HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 cc155-6WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will invite tenders from universities and others for the establishment of an Internet website covering the health and economic aspects of breastfeeding. [HL2870]

Baroness Jay of Paddington

There are a number of websites on the internet which focus exclusively on breastfeeding, including one established by the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers, to which the Government currently provide financial assistance through the general scheme of grants to voluntary organisations under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968. We currently have no plans to establish one exclusively featuring breastfeeding.

Nevertheless, this Government want to do more to reduce the marked inequalities in breastfeeding. That is why my honourable friend the Minister of State for Public Health launched this year's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week by announcing funding of £225,000 on research which aims to identify the barriers which these women face when deciding whether to breastfeed. The research, subject to contract, will be funded from the health inequalities research initiative, and hopes to contribute to identifying effective interventions which will encourage more mothers from deprived backgrounds to breastfeed in the future.