Join our Change the Conversation campaign
Powerful new evidence shows that breastfeeding saves children’s lives and profoundly improves health. Yet the UK has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Please join our call to UK Governments to take urgent action to remove the barriers to breastfeeding in the UK.
In the UK breastfeeding is viewed by many as difficult or even unnecessary because formula milk is seen as a close second best. It is a highly emotive subject because so many families have not breastfed, or have experienced the trauma of trying very hard to breastfeed and not being able to.
The pain felt by so many parents around breastfeeding can close down conversations and lead to accusations that there is too much pressure on women to breastfeed. Whilst no parent should have to feel such pain, and well-meaning efforts to promote breastfeeding have at times been insensitive, the situation has become so fraught that those who speak out for breastfeeding are often met with anger and abuse.
However, two major studies funded by the Gates Foundation have delivered extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide. This new research leaves us no choice: we must now find a way to build a supportive, enabling environment for all women who want to breastfeed.
Unicef UK is calling on UK health ministers to improve the health of children and the nation by leading action to remove the barriers – social, cultural, economic and practical – that currently make it difficult and sometimes impossible for women to breastfeed in the UK.
It is time to stop laying the blame for a major public health issue on individual women, and instead work together to build a supportive, enabling environment for women who want to breastfeed. It is time to change the conversation.