05 December

Many discussions have been had over the past year, on what would be best to help the NHS save money. Cut’s have been made, and primary care has suffered the brunt of it.

However, statements have reached as far as allocating blame towards patients and the wrong decisions they make in regards to their own healthcare. The latest claim accuses mothers of newborn’s who choose to not breastfed their baby. New studies suggestively show, this decision could save the NHS lots of a money.

Not only do studies claim that by more mothers breastfeeding their babies could save the NHS millions, but babies could could be healthier because of it.

This is the core of the statement, because babies and mother would benefit from breast feeding. supposedly this was where a big part of the NHS money was spent, because infants would become more ill when fed through a formula.

This has always been a discussion mothers and Doctors have had. However studies seem to support the money benefits this time.

A staggering £11m could be saved every year by preventing infections, and a further £31m would be  reducing the cases of breast cancer. The BBC ran these figures and also documented;

‘If the 21% of women who were exclusively breastfeeding at six weeks continued until their baby was at least four months old, it would save £4m a year in hospital and GP bills, the researchers said…Increasing the figure to 45% would save £11m a year, they said.’ [1]

However, do we think it is right to focus primarily on the saving of money in comparison to providing babies with the right nutrients?

The researches found that ‘if twice as many premature babies were fed breast milk, either from their mother or donor milk, while they were in hospital, the NHS would save £6m every year in treating the potentially deadly gut infection necrotising enterocolitis.’ [2]

Furthermore this method could help increase breast cancer prevention for the mother, which would in affect save another £31m.

All sings seem to point towards the direction that natural feeding is the best way for both mother and child.

[1] Wilkson, E. (2014). More breastfeeding ‘worth millions’. BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30327780 [Accessed 5 Dec. 2014].

[2] Ibid

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