Useful Resources for Mothers Wishing to Maximise Breastmilk or Relactate

There is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. There are numerous live constituents in human milk, including immunoglobulins, antiviral factors, cytokines and leucocytes that help to destroy harmful pathogens and boost the baby’s immune system. Considering the protection that human milk and breastfeeding offers the baby and the minimal role it plays in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, it seems sensible to do all we can to continue to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.

To facilitate breastfeeding, mothers and babies should be together as much as possible, to have skin-to-skin contact, to feed their baby responsively and to have access to ongoing support when this is needed. See keeping baby close and developing close, loving relationships

When mothers are partially breastfeeding they can be encouraged to maximise the amount of breastmilk they are able to give or, if they choose, to be supported to return to full breastfeeding.

A range of Baby Friendly resources on infant feeding and supporting close and loving relationships can be found at: Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative


Telephone support for parents: National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 from 9:30am-9:30pm, 7 days a week. Live online support via web chat.

Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding Network (BFN) – domperidone and breastfeeding

BFN – increasing milk supply

BFN – anxiety and breastfeeding

Kelly Mom

La Leche League (LLL) – formula supplements

LLL – at breast supplementers

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Focus on Feeding – Breastfeeding & Returning to Work or Study

Returning to work doesn’t mean that you have to stop breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding exclusively (giving your baby no other food or drink) is recommended for around the first six months. After that time, breastfeeding is recommended alongside solid food (see the section on weaning). Therefore, it’s likely that you’ll be breastfeeding when you return to work or college.

The following information may help you:

  • Consider your baby’s age when planning to breastfeed and returning to work/study, your baby may be eating solid food during the day.
  • Contact the Infant Feeding Peer Support Workers based at your local Children’s Centre or ask for advice from other mums on our Breastfeeding in Sheffield Facebook page.
  • You can arrange for childcare close to work or college so that you can breastfeed during breaks, or before and after work. The evening feed can be a wonderful way for you to relax with your baby after work or college.
  • You can express breast milk (taking milk from the breast by hand or using a pump) so that someone else can feed your baby while you’re at work. See our section on Expressing breast milk and the Unicef Baby Friendly ‘Guide for Parents who Formula Feed’
  • Ask your employer or college for flexible working hours that are arranged around your breastfeeding needs.
  • Think about it early. Before you go back to work, write to your employer/tutor to let them know that you are breastfeeding. You may have an HR department that can help. It can make preparations, such as finding you a private room where you can breastfeed or express your milk.
  • Have a trial run with childcare before returning to work, discuss things with your childminder such as providing her with labelled and dated expressed breast milk. See our section on Expressing breast milk
  • Before returning to work, you should give your employer written notification that you are breastfeeding. Your employer must then conduct a specific risk assessment of your workplace. They must take steps to protect your health and safety on your return to work.
  • There is lots of useful information in this leaflet about Breastfeeding after returning to work or study leaflet from the Department of Health.

What are your rights?

Although employers are not required by law to accommodate breastfeeding mothers, it is good practice in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive, for employers to do the following:

  • Offer facilities to rest and time to express
  • Discuss flexible working hours
  • Discuss availability of a private space
  • Discuss the possibility of feeding baby during breaks
  • Discuss availability of onsite childcare

Useful contacts

  • Maternity Action helpline: 0808 802 0029
  • Health and Safety Executive:
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Sheffield Family Centres

Sheffield has 7 Family centres (formerly known as children’s centres) and together with their outreach sites they cover all areas of the city and provide advice, support activities and services for families with children under-5 as well as maternity care and support for expectant parents.
Come along to your local Family Centre to meet other families, get support and join in with free activities. What’s on in each Family Centre varies according to the needs of the local community but typically you can come to:

  • Preparation for parenthood groups
  • Health support and clinics run by Midwives and Health Visitors
  • Toddler groups
  • Fun learning activities with your family

And get help and support with:

  • Getting into training and work
  • Information and advice about feeding your baby, healthy eating for your family, active lifestyles, 2 year old dental care, home safety etc.
  • Free and low cost healthy start vitamins
  • Registering your child’s birth (by appointment at selected centres only)

Visit the link to the Family Centre page on the Sheffield Directory website to find details of your local Family Centre and the activities, support and groups they hold there.

You can book onto the Family Centre groups on Eventbrite, via this link

Why have Children’s centres become Family centres and will this affect the services I receive there?

Following consultation we are developing a new model for providing services to families, transforming areas into Family Centre areas which are for pre-birth – 19 year olds (25 year olds if the young person has special educational needs or disabilities)

If you are pregnant or have a child under 5 you will notice very little difference You will still be able to access all the usual services as we expand to provide services for the ‘whole family’

Each Family centre has a stakeholder group and parents are especially welcome. If you wish to be involved in the stakeholder group for your area, please contact:
You can download a copy of the latest What’s on Guide for your local family centre and a map showing the Family centre areas from the Family Centre page on the Sheffield Directory website.

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What is Tongue Tie?

What is a tongue tie?

The frenulum is a piece of skin/tissue that attaches the underside of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. A tongue tie (also known as ankyloglossia) is where the frenulum is too short or too tight.

How common are tongue ties?

Tongue ties occur in about 1 in 20 babies.

What problems do tongue ties cause?

Most babies with a tongue tie will have no problems at all. They can feed perfectly well and maintain adequate weight gain. Some babies can have problems with breastfeeding and a few have difficulty bottle-feeding. Many parents worry that tongue ties will cause problems with speech later on in life but this is very rare.

Should my baby have his or her tongue tie treated?

If you are worried that a tongue tie might be affecting your baby’s feeding then you should see your midwife or health visitor for information and support. Most babies with a tongue tie do not need any treatment. Some tongue ties stretch over time and some are divided naturally by the baby while putting things in their mouth such as, toys or spoons. If you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding despite support around latch, pain or discomfort then dividing the tongue tie may help.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines suggest that there is evidence to support dividing tongue ties in babies who are having problems with breast feeding. There is no research suggesting that babies with tongue ties who are bottle feeding will benefit from the procedure. Dividing a tongue tie in a baby carries a small risk of a painful ulcer under the tongue and a very small risk of bleeding that would have to be treated with an operation under general anaesthetic. It would be wrong to put a baby through the discomfort and risks of a tongue tie division where there is no evidence it would be helpful and for this reason we do not divide tongue ties in babies who are bottle fed.

How do I get my baby an appointment to have his or her tongue tie treated?

In babies (up to 6 months of age) it is possible to divide the tongue tie in the outpatients clinic at Sheffield Children’s hospital. A referral to the hospital is made via your midwife, health visitor or GP.

Weaning baby on to food

Most babies with a tongue tie will wean on to food with no problems

If the problems persist ……..

If your baby is not gaining weight adequately, then please see your GP, as there could be an underlying medical problem. If there are no medical problems and your baby is not putting on weight because of the tongue tie then ask for another appointment to consider tongue tie division; this is, however extremely rare.

If you experience problems when weaning your baby on to solids then referral to a speech and language therapist may be beneficial. Likewise, if you are worried about your child’s speech in the future, referral to a speech and language therapist before dividing the tongue tie is recommended. This is because it is extremely rare for tongue ties to cause problems with speech and it is much more likely that there is a different cause of the speech problems.


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Vitamin D and Healthy Start Vouchers

Good news for Sheffield!

Free Healthy Start vitamins are to be supplied by Sheffield City Council from 1st September 2016.Healthy Start vitamins contain the appropriate amount of recommended vitamins A, C and D for children aged from six months to four years, and folic acid and vitamins C and D for pregnant and breastfeeding women. They will be available to:

– All pregnant women

– Breastfeeding mums will receive one free 8 week supply on discharge from the maternity unit.

– Breastfed babies will receive one free 8 week supply at the first health visitor visit

– Formula fed children will get a voucher from the health visitor around 6 months to take to the Children’s Centre and exchange for one free 8 week supply

– If you fit into any of the ‘at risk’ groups you’ll get the vitamins free until your child is 4 years old (speak to your midwife or health visitor for more information)

Vitamin D and folic acid during pregnancy

All pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium in the body, which helps to keep bones and teeth strong and healthy. This also provides your baby with enough vitamin D in their first few months.

All pregnant and breastfeeding women, particularly teenagers and young women, are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. But you’re more at risk if:

  • You’re not exposed to much sun, for example, you cover up your skin, are housebound, or confined indoors for long periods
  • You’re of South Asian or Caribbean descent, or have darker skin, because your body does not produce as much vitamin D in response to sunlight

If you’re in any doubt about taking vitamin supplements during your pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding, speak to your GP or another health professional such as a pharmacist.

Warning: If you’re pregnant, you should avoid supplements and multivitamins containing vitamin A (retinol) –– as too much of it can harm your baby’s development. You should also avoid liver and liver products (including fish liver oil), as they are high in vitamin A.

Folic acid

Taking a 400 microgram folic acid supplement before and during the early days of your pregnancy helps with the development of your unborn baby. However, women who suffer from diabetes, or have had a previous neural tube defect (NTD) affected pregnancy, or have a history of spina bifida or similar conditions in the family, should consult their doctor as they may need to take a daily dose of 5mg of folic acid.

This applies to all women who are either pregnant or planning to get pregnant, whatever their age, and whether or not there is a history of spina bifida or similar conditions in the family. Many people with spina bifida will have some paralysis and need aids to help them to walk or will need to use a wheelchair. It can also affect the nerves controlling the bowel and bladder.

Folic acid is a man-made form of folate, a B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. It’s unlikely that you’ll get enough folate to protect your baby just from the food you eat, which is why folic acid supplements are recommended. But it’s still a good idea to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes folate-rich foods such as granary bread, beans and pulses, and green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Look out for the symbol on some breads and breakfast cereals which shows they’re fortified with extra folic acid.

Healthy Start Vouchers

click here for the Healthy Start booklet and application form

Families on certain benefits can get free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.

The Healthy Start scheme provides free vouchers which you swap for milk, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.

You qualify for Healthy Start if you’re pregnant or have a child under four years old AND you or your family get:

  • Income Support, or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit unless your family is receiving Working Tax Credit run-on only*) and have an annual family income of below £16,190 or less (2014/15)


You also qualify if you are pregnant and under 18 years of age even if you don’t get any of the above credits. We know that the benefits system is changing, if you think you may qualify talk to your midwife or health visitor to find out how you can sign up for the scheme.

 Healthy Start Vouchers

You can use your vouchers in any shop that’s taking part in the Healthy Start scheme. Look out for the Healthy Start stickers in shop windows, or ask inside. Healthy Start shops include Children’s Centres, greengrocers, milkmen, market stalls, pharmacies, corner shops and food co-ops as well as supermarkets.

You can spend your vouchers on a mixture of:

  • Milk
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Infant formula milk
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Breastfeeding Support Groups

Breastfeeding Support Groups in Sheffield

Click here to find a list of the Breastfeeding in Sheffield – Support Groups Feb-Mar 2022  across the City

You can also look on Eventbrite to find a group that suits you and to book your place whilst numbers are still limited, 

There will always be a trained Infant Feeding Support Worker at these groups to offer help and advice on your breastfeeding journey.  There will be other mums there too who can share their experiences with you and offer support. You are welcome to try as many of the groups as you like and in any area of Sheffield.

There is at least one Infant Feeding Peer Support Worker attached to every Family Centre (formerly known as Children’s Centres) in Sheffield. They can offer breastfeeding support over the telephone or on a one to one basis, at the groups, cafes and drop-ins they hold.

The primary aim of the Infant Feeding Peer Support Worker is to support mums to breastfeed but we recognise that you may need support however you choose to feed your child.

Family Centres

Family Centres are for families with children under 5 years old. They provide a range of services, depending on what’s needed locally. The services offered will not be the same everywhere, because needs and communities vary greatly. Types of services include:

  • information, advice and support for parents and carers
  • health services
  • family support
  • employment advice
  • family learning
  • parents forums

Contact your local centre to find out what’s available near you.


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Breastfeeding Friendly Venues

The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010. It says that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and associations.

If you are breastfeeding in a public place such as a café, park, shop, cinema,, on a bus etc, you cannot be asked to stop or refused to be served. You are also protected on public transport such as buses, trains and planes.

However, many people still find it daunting to breastfeed in public places, so in Sheffield we have a list of venues which would like to show their support to breastfeeding mums and families. These places have been accredited with Sheffield’s Breastfeeding Friendly Award.

Click on the link below to see the current list of venues, by postcode area. Once you have the list on your screen, you can choose the area of Sheffield you want to view by clicking on the postcode tabs at the bottom of your screen.

Sheffield Breastfeeding Friendly Venues July 2018

If you would like to nominate a venue for the Breastfeeding Friendly Award, please contact us at





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Breastfeeding Friendly Award News

Breastfeeding Friendly Ambassadors

We are looking for a group of breastfeeding mums to become our Breastfeeding Friendly Ambassadors and breastfeed around Sheffield for us!


As Ambassadors, we want you to get out into your local community and find places where you feel comfortable to breastfeed and where you are made to feel welcome.

Now for the important bit:

  • We will provide you with a list of places and would like you to add your own favourites to it.
  • Please don’t limit yourselves to Cafes, as your local Church, Community Centre, School, Pharmacy, Supermarket or Pub may prove to be supportive and welcoming.
  • If you have a current favourite or discover somewhere new, take a photograph/selfie and send it to our Breastfeeding in Sheffield Facebook page.
  • It would be great if your photos could include you, of course, and if possible, the venue name or a member of staff!

The best bit!!!:

You will be raising awareness of breastfeeding and helping new mums to feel confident when breastfeeding in public. Also, we will be giving vouchers of your choice for

  • the best photos
  • the most interesting and useful new venues

For more information, please contact our Facebook page or email


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