The National Breastfeeding Helpline is a helpline run in collaboration with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) and the Breastfeeding Network (BfN). The project is funded by the Department of Health, through the Section 64 grant scheme. Calls are sent to the first available ABM Counsellor or BfN Supporter, both of whom have trained to provide women with good evidence based Breastfeeding support.
National Breastfeeding Helpline FAQ
Why do we need a National Breastfeeding Helpline?
Women need practical information and support with breastfeeding. Thousands of women call breastfeeding helplines every year. The evidence shows us that women who have called have found it to be of great help. The Department of Health is recognising the importance of this service and is providing funding for a single number helpline, which they can publish on their materials.
How long is the funding available?
The Department of Health has allocated £150,000 per year, through the Section 64 grant scheme. It will be reviewed after one year with a view to funding being available for a total of 3 years.
In which country is the NBH available?
The National Breastfeeding Helpline will be available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
What hours will the line be available?
The lines will be open 9.30am until 9.30pm every day of the year.
How much will calls cost?
Calls to this number cost the same as a landline call to a 01 or a 02 number and the price is the same for calls from mobiles. 0300 numbers are included in any discount schemes or inclusive call minutes that you may already have with landline or mobile phone operators. Please be aware that, like with our helpline, if you ring from a mobile phone it is unlikely that you will speak to someone in your local area, as the system is unable to identify local areas from mobile telephones. This also happens if you withhold your number when you call.
How does the NBH work?
Callers are put through to the first available fully trained volunteer in her own home, which could either be an ABM Breastfeeding Counsellor or a BfN Breastfeeding Supporter. A message on the line will advise the caller that they are being put through to the next available volunteer. If all volunteers are busy the caller will hear a message asking them to call back later.
All volunteers will have breastfed their own baby before taking a comprehensive training programme to deliver evidence based information to allow the caller to make her own informed decision about breastfeeding.
Which organisations are involved in the NBH?
Trained volunteers from the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) and from The Breastfeeding Network (BfN) will be taking calls on the helpline. They will also continue to take calls on their own helplines – ABM 0300 330 5453 and BfN 0300 100 0210.
What if English is not my first language?
If you speak Tamil, Telugu or Hindi you can phone 0300 330 5469.