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Breast-Feeding Rates in NZ Lock Rss

Hi guys,

I'm currently trying to conceive and so I've been reading the posts on here (trying to learn something, or anything) and there's a trend that I've noticed. Everyone seems to think that breastfeeding rates are really low (that not many mothers breastfeed). Also, lots of people have implied (directly or indirectly) that "most" people (from the general public) think that bottle-feeding is the norm and that only a few women choose to breastfeed.

I seriously did not know this! Are breastfeeding rates low in NZ or is this just Australia? (I'm in NZ). I have never been around babies in my whole life. I have no friends with babies, my siblings are older (except one brother who's 18 months younger so I don't remember him being a baby) all my cousins are older than me so when I was growing up I was not exposed to breastfeeding at all (because there were no babies). I am still too young to have any nieces/nephews or anything like that so even as an adult I have not been exposed to babies. Even with all of this complete lack of baby knowledge I completely assumed that breastfeeding was totally the norm and that almost all mothers breastfeed (for a while anyway) and that bottle-feeding was a back-up system for mothers who can't breastfeed. I didn't know that my mothers generation were encouraged not to breastfeed (I have since asked all the women from my mother's generation I know who have kids "did you breastfeed?" and it turns out they ALL did. Although, this was way back in the early 80s or before so I couldn't possibly have witnessed it coz I wasn't born yet).

Man am I out of the loop on this one! Was anyone else surprised to learn that there is a whole government funded education effort to convince women that "breastfeeding is good" because you didn't know people thought it wasn't?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I was just caught by surprise. It turns out I've been living under a rock.
I dont know what statistics are like but i know people from both ends of the scale. I fully bf and intend to until ds is over 1, where as my friend only bf until 3 months because she hated it and it was easy to switch to formula, i also know someone who tried to bf but couldnt and then some MoRE ladies who just didnt...
I think it may be a family influence to a certain extent, my mother bf all of us kids, my untie bf hers and her daughter does now too... if my mum had ff us kids then it would defnitly have been easier for me to consider ff-ing as it IS easier when u wana go out and drop the kid off at grandies.. but thats the only benefit i could see ( for me)
I get alot of suprised looks when people find out im still b-fing at 8 months.. i dont know why, but also alot of praise.
I wonder if there are statistics on it? Be interesting to know the reasons for the ff-ing too.. just out of curiosity smile
I was the same as you - never saw anyone breastfeed till I attended the ABA course and saw a demonstration. It was initially quite confronting for me to be honest but by the time DS was a week old I was used to whipping out my boobies! I am the oldest of 3 and have heaps of younger cousins so I wonder why I had never witnessed breastfeeding before.

Not sure abt the breastfeeding rates in NZ either but I know here in Aus there is a big push by hospitals and medical professionals to encourage breastfeeding. I would think that that would push up breastfeeding rates.

I didn't realise only 14% breastfed after 6 months. That shocks me actually.... I just thought it was a lot more common than that. I think that goes to show that women are needing a lot more support. If they started out breastfeeding then they obviously had the intention of breastfeeding, but things went downhill from there.

In England it's actually much worse than here. A show I watched a while back said that only 30% of women breastfeed at birth, and by 4 months old that rate dropped to 5%. So I can imagine that pretty much no one fed their baby past 6 months. They were saying that breastfeeding is so uncommon over there that those trying to do it were highly embarrassed to feed in public. It seemed much less feeding friendly than here in aus. I find people to be very accommodating here.

I find this interesting too.

Wow Chayls - I can't believe the rate is that low in the UK. I can imagine it would be so hard if you were breastfeeding.

I agree with the others that it's the support to continue that's important.
With my DS1 I introduced formula at 6 months and then mix fed till 11 months, I don't think I really fully understood how breastfeeding worked - like the supply and demand thing. and partly introduced it because my friends were. My DS2 is 7 months and I'm still breastfeeding and plan to get to a year if I can. Out of my mothers group most of us breastfed - one that didn't with her second baby she was going to give bfeeding a try but switched to formula. I think it takes commitment in the early days to make it work - I guess this is where more support would help.

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