In this article, we’re outlining Blackburn with Darwen breastfeeding support services, as well as highlighting the many benefits for mums and babies, and explaining where to access support with breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is not just about the transfer of milk to your baby. It’s about comforting your baby, connecting with each other and supporting those skin-to-skin moments. It releases hormones that can help mum to feel better.  You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. 

Benefits Of Breastfeeding

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and that breastfeeding should continue alongside solid foods for at least the first two years.  This is because breastfeeding has lots of benefits for both mums and babies.

Benefits For Baby

  • Breastfeeding is protective; babies who are breastfed are less likely to have tummy upsets like diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Breastfed babies are less prone to allergies.
  • Breastmilk contains unique antibodies, hormones and nutrients to help your baby grow and fight off infection.
  • Breastfeeding helps brain development and can lead to a higher IQ.
  • Breastfeeding helps protect your child against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The Lullaby Trust – Safer sleep for babies, Support for families
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease or diabetes later in life.
  • Breastfeeding is particularly important for premature babies as it can protect them against potentially life-threatening conditions.

Breastfeeding in the UK – Baby Friendly Initiative (

Benefits For Mum

  • Breastfeeding reduces your risk of certain diseases including:
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, known as ‘the love hormone’, which makes you feel good and can help you bond with your baby. 
  • Breastfeeding is free!
  • It’s quicker and easier than bottle feeding as it doesn’t require any special equipment or preparation.
  • Breastfeeding causes your womb to contract, helping it to return to its normal size quickly after birth.
  • Breastfeeding burns extra calories, helping you to maintain a healthy weight as a new mum.
  • Unsafe bottle feeding practices may lead to infections that can affect the baby.  Bottles need to be made up in a very precise way to kill bacteria that are present in formula preparations

Other Benefits

Breastfeeding Benefits the Planet – Breastfeeding needs no manufacturing processes or transportation and has no packaging or recycling implications,  Research on breastfeeding and climate change – Baby Friendly Initiative (

Breastfed babies need fewer antibiotics (babies are 5x less likely to be prescribed antibiotics in the first year of life.)

Breastfed babies require fewer hospital admissions, which helps reduce demand for our Health Service.

Breastfeeding Advice For New Mums

If you’re a new mum who wants to breastfeed your baby, here are a few practical tips to help you get off to a good start.

Positioning and attachment

Getting your baby positioned and attached well is key to successful breastfeeding and will make feeding more comfortable and easier for you both. 

Download the Anya App (free) for help with positioning. 

Remember to always bring your baby to your breast, rather than the other way around, and make sure that they get a good mouthful of breast not just the nipple. There are different techniques and holds you can try to help you get the right position and you can use a pillow or cushion to support your baby’s body during feeding, leaving your hands free.

Parents in Blackburn and Darwen can get free premium access to the Anya App which has key advice and support around pregnancy and parenting.  There are videos that show different feeding positions and techniques, as well as a 1-1 support offer. 

Supply and Demand

Breastfeeding works on supply and demand – the more often your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce. That’s why it’s so important to feed your newborn whenever they’re showing signs of hunger, even if they’ve only recently fed!  You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. 

It’s only by allowing your baby to go to the breast as often as they need that your body will know how much milk to produce. This can feel quite overwhelming at first so make sure you have plenty of support from your partner or family and friends.  

Sore Nipples

Sore nipples are common in the early days of breastfeeding. This can be a result of incorrect attachment, meaning that baby is sucking on your nipple. If your nipples are painful, be sure to check that you’re getting a good attachment at every feed.

However, even with proper attachment and positioning, it can take a while for your nipples to get used to the sensation of feeding. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try in the meantime that might help:

  • Use breast pads to soak up any excess milk and change them at each feed.
  • Try to wear clothes made from breathable fabrics like cotton.
  • Get help with the attachment and positioning.  Blackburn with Darwen has free 1-1 breastfeeding support.  To access this, contact the Family Hub and Children’s Centres  on 01254 585000 


If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, getting advice and support quickly can help you get back on track and make life easier for you and your baby. Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife, health visitor, or Children’s Centre/Family Hub staff for support if things aren’t going as well as you’d like.

Several issues can make breastfeeding more difficult for mums and babies. Problems like tongue-tie, thrush and inverted nipples can all cause challenges, Plus, milk supply can be affected by anything from previous breast surgery to traumatic birth or certain medications.

Blackburn With Darwen’s Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding may be natural and come with many benefits for both you and your baby but that doesn’t always mean that it goes smoothly. It’s normal to experience difficulties or need some support at any stage of your breastfeeding journey, whether you’re a first-time mum with a newborn or you’re battling tongue-tie or wondering about weaning.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of breastfeeding support on offer in Blackburn and Darwen.  Midwives, Health Visitors, Children Centre and Family Hub staff and Specialist Lactation Consultants are all available to offer help with any part of breastfeeding. 

Children’s Centres & Family Hubs

All Children’s Centres and Family Hub in Blackburn with Darwen have staff that are trained to help parents with breastfeeding. They can also let you know how and where to get further support if you need it.  This includes the support from the specialist Lactation Consultants. 01254 585000 Blackburn with Darwen’s Best Start for Life | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Lactation Consultants

Our Baby Friendly Team offer one-to-one support to new mums who are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties.  The Children’s Centre and Family Hubs staff can help parents access this team if they aren’t able to help with an issue or enquiry.

Support Groups

We have breastfeeding support groups across a range of locations at different days and times, making it easy to find local support. The great thing about our breastfeeding support groups is that not only are trained professionals on hand to offer advice but it’s also an opportunity to meet other mums and make new friends. There’s a group every weekday in different locations in Blackburn and Darwen.  There is no need to book, just turn up. If you want more information about the groups, please phone a Children Centre or Family Hub on 01254 585000.

Breast Pump Loan Scheme

BwD mums can access our free Breast Pump Loan Scheme for parents who need specialist support.  Contact the Family Hubs and Children Centres for more information: 01254 585000/ Blackburn with Darwen’s Best Start for Life | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Free Sling Library

We also offer free sling loans and guidance to get started with slings and babywearing.  Baby loves to be close to mum and this helps with bonding and attachment.

Virtual Support

The Anya App gives parenting and breastfeeding advice, information and videos.  1-1 support is also available. Parents with a Blackburn with Darwen postcode get a free premium subscription; download yours: Home – Meet Anya.

Blackburn With Darwen: Breastfeeding Friendly Borough

Blackburn with Darwen has been recognized as a breastfeeding-friendly borough since 2017 and has been awarded UNICEF Gold Baby Friendly Accreditation in acknowledgement of the support and encouragement offered to breastfeeding mums in the area.

We work directly with local shops, cafés and businesses to make sure that our mums feel safe and comfortable when breastfeeding in public.  It is a legal right to be able to breastfeed your child in public without restriction.  Many of our local businesses, cafes, leisure centres, libraries and museums welcome breastfeeding on their premises.  Look out for the Breastfeeding Friendly stickers. 

Find out where our borough’s breastfeeding friendly places are here.

If you’d like to find out more about breastfeeding in Blackburn or need help accessing support or services, you can call your health visitor or Midwife.  Children’s Centre staff are also on hand to help: 01254 585000.

The National Breastfeeding Helpline number is 0300 100 0212 365 days per year, 9.30am – 9.30pm

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