Hospitals in deprived areas are to receive extra funding to help them achieve a set of best practice standards to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.
An extra £2m will be made available so the hospitals can achieve Unicef Baby-Friendly Status to support mothers to start breastfeeding.
It will also help them to continue breastfeeding through initiatives such as peer support groups.
The government will monitor progress through measuring prevalence of breastfeeding at six to eight weeks in all Primary Care Trusts as a key indicator of Child Health and Wellbeing PSA target.
Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: ‘By international standards not enough women breastfeed in England. This money will help more mums - particularly those in more deprived areas - to breastfeed and to do so for longer.’