Supporting women to Breastfeed

The cost to the Health service could be reduced and a new report indicates that by increasing Breastfeeding rates in the UK could provide a return in a few years even a year. This is because of the protective effect Breastfeeding has, the report showed evidence suggesting that five illnesses; Breast cancer in the mother, gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, middle ear infections and necrotising enterocolitis in the baby.

The report shows that even a moderate increase in Breastfeeding would reduce costs to the NHS. Part of the Pregnancy Outreach Support role is to give information and support around Breastfeeding. Many of the clients we see that want to Breastfeed always give up in the early days or before they leave the hospital.

Due to the lack of support when they most need it due to having to ask for support, feeling a nuicance and being embarrassed.

Although we do see these clients in the early days and can support with these issues if they want but, many, after having their baby just want to spend this precious time with them and their families.

Only when our clients are socially isolated or have no family or friends do we support in hospital and the client has to want this support. This is when we can really make an impact, however, there needs to be a designated Breastfeeding support worker on wards not on certain days not on call but every day and during the night.

Only when the women have established Breastfeeding and are happy with support and it continues immediately after will these women continue to Breastfeed. Hopefully this report will enable investment in effective services to increase and sustain Breastfeeding rates.