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Women urged to breastfeed for longer

An expert has suggested that women should be encouraged to breastfeed and noted that they are often persuaded to give up early.
More women should be encouraged to breastfeed, it has been suggested.

Beverley Beech, honorary chair of the Association for the Improvement in Maternity Services, said that too often, women are persuaded to give up breastfeeding early.

Commenting after news that breastfeeding in public has been made legal under the Equality Bill, Ms Beech said that obstetricians are often too keen to persuade women to give up breastfeeding.

She went on to note that mothers have a lower risk of breast cancer when they breastfeed and it is also thought that it protects babies from certain cancers and sudden infant death syndrome.

The new Equality Bill means that it is now unlawful for women to be forced out of public places if they are feeding their babies.

In the Infant Feeding Survey 2005 it was discovered that mothers in managerial and professional occupations were more likely to breastfeed their babies, as were those aged over 30 and first-time mums.

Around 78 per cent of mothers in England chose to breastfeed their children, whereas only 63 per cent of Northern Irish mums did.

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A note to Veepee - well done for offering so much support to your daughter! Thats soooo lovely to hear! My poor mum didn't feed any of us (i have 4 sisters) and didn't know how to help when i had my first son over 3 years ago. I think that 80's was the boom era for bottle feeding if i'm right? I struggled as did you daughter for the first 3 weeks though with the help of some very valuable friends at the sure start centre local to me i managed to continue breastfeeding Ben into his 2nd year. I was very lucky to have such good help and support from "Breast Friends" and would recommend these mum and baby groups to any breast feeding mum. I will be breast feeding my new baby when he/she arrives too and will seek support from this group again.
by Happymummy123 1st Nov 2010, 11:08am
I am happily a new Nana to a beautiful little girl, now 4 months old. My daughter had an absolute nightmare with establishing breastfeeding. Her tiny baby totally refused to breast feed, mainly due to some very rough handling by midwives soon after birth who should have known better, trying to force her to feed against her will. At three days old she was told she'd be better off bottle feeding - this was the 'advice' given by so-called experts! That's about the only encouragement she received while in hospital, plus after 3 days her bed was needed, and the hospital wouldn't release her until she'd established feeding of some sort. At that point she had to 'agree' that she'd bottle feed, just to get home before she lost the plot. For the following 3 weeks my daughter expressed day and night and bottle fed her baby breast milk - and did very little else, whilst continuing to try to persuade her little girl to breast feed. Three weeks later, with the help of breast shields, latch aids, breast cream, a lot of patience, very little sleep - and me - it all suddenly clicked into place and 4 months on she's still feeding like a little star.
It's all very well saying 'mothers must breast feed' (I agree they should do) but there just doesn't seem to be the support system in place to help mothers who are struggling to establish breast feeding. My daughter had a very rough first 3 weeks, but she's so glad now that she didn't give up. It was well worth the struggle.
by veepee 30th Apr 2009, 9:21am