There is overwhelming evidence that proves breastfeeding provides substantial health benefits for mothers and babies which are experienced well beyond the period of breastfeeding itself. However, England has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world: only 36% of babies are receiving any breastmilk at 6 months compared with 71% in Norway.
Failure to invest in breastfeeding leads to poorer health outcomes for children and women today and for generations to come. Therefore, there is a greater need to support mothers, families, local authorities and health professionals to ensure that children are given the best possible start in life.
Public Health England and Unicef UK have developed guidance to support the commissioning of evidence-based interventions to improve breastfeeding rates across England. Presented as a toolkit, the guidance is divided into 3 parts:
- infographics which highlight the key issues
- good practice guidance for commissioners
- guidance on effective data collection, monitoring and reporting