What is it about breastfeeding that causes so much controversy? This subject has been in the news on numerous occasions in recent weeks, with local cafes, Claridge’s and Ukip leader Nigel Farage being among those under fire for demonstrating varying levels of disapproval or unease around breastfeeding mums.
The constant debate surrounding breastfeeding suggests it is somehow a new invention, rather than something that women have been doing for hundreds of years.
Meanwhile, a new report out this week by Archives of Diseases in Childhood has called for more investment to be made into encouraging and supporting women with breastfeeding.
The UK, apparently, like many other high-income countries, has a relatively low rate of breastfeeding.
The researchers calculated that if more women could breastfeed for longer amounts of time, the NHS could save an estimated £40 million a year.
The savings would be made through less infant illnesses and less breast cancer – so obviously great health benefits as well as financial ones.
The report goes on to state: “National statistics indicate that 80% of women who stop breastfeeding in the early weeks would have liked to have breastfed for longer. There is therefore a strong economic case for investment in these services.
“Our study should reassure policymakers, service planners and commissioners that a rapid return on investment is realistic and feasible, supported by cost savings that can be realised in the first year of infants’ lives.”
This certainly makes interesting reading and gives some food for thought (excuse the pun) in the breastfeeding debate.