Britain’s breastfeeding capital has been revealed as Lewisham.
The South London borough has three times as many babies who are breastfed compared to the borough with the lowest rate – Knowsley in Merseyside.
New figures from Public Health England reveal breastfeeding rates across the country for babies aged six to eight weeks.
In Lewisham 895 babies born in the borough, or 77 per cent, were breastfed by their mums, according to the stats recorded between January and March.
In Knowsley the figure drops to just 22 per cent.
Across the county, just 44 per cent of babies were breastfed for the first six to eight weeks. This means the country still has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the first world, lagging behind countries such as Norway where 71 per cent of babies are breastfed in the first two months.
Also recording high rates of nursing was Merton, in South West London, Hillingdon in West London, and Birmingham.
Low rates were recorded in Halton in Cheshire, North Lincolnshire and Sunderland in the North East.
Nationally the figures also reveal that not all 44 per cent of mums who were breastfeeding were doing so exclusively.
A letter written to the Guardian and signed by the presidents of five royal colleges and heads of expert organisations earlier this year called for the “multiple barriers” to breastfeeding in the UK to be overturned.
Prof Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, one of the signatories, said she was disturbed that their research had found children thought breastfeeding was “yukky” and added that “society is ambivalent about women’s bodies”.
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