Released on: 09 February 2023

Responding to the Lancet 2023 Series on Breastfeeding, Della Sykes, Infant Feeding Lead at NCT, said:

“Over the last decade, government funding for postnatal, infant feeding and health visitor services has declined. As a result, an unacceptably high proportion of women do not get the help they need with all types of feeding – be that breastfeeding, formula feeding, mixed feeding, expressing and weaning -  during the early days and months after birth. 

"For many families, feeding decisions are shaped by the information and support they have access to, their family and friends as well as the social and cultural context in which they live. Parents should have access to evidence-based information about all types of feeding and help, however they decide to feed their babies.

"Government needs to fund the NHS and local authorities so that they can deliver parent-centred maternal and postnatal care that ensures parents get timely, skilled and equitable support.

"Government must also strengthen regulation around formula milk marketing and back calls for an international treaty to end irresponsible marketing. All formula milk brands must meet the same nutritional and safety standards, regardless of cost, but this doesn’t stop formula milk companies regularly violating the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes to manipulate parents' concerns and make misleading claims.

“By providing personalised support, we can help families to feed their babies the way they want to and help to promote positive feeding experiences for all.”  

You can read the reports here.

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