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Support, further advice and useful breastfeeding contacts

Useful contact numbers

The Stockport Breastfeeding support helpline is 0161 419 4430 (answerphone) or mobile 07767 870 506. Please leave a message and a member of the Infant Feeding Team will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Other useful contacts are given below:

  • Laura Widdall, Breastfeeding Coordinator. Office: 0161 419 5399, mobile: 07720 338 350, email: laura.widdall@nhs.net
  • Melanie Gilbert, Peer Support Coordinator. Office: 0161 419 5399, mobile: 07764 967 000, email: melaniegilbert@nhs.net

Breastfeeding if your baby is unsettled

Encouragement and support in the early weeks and months is essential for successful breastfeeding. Partners and other family members can really make a difference as can the variety of support available for you within your local community.

‘9 out of 10’ women who gave up breastfeeding within 6 weeks of birth would have liked to have breastfed for longer (Infant Feeding Survey 2009).

If your baby is unsettled at the breast and doesn’t seem satisfied by feeds, it may be that they’re not attached to the breast correctly.  Have a look at our tips for good positioning and attachment.  lt can also be helpful to ask a breastfeeding supporter to work with you to improve positioning and attachment of your baby.  You can find your nearest breastfeeding peer support group using our helpful map

Family and Friends

Partner - those close to you can influence your breastfeeding experience. It is therefore good to involve them in the decision about how you feed your baby and that they know as much about breastfeeding as you.

Partners aren’t always sure what they can do to help and support you and see feeding the baby as the only way they can help. Their role is much bigger than this. If they value and support your decision to breastfeed they will encourage you even when it can feel tough at times.

In the early days preparing yourself to feed the baby may take a little time and practice; this is when your partner’s support is invaluable. Fetching a cushion and helping you and your baby get comfortable can be really helpful as can getting you a cold drink and a healthy snack whilst feeding.

Other ways for partners to get involved are bathing their babies, changing and settling their babies. Often Dads have a calming effect on their babies and become experts at settling them.

Family - having your family’s support for breastfeeding means you are likely to breastfeed for longer and this will lead to short and long term health benefits for you and your baby. Tell them about some of the benefits for you and your baby, show them this website and the supporting literature available and don’t forget to let them know that breastfeeding will save you approximately £500 in the first year.

Often grandparents and other relatives feel feeding the baby is the only help they can provide. If your family ask what they can do, let them know what a tremendous help it would be if they prepared a meal or did some of the washing that soon builds up from one so small!

Friends - tell your friends about your thinking behind the decision to breastfeed and you’ll soon have their support – who knows they might give it a try when they see how much you and your baby benefit. Reassure them you can still go for a night out with them in the future because you can express breast milk and store it. However in the early days they can provide some support by visiting you at home and making you a cold drink and something to eat. 

Midwives and Health Visitors

Midwifery Team - all your midwives and those that work with them (Midwifery Assistants and Assistant Practitioners) are fully trained to support breastfeeding mothers. You will get the opportunity to have an individual discussion before 34 weeks of pregnancy, usually with your Community Midwife, so this is a good time to ask any questions you may have about feeding your baby.

After your labour is over take time to enjoy your first skin to skin contact with your new born baby. Try not to rush this process, it helps to regulate your baby’s breathing and temperature, calms your baby and helps you to bond with your baby, which often helps you make a decision about feeding. The Midwife who has delivered your baby will be able to show you how to put your baby to the breast. This support will be available on the ward too where you will be encouraged to keep the baby with you so you get to know each other and you will be shown different ways of holding your baby for a feed. Before you are discharged the Midwife will show you how to hand express breastmilk and provide you with an information leaflet – this might be an opportunity to discuss other ways of expressing and storing breast milk, what the milk looks like and what quantities you might expect.

After your baby is born the Community Midwife will visit you the day after you are discharged from hospital. She will provide you with all the help and support you need to continue breastfeeding. You will always be able to speak to someone in between visits as she will leave you with contact details.

Health Visitors - a Health Visitor will visit you at home usually between day 10 and day 14 after your baby has been born. As well as Health Visitors, Staff Nurses and Nursery Nurses are all part of the team and are fully trained to support you with breastfeeding.

They can offer support and advice on any feeding issue you may have such as how to combine breastfeeding with returning to work. Most babies do not need to be given anything other than breastmilk until they are around six months old and the Health Visiting team will provide feeding support for you throughout this time. They will help you recognise when your baby is ready for other foods. The Health Visiting team are available Monday to Friday during office hours.

Breastfeeding Peer Supporters

Breastfeeding Peer Supporters are local mums who have breastfed their own babies who wish to support other mums and have completed an in house nine week course and been assessed as competent to support women throughout their breastfeeding experience.

Through their own experiences, they understand that there is often some anxiety associated with breastfeeding by new mums whether it is your first time or not. Peer support is a tremendous help in the early days when you and your baby are learning how to breastfeed. They can provide 1:1 support, information and publications as well as support groups where they welcome everyone along for a coffee and a chat especially pregnant mums and those with new babies who need support, encouragement and reassurance. New dads and grandparents are given a warm welcome too.

If you need to speak to someone, call any of the telephone numbers below. There are different groups for each area in Cheshire and Merseyside. If you can’t get through to the one for your area, you are welcome to call any and they will be able to help you. Alternatively you can call the National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0121 this line is open between 9:30am and 9:30pm every day.

Peer Support Groups

Peer support groups are groups of mums like you who meet to help and support each other to continue to breastfeed. If you are finding it hard going along to one of these groups can help as they can give you advice and support to keep going. They are also nice to attend if you are not having problems as it gives you the chance to meet other mums and babies.

Other useful websites

There are some great websites, local and national that can give you advice and tips to continue breastfeeding, some are listed below:

© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2023. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010