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Availability of breastfeeding peer-support in the UK: a cross-sectional survey

Grant, Aimee, McEwen, Kirsten, Tedstone, Sally, Greene, Giles, Copeland, Lauren, Hunter, Billie, Sanders, Julia, Phillips, Rhiannon, Brown, Amy, Robling, Michael and Paranjothy, Shantini 2018. Availability of breastfeeding peer-support in the UK: a cross-sectional survey. Maternal and Child Nutrition 14 (1) , e12476. 10.1111/mcn.12476

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Abstract

Peer-support is recommended by the World Health Organisation for the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding, and this recommendation is included in UK guidance. There is a lack of information about how, when and where breastfeeding peer-support is provided in the UK. We aimed to generate an overview of how peer-support is delivered in the UK and to gain an understanding of challenges for implementation. We surveyed all UK Infant Feeding Coordinators (n=696) who were part of UK based national Infant Feeding Networks, covering 177 NHS organisations. We received 136 responses (individual response rate 19.5%), covering 102 UK NHS organisations (organisational response rate 58%). We also searched NHS organisation websites to obtain data on the presence of breastfeeding peer-support. Breastfeeding peer-support was available in 56% of areas. However, coverage within areas was variable. The provision of training and ongoing supervision, and peer-supporter roles, varied significantly between services. Around one third of respondents felt that breastfeeding peer-support services were not well integrated with NHS health services. Financial issues were commonly reported to have a negative impact on service provision. One quarter of respondents stated that breastfeeding peer-support was not accessed by mothers from poorer social backgrounds. Overall, there was marked variation in the provision of peer-support services for breastfeeding in the UK. A more robust evidence-base is urgently needed to inform guidance on the structure and provision of breastfeeding peer-support services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Medicine
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1740-8695
Funders: NIHR HTA
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 9 May 2017
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2019 14:59
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/100555

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