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Breastfeeding advice rushed

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Approximately 57 per cent of midwives said they would 'like to do more' to provide infant feeding support to new mothers, a survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)found.

Almost half of mothers said they did not think they had received enough information about breastfeeding.

Midwives have said there is not enough time to support new mothers with important aspects about breastfeeding. Nearly a fifth of midwives surveyed reported that breastfeeding was not usually initiated within the first hour of giving birth, a crucial period for the mother and baby to bond.

These statistics come from the third report of the Pressure Points campaign, which examines whether maternity teams have enough time to provide appropriate postnatal care. There will be five reports in total accompanying the campaign.

Professor Cathy Warwick, the CEO of the RCM, said: 'We feel that breastfeeding is no longer getting the attention it deserves as a vital public health issue. There is no longer a national breastfeeding coordinator to coordinate England's strategy or a national strategy, while Scotland and Wales have strategies. The financial strains that have been put on the NHS means we are seeing overstretched and demoralised midwives and maternity support workers struggling to maintain breastfeeding levels.'

A midwife surveyed said: 'I always feel I'm pushed for time. I am frustrated that I am not always able to deliver the standard of care women require and deserve.'

The RCM surveyed midwives, maternity support workers and student midwife members between September and November 2013.

Previous reports have highlighted the need for greater support for maternal mental health and advising for signs of life-threatening conditions.

To see the full report visit: www.rcm.org.uk/pressurepoints.

NMC consultation on Code of Conduct

Nurses are being asked to contribute to the NMC's consultation on its updated Code of Conduct.

All nurses, patients, midwives and other organisations or individuals are encouraged to submit their views to shape the revision of the code.

The revised code will align with revalidation, a process in which all nurses will be required to confirm to the NMC that they are fit to practice.

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, said: 'The NMC exists to protect the public, and the Code is central in all that we do. It explains exactly what is expected of all nurses and midwives, no matter how and where they practice or what stage of their careers they are at.'

The consultation will run until the middle of August 2014.

It can be accessed via the 'Get involved' section of the NMC's website. Nursing graduates have good prospects

Universities have challenged claims that poor literacy and numeracy skills in nursing education prevents nurses from getting jobs.

Claire Murdoch, trust executive of Central and North West London Foundation Trust and a registered nurse, said that nursing applicants to the trust regularly fail numeracy and literacy tests by 50 to 80 per cent.

However, Professor Ieuan Ellis, chair of the Council of Deans for Health, which represents the university faculties for nursing, midwifery and the health professions, said: 'Student nurses graduating from UK [higher education institutions] have excellent employment prospects. UK data shows between 81 and 100 per cent go on to graduate level jobs with 44 of the 72 courses in the UK delivering graduate employability of between 95 and 100 per cent.'

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