Breastfeeding rates in the UK have stagnated, as they have in many places around the world.

Effective action is needed now.

Thanks to a number of significant global initiatives breastfeeding rates around the world have slowly risen over the last few decades.The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code), and the Innocenti Declaration and WHO’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding have played a major role.We can celebrate some small improvements, but less than 40% of babies worldwide benefit from six months exclusive breastfeeding and in the UK still only 1% of babies are exclusively breastfed for six months.

Some countries have achieved marked increases in breastfeeding rates when a combination of several actions guided by the Global Strategy have been implemented such as:

  • A combination of national legislation on the Code and maternity protection for working women.
  • Ensuring initiation of breastfeeding in all maternity facilities by using the Baby Friendly Initiative.
  • Building capacity to offer skilled infant feeding counselling to all mothers.
  • Providing more mother support groups in the community and well planned communication strategies to promote breastfeeding throughout society.

What is the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi)?

In 2005, the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) launched the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi): a collaborative initiative to assess and monitor key breastfeeding policies and programmes (shown below), all drawn from the WHO Global Strategy and the Innocenti Declaration.

The assessment and strategies are developed by partner stakeholder agencies working together to highlight gaps and stimulate action to bridge them. Each country’s results are publicly displayed on the WBTi website, providing further impetus to government leaders to act decisively.

Currently 82 countries are participating in the WBTi; the latest report and details are available online at www.worldbreastfeedingtrends.org

For breastfeeding to be successful families need the right support along the whole course of breastfeeding, from giving birth in a Baby Friendly Hospital, going home to find skilled local support from Health Visitors, GPs, and having access to support groups throughout their communities.  It means accurate information, without marketing pressure from manufacturers, throughout society, from friends, family,health professionals and the media, all the way to policy makers and employers supporting women returning to work.

Mothers and babies need the full network of support that is measured by the WBTi.

Download the PDF of the WBTi document here

The UK WBTi Working Group would like to thank WABA and IBFAN Asia for permission to use material from the World Breastfeeding Week 2012 Action Folder and Insert and from the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative website.

www.worldbreastfeedingtrends.org                                                                                                                                                             International secretariat: info@ibfanasia.org

Recent News

WBti UK now has an active blog at ukbreastfeeding.org and you can read our most recent news below.

Recent Posts: Breastfeeding trends (UK)

Breastfeeding and the First 1000 Days: the foundation of life

Breastfeeding and the First 1000 Days: the foundation of life

Breastfeeding: The Foundation of Life The First 1000 Days of Life (from conception to the age of two years) are a critical window in a baby’s development. The 1000 Days concept was first widely used by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, and there are currently numerous campaigns building on that theme.* There is currently […]

Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life

Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life

World Breastfeeding Week 2018 (link) ends today. Kate’s six daily blogs for it have helped to explore in a UK context the key themes of nutrition, food security and poverty reduction which underpin the strapline Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Nutrition Breastmilk is uniquely tailored to the needs of the baby receiving it. The most critical […]

Breastfeeding and the impact on society

Breastfeeding and the impact on society

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a friend who breastfed in America. Her initial observations of breastfeeding in the UK is that it is a lot more open and society a lot more accepting of mothers doing it. It’s interesting because, despite our generous maternity leave in comparison to The States and the […]

Breastfeeding and the impact on mothers

Breastfeeding and the impact on mothers

“End of the breastfeeding shaming: Midwives ordered not to judge new mothers who choose to bottle feed” (Daily Mail June 2018). Wow, that’s one way for the Daily Mail to have a grabbing headline and epitomise what is so wrong with society’s view on breastfeeding. So basically, if new mothers choose to bottle feed, they […]

Breastfeeding, Neurodevelopment and the Microbiome

Breastfeeding, Neurodevelopment and the Microbiome

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are currently responsible for 70% of deaths worldwide and include conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, respiratory diseases and diabetes (West 2015). The gut microbiome can be described as the healthy intestinal flora (bacteria) and there is a growing amount of evidence that it can protect infants from developing these NCDs and […]

Health outcomes for baby

Health outcomes for baby

The health benefits of breastfeeding for the child are substantial (Grummer-Strawn 2015). They’re thrust at us at our first antenatal appointment and continue to do so throughout our pregnancy. Perhaps another reason that new mums are set up to fail. They are told the importance of why they should breastfeed but not effectively supported in […]

Breastfeeding and Epigenetics

Breastfeeding and Epigenetics

This is an area of scientific research that absolutely fascinates me! Despite dating back to 1942, it’s a relatively new and exciting area of research! Excuse the little science lesson before I actually get to my key points… It’s well-known that we inherit 50% of our DNA from our mum and 50% from our dad. […]

World Breastfeeding Week 2018

World Breastfeeding Week 2018

I’ve just finished my 9th academic year of teaching secondary Biology (well 7 really, if you count my two maternity leaves…). It’s ironic, perhaps, that here I am writing a blog to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (1st August-7th August) where the slogan is breastfeeding: foundation for life. Because you could say that education is also […]

Breastfeeding – what does it take?

Breastfeeding is in the news – with World Breastfeeding Week starting this week on August 1st, a new survey has revealed the severity of cuts to the breastfeeding support that UK mothers rely on – 44% of local authority areas in England are affected by recent recent cuts. The UK leads the world – with […]

Shared Parental Leave and the right to breastfeed on return to work

Shared Parental Leave and the right to breastfeed on return to work

Guest blog by Rosalind Bragg, Director of Maternity Action Maternity Action’s work centres on protecting the rights of pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace. As a member of the WBTi Core Group, Maternity Action was responsible for gathering most of the information on Indicator 4, “Maternity Protection in the workplace.” They have very kindly allowed us […]

 
Breastfeeding: A Public Health Priority

Breastfeeding: A Public Health Priority

Today Thursday 19th April 2018 in London, the Institute of Health Visiting, the Royal Society for Public Health, and the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) UK Working Group, are convening a conference entitled "Breastfeeding: A Public Health Priority". The conference will be bringing together recommendations for action to improve integrated infant feeding support services for families, who are currently facing many gaps and cuts in services. Read their statement here. FINAL PR 180418 - Breastfeeding - a public health priority Recommendations include: - basic training for health professionals - additional peer ... Read More

Update on the first World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative in the UK March 2016

The steering group of the WBTI UK Working Group consists of: Helen Gray, Clare Meynell, Ayala Ochert, Alison Spiro and Patricia Wise, Jill Dye and others. Over the last few months there has been much hard work going on quietly behind the scenes. Information has been collected and submitted by UK organisations, including the NHS, Public Health bodies and Royal Colleges, in fact all who have any contact with mothers and babies through the length and breadth of their breastfeeding journey. With the help of many other supportive people the ... Read More

Contact us at wbtiuk@lcgb.org  or use the form below

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message