In Plymouth, recent figures have shown that more than half of new mums stop breastfeeding after just 2 months.
A trend which is completely against NHS advice, which is to nurse your baby for up to 6 months at least.
Between the months of January 2018 and March 2018, GPs in Plymouth asked 721 mothers at their 6 to 8 week checkup whether they were breastfeeding their baby or not.
Over half of new mums don’t breastfeed at all
Figures released by Public Health England showed that 442 mothers said they were not breastfeeding at all.
The NHS are big advocates of breastfeeding as they say it reduces the risk of infection, sudden infant death syndrome, childhood leukaemia and even heart disease in adulthood.
Just over 28% of all babies in Plymouth were exclusively fed on breast milk whilst just 10% were partially fed on breast milk.
PHE Lead Nurse, Wendy Nicholson said:
Breastfeeding provides the best nutritional start in life and is something that mothers and babies learn together. “But we know that some mothers may need support, advice and encouragement to help them continue with breastfeeding.” “Health visitors, midwives and other health care professionals are well placed to link women to support within their local areas.
The nutrition lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Mary Fewtrell, its not just the parents that need the education and support, adding:
Adding things to the national curriculum is tricky, but it would be good to normalise the idea of humans feeding their babies like other mammals do.
That could be introduced to children very early on. Throughout the education system breastfeeding should be discussed and normalised.
Baby Friendly Initiative
Unicef UK runs a Baby Friendly Initiative that aims to create a culture of breastfeeding across the UK.
As part of this initiative, hospitals that pass Unicef assessments can be accredited as “baby friendly” and receive awards for their standards of maternity care, which does include the encouragement of breastfeeding.
If you’re a mother to be, and are considering breastfeeding, you can checkout your local hospital online and compare them to other providers in the area.