Breastfeeding | Oxfordshire County Council

Breastfeeding

Where to get help and advice on feeding your baby in Oxfordshire.

Breast milk gives babies a good start in life

All breast milk is good for your baby – and breastfeeding is good for you. Getting breastfeeding off to a good start means that you are more likely to be able to keep going for as long as you want to. There are a range of problems that may make it harder, but it is still possible to feed with support and advice from all of those around you. Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect.

Your health visitor will offer advice and support whether you choose to give your baby breast milk, formula or a combination of them both.

At around six months babies are usually ready to move onto solids.  Contact your health visitor for more information when you think you and your baby are ready.

Help and support

There is lots of information and advice available on feeding your baby.  If breastfeeding is something you’d like to do, but it doesn't come easily, there are plenty of different types of support available for Oxfordshire mothers.  

In Oxfordshire, maternity services, health visitors, children's services  and voluntary organisations work to offer  help, support and encouragement  to mums either individually or via drop-in groups. Your midwife or health visitor will give you details of where you can go locally.

In certain areas of Oxfordshire where breastfeeding rates are low there are community breastfeeding support workers, who can provide additional support.  Ask your health visitor if you are in an eligible area.

Find out more about breastfeeding support for mums, their partners and wider family on the NHS Choices website.

 If you decide to give your baby formula milk, your health visitor or midwife will be able to advise you on how to choose the right sort of milk, how to make up and to feed your baby safely. 

Midwives

Antenatal breastfeeding sessions are available in your local area. Your midwife or local children’s centre will tell you when and where these are held.

Health visitors

Health visitors are trained nurses who have done an additional one-year university course. They work with all families with children under the age of five years.  Health visitors work in a range of community settings, for example, GP surgeries, health centres, children centres.   Health visitors are now commissioned by the county council.

Your health visitor will usually contact you when you are pregnant, and offer to come and visit before your baby is born. After you have had your baby, she will come and see you within the first two weeks and give you details of support available for families in your area.

They can be contacted through your GP surgery or local health centre if you do not currently have a telephone number.

Contact your midwife or health visitor if you have any difficulties or worries about feeding your baby; don’t wait for your next scheduled visit.

breastfeeding sign 1
breastfeeding sign 2

Feeding when out and about

We are working with other partners to ensure that any mother who wishes to breastfeed in public can do so if she wishes. Under the Equality Act 2010 business cannot discriminate a mother for wishing to breastfeed.

If you'd like to breastfeed but would like to know in advance is a place is breastfeeding friendly and what facilities it has you can use the free Feedfinder app for both Android and Apple or the website for a zoomable Google map, where over 50 coffee shops and other venues are listed. Please feel free to add any places you feel are particularly friendly and supportive towards breastfeeding mums.

Keep your eye out for the signs shown above in businesses and public buildings which flag up awareness and support for the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

Support for partners

Many mothers who do chose to breastfeed often say they could not have done it without the support of their partner. Dads can ask health visitors about how best they can help or if they have any worries.

Our role

The Public Health team works through the Health and Wellbeing board and the Health Improvement Board to champion breastfeeding. Our focus is to encourage breastfeeding as well as to respect those mothers who may not be able to breastfeed or who do not feel it is something that is for them or their baby.

Our efforts will be focused at making sure mums do not feel they cannot breastfeed because of discrimination or social disapproval and to promote a positive image around breastfeeding, particularly in public. We will also work with our colleagues in health visiting and midwifery to support their Unicefs Baby Friendly accreditation.

Useful links

  • Oxfordshire Children's Centres - children’s centres are for children under five and their families, and offer a variety of services that families may need to thrive and make the most of life’s opportunities, whatever their background or circumstances.
  • The John Radcliffe Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic - The breastfeeding clinic is on level 1 of the John Radcliffe Hospital. It is an appointment only service. It offers specialist one-to-one help, training and support to women choosing to breastfeed, either whilst they are in hospital or after returning home.
  • Family Information Service - a database of various organisations which includes organisations who can offer breastfeeding help, information and support in a relaxed environment. There are a number of venues across the county.
  • Breastfeeding in the UK - More general information about best practice around breastfeeding in the UK
  • Health visiting - Health visitors offer expert, invaluable advice and support to families with children in the first five years of life.
  • Oxfordshire Netmums - sign up to their email to find out about local activities and support in Oxfordshire.
  • The Big Latch On - a worldwide campaign in early August.
Last reviewed
21 November 2017
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