News The Pope has given his support to breastfeeding in public

During an interview with an Italian newspaper, the Jesuit Pope used breastfeeding as an analogy for feeding humanity

The truth about formula milk

Breastfeeding may be best for baby but it can also be painfully difficult to get the hang of at first: small wonder that without the right support from professionals, peer group and sometimes their partners, about 40 per cent of women give up, putting their offspring on the bottle by the age of six weeks.

Mother's breast versus manufacturer's bottle - nature knows best, say doctors

The benefits of breast-milk over artificial feeds are indisputable - and widely acknowledged by the manufacturers of infant formula:

Letter: Home birth favours fathers

Sir: After Jack O'Sullivan's sensitive article about fathers and the birth of their children (21 January), might I recommend "home birth" as an alternative?

Don't hold back: express yourself

Breast-feeding can be agonising when supply outweighs demand. Emma Haughton seeks some relief


Some woman find having a baby very sexy. Giving birth and breast- feeding makes them feel powerful and enhances the sense of themselves as sexual and sensuous beings. Loss of desire, on the other hand, is very common, particularly in first-time mothers. More than 50 per cent of women, according to Juliet Rix in the recently published Is There Sex After Childbirth? take more than a year to get their sex lives back to "normal" after the birth of their first child.

Sex? No thanks, we might wake the baby

Does having children change sexual desire? In the fourth part of our series on the five ages of women, two mothers discuss their experiences of post-natal sex. Interviews by Ruth Picardie

Quitting smoking reduces dangers: Healthy Pregnancy

Emma Haughton reports on the hazards of cigarettes and the abuse of alcohol

Letter : Breast-feeding is safer than bottle

Sir: Whilst applauding the idea of your newspaper's forthcoming "Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy", I was somewhat taken aback by the photograph featured in your advert showing a baby being bottle-fed (31 August). I can only assume that your guide will include a detailed discussion of and warnings about the dangers of bottle-feeding.

LETTERS: Where mothers are welcome to breast-feed, with an audience or without Breast-feeding mothers are welcome at CastleCourt shopping centre

Anyone who is embarrassed by the sight of a mother breastfeeding her baby has considerable psychological problems, and those who believe that the female breast is primarily for male titillation have a sadly warped outlook. Maybe men are jealous because their nipples are useless.

Breast is best, but not in public

As 'World Breastfeeding Week' nears, Liz Hunt asks why so many people feel the practice should be kept to private places

Marbly limbs and mother's milk

Each generation of poets brings its own preoccupations to its depictions of the body. The Metaphysicals turned their mistresses into maps or diagrams, the late Victorians were obsessed with anything poking out of robes, with warm breath and marbly limbs, Eliot lingered on decay. For today's poets, the body is oozing, breeding, sexual and often examined in scientific detail.

Letter: Facts about milk and phthalates

Sir: Diane Coyle (27 May) denigrates breastfeeding as too inconvenient for the working mother. If mothers are to breastfeed, it is the responsibility of government and employers to support and facilitate this by providing adequate maternity leave and/or a combination of workplace creches and flexible breastfeeding breaks. Instead we are given the conflicting messages that although the Department of Health would like us to breastfeed for a year, the Department of Social Security is willing to allow us only 18 weeks statutory paid maternity leave, and we have no legal right to breastfeeding breaks during working hours. It is this ludicrous contradiction which forces mothers to make a difficult and unnecessary choice between career or breastfeeding.

It's not quite as easy as it looks

Even without the formula-milk scare, feeding a new baby can be a fraught experience

Letter: Troubling 'deja vu' over baby milk

Sir: What a bitter irony that the end of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week should be marked by a health scare concerning infant formula ("Sex change chemicals in baby milk", 26 May).

Breast is best? Try telling the midwife

Hospitals give up too easily when mothers run into problems
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