Almost three-quarters of women start breastfeeding when their child is born; however by 6-8 weeks, this drops to just 44%. This makes breastfeeding rates in England among the lowest in the world. A new survey of 1,000 mothers of young children commissioned by Public Health England revealed that in hindsight, mothers wished they had been better prepared for breastfeeding. Before the birth of their first child, mums’ biggest priorities were buying baby equipment (66%), preparing for labour (49%) and buying baby clothes (40%).
However, post birth, nearly a quarter (24%) wished they had read about and were more prepared for breastfeeding and one in four (26%) of those who had given breastmilk to their first child wished they had known that asking for help can make a real difference. Some advice for moms who are concerned about breast-feeding in public is to invest in a good nursing bra – one that clips at the straps. Additionally, once you get the hang of it you become more confident doing it. Having a comfortable cover up while you are nursing is important so that you don’t feel exposed. If you are worried about providing enough milk, remember that this is what your body is meant to do so have confidence in it. If you are worried about sore nipples, use a lanolin-based nipple cream because you don’t have to wipe it off before the baby feeds.