Scottish National Party MP, Alison Thewliss, has secured an important debate in the House of Commons next week. The new Glasgow Central MP will lead an adjournment debate on the subject of breast feeding to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week 2015.
Ms Thewliss was successful in this week’s ballot of MPs to apply for debate time in the UK Parliament. An adjournment debate allows MPs to debate a motion without a vote being put and usually lasts for up to an hour. A UK Minister is also required to respond to the MPs on behalf of the Government.
Speaking in advance of next week’s Westminster Hall debate, Alison Thewliss MP said:
"I’ve been a great supporter of breastfeeding since having my son five years ago. I know how difficult it can be, and wanted to take this opportunity both to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding and what role wider society can play in raising awareness."
"Evidence tells us that breastfed infants are likely to have a reduced risk of infection, particularly those affecting the ear, respiratory tract and gastro-intestinal tract. This protective effect is particularly marked in low birth weight infants."
"Other probable benefits include improved cognitive and psychological development, and a reduced risk of childhood obesity. There is also evidence that women who breastfed have lower risks of breast cancer, epithelial ovarian cancer and hip fracture later in life."
"I am looking forward to next week’s debate which I hope to be constructive and will allow me to push this important issue further up the agenda."
1) Ms Thewliss’ debate will take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 4.30pm. It can be watched live online at www.parliamentlive.tv
2) Alison has two young children Alexander (4) and Kirsty (1) - who have both been breast fed, with Kirsty is still being breast fed.
3) Overall, latest figures show 48.4 per cent of babies were breastfed at the first visit (around 10 days) in 2013/14. This is compared with 44.4 per cent in 2004/05. The figures show a trend towards mixed feeding, where the baby is fed both breast and formula milk, and a decline by the 6-8 week review. Rates of breastfeeding have increased by 7.2 per cent over the last nine years among mums from disadvantaged backgrounds, but a strong correlation between breastfeeding and deprivation remains – making it a key driver of health inequalities.