The National Childbirth Trust has decided to stop actively promoting just breastfeeding as a feeding option in its ante-natal classes over fears women believe they only cater for "posh parents".

Having taken a pro-breastfeeding stance for many years, the NCT has decided to change policy following research that showed 95% of those that signed up for their paid-for antenatal classes were white.

NCT head of corporate communications Anne Fox said: "We want to have a more diverse reach. We have always worked on word of mouth, but now we want the person who says 'You should go to NCT' to be a pregnant 15-year-old living in Central Manchester."

Their new approach, as part of the charity's 20/20 strategy to have 20 million women take classes by 2020 will be to encourage those who do chose to take it up to breastfeed properly.

Fox continued: "Our practitioners and volunteers are training to support all parents; those from ethnic minority groups, families that are newly arrived and those who parent on their own."

Current NHS guidelines recommend that babies are breastfed exclusively for six months with breastfeeding rates ranging from 90 per cent for more affluent women, to just over 70 per cent for those in the poorest social classes and only 63 per cent for teenage mothers.

Posted 23/01/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com