Breastfeeding must be a public health priority says RCM on new UNICEF report
A new report by UNICEF has highlighted global “breastfeeding gaps” between rich and poor and shows UK breastfeeding rates amongst the lowest in the world.
The analysis notes that one in five babies in high-income countries are not breastfed at all, compared to just 1 in 25 in low- and-middle-income countries.
The report also focuses on UK breastfeeding rates being amongst some of the lowest in the world. 150,000 babies in the UK never receive breastmilk in their life.
Commenting, Clare Livingstone Professional Policy Advisor at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “There is no doubt that the UK along with many other countries needs to improve its breastfeeding rates. Typically the number of women who start breastfeeding in the UK is at around 80 percent, but unfortunately after a couple of weeks this number falls dramatically.
“Low breastfeeding rates in parts of the UK unfortunately indicate a much bigger social and cultural problem that needs to be tackled. There are some areas where many generations of women haven't been given the example of breastfeeding or offered the right support to enable them to initiate and sustain breastfeeding if the can and chose to do so.
“An Investment in specialist midwives and high-quality postnatal support to help women to initiate and sustain breastfeeding must be public health priority.”
More information UNICEF’s report ‘Breast Feeding Gaps’ report is available here: https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AMZIF2XCKTB
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Notes to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/