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December 31, 2019

Charities issue joint statement on supporting and protecting breastfeeding

A group of charities has appealed to the new government to prioritise the first 1,001 days of a child's life.

The statement calls on the elected parties to commit to the following actions:

- To appoint a permanent, multi-sectoral infant and young child feeding strategy group and develop, fund and implement a national strategy to improve infant and young child feeding practices.

- To include actions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in all policy areas where breastfeeding has an impact.

- To implement the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative across community and paediatric services, building on the recommendation for maternity services in the NHS Long Term Plan.

- To protect babies from harmful commercial interests by bringing the full International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into UK law and enforcing this law.

- To commission, and sustainably fund, universal breastfeeding support programmes delivered by specialist/lead midwives and health visitors or suitably qualified breastfeeding specialists, such as IBCLC lactation consultants and breastfeeding counsellors, alongside trained peer supporters with accredited qualifications.

- To maintain and expand universal, accessible, affordable and confidential breastfeeding support through the National Breastfeeding Helpline and sustaining the Drugs in Breastmilk Service.

- To deliver universal health visiting services and the Healthy Child Programme by linking in with local specialist and support services.

- To establish/re-establish universal Children's Centres with a focus on areas of deprivation, offering breastfeeding peer support.

- To make it a statutory right of working mothers and those in education to work flexibly as required and to access a private space and paid breaks to breastfeed and/or express breast milk and manage its safe storage.

- To commit to resourcing for charitable organisations who play a key role within the health agenda working at a national and local level to support families and communities with infant feeding.


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