Only one third of Aussie mums are comfortable with breastfeeding in public

Philips AVENT survey reveals Australian mothers’ breastfeeding habits

July 23, 2012

Sydney, Australia – When it comes to the highly debated subject of breastfeeding in public, only a third of Australian women said they would feel at ease breastfeeding in a shopping centre, restaurant or café, according to an online survey1 by Philips AVENT. The majority of women (40%) said they prefer the privacy and comfort of a mother’s room.

Jane Barry, Baby Feeding and Wellbeing Adviser on behalf of Philips AVENT, says “Although breastfeeding is a natural way of feeding our babies, some women feel embarrassed when breastfeeding in public and report feeling that they are ‘exposing’ themselves. Positioning a wrap over the breast and baby, finding a quiet, distraction free zone to breastfeed or timing outings to not coincide with feeds are workable options”.

The survey also revealed that over a third of women plan to or actually breastfed their baby for a 6-12 month period, while over a quarter breastfed for 0-6 months. When asked why breastfeeding was important to them, over three quarters of women said they believe that breast milk is better for their baby’s health.

“Breastfeeding helps mothers feel close and connected to their baby. It can be such a special experience. Only through her children can a mother practise such an intimate and nurturing connection,” Jane said. 

When discussing the difficulties faced with establishing feeding, those surveyed outlined three main issues - sore or damaged nipples, the baby not latching properly and milk supply.

“Just because breastfeeding is natural does not mean it is always easy. For all sorts of reasons breastfeeding can be challenging, for mothers and their babies too,” said Jane.

“It often takes time to learn the skills involved in correctly attaching a baby to the breast and to ensure they are suckling effectively. It’s worth remembering though, that the benefits of breastfeeding are so significant that it is almost always worthwhile to work through problems and remain positive,” Jane said.   

The results also highlighted the number one feature parents look for when purchasing a breast pump, with more than half agreeing that ease of use is most important.

The Philips AVENT range of manual and electronic breast pumps are specifically designed to make feeding and caring for your baby easier, with the Philips AVENT Electronic Breast Pump recently awarded the My Child Magazine’s ‘Best Feeding Product’.  It has a memory that learns and continues your personal pumping rhythm for maximum comfort and has been designed to give mothers infinitely variable control over speed, vacuum and rhythm for their complete comfort. This coupled with soft patented petal massage cushions which flex in and out, allows for a comfortable and relaxed pumping experience. 

“Breast pumps and feeding equipment designed for expressing and storing breast milk are a practical alternative to weaning completely. With breast pumps available in manual or electronic forms with single and double versions, there is a pump to suit individual requirements, whatever they may be,” Jane said.

For more information on Philips AVENT visit

1 Philips AVENT online customer survey of 285 people conducted in March 2012

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2011 sales of EUR 22.6 billion and employs approximately 122,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at