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.
Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that offering new mothers financial incentives may significantly increase low breastfeeding rates. Effect of financial incentives on breastfeeding: a cluster randomized clinical trial reports on the study which involved more than 10,000 new mothers across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire being offered shopping vouchers worth up to £120 if their babies received breast milk at two days, 10 days and six weeks old. A further £80 of vouchers was available if their babies continued to receive breast milk up to six months.
Effect of Financial Incentives on Breastfeeding: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial Clare Relton, PhD; Mark Strong, PhD; Kate J. Thomas, MA; et al JAMA Pediatr. Published online December 11, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.4523
“As the scheme was tested in areas with low breastfeeding rates (just 28 per cent of babies were receiving any breast milk at six-eight weeks), we were delighted that 46 per cent of all eligible mothers signed up to the scheme and over 40 per cent claimed at least one voucher. The trial found a significant increase in breastfeeding rates in areas where the scheme was offered”
Principal investigator Dr Clare Relton, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
Read the Sheffield University press release here Read the full paper here
WHO and UNICEF have established recommendations for breastfeeding practices. Although every mother decides how to feed her child, this decision is strongly influenced by economic, environmental, social and political factors. The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard analyzes indicators on how countries protect, promote and support breastfeeding through funding or policies. The research shows that the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. 34% of babies in the UK are breastfed for six months.
Download the executive summary and the full report here
This update gives the number and proportion of infants who have been fully, partially or not at all breastfed at 6 to 8 weeks after birth. Public Health England collected the data through an interim reporting system set up to collect health visiting activity data at a local authority resident level. Data was submitted by local authorities on a voluntary basis. Information is presented at local authority of residence, PHE Centre and England level.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published Position statement: breastfeeding in the UK. This guidance gives advice on how long women should consider breastfeeding. It also sets out the health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, and the cost savings to families and health services.