Worst Breastfeeding Rates in the World
What if I were to tell you that the UK had the worst breastfeeding rates in the world? Would you be shocked? Would you struggle to believe it? Surely not the worst, right? How can that be?
Well hold onto your seats because ‘THE UK HAS THE WORST BREASTFEEDING RATES IN THE WORLD!’
There have been so many articles written about the this crisis of public health but it’s still not yet common knowledge and we still find it shocking and unbelievable. So here are the facts:
- 81% of new mothers in the UK start off breastfeeding and by 6 months this has fallen to just 34%
- Compare this to Norway, which has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the world, where 71% of mothers are still breastfeeding at 6 months.
UNICEF state that there is significant reliable evidence to show that breastfeeding is a major contributor to public health. Breastfeeding reduces a baby's risk of infections, allergies, obesity and diabetes. What's more, it also reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity in mothers. Over 3,000 UK women die of cancer and heart disease every month. Quite simply, breastfeeding saves lives. So why are so few mums breastfeeding?
It’s really not easy. It can be incredibly painful, it’s overwhelming at times, and without support and guidance it’s practically impossible. The law now supports breastfeeding in public, but the Infant Feeding Survey carried out by the NHS in 2010 found that 45% - that’s nearly HALF - of UK mothers felt uncomfortable breastfeeding their baby in front of other people. And according to our research, our customers have listed ‘embarrassment’ as their second biggest barrier to breastfeeding - second only to latch problems!
There are lots of reasons why women struggle to breastfeed but we feel that embarrassment needn’t be one of them - and it’s actually the one barrier that we can do something about! The Bshirt is unique because our research has shown that it increases women's confidence while breastfeeding:
- 83% of women we surveyed felt more confident breastfeeding in front of other people when wearing their Bshirt.
- 94% of women we surveyed agreed that breastfeeding is easier whilst wearing the Bshirt.
- 89% of women we surveyed said that the Bshirt was one of their favourite breastfeeding tops.
We are passionate about bringing positive change to breastfeeding rates in the UK and beyond. We believe, as do Unicef, that if more women could breastfeed confidently in public we could change hearts and minds and help improve breastfeeding rates for the next generation.
So during National Breastfeeding Week, the most important thing to take away is that one of the MAIN reasons women state for struggling with breastfeeding is something that we can all help to change. We can’t necessarily help with mastitis, or with poor latch (unless we are professionals, of course) but we can make women breastfeeding in public feel welcome and secure. All it takes is a warm smile and a sympathetic nod to help a woman breastfeeding in public feel at ease. The more women that breastfeed in public, the more normal it will become, and the better off we will all be.