This website is intended for healthcare professionals


Supporting breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended by the WHO but mothers need support to establish and continue successfully. Suneeta Kochhar provides an overview.

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for six months by the World Health Organisation. However, the UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding worldwide. This is particularly apparent among disadvantaged young Caucasian women and first-time mothers.1

Antenatal breastfeeding education and peer support programmes are likley to increase initiation rates as well as increase the length of time that women breastfeed for. Duration of breastfeeding can be improved by support from healthcare professionals in the early postnatal period. Evidence has shown that breastfeeding may be important in preventing disease in both mother and child.1

Whether or not a woman breastfeeds is known to be influenced by healthcare professionals, a woman's family and friends, as well as any problems associated with feeding.1 Practical support, ease of breastfeeding in public and acceptability of feeding formula milk relative to breastfeeding all exert influence on a woman's decision to breastfeed or not.1

Register now for access

Thank you for visiting Independent Nurse and reading some of our premium content. To read more, please register today. 


Already have an account? Sign in here