A new report from UNICEF identifies breastfeeding as having the potential to save lives, as well as money. It recommends breastfeeding for its disease prevention properties.

The report, entitled Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK, says that encouraging more mothers to breastfeed could potentially save the NHS millions of pounds.

Candy Perry, Healthcare Business Development Director for NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, says: ""We welcome this long-awaited research, the first of its kind in the UK to identify a significant financial relationship between breastfeeding and disease prevention, and link this to a clear reduction in healthcare

"NCT supports all parents, however they feed their baby. We support those who want to breastfeed to do so for as long as they want to.

NCT breastfeeding counsellors undertake university accredited education in order to offer mother-centred, non-directive support and information both face to face, on our helpline and via email. We've trained thousands of NCT peer supporters, who offer friendly help via local groups, such as Baby Cafés, drop-ins and clinics.

"NCT has national capability to deliver high quality antenatal and breastfeeding services directly to the NHS. Because of this, we can drive improvements, help local health and social care bodies meet their quality indicators and improve the health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents and their families.

"Nine out of 10 mothers who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks, stop before they had planned to. NCT is committed to working towards a service framework and wider culture which makes continuing to breastfeed a realistic option for a greater number of mothers.

"Hopefully this research will help to ensure that this issue becomes a greater priority on the UK's health agenda."

To access the report visit: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Research/Preventing_disease_saving_resources.pdf?epslanguage=en

Posted by Penny Hosie