Sunderland infant feeding: Participatory Action Research

Sarit Carlebach, Pat Watson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Recent reviews of maternity care have emphasised the importance of personalised care centred round the women, baby and family, and based around their needs and choices (National Maternity Review, 2016). This includes infant feeding options. Research has shown that breastfeeding contributes to infant and lifelong health and to the health of the mother (SACN, 2018) and it is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Department of Health that infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months with breastfeeding to form part of a baby’s diet up to two years of age. According to the latest nationally published figures (2018/19) ‘baby’s first feed breastmilk’ in Sunderland was 48%, which is lower than the England average of 67.4% (PHOF, 2020). The percentage of mothers still breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after birth in Sunderland is 25.9%, which is lower than the national average of mothers still breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks of 46.2% (data period 2018/19, PHOF, 2019). When comparing Sunderland to the other local authorities in the North East, ‘baby’s first feed breastmilk’ is ranked 9th amongst the 9 Local Authorities (LA) where data exists. When comparing breastfeeding prevalence 6-8 weeks after birth Sunderland remains bottom 8th amongst the 8 LAs where data exists.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTeesside University
Commissioning bodySunderland City Council
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


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