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Health for the hard to reach : self-management of breastfeeding

Rooney, Laura (2016) Health for the hard to reach : self-management of breastfeeding. Digital Health & Care Institute, Glasgow.

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Abstract

The World Health Organization states that new-borns should be breast fed for 6 months after birth and women are advised by the NHS: ‘The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits However, despite many efforts to inform new mothers of the benefits to both themselves and their child, breastfeeding rates have continued to decline since the 1960s. After World War II, it was seen as modern and desirable to feed babies on formula. A study by the Lancet showed that only 34% of mothers breastfeed in the UK for the full 6-month period that is recommended. However, it is interesting that 81% of mothers breastfeed for the first 6 weeks and then move onto formula. This is promising to know that breastfeeding is happening albeit for a much shorter time than is recommended. However, it is imperative to find a way to reach the remaining 19% who never breastfeed.