Breastfeeding is the most natural start to life for a baby and can have lifelong health benefits for both mother and baby. 

Breastfeeding protects the baby against ear and chest infections, stomach upsets, diarrhoea, asthma, eczema, allergies and even obesity. Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis later in life.

Babies don’t need anything but breast milk for the first six months to provide all the necessary nutrition. Giving anything else will decrease the supply of breast milk and lessen the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Solids can be introduced alongside the usual milk feeds from six months, when the baby’s development shows they are ready to cope with solids well.

The Department of Health recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, as it continues to provide both significant nutrition and protection from illnesses.

UNICEF Baby Friendly

Lewisham and Greenwich health visiting services have Stage 3 UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation for breastfeeding. Queen Elizabeth Hospital has also achieved full Baby Friendly Stage 3 accreditation. This is a fantastic and very prestigious achievement for the Trust.

The UNICEF Baby Friendly Standards aim to improve the information, support and encouragement provided in order to promote, protect and support breastfeeding and appropriate introduction to solid foods. This means that midwives, health visitors and other health and professionals receive high quality Baby Friendly training to support breastfeeding mothers effectively. For more information on the UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative please see

Breastfeeding support

Many mothers find they need some support with breastfeeding. This can be any time from getting started through to your child’s final breastfeeds.

There are several drop-in breastfeeding hubs across Lewisham and Greenwich where parents can access for breastfeeding support. This support is provided by health visiting team, midwife and peer supporters who have been trained. No appointment is required.

Mothers are also welcome to attend during pregnancy and ask any questions they may have about feeding their baby, or as an opportunity to meet other mothers informally in your local area.

Mothers who are formula or mixed feeding their baby are also welcome to attend for advice and support.

Breastfeeding hubs in Greenwich (link to Oxleas NHS Trust)

Breastfeeding hubs in Lewisham



Downderry Children's Centre, Shroffold Road, Downham BR1 5PD


10am–12 noon

Bellingham Children's Centre, 109a Randlesdown Road, Catford SE6 3HB

Tuesdays (term time)

10am–12 noon

Deptford Breastfeeding Group, Shaftsbury Centre, Frankham Street, Deptford SE8 4RN

Wednesdays (term time)


The Milky Way at Baring Road Surgery, Baring Road, Lee SE12 0DS


12 noon–2pm

Eliot Bank Children's Centre, Thorpewood Avenue, Sydenham SE26 3HB


10am–12 noon

Waldron Health Centre, Suite 1, Amersham Vale, New Cross SE14 6LD


10am–12 noon

Manor House Library, 34 Old Road, 1st Floor, SE13 5SY


10am–12 noon

Sydenham Green Health Centre, 26 Holmshaw Close, SE26 4TH


12 noon–2pm

Holy Trinity Centre
Corner of Orchard Hill and Bennett Grove, Lewisham SE13 7QZ

Top tips for breastfeeding

  • Keep your baby close, with as much skin-to-skin contact as possible
  • Babies like to breastfeed often, some very often!  This does not mean that your milk supply is not enough.  Babies like some feeds to be ‘meals’ and others to be ‘snacks’, just like adults.
  • It is not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby.
  • Be sure to get the right latch – checking that your baby is attached correctly to the breast is crucial for comfortable and successful breastfeeding. If you’re feeling pain throughout the feed, your baby’s latch may not be correct. Remember CHIN:
    Close and chin leading
    Head free
    In line
    Nose to nipple
  • Feel reassured that your baby will be getting enough milk if they are feeding at least eight times in 24 hours and they have at least six wet and two dirty nappies daily (from one week old; before this, babies may feed more and have produce more urine and stools)
  • Always seek help if you have any concerns, especially if you have pain when your baby feeds.

Returning to work

If you are thinking of returning to work or study and you want to continue to breastfeed, you should be able to express and store your milk in a safe place. If you would like further information, please attend one of the breastfeeding hubs.

Breastfeeding peer supporters

Are you a current or previous breastfeeding mother, passionate about breastfeeding and keen to use your knowledge and experience to support other Lewisham mothers on their breastfeeding journey?

The breastfeeding peer supporter course gives learners a nationally recognised open college network qualification which, along with the volunteer experience and up to date references, could help with job opportunities or as a route into further education.

The course is open to mothers of all ages and backgrounds to enable them to widen their knowledge, skills and experience to support breastfeeding in Lewisham.

To apply for the peer supporter course you do not need any qualifications, all we ask is that you have had some experience of breastfeeding your baby and a passion and commitment to volunteer and support other Lewisham mothers.

Once qualified, you will receive regular supervision and ongoing training, with the course often opening the door to many other volunteering and career opportunities.

The next peer supporter course will start in spring 2018 and will consist of a two-hour session per week, run over six weeks. There will be a crèche facility available, with babies in arms welcome in the training room.

To find out more and register your interest, please email or call Ade Olotu, Neighbourhood Health Visitor lead, on 020 30493441 or email