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

Other useful breastfeeding information