Scotland lagging behind on breastfeeding rates

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for more help for new mothers to start and continue to breastfeed their babies after new statistics showed Scotland still falls far short of recommended rates and other European countries.

Overall, just 42% of infants are being breastfed at the 6-8 week check-up.

The figures also showed 28% of mothers in the most deprived quintile are breastfeeding, compared to 60% in the least deprived areas, at the time of their 6-8 week review.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:

“Breastfeeding gives babies the best chance of a healthy start in life. It’s disheartening to see rates of breastfeeding plateau well below the levels we’d like to see.

"We know that midwives and NHS staff do what they can to inform new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding. But more needs to be done given the majority of young mothers are not breastfeeding and huge disparities based on levels deprivation persist.

"We need to address this health inequality and increase the pace of change for the next generation. We know that intervention works and the check-up is an opportunity to assist mothers who are struggling to breastfeed."

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