County breastfeeding service gets less

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MUMS in Northamptonshire get 40 per cent less funding for breast-feeding services than in Oxfordshire.

NHS bosses have revealed they spent £60,000 on encouraging new mums to breast-feed to make their babies healthier and will give the same amount this year. The total will not include funds for a scrapped service where mums teach others the skill or the drop-in Northampton Baby Cafe which was forced to close last month.

NHS Oxfordshire has revealed it spends £100,000 a year to support a similar-sized population, which includes eight baby cafes.

It has a peer support programme and a scheme targeting mothers who would not normally breast-feed, offering 18 hours a day, seven days a week support for the two weeks after they give birth.

NHS Northamptonshire said the Baby Cafe provided a consistently high standard of breast-feeding support to both mothers and health professionals and has “undoubtedly enabled many mothers to continue breast-feeding for longer”.

However it claims the cafe model incurs a cost which means that continued funding is always under review.

It added the NHS was under continued pressure and all services needed to be cost effective.