Do you think breastfeeding in public is wrong?

Could Mum’s feeling paranoid, sexualised and embarrassed be the reason why the UK’s breastfeeding rates are amongst the lowest in the world?

  • Almost a third of the UK think breastfeeding in public is wrong*
  • The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world**
  • Breastfeeding expert suggests there is a lack of understanding towards breastfeeding mothers
  • Mum’s feel embarrassed because of stigma in public which suggests they should breastfeed at home

Lansinoh’s review of Breastfeeding in Art looks into why breastfeeding is still a taboo subject in 2019. Lansinoh, who launched their annual Feed with Confidence awards earlier this year, asked a panel of mums and breastfeeding experts why some women feel uncomfortable breastfeeding their baby in public and how the stigma can be discouraging to new or expectant mothers.

To support feeding with confidence, Lansinoh has swapped the imagery on their website with artist’s depictions of breastfeeding throughout history to show that public breastfeeding has been a normal act for centuries.

Over-sexualisation of breasts in media

Lansinoh’s panel reveals some mums believe the media over-sexualises breasts, making it uncomfortable for women when breastfeeding in public.

Motherhood blogger, Charlotte said: “The problem is that our society and the media sexualise breasts so much that people can’t separate it from a woman feeding her baby.

“There is nothing sexy about having a child sucking on your breast constantly, it can hurt, it can make your nipples bleed and people need to realise that.” 

Breastfeeding expert and historian Jacqueline Wolf spoke to Lansinoh about the stigma attached to public breastfeeding.

She said: “The insistence that babies should only be breastfed behind closed doors demonstrates a lack of understanding of both human milk and babies’ needs.

“Most women are not comfortable breastfeeding in public because the public is not comfortable seeing them breastfeed. Human babies are constant feeders by design.”

Pressures of breastfeeding

Less than half of women continue breastfeeding after two months*** due to such negative pressures and feelings of embarrassment. 

Charlotte said: “I felt paranoid trying to breastfeed in public; it felt like everyone was looking at me. I’ve heard stories from so many mothers on how people have told them ‘it’s disgusting’ and that they should ‘put them away.’”

Lansinoh’s aim

Through their Feed with Confidence campaign, Lansinoh’s aim is for women to feel safe and accepted when breastfeeding, especially in public. To find out more, and to discover more about the breastfeeding in art campaign please visit https://lansinoh.co.uk/breastfeeding-in-art/