pack and used within four hours once opened.
  • To warm the milk, place the bottle in a container of warm water. Always test the milk on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is not too hot for your baby.

Powdered formula

  • The best way is to take a good quality vacuum flask of boiling water with you.
  • A full flask of 17.5oz (525mls) of boiling water should stay at 70 degrees celsius for three hours. There is evidence that smaller amounts of water might not stay at the required 70 degrees celsius and therefore not kill any bacteria in the powder.
  • Add the correct amount of water to the pre sterilised bottle and add the correct amount of powdered formula.
  • Cool the feed before giving it to your baby.

Formula Preparation Machines

At present there is no published research and insufficient evidence that these machines are safe in preparing infant formula. The Department of Health recommend that powdered infant formula is made up with freshly boiled water and left for no more than 30 minutes so that it remains at a temperature of at least 70 degrees.

What about cow's milk?

You can use normal cow's milk in cooking or mixed with food from around 6 months old. Your baby should not be given cow's milk as a drink until they are at least 12 months old because it does not contain enough iron for your baby.

Children and adults come in all different shapes and sizes. Growth charts can help you understand whether your child is growing as expected. 

In the Personal Child Health Record (also known as the 'red book') you will find growth charts. Growth charts are based on breastfed babies but should be used for all babies no matter how they are fed. Bottle fed babies should follow the same growth pattern as breastfed babies. There is a separate chart for babies born early. 

Centile Lines

These are the lines on the growth chart. They are based on measurements taken from many children. These lines show how your child compares with other children of the same age and sex.

For example, if your baby's weight is on the 25th centile this means that if you weighed 100 babies like them, 75 babies would be heavier than yours and 24 would be lighter.

Weights and heights that are anywhere within the centile lines are considered normal. We expect babies growth to follow along or between one of these lines. One centile is not better than another. The centile that is right for your baby depends on where they started out (their birth weight) and factors they inherit from their parents.

Your baby's weight changes naturally from day to day, so don't weigh them too often. It may cause unneeded worry. The important thing is the pattern over time.

We usually recommend that you weigh your baby no more than once a month in the first 6 months. Then every 2 months from 6 months to 1 year. Then every 3 months after that. You should only weigh them more often if a healthcare professional asks you to for a period of time.

In general, a baby's length and weight will be in proportion. This means their length and weight will usually be within one or two of the major centile lines of each other.


Tracking growth is a good way to assess the health of a baby. Crossing the centiles lines, either going up or down may be a cause for concern.

Your midwife or health visitor will watch out for your baby gaining weight too slowly in the first few weeks. The most common cause is problems with feeding. It is normal for a baby to lose some weight in the first few days of life. Your midwife will only be concerned if they lose more than 10% of their birth weight. There is some evidence that this early weight loss helps set appetite and feeding patterns for the rest of your child's life.

There may be concerns about babies who cross the centiles upwards across the chart. 

Examples of Growth Charts



Babies know when they are hungry and when they are full. It is important to listen to your baby, and follow their lead.

Top tips:

  • Breastfeed if you and your baby can
  • Respond to your baby's feeding cues
  • Only give your baby breastmilk or formula milk under the age of 1
  • You don't need to give your baby more milk if they finish their bottle
  • Don't give your baby extra milk during the day hoping that they will sleep through the night sooner
  • Start solids after 6 months of age, unless advised by a health professional
  • Try and provide savoury whole food snacks, for example, carrot, cucumber and pepper rather than sweet or highy processed snacks
  • Encourage your baby to play


Babies need just breastmilk or first infant formula for around the first 6 months of life. From 6 months old they are ready to try solid foods alongside breast milk or formula.

Sometimes babies wake in the night when they have previously slept through. They may want an occasional extra milk feed or be seen chewing their fists. This does not mean they are ready for solids. They are just normal behaviours when a baby is growing, developing and teething. 

Even if your baby is bigger than other babies of a similar age, it doesn't mean they need to start solids earlier than 6 months.

If you think your baby is ready for solid foods before 6 months, it is a good idea to talk to your health visitor first.

Your baby is ready to start solid food if they can do all of these things:

  • Stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
  • Coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth all by themselves
  • Swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out of their mouth

It's rare for all 3 of these signs to appear before 6 months.


  • Include your baby in family meal times as soon as they start to eat solid foods
  • Babies learn about enjoying food and how to behave at mealtimes by watching those around them
  • There is no need to make special foods for your baby
  • Being overweight often runs in families and this is thought to be at least partly due to the eating behaviours they see at home. It is important to try and set a good example to your baby by giving them a wide range of healthy foods
  • Babies often need to try a new food several times before they accept it
  • Don't worry if your baby spits out some foods to start with
  • Never force your baby to eat. Your baby needs to learn when they have had enough so they don't put on too much weight

More information

You can still breastfeed when you return to work. Breastfeeding is recommended until age 2 years and beyond. It is good for you to carry on breastfeeding, even if only sometimes.

You will both continue to get the health benefits from breastfeeding. When you are together you can continue to enjoy that special closeness that breastfeeding brings. It is a lovely way to be reunited at the end of your working day.

It is worth thinking about how you will manage this several weeks before you go back to work.

You can get support and advice from:

Don’t be afraid to ask for support and information to help you with feeding. If something is worrying you, the chances are that other parents will have felt the same.

Ask your midwife, health visitor or 0-19 service for advice. 

Breastfeeding Support

Your midwife, health visitor and locally trained peer supporters have special training in supporting mums who are breastfeeding and can offer 1 to 1 support.

Start for Life have lots more information on breastfeeding such as if you are experiencing any challenges whilst breastfeedingunsure if you can breastfeed, are considering returning to work, or want advice about breastfeeding in public.

National Breastfeeding support 

 National Breastfeeding Helpline. Call 0300 100 0212 9.30am to 9.30pm every day.

Start for Life detail more helplines and online breastfeeding support.

Breastfeeding Friend is a 24/7 digital tool from Start for Life on Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Google Home.  It offers lots of useful information and advice on breastfeeding.

The NHS has a search engine for finding your local breastfeeding support group.

The Breastfeeding Welcome scheme. Find local venues that have signed up to actively support mums breastfeeding whilst they’re out and about

Bradford and Craven 


Leeds Maternity Breastfeeding Clinic, telephone 0113 2065367 or email

Leeds Community Healthcare 0-19 support is available on 0113 8435683

This includes

  • The Preparation for Birth and Beyond antenatal course
  • 1 to 1 virtual or face to face feeding support
  • Breastfeeding peer support groups see Leeds Bosom Buddies on Facebook
  • Breast pump loan scheme
  • Enhanced breastfeeding support


Calderdale and Kirklees

For more advice and information see:

Click here to download a PDF of the Healthy Infant Feeding Booklet