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Babies deprived of breast chance.

Byline: JILL PALMER

FOUR out of five mums stop breastfeeding before six months, depriving their babies of vital nutrition and immunity to infection.

Nearly 70 per cent of mums start out breastfeeding but this falls to 42 per cent after six weeks.

Yesterday the National Childbirth Trust called the figures "extremely disappointing".

The Department of Health pointed out that breastmilk was "accepted as the best form of nutrition for infants".

The NCT today launches a campaign to encourage new mothers to breastfeed in public.

NCT chief Belinda Phipps said: "We need to make breastfeeding as unremarkable as reading a newspaper."

The campaign features a poster showing 22-year-old model Shanelle Claridge breastfeeding her daughter in a cafe.

The latest figures from the Department of Health show more women are starting to breastfeed than in 1995 - 69 per cent to 66 per cent.

But at six months this falls to 21 per cent, the same as seven years ago.

The World Health Organisation says babies should be breastfed for six months. Mum's milk contains vital antibodies.

Model Mums: M on Tuesday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 14, 2002
Words:179
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