Dame Caroline Spelman MP has today backed the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative Call to Action campaign on breastfeeding and has committed to:
- Champion Unicef UK’s Call to Action campaign in Parliament.
- Support their local health services and communities to become Baby Friendly
- Make their workplace breastfeeding friendly
Dame Caroline joined Unicef UK’s calls for the government to tackle the UK’s low breastfeeding rates and improve the health of children by leading action to remove the barriers – social, cultural, economic, physical and practical – that make it difficult for women to breastfeed in the UK. Powerful new evidence provides a compelling case to alter UK attitudes and practices, both locally and nationally, in order to support women to breastfeed for as long as they wish.
Dame Caroline said, ‘A number of my constituents have got in touch to bring this issue to my attention, so I know how important it is for mothers, families and health professionals in the Meriden constituency.
‘There is overwhelming evidence that breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start, is more cost efficient than buying powdered milk and can have benefits for the mother’s health too.
“However here in Solihull Borough the number of mothers which breast feed at birth is quite low with only 70% of mothers breast feeding at birth and prevalence at 4-6 weeks is 44%. Comparatively, the UK also ranks lower than many other countries in Europe - despite the World Health Organisation's recommendation that all babies are exclusively breastfed for six months.
“I would encourage all new mothers and expectant mothers to look closely at the benefits of breast feeding and am proud to support UNICEF’s campaign to raise awareness of this important issue”.