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Bf rates uk vs us

(293 Posts)
Silkyanduna Fri 22-Mar-19 14:36:09

Just found out my American sil is expecting and she said they only get 6 weeks maternity and that’s pretty standard for the US. This made me think how much I would have struggled to breastfeed past this point if I had had to go back to work. With the uk in comparison having pretty good maternity leave AIBU to question why the Uk breastfeeding % is lower than in the US ?

Chloemol Fri 22-Mar-19 18:02:52

Not everyone can afford to take the full maternity leave offered. Also maybe more just choose to formula feed rather than breast feeding for lots of reasons. They know the facts and make a choice

merdde Fri 22-Mar-19 18:03:45

Oh this will go well hmm

Divgirl2 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:14:18

The only figures I can find have the US at considerably lower BFing rates than the UK.
Has a new study been published?

Catscakeandchocolate Fri 22-Mar-19 18:19:04

Because breast feeding support is shit. DD1 was born prematurely and I was discharged before she was. I asked repeatedly in hospital for help to breastfeed but was fobbed off as they wanted to monitor quantities of milk she was getting. As such I was discharged and then so was she without learning to breastfeed. I begged for help but by then after 10 days on bottles it was impossible to switch. I know so many people who were discharged before feeding was established and they gave up when the baby was struggling to latch, feed etc.

Dd2 I set my stall out and insisted on breastfeeding. I refused to be discharged until we got it. But I had the confidence to do that second time around. At all her vaccinations I have had raised eyebrows when I say she is EBF and asked when I will free my time up and put her on the bottle.

I have zero issue with formula, DD1 would have starved without it but breastfeeding is seen as a hassle and bottles easier so people naturally go for the "easier" option. Personally I have found breastfeeding easier but that is not everyone's experience.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 22-Mar-19 18:21:47

In the US there is a lot of emphasis on pumping and creating a freezer stash before going back to work. Pretty much all the info I read on pumping was from US site Kellymom.

That said I'd be interested to see what a breakdown amongst different US socioeconomic groups and different cultures would look like.

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:22:40

I couldn't give a flying fuck how anybody else wants to feed their baby. BF or FF, it makes no difference.

In the third world where there's no access to clean water obviously BF is a million times better, but in the western word it makes no difference whatsoever.

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:23:04

*western world.

FullOfJellyBeans Fri 22-Mar-19 18:25:27

BF does make significant differences over an entire population so it is a good question. I think a lot of it is cultural. I know people who consider BF just for middle class or hippie mums and would feel really awkward doing it.

Lobsterquadrille2 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:29:12

@Silkyanduna I had DD while living and working on an island off the US coast. I had sex weeks and everyone has their bag by their desk, and goes to hospital from work. Someone who worked with me was in advanced labour and refused to go until midday so that she could count it as half a day. Because (partly) of the time involved, I didn't consider breastfeeding. I actually had management accounts brought to my house for review when DD was two weeks old ..... you also have to stay with your employer for the following year, or pay back the six weeks on a pro rata basis.

On the plus side, childcare from a very young age and holiday clubs run like clockwork and all children do both.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Fri 22-Mar-19 18:29:38

@ RacingTime I see your point it's going to make more difference I'm developing countries at first (sickness, infections etc) however I'm sure I've read studies carried out in the western and developed countries where long term breastfeeding also has benefits including reduced chance of obesity and diabetes...which are more usually western issues

Lobsterquadrille2 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:30:03

Blimey! Six weeks not sex. Strange Freudian slip.

Rtmhwales Fri 22-Mar-19 18:30:51

In the US we have the FMLA which is supposed to be 12 weeks (not 6) but can be unpaid. Most people pump and freeze for bottles and breast feed while at home IF that's the way they choose to feed. Most insurance covers a good pump.

TBH there was very little controversy between breastfeeding or formula feeding in the US for me versus the UK.

HavelockVetinari Fri 22-Mar-19 18:31:12

in the western word it makes no difference whatsoever


See this type of uneducated bollocks is ALWAYS posted on these threads. By all means say you prefer to FF, I'm sure your baby will be fine, but it's stupid and untrue to say that there are no health benefits to BF over FF.

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:31:34

It's funny the people I know who go on about WHO recommends 2 years BF, actively pick the things they wants to quote WHO guidelines on (They are anti vaxxers).

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 22-Mar-19 18:31:56

A quick internet search found this summary for 2018 in the US:

Although the official maternity leave is only 6 weeks, I think that a lot of women use annual leave as well, or have workplaces that offer a better package than the minimum. Also in some states there is more than 6 weeks leave. Poorer women may not return to work I suppose, although I don't know if that's actually the case in the US.

In the UK, although we have longer statutory leave, the pay is low or nothing for the majority of it. So many women will return to work after a few months, and the UK really isn't set up to support women breastfeeding/expressing whilst working. Its my understanding that nurseries in the US tend to be near women's work place. And workplaces are better set up to enable women to express.

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:33:09

@HavelockVetinari I BF actually. Makes no difference. It's choice.

Brown76 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:33:49

I’ve always wondered this too, I thought the longer mat leave here would make it more likely that those who want to bf here are able to. I wonder if it’s because medical insurance covers lactation consultants in the US?

Fatted Fri 22-Mar-19 18:35:57

Probably because more women actually give up work after having children in the US than the UK.

HavelockVetinari Fri 22-Mar-19 18:35:57

Makes no difference.

You know just saying something doesn't make it true?

Studies. Evidence. FFS.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 22-Mar-19 18:36:24

Is there any point having another thread about the advantages of breastfeeding over formula? It's already clear that those with differing opinions are never going to agree.

The US and the UK have stated aims to increase breastfeeding rates, for whatever reasons are given by the relevant campaigns.

It's an interesting question about the different cultures and what difference it makes to rates of breastfeeding. What can we learn from other countries about this?

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:38:22

@AmIRightOrAMeringue I think preventing obesity has more to do with parent making good choices for theirs and their children's diets tbh. I don't think it has anything to do with BF.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 22-Mar-19 18:39:37

@Lobster wink I wish

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:41:58

@HavelockVetinari Ah your one of those. Like my neighbour that saw my friend FF and went on a 'Every woman can and should BF' rant. My friend was mortified. She had had a mastectomy a couple of years earlier. OK, won't bother engaging with you any further.

RacingTime Fri 22-Mar-19 18:42:21


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