Attitudes to Breastfeeding across the UK
In this very modern age, it is shocking to see that breastfeeding your child, which is the most natural thing for a mum to do for her baby is still such a controversial issue.
A recent survey in the UK showed that 49% of mums who did not breastfeed had wanted to, or at least have tried.
I wanted to look into this further and see just why this percentage of mums felt they could not breastfeed in public.
Where is the Negativity coming from?
After speaking to some mums who had choose not to breastfeed it was very easy to see what the big issue was here. These mums had experienced such negativity when they had attempted to breastfeed in public, most found they had been given disapproving glares especially from the older generation, who seemed to find it very off putting. Surprisingly a few mums had received comments from young women in their early twenties muttering it was ‘disgusting’ and it was ‘putting them off their food’. Obviously, these women did not have any children!
My experiences with breastfeeding
When I attempted to breastfeed my children, I felt as if everyone was staring at me. It was tricky to feed whilst also keeping covered up. With a baby in one arm and trying to fiddle with clothing, I was always worried I would end up displaying everything in public!
I preferred to find an area that was set up for breast feeding parents, yet these were rare to find. We really should not have find places to hide away in as if we are doing something wrong but I did honestly prefered it this way.
I was only able to breastfeed for a very short time due to health issues, which made me not produce milk that was full of the vitamins my baby needed. I was happy that I managed the first 2 weeks which is the most important as the milk contains colostrum, which is crammed packed full of concentrated antibodies, proteins, minerals and vitamins, the perfect start for your new little bundle of joy!
I am pleased to say since my children were babies, they are more areas to feed your child now if you do want a little privacy. It is just a shame that people’s views have not moved on as quickly.
With so many health benefits for both mother and baby, people should be helping to make it more acceptable to breastfeed in public.
Benefits of breastfeeding
We all know that ‘breast is best’ and it does not hurt it try it. Breastfeeding is free and compared to formula can save you on average £450 per year. Your milk is on tap day or night (no going downstairs to heat a bottle up); the good thing you can express your milk so you can leave the house without baby!
On average, breastfed babies have fewer infections in their early life. They also have less diarrhoea, sickness, chest and ear infections compared to babies who are not breastfed. This is due to antibodies that are passed from mother to baby, antibodies contain proteins that help to fight infection.
According to sources they are so many benefits for mum too, breastfeeding can lower your risk of contracting breast and ovarian cancer, help build a strong bond between you and your baby because of the skin to skin contact.
If you cannot breastfeed for any reason like me, do not beat yourself up about it, there are loads of great formulas out on the market now.
Next time you see a mum breastfeeding her baby, give her a smile, that small amount of encouragement might be all she needs to keep on breastfeeding her baby long term.
Read the full results from the survey conducted by benenden here
We Love comments! I would certainly like to hear your experiences or comments on this subject.
Here is another post on Breastfeeding In Public that I previously wrote.
“Disclaimer! I have been asked to write this post on my own views on breast-feeding Results conducted by Benenden”