Survey Finds Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public

A young mother is breastfeeding her baby in a cafe while she is having a coffee.

Survey Finds Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public

Recently, Aeroflow Healthcare conducted a survey of 1,048 American adults to assess perceptions of breastfeeding and pumping in public. Unfortunately, new moms may not be surprised to hear that the results clearly show that we still have much further to go. Despite increases in breastfeeding advocacy and national campaigns bringing awareness to this issue, there is still a lack support for moms breastfeeding in public and pumping.

Moms Still Lack Support for Breastfeeding in Public

Today, approximately 1-in-4 people find breastfeeding or using a breast pump in public inappropriate (24%). And believe that women should not be allowed to breastfeed or pump in clear view of the public at all (25%). Interestingly, 1-in-5 men (20%) also believe that public spaces should not be required to provide a lactation room. Raising the question: How can nursing mothers feed their babies outside the home without facing scrutiny?

Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public at Work

There is a lack of support for moms breastfeeding in public in the workplace as well. Nearly half of men (41%) and a quarter of women (23%) do not think that employers should be required to provide a dedicated space, such as a mother’s room or lactation room, for pumping.

When considering these attitudes, it’s important to note that research clearly indicates that because breastfeeding can lead to better health outcomes for both mom and baby. Employers who provide these accommodations to nursing and pumping women see reduced healthcare costs. As well as improved company culture and morale and increased retention rates.

For example, after implementing a supportive breastfeeding program, one employer began saving $240k annually in reduced healthcare costs, experienced a 77% reduction in lost work, and decreased prescription pharmacy costs by 62%. It’s easy to make the financial argument for these programs, but basic protections are also a legal requirement for most businesses.

Legal Rights for Breastfeeding and Pumping at Work

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must provide reasonable break time for mothers to express breast milk for their infant up to one year after their birth. They must also provide a private space free from the intrusion of the public and coworkers for the purpose of expressing breast milk.

As women makeup nearly 47% of workers and are expanding into more unconventional roles. 70% of those female workers are moms who feel as if they have to choose between their career and breastfeeding goals. Due to the negative stigmas attached to breastfeeding, many working moms feel the need to quit working or seek a more family forward employer in order to provide breast milk for their babies.

What You Can do About the Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public

So, what can be done to span the divide between public perception and the health and economic case for breastfeeding?

We can start in our own communities. Start with measures as small as supporting the new moms in your own circle or encouraging your local government to pass legislation that explicitly protects moms’ rights to breastfeed in public. Our hope is that this study raises awareness of the pressure and discomfort that women endure when trying to breastfeed in public. So regardless if her goal is to breastfeed for a week, for two years, or to supplement with formula, she has the support she needs to make that possible.

About the Author /

Jennifer Jordan is the Director of Mom & Baby at Aeroflow Healthcare. A working and once-breastfeeding mom, Jennifer - along with her team - is committed to supporting all moms on their breastfeeding journey through support and education.

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Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
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Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
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