Health Desk-- 13th June, 2018: A new position statement of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) makes it explicitly clear that women should be supported if, after being given advice, information and support, they opt to bottle feed using formula milk.
The RCM says that although breast is best, often some women struggle to start or sustain breastfeeding.
The National Childbirth Trust says women can experience unacceptable levels of pressure however they feed their babies - from family and friends, as well as from people they hardly know.
Mothers who breastfeed their babies often feel pressurised and constrained about whether, where, how often, and how long they breastfeed. Similarly, mothers who use formula milk often feel judged or guilty too, particularly - but not only - if they planned to breastfeed.
Researchers at Liverpool University studied the experiences of more than 1,600 new mums in 2016. Among the 890 who did formula feeding, 67% reported feeling guilty, 68% felt stigmatised and 76% felt the need to defend their feeding choice.