Our vision is a society where mums and families are able to make informed decisions about breastfeeding, to access help when they need it and to become confident in their choices. For a new mum deciding how to feed her baby, talking to a mum who knows about breastfeeding can make a crucial difference and the Breastfeeding Network strives to be the best we can be at providing peer support.
Our mission is to offer independent, evidence-based information and support to help build awareness of breastfeeding to individuals and organisations and to support a mum in her choice to breastfeed. You can read more about our current strategy here.
Our values are at the heart of how we work, we strive to always:
- Listen actively
- Keep a mum at the centre
- Respect a mother and support her choices
- Share the evidence to inform early parenting choices
We will strive never to:
- Advocate a particular lifestyle
- Judge a mother for the choices she makes
- Accept money from companies that have a commercial interest in infant feeding
- Charge a mum for any of our services, including training
Who We Work With
At the centre of our work are mums and babies. We also work very closely with dads, grandparents, uncles, aunts, health professionals and anyone else involved in a mum’s care. Experience tells us that this vital network of close and trusted people help a new mum and family in the early days. We know that some mums need more support. This can be because of their age, social barriers, disability or where they are in their breastfeeding journey. Any of these factors can make breastfeeding more challenging and support more difficult to access. We focus our work on these mums and families [using our model]. We offer support by peers in drop-in groups to reach out to isolated communities and where breastfeeding rates are at their lowest. We develop evidence-based leaflets and train health professionals. We partner with organisations like Homestart and Barnardos who can help us in our work and who share our values. We also provide support in maternity units and childrens’ centres as well as via telephone helplines.
- We have grown a network of over 1000 trained volunteers
- We have achieved and maintained OCN accreditation across our Helpers and Supporters courses
- We have established projects in over 17 areas, with staff and volunteers supporting mums before birth, on wards and at home in communities and a in a number of areas we provide community support exclusively by trained volunteers
- We have supported over 260,000 mums on the National Breastfeeding Helpline (with Welsh option) and Supporterline
- We offer a unique Drugs in Breastmilk line for mums, health professionals and this service has taken more than 16,600 calls and answered more than 10,000 emails since 2007
- We have produced a range of factsheets, currently over 10, on aspects of breastfeeding
- Since being founded in 1997 we have remained free and independent of commercial influence and have abided by the World Health Organisation/UNICEF Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Subsequent Relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions