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Information about breastfeeding for Primary Health Care Providers

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Breastfeeding is recommended by the World Health Organization as the best way to feed infants. The Glasgow Royal Hospital for Children strongly supports breastfeeding and encourages mothers to breastfeed exclusively to 6 months (around 26 weeks), and to continue breastfeeding for as long as they and their child wishes, after introducing solid foods. Even if mothers do not exclusively breastfeed, the more breastmilk their babies receive, the greater the benefits in terms of protection against infections, optimum nutrition, attachment with their mother, and later health benefits for both the mother and child.

Although breastfeeding is a natural process, many mothers need support, particularly in the early weeks. Without expert help mothers may give up breastfeeding.

UNICEF BFI Call to Action

There are a lot of resources available to support parents with breastfeeding which are freely available (see below).

Infant feeding advisors

If a mother is having difficulties with breastfeeding, consider signposting her to the range of community resources listed below.

If difficulties persist, despite help from yourself and their health visitor, consider a referral to the Infant Feeding Advisors in GGC. Complete the referral form with as much information as you are able to provide and e-mail to

Tongue Tie

If you or the mother’s health visitor examine an infant and see a tongue tie, and there are issues with breastfeeding or the mother is keen to discuss division, refer to the Tongue Tie Clinic, run by the Paediatric ENT department, via the SCI gateway. There is no need to refer as ‘urgent’ as all tongue ties are seen as quickly as possible. The infant will be examined at the tongue tie clinic and division will be offered if felt appropriate.

Also signpost the mother to the range of resources listed below and ask for support from the health visitor. If breastfeeding is difficult due to poor attachment and pain, ensure that the mother is supported to protect her breastmilk supply, for example with regular milk expression, and plenty of skin to skin contact, whilst waiting for the clinic appointment.

Paediatric Medical Referrals

If there are concerns that a breastfed infant has medical concerns, for example gastro-oesophageal reflux or constipation, refer to the relevant advice on these issues that is available on this website, and if considered appropriate refer the infant via the SCI gateway.

Prescribing medicines during breastfeeding

Most medicines can be safely prescribed during breastfeeding. The following are useful sites that provide guidance on drugs and breastfeeding.


Useful resources for parents

The following are useful resources for parents, and are all freely available:

  • The ParentClub
    This Scottish website contains a wealth of information on breastfeeding and caring for infants. It includes help with some of the challenges mothers may face, including videos. There is also a directory with details of where to access further help.
  • Best Beginnings
    This website has a series of short videos covering many aspects of breastfeeding, including preparing to breastfeed during your pregnancy, the first feed, how to hold your baby and help them to attach to the breast, and how to introduce solid foods at 6 months. There are also videos on topics such as overcoming challenges and expressing breastmilk.
  • Off to a Good Start
    This website contains a series of booklets and posters to help you with breastfeeding and to answer some of the questions parents often ask.
  • Parenting Across Scotland
    This website contains a lot of information about caring for young children. As well as help with feeding, the site contains suggestions for soothing a crying baby, helping young children with sleep and links to other useful resources for parents.
  • Healthier Together
    This website contains information about many aspects of childcare from birth to teenagers. It contains guidance for parents who are concerned that their baby is not getting enough breastmilk and what to do. This is a common worry for many breastfeeding mothers. The site also contains other information about feeding infants.
  • National Childbirth Trust
    The NCT aims to support parents through pregnancy until the child’s second birthday. The site contains a lot of helpful information about breastfeeding and help with some of the common questions that parents ask.
  • Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative
    This includes a lot of information about breastfeeding for health care providers and parents. The website also has a list of resources, including videos on topics such as positioning/attachment, increasing breastmilk supply and feeding twins.

  • National breastfeeding helpline
    This advice line operates from 09:30am to 09:30pm every day of the year and offers independent confidential breastfeeding support and information, by volunteers who are themselves mothers who have breastfed.
    TEL: 0300 100 0212
  • La Leche League
    Offers friendly breastfeeding support from pregnancy onwards, runs support groups and offers telephone, online and written support. 
  • Breastfeeding | Ready Steady Baby! 
    This site includes information about breastfeeding, and also about pregnancy, labour and meeting your new baby. There is also a ‘Browse Aloud’ function on the site, that reads out the information on the pages (found in the top right hand corner of the NHS site).

  • Cry-sis
    Offers support for crying infants and babies who find it difficult to sleep. There is a telephone helpline and website giving hints and tips on coping with excessive crying and sleeplessness.
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 04 August 2021

Next review: 04 August 2022

Author(s): Ruth Bland, Gillian Bowker, Debbie Barnett