​Royal College of Midwives publishes new position on infant feeding

BSNA supports the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) new position statement on infant feeding, published on 12 June.

Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby, and is important for both mother and baby’s health and wellbeing.  A new statement from the RCM recognises that some women cannot or do not wish to breastfeed and choose to use formula milk to feed their child, either exclusively or partially.  The RCM supports the promotion of informed choice and “if, after being given appropriate information, advice and support on breastfeeding, a woman chooses not to do so, or to give formula as well as breastfeeding, her choice must be respected.”

Surveys carried out for BSNA by market research company Synergy Healthcare Research Ltd in 2014 and 2016 have consistently indicated that parents are not always in a position to make an informed choice about how to feed their infant, and because they do not always receive sufficient information about feeding when they need it, there is a risk they may start formula feeding without understanding the best and safest way to do so.   

Parents should be provided with all the information and support they need to feed their newborn baby.  The new position statement from RCM recommends that balanced and relevant information be given to parents choosing to formula feed their babies, whether exclusively or partially, to enable them to do so safely and with support to develop a close and loving bond with the baby.  This is to is to be welcomed, in the best interests of both parent and child.

For more information see https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Infant%20Feeding.pdf