A wide range of breastfeeding support services are available in Fife. In the first instance, you will get general breastfeeding support and information from:
- Your community midwife
- Your health visitor or family nurse.
Other sources of help and support available are:
- Telephone and home visiting support from breastfeeding support workers
- Specialist support for mums who may be experiencing more complex challenges
- Mum-to-mum support in local groups
- Help from voluntary organisations and the national breastfeeding helpline
All breastfeeding mothers should be given a copy of the breastfeeding support information leaflet before they leave the maternity unit. If you do not have a copy, or if you did not have your baby in the Victoria Hospital, you can find a copy in your Maternity Notes App. You can also get a copy from your midwife, health visitor or family nurse.
Breastfeeding support workstream
The breastfeeding support team work alongside midwives and health visitors to help support breastfeeding. They can give you additional help and encouragement, and answer any questions you may have. This can be by telephone or by visiting you at home. They will try to telephone you to see how things are going within a few days of you returning home from hospital.
Local breastfeeding support groups
These groups run throughout Fife. They can provide breastfeeding support in an informal environment. They provide mum-to-mum support and can help with breastfeeding difficulties, but you do not need to have a problem to come along. Groups may be facilitated by a health professionaland voluntary organisations.
You can also find details about breastfeeding groups in Fife (and other areas) on the parentclub.scot website.
NHS Fife breastfeeding helpline
This service is primarily for mothers with babies up to six weeks old.
Your call will be answered by the infant feeding advisor when available, otherwise you will be given information on how to contact the maternity unit. You can also text 0781 063 7767 if your enquiry is not urgent and the infant feeding advisor will get back to you.
Specialist breastfeeding support
Specialist help with breastfeeding for mums with babies up to six weeks old is available from the infant feeding advisor within the Maternity Unit at the Victoria Hospital. Phone 07810 637767 to discuss your concerns or arrange an appointment.
Sometimes breastfeeding support requires a longer assessment than your midwife can provide at home. In these circumstances you may be offered an appointment to see the infant feeding advisor at the Victoria Hospital.
Specialist help for breastfeeding at any age is available from the infant feeding advisor in the community. This support can be by telephone, email or a home visit. Phone 07748704901 to discuss your concerns. An appointment may be arranged for the infant feeding advisor or a breastfeeding support worker to visit you.
If you are unsure if you need specialist support, you can also contact the Breastfeeding Support Team who will refer you to an infant feeding advisor as appropriate. You can contact them on 01383 565331 or send an email.
Maternity services and the neonatal unit have a small number of pumps for short loan to enable lactation initiation.
The Health and Social Care Partnership also have a number of electric breast pumps available for loan.
Priority for pumps will be given to mums who:
- need a breast pump to maintain their milk supply if they are separated from their baby
- are temporarily unable to breastfeed for any reason
- need to increase their milk supply
- need help to resolve other breastfeeding difficulties such as sore nipples
If you need help or support to overcome any of these breastfeeding challenges, or with expressing breast milk for your baby, you can contact the breastfeeding support team on the contact details above.
Pumps are also available for social use, such as to helping to keep breastfeeding going when mums return to work.
Voluntary groups and other national support organisations
A number of voluntary organisations offer telephone helpline and breastfeeding counselling services.
National Helpline / Breastfeeding Network
0300 100 0212
The Parent Club
La Leche League
The Baby Friendly Initiative