17th June 2019
This week is Breastfeeding Celebration Week 2019.
The theme for the week in 2019 is promoting the benefits of skin to skin contact, both immediately after birth and throughout the early weeks of life.
We have several blogs coming this week in support of #CelebrateBreastfeeding – so keep an eye out for them!
Breastfeeding is a Health Visiting High Impact Area #CelebrateBreastfeeding
Some key points to share:
- At 6 to 8 weeks after birth, just 44% of women breastfeed in England, one of the worst rates in the world.
- Evidence shows that exclusively breastfeeding for around 6 months provides a range of benefits for the mother and baby, in England, only 1% of babies are exclusively breastfed at 6 months.
- Not breastfeeding is linked to increased risk of infections such as ear, chest and gut infections
- Responsive feeding helps form important emotional bonds and mental resilience
- Breastfeeding can help lower the risk of breast cancer for mothers.
- All healthcare professionals can make a contribution to increasing breastfeeding rates, giving children the best start in life.
- Making organisations and places breastfeeding friendly is vital to encouraging and supporting women and improving breastfeeding rates.
- By understanding the long-term benefits and impact of breastfeeding, health commissioners, managers and professionals can make the best decisions to meet local needs
- Eight out of ten women stop breastfeeding before they want to and could have continued with more support
- Women may need a wide range of support to breastfeed, such as readily available advice, support groups and apps.
- Supporting families to breastfeed and increasing the number of babies who are breastfed gives babies the best possible start
- There is growing evidence linking breastfeeding with protection against later overweight/obesity
- Breastfeeding can help to reduce health inequalities for babies and improve their life chances
- Breastfeeding can support family budgets – less illness and time off work, feeds babies for significantly less
- Raise awareness that breastfeeding matters, Provide effective professional support to mothers and their families, ensure that mothers have access to support, encouragement and understanding in their community