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PHE: New survey of mums reveals perceived barriers to breastfeeding

27th March 2017

The proportion of new mothers who are still breastfeeding after 2 months drops by 40%, according to data from PHE and NHS England.

Almost three-quarters of women start breastfeeding when their child is born, but this drops to 44% within 6 to 8 weeks. However, evidence shows the right support helps mums to breastfeed for longer. Public Health England (PHE) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.

A new survey of 500 mothers of young children commissioned by PHE showed that more than half were concerned that breastfeeding could mean they wouldn’t be able to tell if their baby was getting too much or not enough milk. A similar proportion of mums surveyed thought that people might assume they need a special diet to breastfeed. Nearly 3 in 10 worried that breastfeeding could mean their baby might not be getting the right nutrients, indicating why mothers may stop breastfeeding at this early point.

Start4Life, PHE’s marketing programme that helps parents-to-be and parents to adopt healthy behaviours, has launched a new interactive Breastfeeding Friend (BFF) ChatBot. The BFF is accessed through Facebook messenger and provides personal support for mothers at any time of the day or night to help make breastfeeding a better experience.

To access the Breastfeeding BFF, simply open Facebook Messenger and search Start4Life BreastFeeding Friend or visit to get started.

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