Editorial

The real reason breastfeeding is declining – and why we should be worried

Recent statistics from Public Health England shows the number of mothers breastfeeding their babies after 6-8 weeks of delivery has declined.  The figures show only 42.7 per cent of mums nursed their babies at six weeks in 2017-18. This shows a 43.1 per cent decline in figures obtained in 2015-2016 and 43.8 per cent decline in 2014-2015 figures.

The drop comes at a time the council has scaled back funding for supporting breastfeeding mothers. The council has slashed up and down everything from peer support to midwife visits.  In Bristol, the council has cut funding for children’s centres by 40 per cent.

Why should everyone be worried?

The UK presently has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world . the country cannot afford any further declines.

Adequate breastfeeding helps children start an active life and benefits every aspect of the society – from more intelligent children in school, more active kids to healthy and strong children.

According to medical experts, breastfed kids enjoys boosted immune system, less infections, a reduced chance of developing cancers, healthy body weight, better resistance to diseases and a lower risk of having asthma and allergies.

What can we do to tackle the problem?

The best we all can do is to encourage mothers to breastfeed their children. Most mothers who patronise artificial milk are encouraged because of their personal gains. Many of the milk producers have no problem encouraging women to ignore breastfeeding even with the chances doing so affects children. There is the need to sensitise woman to reconsider breastfeeding to improve the general health of their babies.

 

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