News

Breastfeeding support ‘strong’

Published: 03 Jun 2019 10:00

Report publishes during Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

Breastfeeding support in Scotland has been rated highly by an expert group looking at provision across the country.
 
The report from the Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) Scottish committee assessed the effectiveness, affordability and feasibility of current support, marking it overall as ‘strong’.
 
The group also produced eight recommendations and set out the next steps to drive further improvement. These include ensuring families have equal access to relevant information on feeding their baby, promoting a supportive return to work environment, and strengthening breastfeeding messages across Scotland.
 
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman discussed the recommendations of the BBF report during a visit to NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Ayrshire Maternity Unit during Scottish Breastfeeding Awareness Week. The health board is currently testing a model which has brought together maternity and health visiting services, infant feeding teams and peer supporters from the Breastfeeding Network to form an integrated infant feeding team.
 
Ms Freeman said:
 
“I’d like to thank the BBF committee for their report and recommendations which acknowledge the fact Scotland has been working hard to improve the quality of support for breastfeeding. This is an important opportunity to increase our efforts and to consider whether we are all doing enough to enable breastfeeding and to consider what we could do better.
 
“We need to remove the barriers that cause negativity towards breastfeeding, and to promote it as a natural and healthy activity, which provides babies with the best nutritional start in life.”
 
Professor Hazel Borland, Nurse Director at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said:

“Our integrated infant feeding team will give mothers proactive, family-centred, one-to-one breastfeeding care from a peer supporter within 48 hours of birth. This will support new mothers to breastfeed for longer, beginning with those for whom we know it can be more challenging. We have a strong partnership with the Breastfeeding Network and are delighted to be working more closely with them to give breastfeeding support to local families.

“We have embraced the new national Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme and have already introduced it to one of our local breastfeeding friendly venues, Burns Cottage.

“We have also recently created and launched a guideline for our staff to make it clear that we all have a role to play in supporting mothers to breastfeed in our hospitals and buildings.”
 
The Scottish Government has also announced a new national Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme logo to be displayed by businesses and organisations.
 
Background:
 
The Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly report was facilitated by the University of Kent.
 
The Scottish Government has also announced a new national Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme logo to be displayed by businesses and organisations.

In July 2018 the Scottish Government announced the provision of additional funding of more than £2 million for breastfeeding support.
 
The majority of this funding has been provided to NHS Boards and third sector partners to improve the quality of breastfeeding support and breastfeeding experiences of mothers.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s integrated infant feeding supports mothers to breastfeed newborn babies in a way that reflects their individual experiences and needs within the first two days of their babies being born. The model will initially support those mothers who have delivered their baby by Caesarean section, as this group of mothers often face challenges to continue breastfeeding.