World breastfeeding week starts today (August 1 to August 7) and this year’s theme is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”.
It comes at time when the Royal College of Midwives claims that the falling rates of breastfeeding is because of a lack of post-natal support, triggered by a widwife shortage.
Breastfeeding product experts, Lansinoh, conducted the research and has produced a new online breastfeeding guide and support site. The survey found that 21% of mothers felt unsupported when breastfeeding, a figure which has doubled from 2011, when it was just 10.4% of mothers.
Almost half of the women Lansinoh questioned found breastfeeding most difficult in the first few days and over a fifth felt embarassed when breastfeeding in public.
This echoes research done last year by breast pump specialists, Medela, who found that while 90% of mums had breastfed outdoors, 63% of them had felt uncomfortable doing so.
Medela’s breastfeeding expert Sioned Hilton shares some practical tips below on feeding outdoors:
Be prepared: Take a spare dark t-shirt for you as well as spare clothes for your baby, in case of leakage or accidents. Use a scarf or muslin square to protect you both from the sun.
Give yourself space: Pick somewhere you feel comfortable to feed. Some toilet or baby changing areas can be quite smelly. If the weather’s nice, why not head to a park? There’s nothing wrong with sitting on a bench and feeding. Place the buggy in front of you and have some quiet time to yourself.
Keep hydrated: When it’s hot, your baby may feed more often so keep your energy levels up and drink lots of water, too.
Feeding abroad: Protect your breasts and nipples from the sun. Sunbathing topless is not advisable as sun creams may give your baby an unpleasant taste.
Lansinoh has released a online new breastfeeding guide and support site.