Helping the whole family with breastfeeding and bonding

23rd June 2021

This year Breastfeeding Celebration Week (21 – 27 June) is focusing on how partners and the wider family unit can support breastfeeding and bond with a new baby.

Dorset HealthCare’s Breastfeeding Advisory Team is encouraging the whole family to take part in a free online course and help create a supportive environment for breastfeeding mums.

The course is a trusted online source used by health professionals across the UK and available for families to access for free advice and information at any time.  It contains useful advice for parents, carers, partners and grandparents.

Dads and partners play a crucial part in care giving for a baby but often feel that they may not bond with their baby unless they can give them a bottle. However, there are so many other valuable ways to bond with your baby, including skin-to-skin cuddling, bathing, nappy changing and singing.

New dad Nick, from Christchurch, said: “It was really lovely holding my son on my bare chest and calmed him to allow his mum to grab a quick shower.”

Bringing your first baby home and feeding are totally new experiences, and support from family and friends at this time can be a life-saver for a new parent.

It will be a huge help, for example, if you can support with things like shopping, preparing meals, dog walking and household chores. Even just a simple text message offering kindness and connection could make a difference.

Local mum of two Alice, from Wimborne, said: “The best help I received was when a friend offered, instead of me having to struggle, as I didn’t feel I could ask for it.”

Liz Stacey, Breastfeeding Lead Advisor at Dorset HealthCare, said: “The team has been thrilled with the feedback from parents about the online course, and we’re delighted to help families feel positive about breastfeeding.”

The Dorset HealthCare free online breastfeeding course can be found at:

For further help and support, visit the NHS Start 4 Life Breastfeeding page at



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