PHE has published the Child Health Profile pdfs which present data across key health indicators of child health and wellbeing. The profiles provide an annual snapshot of child health and wellbeing for each local authority in England and sit alongside an interactive version which is available for both local authorities and CCGs. They are designed to help local organisations understand the health needs of their community and work in partnership to improve health in their local area. Annual updates were also published for a number of pregnancy and birth indicators. The breastfeeding indicators have now been updated, including demographic information about mothers, caesarean sections, admissions of babies under 14 days as well as information about admissions for gastroenteritis and respiratory tract infections.
Infant feeding: an interactive e-learning resource for healthcare professionals to support education around the implementation of ‘Baby Friendly’ standards in infant feeding (e-Learning for Healthcare, NHS Health Education England)
This e-learning programme is for healthcare professionals who have contact with pregnant women and new mothers, and has been produced by the Yorkshire and Humber group of the National Infant Feeding Network (NIFN).
It aims to provide information about the importance of building close and loving relationships with baby during pregnancy and following birth, as well as information around breast and bottle feeding.
The drug domperidone increases the amount of breast milk women produce. This review looked at its use for up to two weeks in women with premature babies being fed with expressed milk. Women had a moderate increase in breast milk of about 88ml a day, a clinically important increase for these small babies.
Domperidone is an anti-sickness medication. It has not been widely used to increase breast milk because of unknown effectiveness and concerns that it can cause an irregular heart rhythm with longer-term use in older people.
This review found it can moderately increase milk production. Though no serious or cardiac side effects occurred in the studies, only 192 women participated in the trials, so rarer side effects may still occur.
Overall, the risk of irregular heart rhythms in mothers may be outweighed by the benefits of increased breast milk consumption in premature infants. Informed consent is necessary for this use of domperidone.
WHO and UNICEF have issued new ten-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding in health facilities that provide maternity and newborn services. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding underpin the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative, which both organisations launched in 1991. The practical guidance encourages new mothers to breastfeed and informs health workers how best to support breastfeeding.
Infographics to support implementation of this ten step guidance is here.
This report from Save the Children looks at the scale and impact of the marketing activities of six global formula milk companies that together own more than 50% of the market in breast-milk substitutes. It sets out recommendations for change, with the aim of benefiting millions of children and mothers’ health.
To download the summary report, full report, and to see responses to Save the Children from major formula milk companies click here
The Breastfeeding Friend chatbot created by Public Health England’s Start4Life programme is now available via Amazon Alexa’s voice service. Breastfeeding Friend is already freely available on a number of platforms, including Facebook Messenger, but the new offer will provide a voice service that mothers can interact with even when their hands are full. The service is designed to provide mothers with 24 hour breastfeeding support with advice tailored to the age of the baby. The Breastfeeding Friend chatbot is just one of the services available to encourage and support mothers to breastfeed.