Breastfeeding specialists Medela were delighted to discover that 90% of mums have breastfed in public! In a recent survey the brand engaged with mums through Twitter and Facebook to find out what mums thought about breastfeeding outdoors just in time for summer 2012!
While they were pleased to hear the majority of mums had fed while out and about, the survey also showed that 63% of these mums had felt uncomfortable doing so. Over the coming week’s families will be spending more time outside and with this in mind Medela want to make sure that every breastfeeding mum gets the support they need to feed confidently this Summer.
The survey highlighted that more than 40% of mums felt uncomfortable because people gave them ‘funny looks’ while they were feeding. One mum commented ‘I found public feeding was stressful, people can’t help but look…’ Worryingly 26% of the mums we asked were concerned that if they were feeding inside a café or restaurant that they would be asked to leave, one mum even commented: ‘I was once sent to a single cubicle toilet and expected to feed my baby sat on the loo!’
To help mums boost their confidence, Sioned Hilton, Medela’s lactation consultant has put together some top tips for mums who want to breastfeed while out and about. She suggests that finding a quiet place or just practising at home can really help mums. More than a quarter of mums said they felt uncomfortable because they couldn’t cover up properly, but as Sioned advises wearing a good nursing bra or a breastfeeding vest can make this much easier.
It is not all about the mum though – the public have an important role to play too, if they can recognise that breastfeeding is completely natural, mums won’t have to worry about funny looks or comments. Interestingly 21% had never received any negative feedback while feeding outdoors, proving that slowly but surely people are becoming more accepting.
Breastfeeding friendly cities are springing up across the country, and many cafes and restaurants now display a badge welcoming new mums, so with a little more awareness and expert advice, Medela hopes breastfeeding in public can be a peaceful experience.