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In fact, 38 per cent of doting mothers can be found hiding in public lavatories – preferring to feed there than face disapproving glares from strangers.

A fifth of mums are so worried about other people’s opinions they have opted to leave the baby screaming for milk rather than breastfeed.

In fact, the natural bonding experience is ruined for many by negative reactions, inappropriate comments and blatant stares.

A staggering 54 per cent of breastfeeding mothers say they have been subjected to unwanted attention.

Twelve per cent have actually been asked to stop feeding their baby in public, and 14 per cent have been reduced to a full scale argument with someone who objected to them feeding the baby.

The poll of 3,500 mums across the nation was conducted by Kamillosan Chamomile Ointment and reveals that women are most worried about being discreet in public.

Twenty four per cent of mums say they have a fear of accidentally showing their breasts to all and sundry, whilst 11 per cent worry they can’t feed the baby properly and might attract attention to themselves.

A third of mums have felt forced to bottle feed – either with expressed milk or formula – in public simply to avoid any trouble.

Lucy Symons, spokeswoman for Kamillosan said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that in this modern day and age a mother cannot do one of the most natural acts and feed her child without comments and stares from strangers.

“Breastfeeding is hard enough for new mums without the added pressure of performing discreetly in front of others.

“This survey shows that mothers primarily choose to breastfeed believing it is the healthiest option for their child.

“Nineteen per cent quite rightly say that breastfeeding is easier than bottle feeding as it is quicker, cleaner and immediate. It is a shame the general public don’t seem to agree.”

Strangers are considered the very worst people to breastfeed in front of, but friends and family members also cause problems for new mums.

A third of mums have felt uncomfortable after a family member has chosen to leave the room whilst they fed, and a fifth have been asked by a relative to go and feed the baby in private to save embarrassment.

Thirty per cent of those polled feel nervous about feeding in front of their mum and dad, whilst 32 per cent prefer not to feed in front of friends.

Twenty five per cent also hate feeding in front of work colleagues.

Lucy Symons, spokeswoman for Kamillosan continued: “Breastfeeding is a complex and sensitive issue – many women assume they will be able to feed their baby effortlessly and are then so disappointed when they realise things are harder than they first thought.

“On top of the stigma attached to feeding in public, there is also the issue of feeling sore and finding feeding uncomfortable as women adjust to the regular feeding patterns of their baby. Kamillosan ointment might not be able to help with the negative attitudes of others, but at least it can making feeding a more pleasurable and less painless experience.”

The worst places to breastfeed are posh restaurants which don’t cater well for children (40 per cent), pubs (25 per cent) and on the bus (18 per cent).

Thirty eight per cent of mums feel annoyed that they can’t feed their child without criticism, 33 are just embarrassed, whilst 11 per cent are dismayed.

ENDS

Notes:

Survey carried out by One Poll of 3,500 mothers

Kamillosan Chamomile Ointment (£4.95) is available at pharmacies nationwide and at www.kamillosan.co.uk

For more information or product photography, please contact:
Lizzie Andrews – lizzie.andrews@tiger-white.com / 020 7202 8520




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