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Breastfeeding from birth is one of the earliest interventions to give a child the healthiest possible start in life. Breastfeeding can lay the foundations for future development and prevent illness in later life.

Ensuring every child has the best start in life is both a national priority for Public Health England (PHE) and a local priority.

Breastfeeding support in Richmond is provided by the Health Visiting Service and supported by infant feeding leads within the hospital and community.

Hospital support

If women choose to breastfeed, they will receive initial breastfeeding support from the maternity team at Kingston Hospital. They are then handed over to health visitors from day 10.

Hospital midwives are trained to provide baby-friendly standard care by the infant feeding team. Kingston Hospital also has breastfeeding peer support workers who help midwives to support mothers with breastfeeding. This team is managed by the hospital’s infant feeding lead.

Specialist service

Kingston Hospital offers a specialist Breastfeeding Support Clinic for complex cases up to 28 days post birth.

Community support

Health visitors provide breastfeeding support to mothers when they are discharged from the hospital, usually between day 10 to 14.

Breastfeeding support clinics are available around the borough to support mothers as needed and they are made up of health visitors, nursery nurses and lactation consultants. 

Duty advice line 

The Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) Health Visiting Team offer a Duty Advice Line. It is available Monday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. You can contact the team by:

The Health Visiting Team can refer you to the health visiting infant feeding lead. 

Visit the CLCH website for information on the Health Visiting Service and infant feeding, sleep in pregnancy and antenatal videos. 

Barnes Specialist Feeding Clinic

Richmond parents can attend a Specialist Feeding Clinic at Barnes Children Centre. It is available Thursdays, 9am to 2pm by appointment only and referral through your HV, GP or midwife.

You can contact CLCH or visit their infant feeding services page for more information. 

Voluntary services

There are also voluntary independent organisations that run breastfeeding support groups within the boroughs led by La Leche League Leaders and National Childbirth Trust (NCT) breastfeeding counsellors. 

Operational group

Richmond Council has a breastfeeding operational group chaired by the public health children and young people lead. Members of the group include the infant feeding leads for both the hospital and community, breastfeeding lactation consultants from the voluntary sectors, health visitors and children services.

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation (BFI)

Richmond Public Health team supports the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) accreditation. The BFI is an evidence-based, staged accreditation programme that supports maternity, neonatal, health visiting and children’s centre services to deliver effective breastfeeding support. It is a nationally recognised mark of quality care for babies and mothers.

In Richmond, the infant feeding leads for both the community and the hospital (Kingston maternity) lead on this programme.

Breastfeeding Welcome - business friendly scheme 

Public Health Richmond is working with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) to create ‘baby friendly’ places that promote breastfeeding-friendly spaces.

The scheme includes the development of resources such as posters, stickers and leaflets which are available to local businesses, GPs, libraries and other community spaces to promote their commitment to supporting breastfeeding. Promotional materials provide mothers with information on breastfeeding-friendly places in the borough.

To find out more visit the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme.

Updated: 09 February 2023

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