Breastfeeding at highest level in five years

Breastfeeding up a third as fewer women leave baby to return to work

THE NUMBER OF mothers who breastfeed their babies has increased by almost a third in the last five years, says a new study.

The survey, carried out on 2,079 women, also showed that fathers are more hands-on than ever before.

Scientific studies have shown that breastfeeding is more beneficial than formula, boosting brain development and passing on the mother’s immunities.

The study also revealed that a mixture of bottle and breast milk, known as ‘combination feeding’, is becoming increasingly popular, with 30% of mums choosing this option compared with 15% in the Seventies.

Vicki Scott, of babycare company Philips Avent, which carried out the survey, told the Daily Mail: ‘It is an interesting social trend that combining breast and bottle feeding is increasingly popular as today’s mums opt for greater flexibility.

‘Expressing allows mothers to leave a bottle of their breast milk when they are not there to breastfeed.

‘And with today’s dads being more supportive and more prepared to be involved than ever before, expressing also helps partners to take an active role in feeding early on.

‘I believe that anything that encourages women to breastfeed is a good thing for mother and baby and expressing or combination feeding help women to breastfeed for longer.’

The survey also found that the number of women returning to work after three months of giving birth has declined by nearly two thirds over the last decade, with the number of women taking a year off almost doubling.

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