Mother and Baby survey reveals mothers worries about breastfeeding in public

July 24, 2009 at 9:22 am 4 comments

A new Mother and Baby survey, carried out in conjunction with NCT, reveals that most British women still feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.

The survey, of over 1,200 mums, discovered that 60 per cent feel that the UK isn’t breastfeeding friendly. It also found that 65 per cent felt so strongly about it that they don’t even intend to try breastfeeding because they feel too self-conscious about people staring at them.

65 per cent of those questioned felt that they would feel more encouraged to try breastfeeding if there was a more relaxed attitude towards it among the general public. 30 per cent also thought attitudes towards breastfeeding are more positive abroad.

Two thirds of mothers who did choose to breastfeed said feeding their baby in public had been a stressful experience[l1] . Over half (54 per cent) have been asked to move on from a restaurant, cafe or coffee shop and 30 per cent have been asked to move in a shopping centre.

London came out on top as the place where mums feel most comfortable breastfeeding in public with no-one reporting that they had been asked to move on from feeding in a public place.

The North West (64.8%) and West Midlands (63.3%) were considered the most stressful areas to be a breastfeeding mum.

Women in Scotland didn’t care who saw them and felt most confident about breast feeding in front of other people – with 60 per cent not worrying who saw them. Mums in Wales feel the most supported by specialist GP and health visitors with 73 per cent feeling that they received all the support they needed. Only half of breastfeeding mums in the North felt supported.

70 per cent of mums said celebrities should breastfeed in public to help encourage acceptance.


The survey was conducted by Mother  & Baby magazine and online at and NCT website

1236 replies were received.

Mother & Baby magazine is published monthly by Bauer Media.


Entry filed under: Babyfeeding, Early parenthood, England, Northern Ireland, Parliamentary update, Scotland, Wales. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ryan  |  August 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I get so tired of breastfeeding mom’s thinking that they rule the world. I hate to see and hear about breastfeeding mom’s in public. I wish I would see a woman breastfeeding in public I would personally say something. Just because you think you are doing something natural doesn’t mean I have to watch and share your opinion. I think that anytime your private parts are out on display it is wrong and nasty. Plus, I don’t want my young kids seeing you breast feed. There is a time and place for everything. Farting is natural, but you wouldn’t do that in public in the middle of a bunch of people. I think it is part of your attention seeking voyeurism that would allow you to want to expose yourself in public. And as far as not covering your baby up, what is wrong with that? I think a kid would rather his mom have covered up than to go to school and see pics of his mom’s breast in some kids hands. So, please stop infringing on others rights to not have to worry if they will see your saggy breasts or their kids will see your saggy breasts.

  • 2. Katherine Norman  |  August 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I don’t rule the world, but I am responsible for feeding my baby. I don’t insist that other people eat in private, or secluded in a separate room, so why should my baby be denied the right to be fed when they are hungry.
    If you ever see a woman breastfeeding, you’ll see that even if she is naked you see less breast than many women quite happily show in little skimpy tops. The nipple and most of the breast are usually covered by the baby.
    Beside they are only breasts. Nobody comments on the covers of mens magazine or page 3 of the Sun. They aren’t a sexual object for a breastfeeding woman – they are the way you feed your baby.

  • 3. Lou  |  September 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Go Katherine! Ryan, we are not imposing our breasts on you, I’m sorry if you feel that way. Breastfeeding is naturally the way our bodies were intended to work – what on earth do you think we did before formula was invented? If you don’t want to see, then don’t look. And if you teach your young children that breasts are a only a sexual object, then that is something to worry about. The only reason that society thinks breastfeeding is wrong is because society is hooked up on sex.

    We don’t go out of our way to flash our boobs in peoples faces, we try and do it as discretely as possible, simply feeding our children. We have the right to feed our children any way we want to, and you have the right not to look. Most of the time when I have breastfed in public, no one has noticed anyway!

  • 4. Michael  |  September 19, 2009 at 10:20 am

    The only thing wrong and nasty about breastfeeding is your opinion of it. People like you are the very reason why mothers feel uncomfortable doing what is best for their baby. I pity you.


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