A UK charity has called on politicians to change how breastfeeding is defined.
The National Breastfeeding Association (NBNA) said it wants to be known as “the breastmilk revolution”.
“In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of mothers breastfeeding in the UK and the UK is a leading country in the world in terms of breastfeeding,” said Natalie Williams, the organisation’s chief executive.
“But for many mothers the idea of breastfeeding in a hospital, or in a nursing home, is not a reality, and we want to bring that awareness to the world.”
The UK has one of the highest rates of maternal death and infant mortality in the developed world.
The organisation says it’s the world’s third biggest breastfeeding charity.
“If we are to make breastfeeding safe and comfortable for all, it is absolutely vital that we have a clear definition of what is breastfeeding and what is not,” Ms Williams said.
The UK is also the only country in Europe to recognise breastfeeding as a public health priority.
A recent poll commissioned by the Breastfeeding Awareness Alliance found that 57 per cent of British women said they didn’t want to breastfeed, and that 57 percent of women wanted to do it “only if absolutely necessary”.
It is not just mothers who are struggling to breastfed.
The NHS is one of only two organisations in the country to offer a full breast-feeding programme.
It offers a full, supportive nursing home programme for mothers of any age, including mothers with developmental disabilities and older women who are breastfeeding.
According to NHS figures, just over 1,200 babies were born in the first six months of this year.
Ms Williams said the UK needs to change its definition of “breastfeeding”.
The Breastfeeding Action Group, which is part of the UK Breastfeeding Campaign, said it supports the NHS’s new guidance for breastfeeding, which suggests it is “safe, natural and appropriate for every child to be breastfed”.
She said breastfeeding can be a positive activity, particularly for mothers with health and developmental disabilities.
Breastfeeding can be an important part of a healthy diet, particularly if mothers are able to do so in their homes.
She added: “The NHS and other public health agencies should not be forced to define what breastfeeding is or should not mean.
We are the ones who are defining the meaning of what breastfeeding means.”
The NHS is working with the Breastfeeders’ Federation of America and other breastfeeding organisations to develop a new definition.
It has set up a Breastfeeding Forum, which will be the first stage in this process, to help identify the right definition of breastmilks.
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