Breastfeeding Committee for Saskatchewan

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Welcome to the Breastfeeding Committee of Saskatchewan website!

This page provides handouts and information for use by health professionals wanting to support breastfeeding families with accurate evidence-based fact sheets and resources. It is also a place for families to look up handouts and information on common concerns.

Research shows:

  • A moderate increase in breastfeeding rates shown to have a protective effect revealed potential annual savings to the NHS from of about £40 million per year. True cost savings are likely to be much higher from breastfeeding’s protective effects on a mere handful of illnesses.
  • Investment in effective services to increase and sustain breastfeeding rates is likely to provide a return within a few years, possibly as little as one year.
  • Research into the extent of the burden of disease associated with breastfeeding rates is hampered by data collection methods. This can be addressed by investment in good quality research.

    New UNICEF UK report reveals breastfeeding could save the NHS millions

    A major new piece of research, released today and commissioned by UNICEF UK, reveals that low breastfeeding rates in the UK are costing the NHS millions of pounds.

    The report, Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK, takes an in-depth look at how raising breastfeeding rates would save money through reducing illness.

    Calculations from a mere handful of illnesses, where the evidence is strongest, show that moderate increases in breastfeeding could see potential annual savings to the NHS of millions of pounds per year. However, this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg when the full range of conditions affected by breastfeeding are taken into account.

    The report has been produced over the last two years by a multi-university academic team including Dundee University, Oxford University, University of York, Brunel University, and St George’s, University of London, as well as the National Childbirth Trust.
    The report findings show:

    • For just five illnesses (breast cancer in the mother, and gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, middle ear infections and necrotising enterecolitis (NEC) in the baby), moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations.
    • Narrative analyses on three conditions - cognitive ability, childhood obesity and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – indicate that modest improvements in breastfeeding rates would have significant impacts on these outcomes worth millions of pounds and, in the case of SIDS, saving lives.
    • A further set of eight outcomes, including, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ovarian cancer and asthma, had a plausible link between breastfeeding and reduced incidence, but stronger evidence is needed. The authors suggest these could form an agenda for further research.

Full report retrieved from:

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