Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Breastfeeding

Posted on: December 31, 2008

I’ve been thinking for a while that I should write about breastfeeding … I’m sure you are very familiar with the benefits of breastfeeding:

Benefits for the baby
Reduced risk of gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea, urinary tract, chest and ear infections, obesity and diabetes.  Latest evidence suggests reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and childhood leukaemia

Benefits for the mother
Reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis (www.babyfriendly.org.uk)

This is apart from the benefits of the convenience of breastfeeding: having an ever-ready continuous supply of breastmilk, no need for sterilization, warming up of milk etc

However despite all the positive work and advances in making breastfeeding more acceptable and normative:

– in November 2004 an Act of the Scottish Parliament made it an offence to prevent or stop a person breastfeeding in a public place www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2005/asp_20050001_en_1).

– throughout the UK it is government policy to increase the number of babies who are breastfed (the Government is fully committed to the promotion of breastfeeding, which is accepted as the best form of nutrition for infants to ensure a good start in life. Breastmilk provides all the nutrients a baby needs. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of an infant’s life www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Maternity/Maternalandinfantnutrition/index.htm).

– this is also supported by the World Health Organisation who state Breastfeeding is the ideal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family and the health care system. should be  Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age and supplemented breastfeeding up until the age of two or beyond www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/.

it is therefore disappointing to note that the social networking website Facebook has been removing breastfeeding photographs and and banning users on the grounds that they’d uploaded “obscene content” to their profiles.  In response an on-line protest group “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! Official petition to Facebook” has been launched at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2517126532 and a virtual “nurse-in” event was held on 27th December 2008 at www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39521488436.

Lots of good free information and support about breastfeeding is available:

“From Bump to Breastfeeding” is a great new FREE DVD available to all pregnant women at www.orderline.dh.gov.uk or call 0300 123 1002.

www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

National Breastfeeding Helpline
Operated by the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and The Breastfeeding Network
Tel. 0844 20 909 20

La Leche League
Tel. 0845 120 2918

National Childbirth Trust
Tel. 0870 444 8708

The Breastfeeding Network – breastfeeding support in Bengali and Sylhetti
Tel. 07944 879 759


Advertisements

1 Response to "Breastfeeding"

[…] benefits of breastfeeding are well documented (see http://www.midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/breastfeeding/) and ministers are changing the law in response to concerns that Britain has the lowest […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter

%d bloggers like this: