A huge 98% mums in a new breastfeeding survey agreed with the statement “breast is best”. But their response to other questions revealed a far more complicated attitude toward breastfeeding.
Over a quarter of the 1,400 people polled by Lansinoh felt uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public, while over half worried that their baby would not latch on. Another common fear, admitted to by 46% of the respondents, was that breastfeeding would hurt.
Mums also admitted worrying that they would not be able to breastfeed for long enough.
“Many women worry that they might not be able to breastfeed,” said Diane Emery from Lansinoh. “But breastfeeding is a skill that both mum and baby must learn, and sometimes can take a little practice.”
The availability of advice and help for new mums varied greatly, the survey also showed. Thanks to ever-changing advice and news about breastfeeding, women were confused about how long babies should be breastfed. Nearly a fifth said 3-6 months, more than a quarter went for 6-9 months, nearly another quarter thought 9-12 months was best, while 28% thought a year or longer was ideal.
The survey also supports recent calls by the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) for the recruitment of more midwives. A quarter of mums polled felt they didn’t receive enough guidance on breastfeeding in the early stages.