Feed with Confidence – Getting Breastfeeding Out in the Open
Breastfeeding experts Lansinoh have just launched their Feed with Confidence Awards designed to celebrate places and people across the country supporting breastfeeding mums. Even though mums can breastfeed their babies anywhere they want — without covering up I they don’t want to, an average of 46% of people felt uncomfortable witnessing a mum breastfeeding in a pub, cafe or restaurant, and over a third of people surveyed were not even comfortable seeing a mum breastfeed in front of another woman! This attitude needs to change — breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world and, as we all know, great for both mother and baby.
Lansinoh are asking people to nominate places that they feel go above and beyond to support breastfeeding mums and make them feel welcome. Participating nominating members of the public will be in with a chance of winning a Mini Break with Luxury Family Hotels.
Just 0.5% of UK mums are breastfeeding their baby at 12 months, despite the recommendations from the World Health Organisation to continue breastfeeding into your baby’s second year.
The British breastfeeding rates among the worst in the world — could the culprit be society’s attitude towards breastfeeding?
To understand this better, Lansinoh conducted research to gauge public opinion and the research quashed common misconceptions, revealing surprising facts like that the over 65s are the most accepting and that men are more comfortable with it than women.
Breastfeeding women feel the most uncomfortable in places like pubs, restaurants and cafés and the least uncomfortable outdoors but still uncomfortable at the park and the beach.
People surveyed were least accepting towards breastfeeding in front of teenagers, with almost half of respondents agreeing it makes them feel uncomfortable.
Although lack of support from policy makers and opinion leaders was the least popular reason for low breastfeeding rates, 1 in 3 still felt that it’s a significant root cause despite it being illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place and more than half of people agreed that rates are low because women don’t want to risk abuse.
In England and Wales, the Equality Act states that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourable because she is breastfeeding. In Scotland, breastfeeding is protected by the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, under which it is an offence to stop someone in a public place from breastfeeding their child, if under two.
I breastfed both my daughters and happily did so in public too, using a muslin for privacy. I am from Sweden though, where breastfeeding is the norm so I never even considered not doing it. Luckily, I’ve not had any rude comments or any problems.
“The more we encourage openness and acceptance within society, the more confident mums will become – and that’s good news for everyone.” — Kevin Vyse-Peacock, CEO, Lansinoh Laboratories.
Michelle Lyne, Professional Education Advisor at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), says:
“There has been significant and reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important health advantages for both baby and mother. The RCM believes that breastfeeding is the best way to get the baby off to a good start in life and has a positive impact on mother-baby relationships and nurturing of maternal and infant mental health.”
“Educating the public is really the key to developing a culture of positive support for breastfeeding women right across society. However, we must remember to ensure that women have access to skilled advice and support to help them to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.”
The Feed With Confidence Awards recognise people and places that help to support mums and positively change perceptions. The awards are supported by the Lansinoh Feed With Confidence Ambassador, Al Ferguson of The Dad Network.
You can easily make a nomination here. The closing date for entries is the 31st December 2017 and the winners will be announced in January.
There are many places in Sheffield where I felt confident and happy breastfeeding in public, including the chain cafés in the city centre and Meadowhall, John Lewis, Weston Park museum and the Winter Gardens. I have also breastfed walking around in many shops because surely that’s less offensive and less noticeable than a screaming and crying baby?! Baby hunger can strike any time, anywhere and breastfed babies want and need breastmilk at those times.
When mums choose to breastfeed, Lansinoh believes they should have the support and encouragement they need to experience all its benefits, and ensure baby feels the same. We’ll always take our mothers seriously and their needs personally, creating high-quality products mums want and can trust as they nurture their babies and develop a special bond only formed in motherhood.
Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin is definitely a breastfeeding must-have that saved my cracked and bleeding nipples in the early days of breastfeeding my firstborn.
See the results from the survey below. Click the infographic to see a larger version.