The NHS Hates Breastfeeding

I am angry.  Having had my first baby 4.5 months ago, I have discovered something about breastfeeding in the UK. Namely, the NHS spends about 15 billion quid (or a lot, anyway) advertising the fact that breast is best (erm, yeah I did actually know that having not lived in a cave for the past 20-odd years).  This means that when your baby is born, if you do not breastfeed, odds are you will feel extremely guilty about this. Maternal guilt is horrible at the best of times (and there are so many variants of it too) but I will stick my neck out and say that in those first fragile days after giving birth, if you have trouble breastfeeding your infant child you will feel maternal guilt at its worst.   The NHS has told you that breast is best in its myriad forms of propaganda, no? So the NHS must be willing to help Mums struggling with breastfeeding to achieve success with it, right? Wrong, wrongety, wrong! Guess who aren’t experts in breastfeeding?  That’s right, midwives and health visitors!  I have had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding and the best help that I have had has been from volunteers working for the NCT or La Leche League, who receive far more training in breastfeeding support than midwives or health visitors.  I would recommend that any expectant mum planning on breastfeeding gets the numbers of local breastfeeding counsellors through either the NCT or La Leche League towards the end of her pregnancy so that if breastfeeding doesn’t come easily she can get help quickly. Because although the NHS spend tons on promoting breastfeeding, I can tell you they spend naff all on supporting it.  Certainly in my area.

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