Midwives must work with mothers to sustain breastfeeding together, according to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as they mark World Breastfeeding Week 2017.
Beginning on 1 August, the college will commemorate the international event by pushing for greater awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding babies for longer.
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RCM officials referred to ‘significant and reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important health advantages for both mother and baby’
Studies have shown how breastfeeding can positively impact mother-baby relationships as well as nurturing maternal and infant mental health. However, the RCM said the government ‘must ensure there are enough midwives in post’ to provide support as the sector is currently suffering a shortage.
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Clarie Livingstone, professional policy advisor for the RCM, said: ‘Marking this week the RCM believes is vitally important in helping to break down the barriers that women, as mothers, face on a daily basis, both in the UK and across the globe.
‘We believe that providing evidence based information to women will better assist them in making the best choice for them when it comes to breastfeeding.
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‘As a society we must continue to develop a culture of positive support for women who wish to breastfeed and educating the public is key to this. Women should not feel guilty or embarrassed about breastfeeding in public.’
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to stop breastfeeding, cover up or leave a public place.