Breast is best for most Lothian mothers

MOTHERS in the Lothians are more likely to breastfeed than in any other area of Scotland, statistics have shown.

More than 60 per cent of women here are now breastfeeding their new-borns, a figure that has gradually improved over the years.

It is the highest percentage of any health board in Scotland, and vindicates a number of initiatives NHS Lothian has implemented over the years to encourage the process.

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However, the gap between rich and poor mothers remains obvious, a problem with which health chiefs across the country are wrestling.

Breastfeeding has been found in a number of studies to improve almost every aspect of a baby's future health and wellbeing prospects. Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: "We want to encourage and support more women to breastfeed as we know this is best for a baby's health.

"We know from research that the full benefits for both mother and baby are gained through exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. However, we also know that some mothers will choose to breastfeed and also give formula — and this will still have some benefits."