End: August 2020
Breastfeeding is free and has many benefits for both mother and child. It helps new mothers lose the baby weight put on during pregnancy and lowers their risk of cancer, while also protecting babies from infection and lowering their chances of obesity as they grow up.
The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life, but in the UK, only 30% of mothers are still doing this when their baby is 6–8 weeks old.
Looking for barriers to breastfeeding
The positive effects of breastfeeding could be especially helpful for women who give birth to large babies, so we want to learn more about how many of these women breastfeed and what factors influence their decision. We will talk to women who attended clinics at St Thomas’ Hospital to find out how long they breastfed for, and whether they breastfed exclusively or instead introduced formula or weaned their child early. We will compare the results for women with larger babies and those whose babies had an average birthweight. We will ask women with larger babies how they feel about breastfeeding, and what might influence their decision not to try or to stop early.
We want to see if these women make different choices about feeding than other women, and whether breastfeeding can affect the health of women who had diabetes during pregnancy.