Breastfeeding mums need more support
Most women know that breastfeeding gives their baby’s the best start in life, but many give up due to difficulties.
- Almost half of women surveyed say they are not receiving enough breastfeeding support from their midwife or health visitor.
- 80 per cent of UK mums admitted they were scared breastfeeding would hurt or their baby would not latch on properly.
- Just 42 per cent of British mothers are still breastfeeding six weeks after birth.
The Lansinoh survey of over 1,200 UK mums reveals that the number of women who feel they are not receiving enough breastfeeding support has risen from 27% to almost half. Some of the reasons for stopping breastfeeding included: pain during breastfeeding, mastitis, fitting it around going back to work and negative reactions when breastfeeding in public.
Mums said they were left to their own devices having to work it out for themselves, and that their midwife or health visitor couldn’t give them enough time. What’s more, one in five mums said they had only been told the basics and not how to cope when problems arose during breastfeeding.
Breast is best
Every parent wants what is best for their baby and there are many reasons why mums choose to breastfeed. 66% of mums said that their main reason for choosing to breastfeed was for the health benefits it offers their babies. This is fairly low when compared with Turkey and Germany.
- In the UK, 86 per cent of mothers said they felt breastfeeding was the best option for their baby compared to 98 per cent last year.
- The US had the lowest percentage of women that agreed breast was best, with only 79% agreeing.
More midwives needed
Three quarters of UK mums surveyed said that boosting midwife numbers was the key to improving breastfeeding rates in the UK.
Diane Emery, Director, Health Professional Liaison from Lansinoh said: “With the birth rate rising in the UK each year it is important that mums receive the support they need to breastfeed for as long as they wish. Although the Government has placed an extra 620 midwives in the NHS (despite David Cameron’s pre-election promise of additional 3000 midwives) we can see from the survey results that mums feel that they aren’t receiving enough information and encouragement. It is imperative that mums know where they can go to find information about breastfeeding if they have any concerns.”
A large proportion of Mums still feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. Thirty eight per cent of mums said that their main fear was breastfeeding in public. Interestingly, more than a quarter of mums said that breastfeeding in public is attention seeking, embarrassing and wrong! It would appear from these results that there is a taboo around breastfeeding in public.
Nearly 2 in 5 mums surveyed said that having more pictures of celebrities’ breastfeeding in public would help them to feel more confident about doing it themselves. Selma Hayek is a celebrity mum who regularly hits the headlines and is a passionate advocate of breastfeeding. She was pictured a while back breastfeeding in public in Sierra Leone – although not her child, but someone else’s! Selma breastfed a week old baby whose mother couldn’t produce enough milk. This is not as uncommon as you may think. According to the Lansinoh survey a third of mums in the UK said they would share breastfeeding with their sister/good friend. 1 in 10 of these mums said they would be happy for the baby to latch directly onto their breast.