Breastfeeding is a great way to get your baby off to the best start. Find out about the benefits and the local support available.

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breast milk is the best food your baby can have. It's tailor-made for your baby and gives them all the nutrients they need in their first six months;
  • Breast milk boosts your baby's ability to fight illness and infection;
  • Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and burns about 500 calories a day; and
  • Breastfeeding is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your baby.

Local services and support

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and North Yorkshire County Council achieved joint Stage 1 UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation for their 0-5 health visiting service and 0-19 prevention service (children's centre's) in April 2016. The services are continuing to work together to achieve Stage 2 Accreditation. Through the Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation, local services are demonstrating a commitment to promoting and supporting breastfeeding and strengthening mother-baby and family relationships which is important for all babies, not only those who are breastfed.

Midwives, health visitors and children's centre staff have been trained and are available to offer support and information to families across North Yorkshire. If you require support and information about any aspect of feeding your baby please speak to your midwife during pregnancy or in the early days after your baby is born, or your health visitor who will be happy to help.

From January 2017, the health visiting service will be working in partnership with the prevention service to provide breastfeeding support groups to families across the county. The groups will offer a welcoming environment for new and expectant mums to meet other breastfeeding mums and form a social network, and help with breastfeeding issues. Members of the health visiting team will be available for advice and information.

Information on the breastfeeding support groups in your area and how to contact your local health visiting and children's centre team can be obtained from the breastfeeding support map.

View our breastfeeding support map

Breastfeeding friendly venues award

Breastfeeding is great value for mums, babies and the environment, but many women feel nervous about breastfeeding out and about, and this can mean they choose not to breastfeed or that they stop breastfeeding before they want to.

The breastfeeding friendly venues award has been developed to help identify public places in North Yorkshire that offer a good level of facilities and welcome breastfeeding mothers.

A pilot award scheme was launched in the Selby area in January. Once this scheme proves successful it will be rolled out across the rest of the county in Autumn 2018.

See our map of breastfeeding friendly venues in the Selby area here.

Becoming a breastfeeding friendly award venue is easy to achieve. The minimum requirement is that staff actively welcome mothers and babies and that breastfeeding is allowed in all customer areas of the venue. 

Businesses and venues in the Selby area that are interested in registering for the free breastfeeding friendly venue award can find out more by emailing nypublichealth@northyorks.gov.uk or calling the public health team on 01609 797742.

You can see more  information for venues, including a checklist, here (pdf / 213 KB).

Other useful breastfeeding information

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