Green Party @TheGreenParty

A response is awaited from the Green Party, but has the following published policy on its website (last updated September 2016):

HE508 The Green Party recognises that breastfeeding has multiple short and long term health benefits for babies. Mothers who have breastfed also have lower risks of diabetes and some cancers. However, in the UK women who want to breastfeed often feel unsupported and most stop before they wanted to. Around a quarter of women feel unable to breastfeed for various reasons. For some people, there is still a stigma attached to breastfeeding in public. The law does not currently effectively stop attempts to discourage breastfeeding. Furthermore, artificial feeding products (‘formula’) are heavily promoted. These, along with the equipment they require, may interfere with the initiation or continuation of breastfeeding.

HE509 The Green Party will work to ensure that:

i. Pregnant women are given the facts about how to breastfeed, and also the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding so that they can make an informed choice about how to feed their babies.

ii. Hospitals provide the counselling and advice by trained NHS staff to enable breastfeeding to be established straight after birth, should the mother wish to breastfeed. Special help will be given to women immediately after birth if they are in pain, ill, or exhausted by a difficult labour. Disabled women and those with babies with special needs will be given specialist help to establish breastfeeding.

iii. It becomes an offence to stop nursing mothers from breastfeeding their children in public places (including the breastfeeding of toddlers in premises where children are already allowed). Businesses that break the law, or whose employees break the law, will face significant fines.
Public buildings and shops are encouraged to provide breastfeeding facilities for women who wish to breastfeed in a private, comfortable, quiet place. Councils are required to provide breastfeeding facilities in all their significant buildings open to the public, such as town halls and libraries.

iv. breastfeeding mothers who return to work are made aware of, and encouraged to take advantage of, their legal right to take breastfeeding breaks.

v. Steps be taken in order to normalise breastfeeding, including improving education in schools, public awareness campaigns, and reassurances given by breastfeeding counsellors regarding the legitimacy of public breastfeeding.

vii. The provision of enough around the clock breastfeeding counselling services to support women who have problems with breastfeeding, and expand the networks of breastfeeding mothers set up locally for women to be able to give each other help.

HE510 The Green Party will institute a complete review of the regulations regarding the promotion of artificial feeding products and the accompanying equipment to make it possible for families to make decisions about infant feeding without commercial pressure. We will support in full the implementation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the subsequent WHA resolutions. Powers would be allocated to the appropriate bodies to enforce the regulations, with education as needed for Food Standards Agency and Local Authority staff.

HE511 The Green Party will regulate to ensure that all health care settings (hospital and community) achieve Baby Friendly status, as established by UNICEF.

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