RCM responds to PHE annual breastfeeding statistics for England

on 24 October 2018 Breastfeeding Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers

Today (Thursday 24 October 2018) Public Health England have published annual experimental statistics on breastfeeding prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks after birth.

The latest annual data covers the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Commenting Carmel Lloyd Head of education at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “These latest annual statistics suggest England could be doing better when it comes breastfeeding.Evidence clearly shows that breastfeeding in line with WHO guidance brings optimum benefits for the health of both mother and baby. 

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 chose to breastfeed.

 “For women who choose to breastfeed it is so important that they feel supported not only by midwives, but by their family, friends and wider society too, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding public.

“What the RCM wants to see is an investment in specialist midwives and high-quality postnatal support to help women to initiate and sustain breastfeeding if that is the way they have chosen to feed their baby.”


To contact the RCM Media Relations Team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].



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/