Breastfeeding And Society Essay

Words: 2063
Pages: 9


paediatric nursing October vol 18 no 8


Breast feeding and society
Britain has the iowest breastfeeding rate of ali countries in Europe; it is no longer the cuiturai norm in our society. Breastfeeding rates are affected by public attitude. This state of affairs is partiy because of society's views on breastfeeding mothers, even though breastfeeding is known to be the optimum method of infant feeding for the baby famiiy and society.
Common themes in the literature and websites are the economic advantages of breastfeeding, the public health benefits and the social construct of breastfeeding. Paediatric nurses have an important role in supporting breastfeeding mothers so that they are able to continue breastfeeding.
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There is also a saving to families because breastfed children are ill less often and therefore wages are not lost in attending to an ill child (Gartner et oi 2005, Weimer 2001).
Formula milk advertising
The W H O ' S International Code of Marketing of
Breastmilk Substitutes is a global effort to protect breastfeeding which prohibits formula companies giving free samples to mothers and healthcare facilities (WHO 1981). Aggressive formula advertising is a reason cited in research for mothers not breastfeeding. It has been shown that in places such as Norway, where

the marketing of breastmilk substitutes has been controlled, there are very high breastfeeding rates
(Aasheim et al 2000, Weimer 2001).
The International Code was voted for by the British government, but only part of it has been introduced as law. UK regulations are only adaptations of the EU directives with the result that formula continues to be advertised in the UK as the law only prohibits the advertising of first milks (BMA 1999, Gerrard 2001).

People are comfortable seeing a baby being bottle-fed in public, but breastfeeding, particularly in a public place, is seen as taboo

National and international strategies
Strategies used around the world to improve breastfeeding rates include:
• The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child
• The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative
• The International Code for the Marketing of