Find your local healthy family team

Welcome to the Essex Baby Friendly Initiative

In Essex we have Baby Friendly Champions who are dedicated to infant feeding and relationship building.  Mothers and babies are at the heart of the work we do and our aim is to provide excellent information about infant feeding, protect, promote and support breastfeeding and help strengthen mother-baby and family relationships within our communities.

More about us

The Baby Friendly Team’s philosophy is to be able to explain why breastfeeding matters, provide good information about bottle feeding,  as well as recognise the importance of a close and loving relationship between mothers and their babies, whatever their method of feeding. We want all women to have meaningful conversations about infant feeding with their Health Visitor during pregnancy, as well as receive support once the baby arrives.

We have set up breastfeeding support groups in various locations around Essex. These offer a welcoming environment for women to meet other breastfeeding mums and form a support network, as well as get help with breastfeeding issues.  We welcome breastfeeding mums and encourage pregnant women to join us and talk about breastfeeding, meet the team and become familiar with the group.  This may help new mums to feel more confident to attend once the baby has arrived.

All staff within the Health Visiting team receive training and updates about breastfeeding and relationship building so that they can support families. The Baby Friendly Champions are a resource for staff to ensure that complex breastfeeding problems are supported and resolved, so that mothers are able to breastfeed for as long as they want to.

We believe that breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a baby and support initiatives in our community for breastfeeding which help mothers to be able to breastfeed in public places.

Find your local Family Hub >

Breastfeeding support groups are available throughout Essex are a welcoming place where breastfeeding mums can meet and support each other, and find help and support with breastfeeding issues. We welcome breastfeeding mums and encourage pregnant women to join us and talk about breastfeeding, meet the team and become familiar with the group.

To find your local group please contact your local Family Hub or health visitor for group times.

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby. The Department of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed until six months of age and continue to be breastfed beyond six months, alongside supplementary foods.

The Equality Act 2010 provides protection from discrimination to anyone breastfeeding in a public place such as a café, shop or public transport.

Mothers often report that they give up breastfeeding earlier than they wanted to. One of the reasons for this is because some parents say they struggle to find a place they find welcoming, to breastfeed when out & about.

Tips for breastfeeding in public

You shouldn’t ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding your baby is something to be proud of, and you shouldn’t feel the need to hide away or be discreet. However, if being discreet is important to you, you might want to think about the following:

  • Some mothers have shared that before they breastfeed in public for the first time, they practise in front of a mirror to find out exactly what can be seen. This gives them reassurance.
  • Breastfeeding at one of our breastfeeding support groups can help you to feel more confident as you can practise in a supportive environment and share tips with other breastfeeding mums.
  • It’s useful to think about the clothes you wear. Some mothers choose to buy special breastfeeding tops, but wearing a simple strappy vest top as a bottom layer is also a good option. When your baby is ready to feed, stretch the vest top underneath your breast, and lift up your top layer. This means that all your tummy and back are covered by the vest top, and the top of your breast is covered by the top layer.
  • Some mothers find using a muslin or scarf as an additional cover helps them to feel more secure. Mothers also find they can feed their babies while holding them in a sling.
  • Being aware of your baby’s feeding cues can support you to recognise when your baby’s hungry

Remember – breastfeeding your baby is normal

The Essex Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme has been introduced to give premises a way to show you


Untitledthat they welcome and support breastfeeding mothers so you can feed in peace and

Only registered Breastfeeding Welcome premises located within Essex are listed here.

You have the right to breastfeed anywhere.


Armstrongs at the Pavilion Pavilion Bowl, Marine Parade East, Clacton, CO15 1PS

Asda Stores Oxford Road, Clacton

Asda Stores Turner Rise, Colchester, Batemans Tower Café, Promenade Way, Brightlingsea

Café 1919 Connaught Avenue, Frinton

Cakes by Emma 57 High Street, Walton-on-the-Naze, CO14 8BD

Charnallies Restaurant, 1-5 Pier Avenue, Clacton, CO15 1QB

Coffee House, The Range, Valley Farm Road, Clacton

Colchester Zoo Maldon Road, Colchester

Costa Coffee5 Culver Square, Colchester

Costa Coffee Pier Avenue, Clacton

Costa Coffee 12 Lion Walk, Colchester

De’aths Bakery & Coffee Shop High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1HED

ebenhams34 Culver Street West, Colchester

Duck Duck Goose, Pump Farm, Tendring Road, Lt. Bentley, CO7 8SH

Dukes9 Clacton Road, St Osyth

Essex Wildlife Trust, Naze Centre 10 Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex CO14 8LE

Fenwick152 High St, ColchesterGood Taste Café24 High Street, Walton

Greggs Bakery, 19 Station Rd, Clacton, CO15 1TD

Greggs Bakery, Connaught Avenue, Frinton

Greggs Bakery, 16 High Street, Colchester

Hearts Delight, 161 Long Rd, Lawford, CO11 2EF

Kingsland Church, 86 London Rd, Colchester

Last Viceroy of British India, 36 Connaught Ave, Frinton

Leisure World Colchester, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, CO1 1YH

Lime Light Café, 190 High Street, Dovercourt

Lucca Enoteca 39-43 High Street Manningtree, CO11 1AH

Manningtree Station Buffet Station Road, Manningtree, CO11 2LH

Marks & Spencer, High Street, Colchester

McDonalds, 35-37 High Street, Colchester

McDonalds, Tollgate, Colchester

McDonalds, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, CO1 1YH

Mistley Quay Café, Mistley, Essex, CO11 1HB

Mooch @ No 99 Osbournes Court, Brightlingsea, CO7 0EB

Muppets 286 High St, Dovercourt

New Majestic Fish & Chip Restaurant 4 Marine Parade West, Clacton

Parkers Garden Company, Frinton Road, Kirby Cross

Poppins131 Connaught Avenue, Frinton

Poppys Victorian Tearooms, 17 Trinity Street, Colchester

Red Lion 32 The Street, Kirby-Le-Soken, CO13 0EF

Rose and Crown, Great Horksley, CO6 4AH

Sainsbury Café, 1 Western Approach, Stanway, CO3 8AA

Sams Diner 47 Sir Isaacs Walk, Colchester

Sea View Café, 29 The Parade, Walton, CO14 8EA

Seaspray Diner, Walton Pier

Sloppy Joes

Slug and Lettuce 111 High Street, Colchester

Stanway Garden Centre London Rd, Copford Stanway

Harvester 186 London Rd, Stanway, CO3 5MZ

Starbucks 25 Culver St West, Colchester

Strangers Home Bradfield The Street, Bradfield

Taste 6 West Avenue, Clacton

Tendring District Council, Dovercourt Pool, Low Rd, Harwich

Tendring District Council, Frinton & Walton Pool, Princes Esplanade, Walton

The Bath House, Princes Esplanade, Walton

The Cross Inn, Horsley Cross

The Crown Hotel, 51 High Street, Manningtree

The Garden Café 3 The Triangle, Frinton

The Huntsman Tavern, Shrub End Road, Colchester

The Leather Bottle, Shrub End Road, Colchester

The Mercury Theatre Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT

The Mistley Thorn Hotel High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1HE

The Mogul The High Street, Manningtree

The Pier Hotel & Restaurant The Quay, Harwich, CO12 3HH

The Ship Inn 35 Walton Road, Kirby Le Soken

The Ship Restaurant King Quay Street, Harwich

The Skinners Station Road, Manningtree

The Yew Tree The Causeway, Gt Horksley, CO6 4EG

Timbers 22 Trinity Street, Colchester

Toby Carvery 342 London Road, Stanway

Waffle on and on LTD Unit 1, Jackson Rd, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1JA

Waitrose St Andrews Avenue, Colchester

Whitehouse Coffee Shop Kingsway, Dovercourt, CO12 3AB

For help and support with breastfeeding outside of normal working hours the following contact details may be useful.

National helpline numbers which are charged at local rates

National Breastfeeding helpline number –  0300 100 0212 – 09.30 – 09.30

NCT Breastfeeding helpline number – 0300 330 0771 – 08.00 – 00.00

Breastfeeding Network supporter line – 0300 456 2421 – 09.30 – 21.30 (Bengali and Syleti)

La Leche League helpline number –  0845 120 2918 (24hrs if urgent)

Drugs in breastmilk information service –

Find out more

I was treated with great care and understanding. The care I received was second to none; everyone was so lovely.

Sapphire Ward, Gravesham Hospital