Eight out of ten women now start their babies on breast milk says a new survey…
…which is good for mums and babies say experts. This figure compares with six in ten women who chose to breastfeed in 1990.
The figures follow on the back of a number of ‘breast is best’ Government campaigns supported by magazines like Prima Baby, and Babyexpert.com, aimed at encouraging women to give breastfeeding a try. There are known benefits of breastfeeding which include transferring a mother’s immunity to her baby, helping to protect babies from chest and ear infections, eczema and stomach bugs.
Good news for babies
The findings from the NHS Information Centre survey of 15,600 women show that that women breastfeed for at least six weeks, though there was no indication of how many women continued to feed through to the recommended six months.
Jane Munro from the Royal College of Midwives says; “The increase in the number of women starting to breastfeed is good news for the health of the nation.”
Although breastfeeding has known benefits for mum and baby, some mothers are unable to breastfeed or choose not to, and it is important for these women not to feel pressured or guilty about using formula to feed their baby. Everyone’s circumstances are different and the decision of how to feed your baby has to be a woman’s choice.
The survey also showed that the number of women who smoke during pregnancy is decreasing. 12% of mothers were still smoking throughout their pregnancy in 2010, down from 17% in 2005.
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