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WHAT CAN BE DONE TO INCREASE BREAST FEEDING RATES IN THE UK.

(360 Posts)
lissie Sat 14-Jul-07 18:01:49

we all know that postnatal care is a huge factor, but what else can be done?


<disclaimer> i speak as a failed bf-er who will try again with every baby i have, but supports the mothers right to choose.

2HappyRotter Sat 14-Jul-07 18:05:35

ante-natal care. Ok, it's hard to imagine what life will be like with a baby full stop, but there should be some preparation for bfeeding, and not just with some dolly. Like making sure all women are aware of the sources of help so that they know where to look when they're exhausted and emotional.

2HappyRotter Sat 14-Jul-07 18:07:11

And more available (and better advertised) peer support.

And improving attitudes towards bfeeding esp in public - this is starting with the legislation in scotland and the proposed legislation in england. But get someone bfeeding successfully and naturally on Corrie or something.

lissie Sat 14-Jul-07 18:08:22

totally agree with the corrie thing. thought they would do it on enders but no... straight to the formula!

kiskidee Sat 14-Jul-07 18:09:39

A drive to make all hospitals achieve the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in the next few years. If Sweden could do it, so can we.

lissie Sat 14-Jul-07 18:11:35

would successful bf-ers be willing to volunteer in hospitals easing the mw's workload do you think?

2HappyRotter Sat 14-Jul-07 18:13:52

I dare say if it was on corrie it would be a BIG THING and cause major headlines, which is sad...it should just be seen as totally (just typed titally, appropriate typo ) normal and unremarkable, though ATM we need exposure to increase awareness IYKWIM.

kama Sat 14-Jul-07 18:14:09

Message withdrawn

2HappyRotter Sat 14-Jul-07 18:16:02

Oh god, the bra thing, yes!!

muppethasakitten Sat 14-Jul-07 18:16:20

shopping centres/restaurants providing comfy clean rooms to go and bfeed in...

... I've exclusively bfed 3 kids but never been happy in public... I hate trawling around trying to find somewhere to feed...

... the other day I was awaiting my baby's jabs... he needed a feed... asked at the doctor's reception if there was a room I could use whilst waiting (didn't feel comfy feeding in the waiting room)...

... she suggested the toilet...

... i refused

... another lady then found me somewhere.

Bear in mind this is a new - purpose-built surgery less than 2 years old.

Rubbish

tiktok Sat 14-Jul-07 18:21:00

mupp - write to the PCT, chief executive and whoever is in charge of infant feeding, and tell them about the experience at the doc's....that's a disgrace. A toilet, indeed....

Miaou Sat 14-Jul-07 18:26:40

To add to the suggestions here - more support in hospital once the baby is born, such as:

1. Encouraging mother to put baby to breast within half an hour of the birth
2. Staff to help mother to latch on/get position right etc. Watching it in antenatal classes is great but it's like trying to explain to someone how to drive a car - meaningless until you are in the driving seat yourself
3. Continued support both in hospital and at home if/when the mother needs it
4. Support for those who want to b/f when baby is in NICU/SCBU. Using a cup to feed rather than a bottle if baby can't be put to the breast.

ahundredtimeturners Sat 14-Jul-07 18:27:42

Wet nurses?

FioFioJane Sat 14-Jul-07 19:40:31

well i will tell one thing that will help for sure...FREE breastfeeding workshops that have enough places

Juicylucytoo Sat 14-Jul-07 19:55:43

Agree with all that's been said. I had good support from the breast feeding counsellors from my hospital at home atfer, but I think they're overworked / underfunded(?). They should be able to allocate time to sit with every new mum who wants to BF WHILE she's feeding to really be able to help, not just have time to ask if all's ok.

Also, MW's all being trained to the same level. Some in the hospital where quite frankly PANTS. Others were great. If baby cried "You're not producing enough milk, give them a bottle then they'll stop crying". Great. Thanks for nothing.

I would also have appreciated being told that my nipples will probably hurt for the first few weeks (just coz they're soft - not coz we're doing anything wrong), but that it WILL improve.

Would like to add less much less important need: Nursing tops that don't make you look like a granny - why have all the high st stores taken on the maternity challenge and ignored the need for feeding clothes for AFTERWARDS (or dual maternity / nursing tops)

MEDIA:

they need to show breastfeeding in shows. not a s a 'Hey look at us breastfeeding!' but just normally. like it is in RL. But start with children's programmes. eg: the other day on Dora the Explorer she was talking about babies and said they use a bottle.

they need to STOP showing programmes about 'freaky' extended BFers


HVs:

well, where do i start with them!!!!

oh and we need to get the message out that just because a baby isn't sleeping through a 5 minutes old doesn't mean it's hungry and needs a 'top-up'!!!!!!!!!!!

FioFioJane Sat 14-Jul-07 20:09:50

I think it needs pointing out that forumla fed babies do not sleep through either...I know they sleep for longer ( not much?) but saying they sleep through is a complete myth/old wives tale/load of bollox

shinysink Sat 14-Jul-07 20:10:26

All health visitors ned to recieve adequate training and education. During my HV degree the "training" I got was a two hour lecture in Uni - the rest was meant to be learned "on the job". A joke seeing as HVs cannot even seem to look at growth charts properly.

Would also like to see breastfeeding consultants employed by the NHS.

Piffle Sat 14-Jul-07 20:10:42

peer support
I did this in NZ, when ds was 8 wks old and bf had become a lot easier after an awkward start I was asked to come in and buddy women who had just had their babies - that I could relay my experiences - the never ending latch issue the growth spurts the sleeping issues.
It worked well, I loved my buddy she did keep me positive and was always there, support is never instant and sometiems women need someone who is quicker than aptimil and avent at 24 hr tescos...

i agree fio but i know a lot of moms who gave up BF because their baby wasn't sleeping through.

Mercy Sat 14-Jul-07 20:14:54

Yes, it's total nonsense that FF babies sleep longer.

Anway, I've just posted on the other thread that I thought that the benefits of breastfeeding should be part of sex/health education at secondary school and not left as a last minute thing when women are either planning to get pregnant or already are.

Difers Sat 14-Jul-07 20:43:57

Locally we have breastfeeding support groups run by La Leche training peer counsellors and provide support and they are trying to get businessness in the community to display stickers stating that breastfeeding is accepted.

I agree that the media should play a role. You never even see Ashleys and Clares baby in corrie. I'm sure breastfeeding rates would be increased and PND decreased if only a relistic view of initial baby care was portrayed.

lljkk Sat 14-Jul-07 21:01:41

Breastfeeding in public.
Doing it yourself, Actively encouraging it. Enshrining it as a legal right, at the very least.
Just frequently seeing it done as a common public thing, and seeing it as an ordinary and sanitary way to feed babies, would sway a lot of people. Either to give it a go or to be more supportive of other people who try to.

terramum Sat 14-Jul-07 21:33:27

- Formula only available on prescription
- bfing lessons in all primary & secondary schools..heck even pre-schools & nurseries should have some kind of bfing sessions so that children grow up seeing bfing as the norm
- ALL people in the health service that encounter patients should have basic bfing training & all those who actually care for children & babies of bfing age & mothers should have detailed & extensive bfing training that must be updated regularly.
- mainstream discussion (TV, tabloids, broadsheets etc)of the disadvantages of ff rather than the "benefits" of bfing
-every TV proggy that features a mum with a baby under 2 should be shown bfing or at least talking about bfing - just to normalise it.

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