World Breastfeeding Awareness Week runs between 1-7 August, and aims to highlight the value of breastfeeding globally.

In Sutton the week is also an opportunity for healthcare professionals across to recognise the difference they can make to breastfeeding rates locally and the value this can have on a local and global scale.

Posters for display around Sutton are available online.

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), breastfeeding has benefits for health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies, as well as reduces poverty, inequalities and improves the sustainability of cities and communities.  

In NHS Sutton CCG and according to most recent statistics, the percentage of mothers who start breastfeeding is 83% which is above the average national breastfeeding initiation rate of 73 per cent*.

According to NHS Choices, these are:

  • breast milk is perfectly designed for a baby
  • breast milk protects a baby from infections and diseases, including childhood leukaemia and type 2 diabetes
  • breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • breastmilk can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood
  • breastfeeding provides health benefits for mother and baby
  • breast milk is available for the baby whenever it needs it
  • breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between mothers and babies.

Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first six months (26 weeks) of a baby’s life. New mums requiring support with breastfeeding should speak to their midwife or health visitor, or they can call the government-funded national breastfeeding line on: 0300 100 0212.

Help for breastfeeding mums is also available from local support services, listed on the NHS Choices online local service finder.

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) also offers local breastfeeding counsellor services; contact the NCT online, or call its breastfeeding line: 0300 330 0700.

WABA is a network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. Core partners include the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), La Leche League International (LLLI) and Wellstart International. WABA also works with UNICEF.