Following months of lockdown and social distancing, three quarters of breastfeeding mums have now admitted to feeling more cautious about breastfeeding in public, as a direct result of COVID-19.
Shockingly, just over two fifths of mums now feel confident enough to breastfeed their newborn if they were out in public. And with restaurants and bars now re-open, 43% will take measures to try to avoid breastfeeding in public, while a further 14% will avoid it completely.
Meanwhile, 30% of mums say they would love to share pictures of themselves breastfeeding on social media, but don’t feel confident enough to. In fact, mums are more than twice as likely to share a picture of their baby’s birth (22%) than a photo of themselves breastfeeding (10%) on social media. 
The research has been released as part of Lansinoh’s annual ‘Feed with Confidence’ campaign, which aims to encourage mums to feel more empowered to breastfeed their child outside of their own home.
Marley Hall, midwife and antenatal educator, said: “Having a baby during the lockdown period has proven difficult for lots of women, especially when contact and support from family and friends has been limited. With things slowly returning to normal, thinking about breastfeeding whilst out and about may feel worrisome for women and it’s important that they are able to do so with ease, positivity and confidence.
“The World Health Organisation have made it clear that women should continue to feed their babies as normal as the benefits of doing so outweigh any risks associated with Covid-19.
“It’s also good to remember that there are many breastfeeding mothers who may feel similar anxiety and more women are sharing a similar journey.”
To help mums feel more confident about breastfeeding in public following COVID-19, Marley Hall recommends the following tips: 1 Plan your outfit beforehand – choose clothing that is easily accessible as well as comfortable, such as tops and dresses with buttons or zips, wrap cardigans and stretchy tops, which you can easily pull down and back up again.
- Go out with another breastfeeding mum – now that lockdown measures allow you to meet up with a number of friends outside your household, why not go out with a friend who is also breastfeeding, to help give you the confidence to feed your little one in public for the first time.
- Know your rights - the UK law gives mums the right to breastfeed their babies in any public place, such as shops, hotels and restaurants. You are also covered by the law to feed in cinemas, theatres, petrol stations, and hospitals. Lisa Craven, UK Marketing Manager at Lansinoh, said: “It’s completely understandable that following so many months of lockdown, the prospect of breastfeeding in a public space can feel daunting for many mums.
“It’s also highly likely that for many new mums who have given birth in the months since March, this will be their first ever experience of breastfeeding in public, so it is understandable they may feel anxious.
“However, it’s crucial that mums feel confident in feeding their little ones, whenever and wherever their child gets hungry. Breastfeeding is the most natural way for a mother to feed her baby, and we want to support mums to breastfeed in public, and help more mums feed with confidence.”
Lansinoh is also encouraging mums to upload a picture of them breastfeeding to Instagram with the hashtag #FWC2020, to help more mums confidently feed in public, with all posts being entered into a monthly prize draw.