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Mixed feelings on breastfeeding

NUK have commissioned an interesting survey about new mother's experiences of the reality of breastfeeding.

Posted: 26 July 2006
by Laura Lee Davies

NUK, who make baby feeding products including special teats for differing baby needs, have commissioned a new poll about breastfeeding which throws up some interesting results.
Nearly 90 per cent of all the new mothers who were polled admitted they had experienced some problems with breastfeeding, and more than a third of them had abandoned feeding when they hit difficulties. However, when they did give up, nearly half of those mothers felt this made them somehow 'inadequate', or that people were judging them for using a bottle.

NUK feeding bottles

Many new mothers felt they had not received enough realistic information and advice to help them get through their difficulties and one in ten of them said they had not been offered any advice at all, to prepare them for breastfeeding.
The World Health Organisation now have one clear message: breast is best. However, many companies and organisations who support this philosophy, are so determined to stick to that message, they are not admitting that there can be problems when a woman tries to breastfeed her baby.
(Here on ThinkBaby, we always encourage breastfeeding but also try to give support and advice to women who don't or can't breastfeed. This has sometimes drawn criticism from breast-only campaigners.)
Clare Byam Cook, breast-feeding expert and author of ‘What to Expect When You’re Breastfeeding…’ was consulted by NUK during their research. She believes the lack of sensible advice for expectant mums results in too many women giving up quickly; 'In the UK there is a fear that women will be put off breast-feeding if they are warned in advance of the common breastfeeding problems that they might encounter. Breast-feeding can be and should be a wonderful experience for everybody but it is not always plain sailing and mums need to be prepared with practical advice such as how to express milk and give it in a bottle.'

NUK accessories

NUK make bottles, as well as items like Ultra Dry Breast Pads to keep women as comfortable as possible. They also make nipple shields, which some members on the ThinkBaby forums claim to be the salvation that kept them feeding, despite painful cracked nipples. Interestingly, many official health bodies do not advise using nipple shields at all because they can hamper milk production. But if they do help some women to continue to breastfeed, can they be such a bad thing? It's these kinds of mixed messages that make it so hard for new mothers to feel right about their feeding experiences and choices.

For more information about any NUK products, call the helpline 0845 300 2467 or visit

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