The science underpinning the importance of breast feeding has been well documented and cannot be overstated. In 2003 the Lancet published a series on child survival emphasising that exclusive breast feeding, if universalised, could save 13% of all under five deaths, (an estimated 1.3million in the 42 high mortality countries).
If you gave birth recently, did you feel you had real freedom? Freedom to choose where you gave birth, who was present, what interventions took place and how you delivered your baby? Were you given access to all of the facts needed to make your choices truly informed? Who was the most powerful person in the room at the moment of birth? And did the experience leave you feeling exhilarated, disappointed, or downright traumatised?
What did you learn about breastfeeding in school? Chances are - not much. Whether you were a pupil in the 1950s or the 1990s, it's unlikely you were told anything at all about nursing a baby, because breastfeeding has never ever been a statutory requirement on the National Curriculum, and it still isn't, even today. Teenagers are taught about alcohol, emotions, contraception, cultural diversity and more as part of their PSHE lessons. But breastfeeding?