The Government is committed to supporting breastfeeding through the Healthy Child Programme, as the health benefits are clear for mothers and their babies. We would still like to see more mothers breastfeeding and doing so for longer and are working with our partners including Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and UNICEF to achieve this goal.
The promotion of breast feeding is one of the six high-impact areas for health visiting, with health visitors supporting parents around infant feeding. PHE is working with local services to create breastfeeding friendly communities, with midwives and health visitors promoting best practice, and through the Start4Life campaigns to provide parents with trusted National Health Service advice. This includes the Start4Life ‘Breastfeeding Friend’ (an interactive Facebook Messenger ‘ChatBot’), and the Start4Life website available at:
The latter contains a range of leaflets and resources available which professionals can order for free and provides a dedicated breastfeeding helpline.
PHE and UNICEF UK have developed a toolkit to support commissioning of evidence-based interventions to improve breastfeeding rates across England, including provision of effective professional support to mothers and their families through implementation of the Baby Friendly Initiative in every maternity unit. PHE is encouraging Local Maternity Systems across the country to include plans to increase the number of babies breastfed at six months within their transformation plans.