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70% of mums have felt pressure to stop breastfeeding.

Back in August I wrote the post "Guilt If You Breastfeed, Guilt If You Don't" - we hear a lot in the media about the "Breastfeeding Mafia" and how mums are feeling this overwhelming pressure to breastfeed and being "guilt tripped" if they touch breastmilk substitutes.  Now to me, given only 4% of infants are exclusively breastfed at 6 months - it doesn't leave very many people to create this all powerful mafia bringing 96% of mothers to their knees!  I personally think most of us are perfectly capable of guilt tripping ourselves when we read something that worries us, but anyway.  My feelings are that something very rarely acknowledged is the pressure a breastfeeding mother may face for not introducing a bottle or swapping entirely (as discussed in the article above) so I decided to run a poll:

Have you ever felt pressure to stop breastfeeding, or guilt for continuing?

Since August exactly 800 people ticked yes or no to the above question.

The Results:

70% Yes

30% No

Betcha don't read about that in the the mainstream media anytimes soon...


  1. Good to see the results; I cast my vote as a yes. My inlaws, who I was living with for a year and am still frequently around, are some serious breastfeeding haters! Everything not 'ideal' about my children is caused by breastfeeding and would go away if I just gave them a bottle. (From my 1 year old not sleeping through the night or not wanting to eat a big lunch to my newborn's gas.) Even when the doctor has stated otherwise (it's perfectly normal for a 2 month old to eat every 2 hours) it is bad (she shouldn't need to eat so often, it's not normal) and would be fixed if I just stopped breastfeeding (your milk must be bad and not giving her enough nutrients, why don't you let me give her a bottle?) Thankfully I know they're just nuts and ignore them. My now 2 1/2 year old still nurses some and my 9 month old still nurses more than she eats.

  2. I never saw the poll, but you could add me to the "yes" tally.

  3. Didn't vote in the poll (didn't see it), but yes, I've felt pressured to stop before. Twice, in fact, both times by medical professionals. One was a midwife telling me she didn't think I was allowed to breastfeed whilst pregnant, another was a GP telling me I should wean my son at 2, simply because he'd be 2. Obviously I didn't listen, since my son is now 3 and still breastfeeding, as is my 9-month-old. Oh, and I was pressured to night-wean by a HV, though she relented once I assured her that we took care of my son's teeth.

  4. Same as 2 PP, didn't see poll but need to be added to YES!!!! I still feed my 13 month old DD (as i did one of her older brothers till he SW 2 weeks later :-() but all i get from my mum, and MIL are "bottle, bottle, bottle, bottle" added by the fact my SIL (who lives with my MIL and has a 12 week old son by BIL, DP's brother) bottle feeds, she had an appaling attitude to BF and did feed DN for a few weeks but the entire time saying he was "coming off it before he got used to it"!!! I was forced to wean my DS1 from bf at 16 weeks because of MIL's, mum's and HP's attitudes, something to this day i have never fully got over and one of the reason's i INSIST on feeding until baby/toddler/child self weans!
    My mum is coming over this afternoon and i know for a FACT we will have the "bottle talk" again! Especially as i didn't go out last night, of course, it's all because i co-sleep and bf DD and make myself avaliable to my 3 children in everysingle way!!! :-P

  5. How sad for your top comment. I was breastfed for a year while my husband was bottle fed but I had nothing but support from both sides of the family on my choice to breastfeed both our daughters for over a year. X

  6. I also didn't see this poll but would have voted yes. Luckily I have lots of supporters too.

  7. How awful - yet I've never seen the phrase "Bottle Nazi" in a newspaper article (quite rightly of course as it's an outrageous term both ways).

    I was told by my GP to "put him on the bottle" aged about 2 weeks as we were both suffering terribly from thrush and I was in awful, awful pain. "Some women", she said, "just can't breastfeed".

    Now I'd gone into the surgery saying that I had a bad thrush infection which Daktarin wasn't shifting, could she please prescribe me Fluconazole (giving her the Breastfeeding Network's leaflet on it) and explained that formula just wasn't an option for us due to a strong family history of allergies - and that my first son was BF for 15 months so I knew what it was supposed to be like. I knew what I was talking about and I'm strong-willed and self confident, thank goodness. Imagine if she's doing this with women who aren't.

    Bub now nearly 6 months and still EBF (Fluconazole I eventually got out of her worked a treat).

  8. What a spiteful and totally inaccurate article from the Guardian.

  9. I did not see the poll, either, but would have said yes. I had no pressure from my partner, but had negative vibes re breastfeeding from others, and definite negative pressure from paediatricians and healthworkers - through ignorance, which I ignored - I also gave them a mouthful about WHO guidelines and that they should know better and that they should be ashamed of their ignorance - no-one bullies me!!!!!

  10. I actually had a family member express skepticism about the fact that I was quoting WHO as my authority - I'm not really sure why either. Why should it matter if we're not a third world country?