Third of breastfeeding mums have illegally been asked stop or move away
- 11% told to feed their baby in a toilet, while 7% asked to stop altogether
- 14% told to ‘sit in the corner’, as backed by UKIP head Nigel Farage
- Two thirds of mums don’t feel UK society supports breastfeeding – and only 26% are comfortable feeding in public
- John Lewis, Mothercare, Costa Coffee and Debenhams voted top venues for breastfeeding families
UKIP leader Nigel Farage may have hit the headlines for suggesting nursing mums ‘should perhaps sit in the corner’ – but it appears he is not alone.
A new study by UK breastfeeding specialists Freida’s Feeding Food reveals a third (32%) of nursing mums have been told to stop or move out of view, in direct contravention of the law.
The survey of 2,057 women showed seven per cent had been asked to quit altogether while feeding their baby in public. A further 14 per cent were told to move and sit in a corner away from public view, while one in nine (11%) were ordered to move to feed their child in a public toilet.
More than a quarter of nursing mums (27%) have experienced abusive comments from strangers while one in ten have also been asked to cover up – despite the law stating women must not be harassed or victimised while feeding.
Worryingly, despite the Government telling new mums to breastfeed for six months, two thirds (64%) don’t feel UK society is supportive enough, with almost half (48%) claiming mums don’t get the right help to try feeding.
Just two in five (40%) of mothers said they found it easy to start breastfeeding while 19% gave up in under a week.
The report also found three in five mums (61%) are taught to breastfeed by hospital midwives despite severe staff shortages – but an overwhelming 74% felt the Government should invest more money in postnatal care so even more mums can learn. Only one in 12 women learned from their own mums, but 21 per cent of mums who managed to breastfeed said they had gone on to teach a family member or friend.
Meanwhile women also admitted to struggling with their post-baby weight, with under half (45%) losing weight while breastfeeding and one in 11 (9%) actually gaining weight.
Overall, high street names John Lewis, Mothercare, Costa Coffee and Debenhams were praised as the most supportive stores for breastfeeding families, alongside small independent cafes and coffee shops. Almost two thirds (62%) of mums said they had positive reactions from staff and strangers while feeding in these chains and smaller shops.
Freida’s Feeding Food founder Sharon Kler said: “Breastfeeding gives a baby the best start in life, so we should be doing all we can to support mums, not shun them. The Government wants mums to breastfeed for six months, so they shouldn’t face being insulted, banished to a corner or told to sit in a dirty public toilet simply for meeting their newborn’s needs.
“Stores that don’t follow the law risk losing customers – and their reputation. But those that do well, like the ones highlighted in our study, will find a loyal following of families willing to spend. So don’t boob by missing out on nursing mums.”
For more information, images or to arrange an interview, please contact Lisa Malyon on 07525 204402 / Lisa@sensecommunications.co.uk
NOTES TO EDITOR
About the study
Survey of 2,057 mothers carried out on Netmums between January 14 and 27, 2015. Sample includes mothers exclusively breastfeeding, mixed feeding and bottle feeding.
About Freida’s Pantry
- FREIDA’S FEEDING FOOD, from family health food firm Freida’s Pantry, is the first functional food bar designed to meet the needs of busy new mums.
- Created by British mum-of-three Sharon Kaur, it is based on a traditional family recipe, used by Eastern women for hundreds of years to breastfeed and recover from giving birth.
- The oat, nut and seed-based recipe is rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are good fats for both babies and new mums.
- Each serving is also packed with ‘galactalogues’ which are ingredients that may help boost milk supply.
- All the firm’s products are made in the UK from top quality ingredients. For more information, visit www.FreidaPantry.com, follow on Twitter @FreidasPantry, or visit Facebook.