Many new mothers choose breastfeeding, but sadly research has uncovered the stigma women face when feeding their babies in public.
Baby brand Tommee Tippee surveyed breastfeeding mothers, and found that many had experienced unwanted comments.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of women surveyed admitted they had been ‘tutted’ at whilst feeding their child.
27 per cent had been told to feed their baby elsewhere by a stranger, and one in 10 had been told to leave the premises or cover up.
One in six mothers revealed they’d had unwanted sexual attention whilst breastfeeding too, making them very uncomfortable.
These judgements have affected breastfeeding mothers, with many not wanting to feed in public. In fact, 37 per cent admitted they’d cut trips short so they could breastfeed in private.
Senior midwife Louise Broadbridge said, “For the majority of new mums, the first few weeks are generally spent at home whilst both mum and baby get to grips with breastfeeding.
“However, there comes a point when it is time to venture out into the big wide world and that often means breastfeeding in public.”
She added, “For any new mum who feels nervous about feeding in public, remind yourself that what is important is meeting your baby’s needs. We know many parents struggle in establishing breastfeeding, which has led them to switch to formula feeding.
“One of the most valuable things that expectant parents can do in preparation for breastfeeding is gain a really sound knowledge of how breastfeeding works. Understanding how milk volume can be maximised and latch problems avoided will make all the difference in your breastfeeding journey.”
Nicola Wallace, spokesperson for Tommee Tippee added, “This research reveals just how much stigma still exists around breastfeeding in the UK. Making the decision to breastfeed is a very personal one and also one that’s likely to draw opinions from friends and family. But you and your baby are unique so swot up on the facts, then trust your instinct and do what is right for you both.”