My breastfeeding goal for Baby F is to Feed with Confidence. When I had my daughter I really wanted to breastfeed but being young, a bit naive, and maybe not understanding how my body works as well as the societal pressures and feeling of ‘taboo’ within feeding in public, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to. I think that fear of not being successful and being afraid to feed in public or outside the comfort of my own home really made it difficult and actually affected my ability to feed successfully for longer than ten weeks. This time around I am determined to breastfeed with the combination of one bottle of expressed breast milk. My goal is to feed Baby F myself 90% of the time and have a bit of supply of breast milk in the freezer too.
I want to breastfeed because it’s going to be really good for us to bond, it’s going to help with my weight loss, it’s got so many amazing health benefits for me and its on tap nutrition and food for Baby F too. Whilst I’m not against formula or those that bottle feed I really want to feed him myself and I’m going to be striving to push through feeding him until he doesn’t want to anymore. I would absolutely love to get passed a year of breastfeeding and using the occasional bottle of expressed milk however that does mean I need to get over one of my biggest fears and that is feeding outside the home. Because of this I want to share my journey and I fully support Lansinoh’s Feed with Confidence campaign of which my lovely blogger friend Ami from Through Ami’s Eyes is an ambassador for – I’m so excited for her. I’ve been watching, reading and listening to Ami talk about her experience for combination feeding and seeing her confidence with her ability to feed new baby Smidge is just so amazing. It really inspires me and actually has started making me think, well, maybe I could feed in public, maybe I could too feed with confidence.
There are lots of reasons why people might not have the confidence to feed in public. I’m a 42H cup due to my weight and it’s not exactly going to be a discreet journey. I want to get myself some good fitting nursing bras and tops that make feeding as easy as possible so that I can feel a little less exposed. I’m not opposed to using a cover or muslin but hopefully my ability and confidence will grow enough that I will have the confidence to feed without. Another tip someone had was using a scarf which, with Baby F being due in the Autumn is a pretty good idea. I think practising with different positions and using a sling is also going to help me feed with confidence too.
Breastfeeding is hard. I remember being in tears the first few weeks with sleep deprivation which is why Adam and I have decided to introduce the odd bottle of expressed milk to help each other out a little bit. However, I do hope that by the time we get to six weeks, we might not actually need the bottle of expressed milk and I’ll be used to the frequent feeding, a bit tougher and, well, hopefully having a stretch of at least three hours sleep during the night (total wishful thinking there!) I really want to establish a good supply by feeding on demand and of course this means I will need to feed wherever I am. I think it’s important to have the confidence to do this and by reading other women’s stories, advice and seeing it happen that confidence is already starting to grow in me. I’m not expecting it to be natural straight away and I’m grateful for a supportive partner and family that are all really encouraging when it comes to feeding. I really hope that by sharing my own photos, journey and experience I can feed with confidence and give other mums the confidence to do the same.
You can find out more about Lansinoh and the campaign to Feed with Confidence here:
In 2016, just under 750,000 babies were born in the UK with over 80% of mothers starting to breastfeed their babies. However, according to Public Health England latest statistics on breastfeeding prevalence at six to eight weeks after birth, the number of new mums breastfeeding at this time is 43.7%. This number is low, especially when compared to countries like Norway, which achieves rates of 80% at 3 months. Why does the UK have some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world?
To understand this issue, Lansinoh carried out research amongst 1000 people, looking at perceptions of breastfeeding in public. The study found that people feel uncomfortable with women breastfeeding on public transport, people over 65 are more accepting of mums breastfeeding in public spaces, and people in Wales are more comfortable with breastfeeding compared to other regions in the UK. The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding in public, so why is breastfeeding in public such a national taboo?
A government study found that although 72% of the British public outwardly support public breastfeeding, over half of breastfeeding mums take steps to cover up and 34% feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.3 Research carried out by Lansinoh found that 37% of men and 41% of women find women breastfeeding on a bus uncomfortable, whilst mums breastfeeding on the underground were frowned upon by 34% of men and 44% of women.4 Although a third of those surveyed admitted that they were not comfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding in front of another woman, the research also found that the longer the journey, the less people find an issue with a mother breastfeeding in a public space.
People can nominate a person or a place for the awards here: https://lansinoh.co.uk/feed-with-confidence/