Cuts to breastfeeding support in England

The  following table shows the cuts to breastfeeding support in areas across England. In some cases, just one local authority area is affected by the cuts described. In others, multiple areas are affected (e.g. because the county council is responsible for public health commissioning across multiple district council areas).

The information contained in the table is the result of detailed conversations over more than 2 years with local people who have intimate knowledge of service provision in their area. Each piece of information has been independently checked with another source. The table is not comprehensive – we have only listed cuts that have been reported to us and that we have been able to verify. It is also important to note that many areas in the country have never had any breastfeeding support beyond that provided by midwives and health visitors. Those places had nothing to cut in the first place so are not listed here. For example, in 2016 Cardiff University has calculated that only 56% of the UK had access to locally accessible peer support.

The table shows that, in recent years, 142 out of 326 of local authorities in England (44%) have experienced cuts to breastfeeding support. In some cases an entire breastfeeding support service has been closed. In other areas the service has been reduced either in size or in the quality of support offered. In some areas public funding (council or NHS) for the service has ended but voluntary groups or charities have maintained a certain level of support.

This table is regularly updated. If you have any information to share that is not included here, please let us know

– July 2018