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

  • 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
  • Breast milk boosts your baby’s ability to fight illness and infection
  • Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • Breastfeeding is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your baby
  • Breast milk benefits our environment. It needs no packaging, and no transport costs. It is at the right temperature and ready for when a baby needs feeding

Breastfeeding friendly venues award

Breastfeeding is great 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.

Joining the breastfeeding friendly venue award provides many benefits to your business. Encouraging and supporting mothers who wish to breastfeed has the potential to strengthen the reputation of your business and increase your profit margins.

You should contact us for information about joining the breastfeeding friendly venues award scheme.

See local breastfeeding friendly venues here

Breastfeeding support

Peer supporters are a vital part of the infant feeding, family diet and nutrition team in North Yorkshire. The peer supporter role has a focus on providing families with breastfeeding support and infant nutrition advice through our proactive calls service and our breastfeeding support groups. This role also centres on providing emotional support to families to ensure positive emotional health.

Peer supporters are available to support and advise families within the breastfeeding support groups. These free groups offer a welcoming environment for new and expectant mums to meet other breastfeeding mums, to form social networks and help with breastfeeding issues. There is no need to book - families are very welcome to just drop in.

The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust have built an app where you can find more information about their Healthy Child Service. There is also some information about the breastfeeding groups in the area and how you can access them.

Children’s Health Service App Store for Apple Devices

Children’s Health Service Google Play for Android Devices

Breastfeeding after returning to work or study

You don’t need to stop breastfeeding because you are returning to work or study. In fact, continuing to breastfeed helps to keep the close relationship you’ve built with your baby when you are separated from each other for longer periods, and can provide your baby with extra comfort and security for as long as you both want. Many women find ways to continue breastfeeding their baby.

Some suggestions of things to consider are to:

  • have childcare close to your work or college, so that you can breastfeed during breaks or before and after work
  • breastfeed at home and express milk (taking milk from your breast by hand or using a pump) so that your baby’s carer can feed your baby wile you are at work or study
  • try to get your baby used to taking expressed milk from a bottle or cup before you go back to work or study.

It is a good idea to let your employer or course provider know if you will be breastfeeding on return to work or study. This is so that they can assess any health and safety risks.

Employers are required to provide somewhere for you to rest if you are breastfeeding and are entitled to more frequent breaks. Although they are not required to legally to provide somewhere for you to breastfeed or express milk at work.

In the UK, breastfeeding mothers have some legal protection under health and safety and sex discrimination laws.

Employers have legal obligations to provide:

  • health and safety protection
  • flexible working hours and protection from indirect sex discrimination
  • rest facilities
  • protection from harassment

For more information on the legal side of breastfeeding while you're at work, including examples of best practice, the ACAS guide on returning to work after having a baby is a really useful resource: Your maternity leave, pay and other rights

Find out about health and safety for new parents on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Breastfeeding helplines

  • National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212
  • National Childbirth Trust (NCT) helpline - 0300 330 0700
  • La Leche League GB helpline - 0345 120 2918
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers - 0300 330 5453

If you have specific questions about medications or treatments, please message the drugs in breast milk information service at

The Breastfeeding Network Drugs in breast milk information service