Breastfeeding And Society Essay examples

2064 WordsJan 30, 20159 Pages
24 paediatric nursing October vol 18 no 8 policy Breast feeding and society Abstract Britain has the iowest breastfeeding rate of ali countries in Europe; it is no longer the cuiturai norm in our society. Breastfeeding rates are affected by public attitude. This state of affairs is partiy because of society's views on breastfeeding mothers, even though breastfeeding is known to be the optimum method of infant feeding for the baby famiiy and society. Common themes in the literature and websites are the economic advantages of breastfeeding, the public health benefits and the social construct of breastfeeding. Paediatric nurses have an important role in supporting breastfeeding mothers so that they are able to continue breastfeeding.…show more content…
Societal disapproval means that mothers feel unable to feed their babies anywhere other than at home, resulting in a view that breastfeeding is isolating (Lee 2004, Li et al 2002). Breastfeeding is also strongly associated with social class, and the greatest inequalities in breastfeeding are associated with deprivation. Women in the higher social classes are almost twice as likely to breastfeed compared with those in the lowest social classes (British Medical Association (BMA) 1999, Carson 2001, Whelan and Lupton 1998). Societal benefits Breastfeeding is one of the most important ways of improving child health in all societies (Costello and paediatric nursing October vol 18 no 8 25 policy Sachdev 1998, Minchin 2000). It contributes to the target set by the Department of Health to reduce infant mortality by at least 10 per cent by 2010 as a core element in reducing health inequalities (Protheroe et al 2003). One of the main advantages to society is the economic benefit of breastfeeding to the nation, healthcare system and individual families (Thompson 2002, Weimer 2001). Breastfeeding is free, whereas formula feeding is estimated to cost £450 a year (UNICEF UK 2004, BBC 2005). Breastfed babies have fewer health problems than formula fed babies with consequent savings in hospital admissions and medical treatment. It was estimated in 1995 that the NHS spends £35 million a year in England and Wales treating gastroenteritis in formula-fed infants, and that for every i
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