Local and online support groups and resources, helplines, the Bristol Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme.
Although we say mother, woman and breastfeeding on this page, we understand that not everyone uses these terms. We support any parent with any aspect of feeding their baby.
How you feed your baby from birth to age 2 is critical to their healthy growth and development.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and baby, and skin-to-skin contact can be an important bonding experience.
We know that most mums start out breastfeeding, but some women have difficulties and need support to make sure that breastfeeding is working well for them and their baby.
Some parents also choose to bottle feed using formula or expressed breastmilk. This can be in addition to or instead of breastfeeding.
Local support with feeding your baby
People who can support you if you're breastfeeding, bottle feeding or both include:
- your midwife
- your health visitor
- Children's Centre staff
- peer supporters
- your GP
Any of these professionals can refer you for specialist support if you need it.
Local breastfeeding support groups
You can go to any of the groups if you're:
- feeding your baby any amount of breastmilk
People at the groups can include:
- peer supporters
- breastfeeding counsellors
- Children's Centre staff
You can hire an electric breast pump directly from the manufacturer.
The specialist feeding service has a small number of electric breast pumps. We loan these to families on a short term basis, and only to those most in need.
If you need to borrow a breast pump from the specialist feeding service, ask your breastfeeding support worker, health visitor or midwife.
Baby hubs at Bristol Children's Centres
You can come to any of the baby hubs at Bristol Children's Centres to meet other parents and chat to a member of the Health Visiting Team. You can get support and information on lots of topics, including feeding your baby.
To find out when baby hubs are running, check the Children's Centre timetables:
Bristol Breastfeeding Support Service
Our trained breastfeeding peer supporters provide a respectful, supportive service. They have lots of experience in helping parents to feed their babies.
Our team can discuss all aspects of feeding your baby. We support parents who live in the following areas of the city:
- Brentry and Henbury
- Whitchurch Park
A peer supporter is usually a mother who has:
- experience of breastfeeding or expressing milk for her baby or babies
- been trained to support other parents
Peer supporters can give you information and help before and after your baby is born. You may meet peer supporters:
- in breastfeeding support groups
- on a local Facebook page
- in an online group
To contact your local peer supporter:
- ask your midwife or health visitor
- visit our Bristol Breastfeeding Support Service Facebook page.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Film about local breastfeeding support
The Bristol Breastfeeding Community short video shows parents in South Bristol talk about the importance of the support they've had from family, friends, breastfeeding groups and when feeding out and about.
Bristol Breastfeeding Mummies: a volunteer-run Facebook group where you can get informal support and encouragement.
Barnardo's online 1:1 support: Barnardo's are piloting a new online service, available for all parents in North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire who would like support with infant feeding. Book a one to one online meeting on Zoom with a trained practitioner.
National breastfeeding helpline
Phone: 0300 100 0212 (support is also available in Polish and Welsh on this number)
For support in Bengali and Sylheti, call: 0300 456 2421
Lines are open 9.30am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week.
You can also talk online to a breastfeeding counsellor.
The Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend can answer questions at any time. It's available on:
- Facebook Messenger
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
NCT: support for all parents, however you feed your baby.
Feeding support line: 0300 330 0770 (option 1)
Lines are open from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
La Leche League helpline
Phone: 0845 120 2918
Lines are open from 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
Health Links: for people in Bristol who speak English as a second language.
Telephone: 0117 902 7115 or 07900 264 435
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Languages spoken: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin, Punjabi, Somali, Sylheti, Urdu. Email or call if you need a different language.
Bristol Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme
The Bristol Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme aims to support mothers to breastfeed when they're out and about with their babies.
Hundreds of local venues and services, including cafes, restaurants, buses, visitor attractions and community settings have signed up to the scheme to demonstrate that they're breastfeeding friendly. Look out for the Breastfeeding Welcome logo when you're out and about.
Breastfeeding at study or work
Advice for you to keep breastfeeding
See NHS Breastfeeding and going back to work Go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding-and-lifestyle/back-to-work/ (opens new window) on how you can keep breastfeeding at study or work.
Advice for employers
The ACAS guide on Accommodating breastfeeding employees in the workplace Go to http://m.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/b/s/Acas-guide-on-accommodating-breastfeeding-in-the-workplace.pdf (opens new window)shows how you can support employees breastfeeding in the workplace.
Elsewhere on the web
Baby Buddy app
Best Beginnings: Breastfeeding
Bliss: for premature and special care babies
Bottle feeding: NHS Start for Life
Breastfeeding: NHS Start for Life
Building a happy baby: Unicef guide for parents
Caring for your baby at night
Caroline Walker Trust
Complementary feeding (weaning): BDA
First Steps Nutrition Trust
La Leche League GB
Mixed feeding: NHS Start for Life
National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
NHS Choices: breastfeeding help and support
North Bristol NHS: Precious Drops Milk Bank (Southmead Hospital)
Off to the best start: a guide to help you start breastfeeding
Twins and Multiple Birth Association (TAMBA)
Unicef UK: Baby Friendly Initiative
Weaning: NHS Start for Life