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.

Breastfeeding support

Many mothers find they need some support with breastfeeding. This can be any time from getting started through to your child’s final breastfeeds.

There are several drop-in breastfeeding hubs across Lewisham where parents can access breastfeeding support. This support is provided by health visiting, midwifery and peer supporters who have been trained. No appointment is required.

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

Breastfeeding hubs in Lewisham

Mondays 1.30–3.30pm Downderry Children’s Centre, Shroffold Road, Downham BR1 5PD
Tuesdays 10am–12 noon Bellingham Children’s Centre, 109a Randlesdown Road, Catford SE6 3HB
Tuesdays (term time) 10am–12 noon Deptford Breastfeeding Group, Shaftsbury Centre, Frankham Street, Deptford SE8 4RN
Wednesdays (term time) 9.30–11.30am The Milky Way at Baring Road Surgery, Baring Road, Lee SE12 0DS
Wednesdays 12 noon–2pm Eliot Bank Children’s Centre, Thorpewood Avenue, Sydenham SE26 3HB
Thursdays 10am–12 noon Waldron Health Centre, Suite 1, Amersham Vale, New Cross SE14 6LD
Thursdays 10am-12 noon Manor House Library, 34 Old Road, 1st Floor, SE13 5SY
Fridays 10am-12 noon Sydenham Green Health Centre, 26 Holmshaw Close, London, SE26 4TH
Fridays 12 noon–2pm Holy Trinity Centre
Corner of Orchard Hill and Bennett Grove, Lewisham SE13 7QZ

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


Head free


In line


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.

Further information

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

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:

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.

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