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Breast Feeding

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to promote breast feeding in 2007-08. (129365)

The Department is planning a comprehensive year-round communications package, including marketing support that will be launched at the National Breast Feeding Awareness Week to be held on 13-19 May. We are in the process of developing activities such as television and radio filler advertising, updating website, and PR activity as well as developing educational and promotional materials. We are also working with UNICEF in developing joint publications on infant feeding.

The Department is continuing to work with the Food Standards Agency on the implementation of the European Union Directive on infant formula and follow-on formula. In addition, we have appointed a new National Infant Feeding Adviser, who will be actively involved in promoting breast feeding by developing activities locally to help increase breast feeding rates and supporting health professionals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent promoting breast feeding in each year between 2002-03 and 2006-07; which organisations received such funding in each year; and for what purposes funding was provided in each year. (129366)

Since 2002, the Department has funded a range of activities promoting breast feeding and infant feeding. The following table sets out the funding provided each year for breast feeding promotion from 2002-07.

Financial year

Departmental spend on breast feeding promotion (£)

2002-03

280,000

2003-04

462,000

2004-05

747,000

2005-06

743,000

2006-07

729,011

Most of the funding available was spent centrally in developing promotional and educational materials, PR activities for the breast feeding campaigns, developing and updating websites, conferences and supporting the work of the National Network of Breast Feeding Co-ordinators.

In 2004-05, the Department spent approximately £350,000 in developing and distributing a resource pack for health professionals. Since 2005, the Department provided approximately £12,000 to the breast feeding network in support of developing a national helpline number on breast feeding. In addition, the Department has also provided grants to four voluntary organisations under the Section 64 Grants Scheme to promote their work on breast feeding. We have provided core grant of £13,000 for 2007-08 to the Association of Breast feeding Mothers.