The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) is a voluntary organisation founded in 1979 by a group of mothers experienced in breastfeeding counselling. Charity status was awarded to the organisation in 1980 and the Association continues to grow steadily throughout the UK.
As we are a charitable organisation, we rely on grants, donations and membership subscriptions to continue our aims. We also work hard to minimise our costs and justify all our expenditure.
Members of the ABM are mainly mothers who are breastfeeding or have breastfed their children in the past. Some breastfed easily without problems and some have experienced varying degrees of difficulty. Other members include supportive health professionals such as midwives, health visitors, lactation consultants and GPs.
“It is our aim to promote the physical and psychological health of mothers and children through education in the techniques of breastfeeding and to advance the education of the public, especially those persons concerned with the care of children on the health benefits of breastfeeding, both immediate and long term” (extract from our constitution)
How can we help you?
We operate a voluntary telephone helpline for any mother who needs to speak to a trained breastfeeding counsellor. You will be connected to your nearest available counsellor. We also offer counselling by letter and email, although urgent counselling is best done by telephone. If necessary and practical, a mother may receive a home visit from, or may herself visit, a trained counsellor. However, home visits are entirely at the discretion of any counsellor involved and cannot be guaranteed.
Our comprehensive website offers up to date breastfeeding information, new research as it becomes available, details of breastfeeding support groups throughout the UK and links to other useful sites. You can apply for membership and order publications. Our booklist points you to the best titles on breastfeeding.
Our resources department supplies information on breastfeeding-related topics including booklets, leaflets, posters, contact cards, ‘tummy bags’ and more.
We train our counsellors to the highest standards possible in order to offer up to date, accurate evidence-based breastfeeding information. We also offer a limited training course for mums to become Mother Supporters, and Peer Supporters for Sure Start and other groups, if they choose not to undertake full counsellor training. We can also provide update training to health professionals, antenatal breastfeeding classes for parents and classes to school children about breastfeeding.
Full breastfeeding counsellor training takes approximately two years to complete and counsellors have regular supervision. Our counsellors are required to update their knowledge regularly. For more information about our training click here.
ABM support groups can be set up by any ABM member. Registering your group with the ABM means your group will benefit from the support and back up of the national organization. Your ABM-affiliated group will receive a complimentary copy of each ABM magazine as it is published. There are, however, a few rules you need to abide by: your group should be supported by a qualified ABM breastfeeding counsellor (although she may not necessarily be able to attend the group) and you’ll need to keep a record of funds. Ask us for more details. A breastfeeding support group is a great service in a local area and we’re pleased to feature details of any support groups on our website. We can offer advice to anyone wishing to set up a support group of their own but you can always visit our Starting a breastfeeding support group page for more information and ideas.
Many of our counsellors are breast pump agents. They can answer enquiries and advise on the use of pumps. If a mum needs to hire a breast pump, whether for a short period of time or long term, they can help make the necessary arrangements on her behalf.
The ABM offers its services to ante and postnatal groups, schools, and other community groups who require specialised information on breastfeeding. The ABM attends promotional events. We hold an annual conference and are represented on most major working groups and committees advising the government on other interested bodies on breastfeeding-related matters.
Who can join the ABM?
In a word, anyone. All members share an interest in breastfeeding, and supporting mums who breastfeed their babies. You do not have to be a mother to join and, if you are, you don’t need to have breastfed your baby. Expectant mothers are especially welcome, and may find membership helpful as they progress through their pregnancy.
What are the benefits of membership?
Your subscription helps us to support others by funding our helpline, producing up to date information, training counsellors and campaigning to change legislation to support breastfeeding mothers. If you would like to get involved, we always need volunteers to help us in our work with jobs ranging from clerical to fundraising. You will receive a magazine three times a year containing articles on breastfeeding, mums’ experiences, research and other interesting topics. You’re welcome to submit articles, comments and photos to ‘your’ magazine. We also produce a regular e-Newsletter to keep in touch with members between magazines.
When you join the ABM you will receive a welcome pack of ABM leaflets with something for everyone: new mums, experienced breastfeeders and health professionals, plus our most recent magazine.
Please remember that you can always buy a Gift Membership for a friend or relative. Ask for more details.
We work hard to ensure that good, accurate information on breastfeeding is available to all those who require it and to offer support to breastfeeding mothers in need. We need your support to help us continue this valuable work, so please consider helping us by joining the Association or making a donation. To join the ABM you can do it via our website or by filling the application form on the leaflet below.
Download this page as a leaflet (which includes the membership application form) by clicking on the link below:
Alternatively, you can obtain this information as a paper leaflet (free of charge) from this page.