Scotland celebrates National Breastfeeding in Scotland Week

The theme for National Breastfeeding in Scotland Week, 'changing the conversation', is in recognition of the need to shift the culture in Scotland and the rest of the UK to one in which all women are offered the help and support they need to enable them to breastfeed.

Commenting on National Breastfeeding in Scotland Week and the statement on ‘Changing the Conversation’, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Officer for Scotland, Dr Steve Turner, said:

“This is a highly valuable reminder of the importance of breastfeeding, which is beneficial for the overall health and wellbeing of children across their lifetime. We know from our State of Child Health Report released earlier this year that, at only 38% of babies receiving at least some breastmilk at 6-8 weeks, rates in Scotland are lower than in England. What’s more, the English level of 44% significantly lags behind other wealthy countries such as the USA at 49% and Norway at 71%. 

“The Scottish Government must continue to do more to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, particularly in areas with high levels of poverty where we see far lower rates. They should also ensure specialist breastfeeding advice and support is universally available to new mothers and targets to improve these rates should be introduced to promote improvement.”

Further information on breastfeeding rates in the UK can be found in the RCPCH's State of Child Health report, along with key recommendations to ensure women are supported to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.