The Government are committed to the promotion of breastfeeding and the prevalence of breastfeeding at six to eight weeks is a key indicator in the Child Health and Well-being Public Service Agreement. ‘Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives’ a cross-government strategy for obesity (January 2008) aims to reverse the rise in childhood obesity and breastfeeding plays an integral role in this. A copy has already been placed in the Library.
Key actions to increase levels of breastfeeding include the investment of £4 million for the primary care trusts (PCTs) to develop local interventions to promote breastfeeding, including the training of frontline staff; the provision of easily accessible and timely advice to breastfeeding mothers through the national breastfeeding helpline; the recently launched breastfeeding DVD “From bump to breastfeeding” given to all new mothers in England via their midwives and health visitors.
Other key activities include the development of a care pathway for the frontline health professionals; the provision of commissioning guidance for PCTs; and the establishment of a regional and local network to promote breastfeeding.