It’s a baby!  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a son into the world on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 weighing 8lb 6oz.

There will be all manner of overexposure for weeks to come, TV specials, post baby body watch, mum and baby fashion updates…In fact, as I write this, the royal hairdresser has entered the Lindow wing!!!!  Cue papparazzi scrum…

Of course, being totally obsessed with boobs, what really excites me is the prospect of Kate publicly breast feeding her new born baby for years to come.  What better way to inspire a new wave of support for breast feeding than with the highest profile advocate the world may see for generations to come.

Ok, that’s a lot of pressure for one first time young mum!

It is unlikely that Kate will be flashing her breasts in public, but I do wish her luck in her private breast feeding challenge.  Should she take it up, there is a wealth of information, supportive blogs and inspirational posts by thousands of mums being shared through this wonderful online community.

It got me wondering about the statistics.  NHS published the findings of the Infant Feeding Survey which takes place every 5 years.  The last survey published in 2012 shows the following points for the UK as a whole:

At Birth     Exclusive    69%     Mixed    81%
1 Week      Exclusive   46%      Mixed 69%
6 Weeks    Exclusive   23%      Mixed 55%
3 Months  Exclusive   17%
4 Months  Exclusive   12%
6 Months  Exclusive   1%        Mixed 34%

Although all of the figures show a small increase on the previous survey,  the six month mark has remained as small a percentage as ever.  Just a tiny 1%.   The trend for mixed breast and formula feeding is encouraging to a point, but suggests that mothers may not have total confidence in their milk production, and health professionals may be fuelling these worries and encouraging supplementation (one of my many theories.)

Maybe Kate will start her own blog!  I wonder if she knows about breast milk donation? Did you feel the pressure to breast feed and was it an external pressure, or a personal determination?

  1. Valerie says:

    I’m really happy for them but Oh, to be Kate right now – NO THANKS!! I can’t imagine how a royal would feel with the entire world watching her parenting decisions.
    I never felt pressured to breastfeed. It’s how we are supposed to feed our young so it’s what I had always known I’d do. My husband was ultra supportive and made me feel really good about what I’d chosen to do, which helped tremendously.
    Thanks for sharing my post, btw. :)

    • wildandwisdom says:

      Can you imagine!!!!

      I definitely put the pressure in myself, but I think I needed that to get through the struggle and the pain! Always love your posts, good to share them.

      • Valerie says:

        Yeah, that’s good that you see the pressure as being a good thing that helped you persevere!! Breastfeeding can definitely be described as a labor of love! 😉

  2. mummyflyingsolo says:

    I never thought about the whole Kate and breastfeeding thing but you are right, it would be fabulous if she did and even more fabulous if she threw a public one in somewhere. What a massive impact it would have on the cause. I always wanted to try breastfeeding so I did but they also do put a lot of pressure on mums here in Australia to b/f. It means for women that struggle (my cousin had all sorts of issues with inverted nipples etc) there is an incredible amount of guilt. I b/f exclusively until 4 months and then I started comp feeding. Once the bottle entered the picture it was a steady decline with breastfeeding and we gave it up completely at 7mths. The stats you show are interesting particularly with the 6mth mark. My goal was to make 6mths and I know a lot of mums who have the same goal. It looks like this might be quite common and people are literally throwing in the towel once they reach the imaginary finish line.

    • wildandwisdom says:

      Congratulations to you on your feeding achievements! That must have been hard for your cousin, to struggle while dealing with the pressure. It is interesting you mention the pressure in Australia, I never knew that…my favourite Australian TV soaps are the only programs on UK TV where new mums talk about breastfeeding, and actively get into it on screen!! Woo. The 6 month mark is definitely viewed as the time to introduce the bottle, and often completely stop breastfeeding, I found the stats quite shocking, especially the 1% going on for longer than a year.

      • mummyflyingsolo says:

        Yeah I didn’t expect it to be such a decline. Comp feeding isn’t really encouraged by the breastfeeding mafia but every man and his dog encourages you to do it (at least in my experience) and I honestly think this plays a big role in the decline of breastfeeding altogether. Once you intro the bottle and they get used to it they start to like it better as it is easier and they almost transition themselves. I’m going to try and hold back on the comp feeding next time and see if that helps me go for longer. Wow good old Aussie TV keeping it nice and progressive. I’m a bit proud!

        • wildandwisdom says:

          There is also a real lack of confidence in ourselves, that we can actually make enough milk to sustain a little person. In fact we are made to be able to feed twins!! Crazy. That’s when I suspect the bottles come out as encouraged by a health professional, but you are right, it signals to your body to make that little bit less milk each time.

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