Breastfeeding is the most natural start to life for a baby and can have lifelong health benefits for both mother and baby.
Breastfeeding protects the baby against ear and chest infections, stomach upsets, diarrhoea, asthma, eczema, allergies and even obesity. Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis later in life.
Babies don’t need anything but breast milk for the first six months to provide all the necessary nutrition. Giving anything else will decrease the supply of breast milk and lessen the health benefits of breastfeeding.
Solids can be introduced alongside the usual milk feeds from six months, when the baby’s development shows they are ready to cope with solids well.
The Department of Health recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, as it continues to provide both significant nutrition and protection from illnesses.
During your home New Birth visit (between 7-14 days). your health visitor will discuss breastfeeding and this includes your baby’s feeding assessment. Attached below is the feeding assessment form used by Health Visitors, which provides a useful guide for parents as to what to expect when breastfeeding your baby, and what may potentially be a problem requiring further support:
Mothers are also welcome to attend during pregnancy and ask any questions they may have about feeding their baby, or as an opportunity to meet other mothers informally in your local area.
Mothers who are formula or mixed feeding their baby are also welcome to attend for advice and support.
“Carmella really helped us with latching and gave us some great tips and support” Breastfeeding mum, Downderry children’s centre”
If you are concerned about any aspects of your baby’s feeding firstly please contact your Health Visiting team – full details are in your red book, or can be found on the Contact Us page on this website.
Alternatively, you can contact Natalie Coates , Specialist Infant Feeding Health Visitor on 0203 0492405 or Ade Olotu, Infant Feeding Lead on 0203 0493441 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to provide feedback regarding our breastfeeding support please complete this FFT form.
Breastfeeding hubs in Lewisham
|Monday’s||1.30pm–3.30pm||Downderry Children’s Centre, Shroffold Road, Downham BR1 5PD – APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please contact your Health Visiting team to book an appointment.|
|Tuesday’s||10am–12pm||The Bear Church, Shaftsbury Centre, Frankham Street, Deptford, SE8 4RN – APPOINTMENT ONLY. Book via https://forms.gle/dyaYRgv7kq9eq2CW7|
|Wednesday’s||2pm – 3pm||The Village, Corbett Community Centre, Torridon Road, Catford, SE6 1RQ – APPOINTMENT ONLY. Book via https://bookwhen.com/thevillagelondon?tags=Feeding%20Support%20Group#focus=ev-st5w-20210929140000|
|Thursday’s||10am–12pm||Evelyn Children’s Centre, 231 Grove Street, Deptford, SE8 3PZ – APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please contact your Health Visiting team to book an appointment.|
|Friday’s||10am – 12md||Sydenham Green Health Centre, 26 Holmshaw Close, SE26 4TH – APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please contact your Health Visiting team to book an appointment.|
|Friday’s||12pm – 2pm||Quaggy Breastfeeding Hub, Parkside Community Centre, Parkside Avenue, Lewisham, SE10 8GF (opposite Quaggy Children’s Centre)- APPOINTMENT ONLY. £2 cost. Book via https://quaggydevelopmenttrust.org/quaggy-events/quaggycc/|
|Evelyn Parents Forum||Deptford Park Play Club, 23 Scawen Road, Deptford, SE8 5AG|
|Waldron Health Centre||Amersham Vale, New Cross, SE14 6LD|
|Telegraph Hill Play club||Erlanger Road, SE14 5TY|
|Telegraph Hill Centre||Pepys Road, SE14 5TY|
|The Albany Arts Centre & Café||Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG|
|Deli X||156 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ|
|2000 Community Action Centre||199-201 Grove Street, Deptford SE8 3PG|
|Amersham Vale Practice||Waldron Health Centre, New Cross, SE14 6LD|
|Vesta Road Surgery||58 Vesta Road, New Cross, SE4 2NH|
|Little Lambs Pre-School||Good Shepherd Church Hall, Downham BR1 5EP|
|Arlo & Moe||340 Brockley Road, Brockley SE4 2BT|
|Browns of Brockley||5-6 Coulgate Street, Brockley, SE4 2RW|
|Pistachios in the Park||Hillyfields, 10A Somerset Gardens, SE13 7JN|
|Apple Tree Community Café||Goldsmiths Community Centre, Castillon Rd, SE6 1QD|
|The Homestead Café||Beckenham Place Park, BR3 5BP|
|Oakview Family Practice||190 Shroffold Road, BR1 5NJ|
|Step by Step Day Nursery||Benden House, Monument Gardens, SE13 6PY|
|Novum Health Partnership||The Primary Care Centre, Hawstead Rd, SE6 4JH|
|Cissy Wears||212a Hither Green Lane, Hither Green, SE13 6RT|
|Arlo & Moe||60 Springbank Road, Hither Green, SE13 6SN|
|Arts Café||Manor Park Hither Green, SE13 5QZ|
|Pistachio’s in the Park||Manor House Gardens, Old Rd, SE13 5TA|
|Bella Roma||13 Lewis Grove, SE13 6BG|
|Blackheath Age Exchange||11 Blackheath Village, SE3 9LA|
|Lewisham Toy Library||Shop 46 Molesworth Street, SE13 7EP|
|Brockley Road Surgery||465-467 Brockley Road, Brockley SE4 2PJ|
|Ackroyd Community Centre||42b Ackroyd Road, SE23 1DL|
|Little Pumpkins||88 Woodyates Rd, Lee, SE12 9JH|
|La Ciabatta||119 Rushey Green, SE6 4AA|
|Freds||358 Brockley Road, SE4 2BY|
|Graces Day Nursery||145 Perry Hill, Catford, SE6 4LP|
|Hillyfields Medical Group||172 Adelaide Avenue, SE4 1JN|
|The Broadway Café||12 Catford Broadway, SE6 4SP|
|Kaleidoscope||32 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4JD|
|Kilmorie Children’s Centre||Kilmorie Primary School Kilmorie Rd, SE23 2SP|
|Aga’s Little Deli||49a Dartmouth Road,. London SE23 3HN|
|Forest Hill Pools||Dartmouth Rd, Forest Hill, SE23 3HZ|
|Pistachio’s in the Park||47 Vicars Hill, London SE13 7JN|
|Archibalds Café||164 Manor Lane, Hither Green, SE12 8LP|
|La Pizzeria Italiana Ltd||Eros House, Brownhill Road, SE6 2EG|
|Saigon Foods||24 Catford Broadway, SE6 4SN|
|Small Wonders Day Care||89 Bromley Road, SE6 2UF|
|The Broadway Dental Practice||23 Catford Broadway, SE6 4SN|
|Good Food Deli||Sandhurst Market, 7 Sandhurst Rd, SE6 1DL|
|Abbotshall Healthy Lifestyle Centre||Abbotshall Road, Catford, SE6 1SQ|
|Corbett Community Centre & Library||Torridon Road, SE6 1RQ|
|Park View Café||32 Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, SE6 3BD|
|Bellingham Green GP Surgery||24 Bellingham Green, Catford, SE6 3JB|
|La Delice Café||38 Ladywell Road, Lewisham SE13 7UZ|
|Community Waves||Old Town Hall, Catford Rd, SE6 4RU|
Top tips for breastfeeding
- Keep your baby close, with as much skin-to-skin contact as possible
- Babies like to breastfeed often, some very often! This does not mean that your milk supply is not enough. Babies like some feeds to be ‘meals’ and others to be ‘snacks’, just like adults.
- It is not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby.
- Be sure to get the right latch – checking that your baby is attached correctly to the breast is crucial for comfortable and successful breastfeeding. If you’re feeling pain throughout the feed, your baby’s latch may not be correct. Remember CHIN:
Close and chin leading
Nose to nipple
- Feel reassured that your baby will be getting enough milk if they are feeding at least eight times in 24 hours and they have at least six wet and two dirty nappies daily (from one week old; before this, babies may feed more and have produce more urine and stools)
- Always seek help if you have any concerns, especially if you have pain when your baby feeds.
Breastfeeding at study or work leaflet (DH)
Going back to study or work may be the first time you have been separated from your baby for long periods. Continuing to breastfeed helps to keep the close relationship you’ve built up, providing your baby with extra comfort and security for as long as you both want.
You don’t need to stop breastfeeding just because you’re returning to study or work. Many women find ways to continue breastfeeding their baby – and employers have certain obligations towards breastfeeding women.
The last section in this leaflet sets out how employers can make it easier for you to do so – show this leaflet to your employer.
Visit ACAS to find out more about pregnancy and maternity rights, as well as breastfeeding at work.
Off to the best start (DH) leaflet, see page 14-16 for expressing milk.
- NHS breastfeeding website
- National Childbirth Trust 0300 330 0700 (8am–midnight)
- National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 (9.30am–9.30pm)
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0844 412 2949
- Breastfeeding Network 0300 100 0210 (9.30am–9.30pm)
- La Leche League 0845 120 2918
- For information about drugs in breast milk, email email@example.com
The ‘Baby buddy’ app, which you can download to your mobile phone, takes you through life with your baby, using interactive information and films.
24 hour advice via Start 4 Life: It’s available on:
- Facebook Messenger
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/
Breastfeeding at night
Becoming a parent is a very special time. Getting to know your new baby and learning how to care for her needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it can also be challenging, especially when you are tired and your baby is wakeful and wanting to feed frequently during the night.