26 Oct

Budget 2021: the pledge for breastfeeding support

“Spending money in the early years generates massive cost savings for the future and nowhere is this more true than in breastfeeding support.” says Shereen Fisher, Chief Executive for the Breastfeeding Network.

The government’s announcement to spend £50 million on breastfeeding support is recognition of the contribution breastfeeding makes to preventing obesity, improving public health and offering the best start for life for babies. Importantly the early years report setting out the case underlines the value of ‘peer support’ as a model to help support women, parents and families with breastfeeding and cites long-established services such as the Breastfeeding Network’s Tower Hamlets and Islington services, where there is close integration with health care teams and professionals.

It’s positive news, and a solid start to help improve parental experience and enable choice in infant feeding. Shereen says, “I am keen to see the detail in how funding will be used to ensure breastfeeding support is offered to families alongside other early years services.”

Tracey Murkett, Breastfeeding Network Service Manager, Tower Hamlets, says:

“The dedicated breastfeeding support offered in Tower Hamlets is highly valued by local families. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with the immediate emotional benefit of peer support often highlighted. However, the availability of appropriate breastfeeding support is a postcode lottery in the UK – this funding needs to change that.”

The full Budget is due to be announced this Wednesday (27th October 2021).

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