The 2015 Lansinoh Breastfeeding Survey finds nearly all women (96%) agree that breastfeeding is the best way to feed their children, but many still struggle to breastfeed for what they believe to be the ideal amount of time. Nearly 75% of women surveyed felt that the ideal length of time to breastfeed was longer than six months. In reality, only 62% of women were able to breastfeed for that length of time. The gap was wider in the US, where 74% of women feel the ideal length of time to breastfeed is 6+ months and only 49% actually reached that goal.
Part of that struggle may be due to the universal challenges women experience with breastfeeding. "The pain associated with breastfeeding" was the number one challenge of women in all countries surveyed with the exception on China where "waking up in the middle of the night" earned the top spot. Other common challenges include "how often I need to breastfeed my baby" and "learning how to breastfeed in the beginning."
Despite many similarities around the world, when it comes to breastfeeding in public, the reaction moms receive may be dependent on where they live. Overall, 38% of women surveyed said breastfeeding in public is "perfectly natural" and 32% said it was "embarrassing." In the US, 67% of moms said breastfeeding in public is "perfectly natural," a 10 percentage point climb from 2014. Despite the higher acceptance rate, 25% of women in the US said they had experienced criticism or prejudice for breastfeeding in public. This was higher than the average for prejudice overall (18%).
"These results are encouraging. They show that we are making progress and attitudes about breastfeeding are changing around the world. But we still have work to do. As countries debate policy and workplace benefits to support women, they must remember that these issues are not just topics for debate – they have a very real impact on the health of mothers and babies around the world," said Kevin Vyse-Peacock, CEO of Lansinoh.