Low breastfeeding numbers cost the NHS millions
New research commissioned by UNICEF UK has revealed that low UK breastfeeding rates are costing the NHS millions of pounds.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 18th October 2012
The report ‘Preventing Disease and Saving Resources’ examines ways in which mothers can be supported to breast feed in order to reduce costs through improving health outcomes. It claims that ‘investing in supporting women to breastfeed will improve the quality of life for women through the reduction in incidence of breast cancer; and for children through reducing acute and chronic diseases’.
Analyses on three conditions – cognitive ability, childhood obesity and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – indicate that modest improvements in breastfeeding rates could save millions of pounds and, in the case of SIDS, children’s lives according to UNICEF.
UNICEF deputy executive director Anita Tiessen says:
“We know that 90 per cent of women who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks discontinued before they had wanted to. We want to see breastfeeding recognised as a major public health issue from government level through to local children’s centres, and appropriate investment and legislation put in place to give mothers a better experience of breastfeeding”.
Source: Unicef UK, Preventing disease and saving resources, 17th October 2012