Jenny Willott MP Joins Jemima Khan at Launch of Breastfeeding Manifesto

May 17, 2007 5:44 PM

Jenny Willott MP has joined Unicef Ambassador Jemima Khan and a coalition of more than 30 not-for-profit organisations, including five royal colleges, to call for more support to raise the relatively low levels of breastfeeding in the UK.

The Breastfeeding Manifesto includes seven specific points for Government action, which would improve the health of UK babies, reduce health inequalities and save the NHS millions of pounds a year. The launch took place during National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"Improved breastfeeding rates could make a real difference to the health of babies and their mothers and save the health service millions each year. Even a small increase in breast feeding rates would save our health service millions of pounds in the treatment of gastroenteritis, ear infections and asthma in young children."

Unicef Ambassador Jemima Khan said:

"The WHO recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life (and continue to breastfeed alongside the introduction of solids for up to two years and beyond), yet sadly less than 2% of UK babies are exclusively breastfed for 6 months. The Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative is working with the health service so mothers understand more about breastfeeding and are enabled to breastfeed if they wish to. This is a vitally important health issue and we need commitment and resourcing from Government to ensure all hospital and community staff receive the right level of training."

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