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‘Important to break down barriers’ say midwives on World Breastfeeding Week

31 July, 2017

‘Important to break down barriers’ say midwives on World Breastfeeding Week

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Today (August 1st) marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week 2017 and this years theme is sustaining breastfeeding together.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is supporting this years week of awareness which runs until Monday August 7th.

Commenting, Claire Livingstone Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM says; “The RCM is happy to once again support this global initiative which promotes and raises awareness of the benefits and advantages of breastfeeding.


“Marking this week the RCM believes is vitally important in helping to break down the barriers that women, as mothers, face on a daily basis, both in the UK and across the globe. We believe that providing evidence based information to women will better assist them in making the best choice for them when it comes to breastfeeding.

“There has been significant and reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important health advantages for both mother and baby,breastfeeding is known to positively impact on mother-baby relationships as well as nurturing maternal and infant mental health.

“Breastfeeding can also make an enormous contribution to public health and midwives alongside maternity support workers (MSWs) are the key health professionals to deliver this. However, we must ensure there are enough midwives in post so women get the right level of advice and support before they leave hospital in order to initiate and sustain breastfeeding successfully.

“As a society we must continue to develop a culture of positive support for women who wish to breastfeed and educating the public is key to this. Women should not feel guilty or embarrassed about breastfeeding in public. The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to stop breastfeeding, or cover up or leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport.”


For more information and downloadable resources on World Breastfeeding Week 2017:http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/


Use the hashtag #WBW2017


RCM’s Infant Feeding Report published in 2014 as part of its ‘Pressure Points’ postnatal campaign https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Pressure%20Points%20-%20Infant%20Feeding%20-%20Final_0_0.pdf 


To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.


Notes to editors

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) position on Breastfeeding

The RCM recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life and is the most appropriate method of infant feeding.

Breastfeeding should continue alongside complementary foods for up to two years in line with WHO (2003), ICM (2010) and DH (2009) recommendations to promote and support breastfeeding. Please follow the link to the RCM position statement here


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/


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