BreastfeedingPosted by JoshB
Well over half of new mums have stopped breastfeeding by the time their babies are six weeks old, despite all the advice that 'breast is best' for their baby. So why do so few continue breastfeeding?
The Royal College of Midwives' Janet Fyle said: "Society's attitudes haven't changed. But women need support from their immediate family, their partner.
"And there needs to be more support across the whole of society for breastfeeding, so it isn't seen as abnormal if a woman starts feeding her baby in a cafe.
"But still a lot of women feel they can't breastfeed when they're out and about."
She warned the government needed to take a lead and promote breastfeeding nationally, rather than leaving awareness-raising up to local authorities.
"The figures aren't good now – but we risk going backwards," she warned.
But Dr Ellie Lee of the University of Kent, who focuses on parenting culture and has carried out research into attitudes towards breast and bottle-feeding, says it isn't the case that more advice and breastfeeding promotion would help women.
"A lot of women are saying they had the advice and information they needed, but breastfeeding just wasn't working.
"There are women for whom it worked with the first baby but not the next. And there are lots of women who simply find it unpleasant."
"There needs to be a reality check", she added. "The message needs to be much more pragmatic.
"Just do the best you can and stop when you feel you want to stop."
And she warned: "I can't see how the figures are going to get much better."