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Survey: TheBump.com and Breastfeeding.com Find Nearly Half of Women Feel Uncomfortable about Moms Breastfeeding in Public
In support of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August and to fight the stigma against breastfeeding, TheBump.com and Breastfeeding.com polled more than 1,600 women on TheKnot.com, TheNest.com and TheBump.com on their attitudes about breast feeding. The survey revealed everything from why moms choose not to breastfeed to what age women think is the "right" time to stop breastfeeding and how they feel about public breastfeeding.
From the press release:
Fact: 3 out of every 4 new moms in the US start out breastfeeding, yet more than half of them stop nursing before their child is six months old, and only 22% make it to the end of the year.(1) Why are breastfeeding rates so low? Because new moms may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need.
In support of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August and to fight the stigma against breastfeeding, TheBump.com, a leading pregnancy and parenting website, and Breastfeeding.com, the number one breastfeeding website, today revealed the results of their 2nd Annual Breastfeeding Survey. Polling more than 1,600 women on TheKnot.com, TheNest.com and TheBump.com, the survey revealed everything from why moms choose not to breastfeed to what age women think is the "right" time to stop breastfeeding and how they feel about public breastfeeding.
"Study after study shows there's not enough support for breastfeeding moms in the US -- and it doesn't help that nearly half of women (44%) we surveyed are uncomfortable or even 'grossed out' by public breastfeeding!" says Carley Roney, editor in chief of TheBump.com. "Thankfully, the government has made several moves in the past year to encourage breastfeeding, such as enforcing more workplace rules and tax breaks on nursing supplies, but there's still a lot more work to be done. As a pregnancy resource, we felt it was our duty to not only raise awareness on the proven, unbelievable benefits of breastfeeding, but to help create a support system for women so they can get the breastfeeding resources they need and want."
Highlights From TheBump.com and Breastfeeding.com 2nd Annual Breastfeeding Survey
Nearly half of women (44%) feel uncomfortable seeing a mom breastfeed in public. In fact, 10% of women said, "Eww, in private please!" about public breastfeeding. The negative reaction to seeing moms breastfeed in public may be the reason why 41% of women who have breastfed/plan to breastfeed, said they'd only do so in private. And shockingly, 47% of pregnant women admitted that seeing women breastfeed in public makes them uncomfortable. Perhaps that's why 56% of pregnant woman said they plan on breastfeeding only in private.
17% of women DON'T feel breastfeeding is one of the best things a mom can do for herself and her child. Although research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has shown that breastfed children have a lower risk of developing cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and breastfeeding moms have a lower risk of developing breast cancer and type 2 diabetes, 10% of women surveyed still feel it doesn't make a big difference for mom or baby.
25% of women who didn't or won't breastfeed said they tried but simply weren't able to. This further emphasizes the need for more breastfeeding resources and expanded support. In addition, 27% of those who didn't or won't breastfeed think formula is just as beneficial as breast milk.
1 in 10 women don't work in an environment that supports breastfeeding or pumping. Although US labor laws require places of employment to provide reasonable break time for breastfeeding moms and a private area to do so, 10% of women surveyed said they don't work in an environment that supports this. Plus, 25% of women weren't even sure.
An overwhelming majority did, currently do or plan to breastfeed. Of those women surveyed who have children, are currently pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, 93% did, currently do or plan to breastfeed their baby.