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How can nurses help increase breastfeeding prevalence?

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Key points

  • The World Health Organization and Department of Health recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months
  • Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of specific health problems in both mother and baby
  • Breastfeeding continuation rates in the UK remain among the lowest worldwide
  • An early intervention infant feeding service can provide vital support to mothers to boost breastfeeding prevalence
  • Easily accessible breastfeeding peer-support programmes are also recommended to help mothers maintain breastfeeding

Let’s discuss

  • How would you explain the benefits of breastfeeding to a new mother?
  • Why do you think mothers decide not to breastfeed?
  • When are mothers most likely to stop breastfeeding their babies? Why do you think they make this decision?
  • What support should be available to help mothers to breastfeed? How could you assess whether this support is effective?
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