Survey shows breastfeeding expectations do not mirror reality for Irish mums
This week is National Breastfeeding Week.
Breastfeeding as a journey had a lot of bumps in the road, especially the first time around.
With my son I found it very hard to produce enough milk to keep him fed, whereas on my daughter my milk came through brilliantly.
It takes a little work, practice and a lot of support, which unfortunately not every mum in Ireland gets enough of.
As part of National Breastfeeding Week National, BabyDoc Club surveyed 801 pregnant mums and mums of babies under 2-years within their social community to get an understanding of the challenges facing women today.
The research insights showed that while 48 per cent of pregnant mums want to breastfeed until the weaning stage at around five to eight months, the reality is pre-COVID only 15 per cent of mums made it that far, with most finishing much earlier.
However there are encouraging signs that COVID lockdowns and restrictions may have helped to increase breastfeeding rates.
26 per cent of mums who gave birth during COVID have now hit the five to eight month breastfeeding milestone which is brilliant.
The survey also revealed that of the BabyDoc Club mums with a baby aged under two years, that 61 per cent breastfed their baby for a time with two-thirds of these mums currently still breastfeeding.
The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life and continue to be supplemented with breastmilk until age two.
When it comes to making the decision to breastfeed their baby, 86 per cent of currently pregnant and breastfeeding mums have done so because they want to give their baby the best start in life with all of the benefits that breastmilk provides.
Bonding and the benefits to their own maternal health was the main reason for 12 per cent of mums, while just two per cent ranked convenience as being the key factor for their choice.