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Infant Feeding Specialist Service & Islington Breastfeeding Peer Support Service


Breastfeeding Peer Support Service

Peer supporters visit postnatal wards at the Whittington and UCLH each day and phone all breastfeeding mothers on discharge to offer support. Ongoing support is available by phone, video call and regular breastfeeding and social support groups. One-to-one support at appointment clinics or home visits can also be provided where necessary. Peer supporters provide valuable emotional as well as infant feeding support to new mothers. 

Service updates can be found on the Breastfeeding Islington Facebook page, where parents can also contact the service, or via the website below.

Infant Feeding Specialist Service

The Infant Feeding Specialist service can help where there are particular concerns about a baby’s feeding, whether breastfeeding or bottlefeeding. It is designed to support mothers and babies with more complex difficulties that have not been resolved with basic feeding support. 

Following referral, the Infant Feeding Coordinator will decide whether to provide a face-to-face assessment, suggest management, or refer to resources over the phone. They also decide if the case can be followed up by breastfeeding peer supporters with feedback to the Infant Feeding Coordinator. Post-intervention information is not routinely provided. 

Breastfeeding support includes help for: 

  • mums who need help with baby attaching at the breast
  • mums having pain or sore nipples, engorgement or mastitis
  • babies with difficulty gaining weight in early days
  • babies (breastfeeding or bottlefeeding) with tongue tie or suspected tongue tie affecting feeding
  • babies not wanting to go to the breast
  • mothers with low milk supply 
  • starting on solid foods
  • weaning off the breast
  • managing mixed feeding

More complex problems include:

  • milk supply issues possibly needing medication
  • babies with growth faltering over period of time
  • breastfed babies with symptoms of colic (usually related to effective attachment at the breast)
  • breast or bottle fed babies with symptoms of reflux (attachment at the breast, and, for bottlefeeding babies, it can be bottlefeeding technique or constitution that needs to be checked)
  • babies whose parents wonder if they have a cow’s milk allergy but without blood in stool, we can assess feeding first to rule out any feeding issues before trial of extensively hydrolysed milk 
  • any other issues (e.g. helping mum feed after breast abcess) that are considered complex or that the GP would like us as health professionals to assess first. 

Eligibility criteria


  • babies and families residing in Islington

How to refer

Breastfeeding Peer Support service/Infant Feeding Specialist service

Clinicians are asked to refer by emailing a referral in the first instance, if possible.

If necessary, it is possible to refer via the telephone helpline (leave details of the mum/baby, their contact details and yours, and a summary of the current issues). Messages will be actioned as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.

EMIS form

Referral methods: Email

A referral form can be found in ISL EMIS under:

ISL global documents > Paediatric > GP Infant Feeding Referral Form and Protocol (use the same form for either service)

for Islington Breastfeeding Peer Support Service email completed form to whh-tr.IslingtonBreastfeedingPeerSupport@nhs.net

for Infant Feeding Specialist Service email completed form to whh-tr.islingtoninfantfeedingspecialist@nhs.net

Provided By

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General Services

Adult Safeguarding

Child Safeguarding

Community Services


Urgent and Emergency Care

Urgent and Emergency Care for Children

Review date: Saturday, 06 May 2023