Women's Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:36 am on 10th June 1988.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 9:36 am, 10th June 1988

Does the hon. Lady accept that one of the concerns of midwives is that the shortage of midwives, and the extra pressure in maternity units because of the cuts in maternity beds at a time when the number of births is increasing, means that midwives do not have the time to help mothers to establish breast feeding? We welcome the hon. Lady's interest and concern and we share her concern about the drop in the percentage of women who are breast feeding their children, but that makes it crucial for midwives to have enough time to help mothers to establish breast feeding. They feel, and I share their view, that they do not have enough time because of the growing crisis in maternity wards that has been caused by financial pressures.