Concerned about gaps in community breastfeeding support in your area?
Did you struggle to find the support you needed to continue to breastfeed? Public Health England have found that 8 out of 10 women would have like to carry on breastfeeding for longer.
Do breastfeeding support services seem like a postcode lottery?
This is YOUR chance to act!!!
Write NOW – during “National Breastfeeding Week” – to your own MP, asking what is being done to address this in your area, and ALSO asking your MP to ask the government what THEY are doing to support and protect breastfeeding.
This sample letter has been developed by Better Breastfeeding for everyone to send to their local MPs.
Better Breastfeeding are also hosting a petition to the Minister for Public Health, and a survey of mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding cuts, so once you’ve written your letter to your MP, please back it up by spending a few minutes signing the petition and responding to the survey HERE.
NOTE: It’s best to put the letter in your own words, but here are some suggestions. Just choose whatever is most relevant to you and to your own area.
Template letter for individuals to write to their MPs during breastfeeding week
Dear [Local MP – look up here]
I am very concerned about the lack of provision of breastfeeding support in [my constituency] and I want to know what can be done about this.
There have been cuts to breastfeeding support [describe them];
The Unicef Baby Friendly UK standards, supported by Public Health England commissioning guidance and NICE guidance, recommend integrated breastfeeding support in the community, comprised of:
- Basic support: provided by health professionals like health visitors, with Baby Friendly training as a minimum
- Additional support: social and trained breastfeeding peer support networks
- Specialist support from qualified lactation specialists for complex breastfeeding challenges
But in our area we only have [describe gaps in local services]
There is very little practical support for mums who want to breastfeed [describe what’s available]
Whereas in [neighbouring area] there is much more support [describe what’s available if you know]
This has affected me [describe your personal experience]
I’ve seen how this is affecting mums in [my constituency – describe how they’re affected]
I know that it is the responsibility of councils to provide breastfeeding support to mothers in their local areas. But I’d like to know what the government is doing to make sure that councils actually deliver this and hold them to account.
This week is supposed to be National Breastfeeding Celebration Week in England [Last week was National Breastfeeding Week in Scotland and Wales] but I see very little emphasis from government on this important public health issue.
Mothers in [my constituency] are feeling let down, and our low breastfeeding continuation rates show that babies are missing out too.
Contact telephone number]
MPs will not respond unless they have these full details to show that you’re their constituent
IMAGES from @Start4Life and @VivBennett, #CelebrateBreastfeeding campaign