News

£2 million more for breastfeeding support

Published: 29 Jul 2018 00:01

Helping mums breastfeed for longer.

Mums are to be given more support to help them continue breastfeeding for longer through a £2 million investment.

The additional funding, which comes ahead of World Breastfeeding Week, will be used by health boards and other partners to prevent or manage common issues which can affect how long mums breastfeed for.

The investment aims to address the government’s commitment through its Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan to reduce the drop off in breastfeeding rates at six to eight weeks after birth by 10% by 2025.

This follows advice from the World Health Organisation which shows that as well as giving babies the best nutritional start in life, breastfeeding can improve the long-term health of mothers and children and prevent obesity.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said:

“Breastfeeding has many long and short-term health benefits for both the mother and the child but we know that for some mums and babies breastfeeding can be challenging.

“It is vital that mums are well supported throughout their time breastfeeding, especially where they may be experiencing difficulties, and this additional funding will help with some of the common issues they may face early on.

“We are also continuing to invest in activities which will normalise breastfeeding and enable mums to feel more comfortable and supported when breastfeeding in public.”

 Background

World Breastfeeding Week runs from 1 to 7 August, 2018, and is organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

This £2 million investment is in addition to the £2.3 million the Scottish Government provides annually to NHS health boards to implement a range of breastfeeding support activities and interventions.

Since 2011, the Scottish Government has invested more than £15.8 million directly to health boards for the implementation of the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Framework, of which breastfeeding support is a key component.

The Scottish Government published its Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan in July 2018.

The latest figures on breastfeeding are available via the Information Services Division.