NCT is the UK’s largest charity for parents. Our 318 branches, 10,000 volunteers and 1,000 trained practitioners support thousands of parents-to-be and new parents every year through online and written information, face to face events and courses and a range of helplines.
NCT supports parents however they decide to feed their baby. For many people, carrying out the decision to breastfeed can be very difficult and the support of others and a supportive society is essential if a woman is to successfully breastfeed for as long as she wishes. The WHO and 4 UK country Governments recommend exclusively breastfeeding for at least 6 months for optimal child health. Every year more than 200,000 mothers stop breastfeeding in the first few days and weeks - 90% of these mothers would have liked to continue.
As a result we were dismayed to read Facebook’s policy regarding posting of some photos of mothers and babies and the actions taken to remove some pictures from Facebook profiles depicting breastfeeding. Feeling proud as a new parent is everyone’s right and Facebook has been a wonderful addition to the range of ways that parents to be and new parents share their joys, concerns and the trials and tribulations of their new roles with their friends and family right across the globe. Women’s breasts come in all shapes and sizes (especially when they are feeding a new baby) and babies feed in many different positions.
We would urge Facebook to reverse this decision which relegates breastfeeding to a taboo subject when in fact it is a perfectly natural and common thing to do with 76% of mothers in the UK initiating breastfeeding when their baby is born.
Very best wishes