On Monday 21st June a parliamentary reception was held at the House of Commons, Westminster, hosted by the Member of Parliament, Emily Thornberry, to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week 2010 and 3 years since the launch of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition (BMC). I was honoured to represent Lactation Consultants (IBCLC's), as a Board Member of International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA) and an Honorary Member of Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB). LCGB has been a member of the Breastfeeding Manifesto since its conception.
Many Members of Parliament attended as did representatives from many member groups. The reception was chaired by TV sports presenter and athlete Charlie Webster and speakers included Graham Allen MP and the BMC steering group members Dr Judith Meek and Alison Baum. Speaking at the event, BMC spokesperson Anne Fox said: "It is essential that we have the support of MPs to ensure that every opportunity is taken in Parliament to support initiatives to improve breastfeeding rates in the UK . Investing in children right at the very start can save the NHS in the longer term and allows children an equal chance to be healthy." We are particularly delighted that Annette Brooke MP has agreed to be our Government Champion and Graham Allen MP has pledged his continued support by becoming our Labour Party Champion. Unfortunately the new Minister for Health, Mr. Lansley could not be there and is not yet a signatory... You can view the photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/51448763@N02/ and video online http://www.vimeo.com/bestbeginnings/videos
The BMC is supported by 41 other members, 190 Members of Parliament and over 9000 individual parents and healthcare professionals. Alison Baum and her energetic team at Breastfeeding Manifesto have 7 objectives and solutions, which raise awareness of the need to support society with breastfeeding and improve infant feeding practices, so that every child in the UK gets an equal chance to be as healthy as possible. Please do join today and also approach your local MP to sign up to support the Breastfeeding Manifesto, whether a newly appointed MP or not. www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/signup.php
Sue Saunders IBCLC