PARENTS

Hospitals Don't Give Breastfeeding Mothers Enough Support, Report Says

15/05/2009 14:29 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mothers are constantly being told that breastfeeding is best for the baby.

That's all well and good, but apparently we're not being told how to do it properly. And if you get it wrong it can be very painful and frustrating – and you're more likely to give up.

A report from Unicef says about 90% of hospitals in England are insufficiently qualified to support breastfeeding mothers.

Those first few hours in the hospital are crucial for the mother and baby to get the hang of it. If this is true, it's no wonder Britain has one of the worst breastfeeding records in the developed world.

I know one mother who was shown, very quickly, in hospital, how to get her baby latched on to one side. Unfortunately, she never could get the hang of the other side and had to give up a few weeks later, having been chewed to pieces. Ouch.

When I had my baby, I was lucky: the midwife who delivered her showed me how to get her latched on. It's a good job the baby then quickly got the hang of it, because I didn't have a clue.

I was then visited by another midwife a few hours later, who tried to get me to stay in hospital longer, so I could get some help breastfeeding.

But that would have meant staying on the ward for another night, surrounded by six screaming babies.

When my baby next wanted feeding, I tried to find the midwife again, but she had disappeared. No-one was about, so we decided to go home.

That's the trouble, the staff on these incredibly busy maternity units just don't have the time to help.

It's all very well for politicians to say the right things but they need to put their money where their mouth is.

What are your experiences of breastfeeding? Did you get the support you needed?

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