Doula UK understands that the Infant Feeding Survey for 2015 is to be cancelled, a move that is shocking and disappointing.
The UK Infant Feeding Survey (IFS) has been conducted every five years since 1975. The 2015 IFS would have been the ninth national survey of infant feeding practices to be conducted. The main aim of the survey was to provide estimates on the incidence, prevalence, and duration of breastfeeding and other feeding practices adopted by mothers in the first eight to ten months after their baby was born. The IFS provides hugely important information for anyone needing to develop policies or do research on infant feeding in the UK, as well as providing an update on how policies and the state of the UK are impacting on infant feeding.
Lindsey Middlemiss, Doula UK Spokesperson, said:
“The cancellation of the 2015 Infant Feeding Survey has huge implications for the provision of evidence-based support in the area of infant feeding, and so for the health of the UK. It is symptomatic of how far down the government’s agenda infant feeding has slipped, despite the huge body of evidence that raising breastfeeding rates is vital to both the NHS and the economy.
Doula UK doulas support all families, however they feed their babies, but the evidence such as that provided by previous Infant Feeding Surveys is that most women in the UK initiate breastfeeding and stop before they would otherwise choose to, because of a lack of good support.”
Doula UK joins national breastfeeding support charities in urging the Government to reverse this decision and carry out the 2015 IFS.