Breastfeeding in Bristol

Feeding and nurturing your baby

Information on feeding and nurturing your baby:

Support with feeding your baby

Your midwife, health visitor, Children’s Centre and peer supporter are trained to support you with feeding your baby.

Local support

Breastfeeding support groups

Groups in the city provide on-going breastfeeding support to mothers.

They may be attended by peer supporters, breastfeeding counsellors, children’s centre staff or NHS staff from midwifery or health visiting teams. Some groups offer a crèche and most offer refreshments.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are very welcome at any of the groups below. If you are attending a group for the first time, you may want to check that it’s running that day by phoning the contact as details can occasionally change:

Breastfeeding support video

The ‘Bristol Breastfeeding Community’ short video, shows parents in South Bristol talk about the importance of the support they’ve received from family, friends, breastfeeding groups and when feeding out and about.

Breastfeeding counsellors

There is a network of trained breastfeeding counsellors who provide telephone support and occasional home visits. They are volunteers who have undergone several years of training. You can have support from them even if you don’t belong to their organisation.

Details of Breastfeeding Counsellors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire (pdf, 38k) (opens new window)

To hire an electric breast pump please contact a counsellor for further information.

National support

National breastfeeding helpline
Telephone: 0300 100 0212
Lines are open 9.30am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week.

The breastfeeding network allows you to talk online to a breastfeeding counsellor.

Health Links support and information for mothers who do not speak English.
Telephone: 0117 902 7115 or 07900 264 435
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Languages spoken: Somali, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali. Other languages are available by arrangement.

Breastfeeding Network Supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti.
Telephone: 0300 456 2421
Lines are open 9.30am to 9.30pm, 7 days a week. If a volunteer is not available to take your call, leave a message and someone will get back to you.

National Childbirth Trust helpline
0300 330 0771

La Leche League helpline
Telephone: 0845 120 2918

Bristol: a 'Baby Friendly' city

Bristol became the first 'baby friendly' city in England and Wales in March 2010. This means that all maternity, health visiting and peer support staff as well as many Children Centre workers are trained to support mothers with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative best practice standards for breast and bottle feeding. Staff receive regular updates and services are audited every year. From time to time all services have an external assessment of standards.

Bristol Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme

Find a breastfeeding friendly place

For some mothers breastfeeding away from the home is a concern. You can be assured that the law is on your side; breastfeeding friendly places in Bristol (pdf, 409k) (opens new window) is a list of over 320 local premises as well as First buses, that support Bristol mothers to breastfeed when they are out and about with their babies in Bristol.

Become a breastfeeding friendly place

By joining the scheme, you will benefit from:

  • Access to more families.
  • Know that you are doing your bit towards a healthier Bristol by supporting breastfeeding.

By joining the scheme, you agree to:

  • Ensure all your staff know about the scheme.
  • Display a Bristol Breastfeeding Welcome scheme window sticker or poster.
  • Find a mother a quiet corner if she requests it.
  • Uphold a woman’s right to breastfeed by ensuring that if someone complains, the complainant is moved, not the mother.

If you would like to join the Bristol Breastfeeding welcome scheme please email

Breastfeeding at study or work

Advice for you to keep breastfeeding

See the NHS Breastfeeding at study to work flyer on how you can keep breastfeeding at study or work.

Advice for employers

The ACAS guide on Accommodating breastfeeding employees in the workplace shows how you can support employees breastfeeding in the workplace.

Bristol Breastfeeding Peer Support service

We commissioned a service that is run by Barnardo's and has been successfully supporting mothers since 2010. The service offers extra breastfeeding support to parents who live in the following areas of the city:

  • Avonmouth
  • Bishopsworth
  • Hartcliffe
  • Henbury
  • Hengrove
  • Knowle West
  • Lawrence Weston
  • Southmead
  • Stockwood
  • Whitchurch Park

Find out more about the peer support service on the Barnardo's website.

A peer supporter is a mother who has breastfed her baby and has undertaken a short course in breastfeeding. She can provide you with extra support, information and help before and after your baby is born.

You may also meet volunteer peer supporters in breastfeeding support groups, in hospital or on a local facebook page. To contact your local peer supporter, ask your midwife or phone 0117 958 0320.

Nutritional guidance for mums and newborns up to five years