Professional Mommies More Likely To Breastfeed In UK — Unlike The US

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Breastfeeding in the United Kingdom has risen just a smidgeon in the last five years (76% to 81%), but a closer look at the findings reveal that mothers with a college education are more likely to initiate breastfeeding. The real point of interest here though is that these women tend to go on to professional jobs where breastfeeding doesn’t seem to pose any hindrance, unlike the United States.

The Guardian reports:

Across the UK, 90% of women in managerial and professional jobs began breastfeeding (up from 88% in 2005), compared with 74% of those in routine and manual occupations and 71% of those who have never worked (both up from 65% in 2005).

While more educated women are more likely to understand the benefits of breastfeeding, the UK’s very impressive maternity leave no doubt makes this dedication to breastfeeding possible. UK ladies get 52 weeks off for maternity leave (39 of which is paid) which pretty much trumps our measly 12 weeks in the United States. Working American mothers who choose to breastfeed must contend with pumping, breastfeeding schedules, and storing as much milk as possible for the husband/partner/nanny to distribute throughout the day. It’s impossible to judge a working woman (who just gave birth and has an employer who demands her back at her desk) for not wanting yet another something on her to-do list — and sadly, one of those somethings is often breastfeeding.

These statistics out of the UK not only show us how we could boost breastfeeding in the States, but also how much we impacting the health of infants with our own limited maternity leave.