Breaking down barriers to breastfeeding to support healthy weight in childhood
Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce risk of childhood overweight and obesity and therefore can play an important role in supporting healthy weight in childhood.
However, the UK has some of the lowest rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the world, with less than half of infants breastfed exclusively at one week old, and just 1% of infants being exclusively breastfed for six months, with rates lower in deprived communities.
Many women reported they would have liked to breastfeed for longer, thus highlighting the importance of addressing some the barriers faced by women who want to do so.
44% of women reported to have exclusively breastfed would have liked to have done so for longer
Mothers would like more support from healthcare professionals (42%), higher maternity pay/financial support (28%) and longer maternity leave (22%)
Nourishing our children in the early years
This report is the second in a series on child health that will progress, stage-by-stage, through a child’s early years. The first report focused on pre-conception and pregnancy.
Throughout the series we will be investigating the gaps and issues in policy, business practice, local authority provision and formal and informal support that need addressing. We will present a set of recommendations for policies that can enable the consumption of a healthy diet during preconception and pregnancy, infancy and early childhood.
By the end of the series we hope to have built a picture of the underlying systemic failures in the food system that lead to the high numbers of children living with overweight or obesity by the start of primary school.
The evidence brought together in this series of reports will inform a final report that will also take into account the feedback and views of stakeholders across the sector including frontline professionals and
- For more information visit: foodfoundation.org.uk/initiatives/early-years