This National Breastfeeding Week 2018, most breastfeeding campaigners are not feeling much like celebrating. The swingeing cuts to breastfeeding support we’ve seen recently have left us angry, but we must not be despondent.
Here are three simple things you can do to help the Better Breastfeeding campaign:
- SIGN and SHARE our petition against the cuts
- Write to your MP telling them why breastfeeding support is important to you, and asking what the government is doing about it. (There’s a template below to help you write it.)
- Respond to this survey telling us about your experience of cuts to breastfeeding support
These three things should only take you a few minutes. If you can only do one thing – make it the MP letter. You don’t need to wax lyrical. Write as much or as little as you like, but do write. (I’ve just written mine using the template below and it took 5 mins). If you manage something more detailed then you can copy and paste it into the short survey (2 mins), and signing and sharing the petition is even quicker (1 min).
Suggestions for MP letter
It’s best to put the letter in your own words, but here are some suggestions for what to include. (The numbers are just there for clarity – obviously don’t include them in your actual letter!)
Dear [Local MP]
- I am very concerned about the provision of breastfeeding support in [my constituency] and I want to know what can be done about this.
- There have been cuts to breastfeeding support [describe them in your own words]
There is very little practical support for mums who want to breastfeed [describe what’s available]
- Whereas in [neighbouring area] there is much more support [describe what’s available if you know]
- This has affected me [describe your personal experience]
I’ve seen how this is affecting mums in [my constituency – describe how they’re affected]
- I know that the government say that it’s the responsibility of councils to provide breastfeeding support to mothers in their local areas. But I’d like to know what the government is doing to make sure that councils actually deliver this and hold them to account. Please could you ask the minister responsible what they are doing? Please include this paragraph or something similar
- This week is supposed to be National Breastfeeding Week but I see very little emphasis on from government on this important public health issue. Mothers in [my constituency] are feeling let down, and our low breastfeeding rates show that babies are missing out too.
Contact telephone number]
MPs will not respond unless they have these full details to show that you’re their constituent