Breastfeeding Practices in Wandsworth Borough


Based on the guidelines of NHS, breastfeeding is one of the important processes for both the mother and babies. Recent studies have shown that breastfeeding assists both the mother as well as baby in terms of reducing chances of chorionic diseases. However, the choice of breastfeeding depends on both parents. Different factors affect the choice of the parent to breastfeed their babies, such as social factors, family support, socio-economic status of the parents, clinical support, healthcare support and support to new mother from their partners. This essay will discuss the different process of breast feeding in the Wandsworth Borough of UK. In addition to this, this essay will discuss the Socio-economic and Cultural model in order to highlight the factors in the Wandsworth Borough that affect the breast feeding decision of new parents. Moreover this essay will also discuss that how NCT practitioners in this borough are supported and trained in order to maintain their responsibilities in supporting new mothers to chose breast feeding over practices.


Different influence on parents' decision to breastfeeding:

As stated by Horta et al. (2015), different factors are there in society that affect the decision of aren't to breastfeed their babies, such as the socio-economic condition of parents, maternity leave, family support, support from the society and education, maternity leave and support from the partners.

According to Victora et al. (2016), family support is one of the important processes that assist new mothers to take a positive decision on breastfeeding. From the statistical database of Wandsworth Borough of teh UK, it is seen that babies who do not attend the breastfeeding process are more likely to be affected by gastroenteritis as compared to the babies who have the breast feeding process. Statistical database of Wandsworth Borough shows that, breast feeding rate in each IMD quintile is above 50%. This is the reason why there is 10% reduction of breast cancer other breast related disease in Wandsworth Borough.

In the Wandsworth Borough, Department of Children Schools and Families (DSCF) prioritises on the health literacy in the poor socio-economic classes. Through this health literacy initiative the health care executives improves the overall understanding and knowledge of the community regarding eth importance of breast feeding process [, 2019]. Moreover, Department of Health and National Health service in Wandsworth Borough focus on maintaining string association with local health and social care committe in order to encourage the family members in both urban and rural region of this borough to choice breast feeding process for their babies [, 2019].

As stated by Rollins et al. (2016), new mothers need support from their family and friends in the social b to take the positive decision of breastfeeding. Family members to make new mothers understand the positive impact on both the mothers and babies of the breastfeeding process. Sometimes family members think that breastfeeding would engage the mothers more with their babies that would affect attention towards the other homemaking activities and responsibilities of family members [UNICEF UK BF, 2016]. From World Health Organisation report (WHO) it can be stated that, in developed countries such as the UK, upper-middle-class society thinks that choice of breastfeeding would make harmful impact on mother's body shape and figure [, 2019] Therefore, most new mothers in high society community avoid the decision of Breastfeeding and prefer the bottle feeding for their babies.

Socio-economic condition:

The socio-economic condition has a potential impact on the decision and perspectives of parents. According to Bowatte et al. (2015), in the majority of the ethnic community residing in the UK, poor socio-economic level affects on eth decision making of the new parents regarding breastfeeding. Mothers belonging to the poor socio-economic level have the chances of getting negative belief and attitude towards breast feeding from the family members. World Health Organisation (WHO) reports shows that mothers from the poor socio-economic class are less likely to choose the breastfeeding process as compared to the mothers residing in the middle and high-class society. In the majority of the community that resides in the poor socioeconomic level, women become a mother at a very young age [NCT, 2019]. Therefore young mothers are not prepared for breastfeeding. Accruing to Khan et al. (2015), the decision of breastfeeding to babies comes naturally and voluntarily. According to the guideline set by National Institute of Care and Excellence [NICE], it can be stated that new mothers have proper rights to make her own decision of breastfeeding to babies is the voluntary decision of both parents, which needs support from family, society, health professionals and clinics in the locality. The database from WHO shows that, in the majority of cases of new mothers from poor socio-economic class, the mothers suffer from different breast infections such as mastitis and cracked nipple, due to use of improper way of breastfeeding attachment. This is one of the important reason, any mothers in the poor socioeconomic community are less likely to choose the breastfeeding decision as compared to the mothers residing in the high and middle-class society in the UK.

Maternity leave:

Maternity leave poses an important influence of breastfeeding choice of mothers. Based on the report published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), it has been seen that the majority of working in the government and private sectors has been allocated maternity leave of 52 weeks. The first 26 weeks has been termed as the ordinary materiality leave, another hand, the last 26 weeks of maternity lever is termed as the additional maternity leave. In most of the cases, most of the women prefer to take the ordinary leave of 26 days as they get full payment from the organisation for this leave (Vijayalakshmi et al. 2015). On the other hand, new mothers generally face difficulties in taking the additional leave as they do not get a full salary.

In Wandsworth Borough, new mothers who work in private organisations have to attend their work after the first 26 days of their delivery. Therefore for the last 26 days, they have to the bottle feeding process for their new born. The statistics of breastfeeding preference of the Wandsworth Borough, it is seen that the mothers residing in the ethnic community (78%) are more likely to breast feed their babies as compared to the white mothers (60 %). This is because majority of the white mothers in Wandsworth Borough are single parents who worked in private sectors. Therefore, they have to attend heir office within the first 26 days of their delivery. Therefore they are unable to choose the breastfeeding process for entire 52 days after the delivery [, 2019].

Moreover, some of the women have reported that they do not get any salary after the first 26 weeks of leave after their delivery (, 2019). Therefore, in, majority of the cases, new mothers take only 3-month maternity leave as they get full payment of that leave. In this aspect, for the majority of working mothers in the UK it is difficult to choose the breastfeeding for their babies. In the case of Cero Contac maternity payment, new mothers are not considered under the Statutory Maternity payment process. In this case, new mothers who are under Cero contact are unable to get the salary after the first 26 weeks of their delivery. Therefore, new mothers after the 26 weeks have to join their office and they are unable to feed breast milk to their newborn. As stated by Peres et al. (2015), maternity leave poses an important impact on the overall choice of breastfeeding as the duration of eh overall breastfeeding process is dependent on how many days the new mothers will be able to get the maternity leave from the organisation. From the database of office of National Statistics (ONS), it can be stated that majority of the women residing in the ethnic community in the UK, suffers from financial crisis after the first three months of the delivery. This is because they get the full payment for the first 26 weeks after their delivery and do not receive any payment after the first 26 days. Therefore, the women have to attend their office just after the three months of their delivery which poses an important impact on their breastfeeding decision. They completely avoid the breastfeeding choice for their babies and shrift to the bottle feeding process.

Socio-economic model:

Based on this model, socio economic condition is assoiled with the preference and choice of breastfeeding process. In Wandsworth Borough, people residing in the poor socio economic class are less likely to choose breast feeding process as well as formula feeding process. this is because, the mothers in the poor socio-economic background in this borough have to involve in their daily basis processional and personal work, which make them unable to management time for their babies [, 2019].. This is why, In Wandsworth Borough, majority of thebe omen residing in the lower socio-economic class is suffering breast cancer and babies suffer from gastrointestinal disease.

Cultural model:

Cultural model is one of the important models which denote how culture poses important impact on the preference, behaviour and thoughts of people. In Wandsworth Borough, people residing in the ethnic and lower economic class have lack of positive and educated culture. It affect on their education, knowledge and mentality. This is why in most of eth poor family women do not get proper support from their family members in case of choosing the breastfeeding process [, 2019]..


Education plays an important role in supporting new mothers and their partners to choose breastfeeding process as the best options for their babies. As stated by Avila et al. (2015), proper education improves the knowledge and understanding of women regarding the importance of breastfeeding process option.

In Wandsworth Borough, population is 290,000. As compared o the population, the education facility afforded by the children is too low to get the proper jobs in the near future. This leads to high rate of deprivation and poor socio-economic class. Deprivation is linked to the choice of breast feeding process for the new mothers. Wandsworth Borough ranks 23 out of 30 in the list of most deprived area in the UK. From the statistical of Wandsworth Borough, it is that majority of the mothers residing in poor and deprived community, are unable to both the formula feeding and breast feeding process. This leads o high level of health insecurity of both the babies and the new mothers [, 2019].

Educational play important roles in improving the knowledge, perception and decision of the women about the benefits of breastfeeding process. Based on the NICE guidelines, breastfeeding is one of the important decisions that would be supported for encouraging women to choose this decision to improve the health of her babies as walk as of her own. Women who have poor education or lack of education sometimes avoid the choice of breastfeeding rather they chose bottle feeding to their babies due to performing other liabilities in the family. Based on the statistical database of WHO, it can be stated that more than 65% of the UK based ethnic community women have to choose the bottle feeding for their newborn, as they are unaware of the actual benefits of the breastfeeding process. Therefore, it can be stated that education plays crucial roles in influencing the breastfeeding choice for women.

Social support is one of the important factors that are associated with posing potential influence on the parent's breastfeeding choice (Patel et al. 2015). According to Mekuria and Edris (2015), society plays important roles in assisting new parent chose the breastfeeding process for their newborn. National Health Service and NICE initiative taken by the UK government set the guidelines for society to change her negative attitude towards breastfeeding proves assists nee parent to choose breast feeding process as important feeding source for their babies. In Wandsworth Borough women residing in the ethnic community are more likely to breastfed their babies as compared to the white women. However, in most of the cases, it is seen that, mothers in the ethnic community of his borough do not get proper support from their partners and family members in choosing the breastfeeding process fir newborn. Moreover in Wandsworth Borough, the social perception of conservative ethnic family members sometimes discourages new mothers to choose breastfeeding process as one of the important decision for babies. Societies residing in the lower class and lower middle class have been reported to show negative approaches towards breast feeding process which pose negative impact on the parent’s decision regarding choosing best feeding process.

Roles of NCT practitioners in supporting parents:

The UK government has taken several initiatives in order to support eh breast feeding decision of parents in the society (Keely et al. 2015) NCT practitioner provides support and care to the breast feeding process, new mothers and the pregnant women in order to assist them in their pre-natal and pose-natal situation. NCT plays important roles in supporting parents in choosing breast feeding decision for their babies.

Baby Friendly Initiatives:

UK government has established the Baby Friendly Initiatives during 1994 with assistance of WHO and UNICEF. NCT practitioners in hospitals and clinics are responsible for working under this initiative in order to support the infant breast feeding process (Patel et al. 2015). This initiative is worldwide program that is developed by the UK government in order to encourage the new parents to choose breast feeding process. Under this initiative all the hospitals and birth centres in the UK as well as across the world would offer high level of infant feeding process. Based on the guidelines under this initiate, NCT practitioners need to ensure the high level of healthcare facilities to the mothers and the newborns with ensuring their health and wellbeing. UNICEF and UK government has established this initiative in order to make all the hospitals baby friendly, that means all these hospitals have proper maternity care unit, neonatal and prenatal unit, baby care unit, health visiting unit and NCT care unit. Moreover under thus initiative, it ii obligatory for hospital and birth centres that midwives and NCT practitioner would be highly qualified and well trained which are able to provide proper assistance and care to newborn and new mothers regarding breast feeding process.

Under this strategy, UK government has set guidelines for the hospitals, birth centres and the society in order to promote the important of breast feeding process for infants. Based on this strategy, hospitals and birth centres would offers the breast feeding to infants in order to encourage the young and new parents to choose breast feeding as only process to feed their newborn. Moreover this strategy also support mothers who do not have breast milk after their delivery by providing breast milk to their newborn by other new mothers in hospitals.

This breast-feeding strategy UK government focuses on health improvement, health protection and prevention of premature death of the new born. NCT practitioners play important roles in implementing guidelines of this strategy in order to assists the new mothers to understand the benefits of breast feeding for babies as well as for their own. NCT practitioners provide health education to the women in poor and ethnic community in order to improve their knowledge about the importance of breast feeding process for infants.

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Breast Feeding in England Policy:

England is reported to have high rate of neonatal and prenatal mortality due to health issues poor health facilities and lack of Brest feeding process to newborn. For eliminating these issues, the UK government has established this policy which assists the new mothers and their newborn babies to get proper nutritional emotional societal and healthcare support. As stated by Amitay and Keinan-Boker (2015), proper nutritional and health care supports are important for new mothers to production of sufficient amount of breast milk for feeding their infants. Under this policy, NCT practitioners in England would ensure that all new mothers are able to get proper nutrition, healthcare facilities and emotional support after and before their delivery. Moreover this policy assist NCT practitioner to develop their skill and knowledge about how to assist new mothers in their breast feeding decisions. Moreover, his policy ensures to all hospitals and birth clinics in England would have high skilled and efficient NCT practitioners who can provide the best support to the new mothers in terms of attaching their babies during the breast feeding. Moreover this policy assists the local NCT practitioner to assist poor mothers in the village and ethic community in the England in order to understand actual benefits of breast feeding process.

Community midwives and health executives:

Community midwives and health executives are associated with GP clinics and hospitals. They visits pregnant women in the locality and make their health assessment (Amitay and Keinan-Boker, 2015). Sometimes community midwives are associated with handling the labour pain, neonatal complications and delivery of the pregnant mothers at their homes as well as at the hospitals.

Health visitors and care executives play important roles in providing health education to women in the ethnic community. Moreover, they are also associated with some awareness campaign about the benefits of Brest feeding. In England, midwives and health visitors check and assess the overall health of women till 28 days after she gave birth.

Community midwives and the health care executives, who have additional degree on public health, can provide support and care process to women and the infant till five years. They are obliged to inform, about any kind of emergencies and abnormalities in new mothers, pregnant women and in babies. Community midwives play important roles in communicating with the local health care authorities and council. They inform about the healthcare assessment of pregnant women and babies.

Midwives play important roles in assessing health and nutritional needs of new mothers and babies. Health care executives and the health visitors check that whether the new mothers are able to breast feed their babies in proper manner. They train the new mothers in the community about the different comfortable attachment position during breast feed their babies. Midwives and health care executives are associated with overall health care assessment of the women.


From the above mentioned discussion it can be stated that, breast feeding is important process for both mothers and babies, which assist them to promote their health and wellbeing. However the decision of breast feeding process is dependent on the parent decisions. From the discussion, it can be concluded that, parent’s decision of breast feeding their babies is associated with manufacturing such as family support, social support, healthcare support, education, socio economic class and social beliefs. The UK government has taken effective initiatives for assisting new mothers to breast feed their infants in order to promote their healthy live. NCT practitioners such as community midwives, healthcare executives and health visitors play important role in assisting the new mothers to chose breast feeding process as best method to feed their babies.

Reference list:

Amitay, E.L. and Keinan-Boker, L., 2015. Breastfeeding and childhood leukemia incidence: a meta-analysis and systematic review. JAMA pediatrics, 169(6), pp.e151025-e151025.

Avila, W.M., Pordeus, I.A., Paiva, S.M. and Martins, C.C., 2015. Breast and bottle feeding as risk factors for dental caries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 10(11), p.e0142922.

Beal, A.C., Kuhlthau, K. and Perrin, J.M., 2016. Breastfeeding advice given to African American and white women by physicians and WIC counselors. Public Health Reports.

Bowatte, G., Tham, R., Allen, K.J., Tan, D.J., Lau, M.X.Z., Dai, X. and Lodge, C.J., 2015. Breastfeeding and childhood acute otitis media: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta Paediatrica, 104, pp.85-95.

Breastfeeding Posts. (2018) Mothers Facebook breastfeeding support group: Available at:

Brown, A., Rance, J. and Warren, L., 2015. Body image concerns during pregnancy are associated with a shorter breast feeding duration. Midwifery, 31(1), pp.80-89.

Doctor. H. Crawley, (2018) The Cost of infant formula negatively impacting family budgets, says parliamentary inquiry. Available on:

Horta, B.L., Loret De Mola, C. and Victora, C.G., 2015. Breastfeeding and intelligence: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta paediatrica, 104, pp.14-19.

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