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Lack of policy consideration for breastfeeding co-mothers in maternity services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-530
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number09
Early online date30 Aug 2022
E-pub ahead of print30 Aug 2022
Published2 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Funding: The research project which the first case study came via formed part of the author’s fellowship research, funded by the ESRC, ES/T006099/1.This project was also supported by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration South London at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 MA Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved.

King's Authors


This article reports on two cases of lesbian non-gestational mothers whose breastfeeding intentions were disrupted by the postnatal ward visitor restrictions imposed by NHS trusts during the COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK. One case came to the attention of the author as part of a wider study using an online survey to examine experiences of birth during the first COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020. In the second case, the author was approached by the non-gestational mother for support in her capacity as a doula in April 2021. In both cases, the non-gestational mothers intended to breastfeed their babies and had taken steps to ensure they were lactating, but the heterosexist restrictions for partners in the early postnatal period created complications that impacted their breastfeeding intentions. In the second case, perinatal mental health care for previous birth trauma was also potentially indicated. Both non-gestational mothers also reported that they were not receiving antenatal support to overcome these difficulties, as they were mothers-to-be who were not pregnant.

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