Recently Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver has taken on the cause of Breastfeeding. Breast milk is the ultimate super-food - but in the UK we have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Why?
Even though most women agree that breastfeeding is of universal benefit to themselves and their babies, most UK mothers give up breastfeeding after 6 weeks. Most women give up because it isn't as easy as it looks and there isn't enough support for breastfeeding women. Additionally, new mums typically buy 6-8 new breastfeeding tops when the majority of women will wear these for only a few weeks. We think that is expensive, wasteful, unnecessary and unsustainable. We want to preserve the planet for our precious children and help to reduce waste. Our Bshirt is an undershirt that can be worn under any normal garment, enabling mothers to breastfeed discretely and with confidence while also doing our bit for the environment and saving you money when you need it most.
As a breastfeeding peer supporter Lisa was trained to support women at the start of their breastfeeding journey and many felt that breastfeeding simply wasn’t for them; it didn’t feel natural or it was too overwhelming faced with all the challenges of new parenthood. The Bshirt empowers women to breastfeed confidently and discretely by wearing their favourite clothes - something that means so much when you really don't feel like yourself anymore. We become mothers but we don't become different people. Our clothes are a reflection of who we are and you shouldn't have to change who you are just because you've become a mother.
The second biggest reason for giving up breastfeeding, as told to Lisa, was painful feeding due to poor positioning and attachment. Babies need to have full access to the breast in order to engage their rooting instincts, which help them to open their mouth wide. Because our specially designed product, the Bshirt, has large openings for feeding, babies can rest their cheek on their mother’s breast and engage these rooting instincts. Trying to feed a baby through a tiny slit in an intricate top will result in an incorrect latch and a painful experience for the mother.
Lastly, women confided to Lisa that they gave up breastfeeding because they felt uncomfortable feeding in public. The budget-range clip vests that are currently for sale are commonly worn by women who wish to wear their own clothes. However, when you unclip these vests, the whole front of the top gets pulled down, leaving the mother very exposed. Some mothers feel so uncomfortable that they resort to wearing a cover over themselves and the baby - or hiding away in the toilet! The Bshirt has build in panels that provide discrete cleavage coverage while feeding, allowing mothers to feed in public confidently without having to cover themselves or their baby.
The law now supports mothers who choose to breastfeed in public and a 2004 UK Department of Health survey found that 84% of people find breastfeeding in public acceptable if done discreetly; however, 67% of mothers were worried about general opinion being against public breastfeeding. This indicates that despite the change in law, women are still uncomfortable breastfeeding in public and need more support and guidance in order to make a difference for the next generation.
We are thrilled that Jamie Oliver has lent his voice to the breastfeeding cause and we can't wait until breastfeeding is truly normalised in the UK and the world.