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Breastfeeding Crisis in the UK

This is a super quick post – I’ve no time for fancy formatting or pinnable images. This matters. Please give it 5 minutes of your time.

On Tuesday 9 February, health visitors, midwives, paediatricians, GPs, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counsellors, peer supporters, university researchers, professional organisations and charities signed a letter calling for action by the UK Government and National Assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support mothers to breastfeed.

It’s not about breastmilk vs formula, bressure, mummy-wars or whatever other tired retired you’re used to hearing in the media. It’s about huge cuts to spending that are leading to women & children being failed by the system.

The people who signed this letter are experts. Why aren’t the government and the media listening to them?

My favourite extracts are below.

“The breastfeeding crisis in the UK is in fact a crisis of lack of support for those mothers who choose to breastfeed.”


“The success or failure of breastfeeding should not be seen solely as the responsibility of the woman. Her ability to breastfeed is very much shaped by the support and the environment in which she lives. There is a broader responsibility of governments and society to support women through policies and programmes in the community.”

You can read the full letter here.

This isn’t just an issue for breast feeders, it’s an issue for tax payers, doctors, midwives, citizens. Please show your support for the people who stood together to write it by sharing their words with your friends, family, colleagues, local MPs and media.

To access support in your area please contact any of the following organisations. Just click on their logos to be take to their website.

breastfeeding crisis uk ABM contact number for support

breastfeeding crisis uk LLL support

breastfeeding crisis uk NCT



  1. 10th February 2016 / 3:36 pm

    I love that. My inability to breastfeed was a result of lack of physical practical support. I had plenty of people telling me the benefits, but no-one would take even 5 minutes to show me how to do it! I hope the letter is listened to x

  2. 11th February 2016 / 10:53 am

    I breastfed all three of mine although my eldest I struggled with and gave up after six weeks, the other two feed for 13 months and 3 years. Support is so important for new mums.

  3. 11th February 2016 / 11:07 am

    I breastfed 4 out of 6 of mine I think we also need to remember the moms who can not breastfeed and like me at the 6th pregnancy my medication would have harmed my baby – I see so many ranting how breast is best and it’s not always the case. I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding, and wouldn’t. I was 19 when I had my first baby, young yet determined to do everything right and I fed her myself yet it was a struggle and after 12 weeks I had to give up as there was no support at all.

  4. 11th February 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Breastfeeding wouldn’t work for us (turned out N had tongue tie but noone checked, and the breastfeeding midwife sent round didn’t help other than suggest things I’d already tried). Having a cs meant I couldn’t get out to breastfeeding cafe, and by the time I’d worked out who to call we were already on the way to formula feeding well.

    Our breastfeeding support people at baby cafe are great, but with children’s centres in our area about to close, I’m not sure what support will be left for people who need it.

  5. 11th February 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Great post to share some important information. Great to have links to who can help too. Kaz x

  6. 11th February 2016 / 9:19 pm

    I’m somewhat shocked that we’re still needing doctors and the public to support initiatives like this. It makes me angry, actually. All the spending cuts nowadays seem to be against groups of people who are already vulnerable. Still, as long as the rich get richer, regular people won’t ever have a chance.

  7. 11th February 2016 / 11:30 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I breastfed and it’s not about one against the other, it is a choice, and if you choose to or want to you should be supported! thanks for helping raise awareness

  8. 11th February 2016 / 11:40 pm

    I agree they need to support rather than dictate and they don’t which is a problem!

  9. 12th February 2016 / 2:32 am

    This subject is something which upsets me when I stop to think about it because I did not get the support I needed and it resulted in a traumatic time when my child was a newborn and looking back i get mad and upset that no one helped me and i ended up sick and unable to breastfeed. I agree there is a crisis.

  10. 12th February 2016 / 7:49 am

    I breastfed all six of mine and I think it is all up to the woman. Yes, we need support from healthcare professionals in the early days to get started but its all in the mindset. It needs to be seen as the norm

  11. 12th February 2016 / 6:29 pm

    I would love to see more support and less insistence new mothers breastfeed, my sister was really frowned upon for not breastfeeding and it wasnt because she didnt want it, it was because she couldnt x

  12. 13th February 2016 / 8:53 pm

    This is such an important issue – I’d like to breastfeed and I’ll be giving it my best go, but I’m terrified I won’t get the knack of it or won’t have the support I need. None of my friends have breastfed so I can’t ask them for support. I’m hoping it’ll be covered in the NCT course I’m going to… fingers crossed.

  13. 13th February 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Great post hun, I felt such pressure to breast feed after my first was born.. the amount of time I ended up in tears from trying especially whilst I was still in hosp. They told me I couldn’t go home until I showed I could do it 🙁 , and I kept trying and it just wasn’t happening. Horrid experience. X

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