Lansinoh Study Reveals Nearly Half of U.S. Moms Uncomfortable Breastfeeding in Public

Moms’ ages and geographic locations dramatically affect opinions about breastfeeding in public, understanding of related health benefits and perceptions about infant formula

WASHINGTON--()--Lansinoh Laboratories Inc., the leading mom-preferred brand of breastfeeding accessories and an innovator of toddler mealtime solutions, today released the 2012 Lansinoh Breastfeeding Study. The results revealed that most U.S. moms understand breastfeeding is the best way to feed their babies, but state their greatest concern is breastfeeding in public.

“Breastfeeding in public became one of the hottest publicly debated topics in 2012. We were interested to find out how that affected moms’ decisions to breastfeed,” said Gina Ciagne, CLC and senior director, professional relations at Lansinoh. “As our survey reveals, moms know that breastfeeding is the best thing for their baby, but fear the reaction they will get if they choose to do so in public.”

  • 79 percent of moms know breastfeeding is the best choice for a healthy baby.
  • 40 percent of moms list their greatest concern as breastfeeding in public. Other top concerns are:
    • It would hurt (28 percent).
    • They wouldn’t be able to breastfeed long enough (28 percent).
    • Baby wouldn’t latch (25 percent).
  • Nearly one-third of moms surveyed stated that women who breastfeed in public are attention seeking or that it is embarrassing or even wrong.
  • Moms aged 18-25 are the least likely to worry about breastfeeding in public (33 percent), but have more concerns than older moms do about the potential pain (55 percent) and baby not latching on correctly (49 percent).
  • Older moms have greater concerns about breastfeeding in public, with women in the 36-45 and the 46-and-older age groups citing it as their biggest qualm about breastfeeding (42 percent and 41 percent, respectively).
  • Compared to mothers internationally, U.S. moms are slightly more concerned about breastfeeding in public, at 40 percent, while (for example) 38 percent of U.K. moms have the same concern. However, rates in both countries are dramatically higher related to fears about breastfeeding in public than in Germany, where only 28 percent noted it as concern, and in Turkey, where only 11 percent of moms had any fear of breastfeeding in public.

Where moms live in the U.S. also seems to impact their level of concern about breastfeeding in public, with Midwestern moms having the highest concerns:

  • Midwestern moms:
    • Feel the most uncomfortable with the concept of breastfeeding in public (43 percent).
    • Have the highest positive perception about infant formula, viewing it as a good alternative to breast milk (83 percent).
    • Include 25 percent who don’t think that breastfeeding is the best option for their babies (this was the highest rating across the U.S. for this sentiment).
    • State they would be least influenced by celebrity moms as role models for breastfeeding in public.
  • Southern moms:
    • Rank second to Midwestern moms with concerns about breastfeeding in public (39 percent).
    • Choose to breastfeed because of the health benefits to babies (52 percent), second only to the West Coast (57 percent).
    • Include the second-highest number of moms who are afraid breastfeeding would hurt (30 percent), with East Coast moms being slightly more afraid of potential pain (31 percent).
    • Are least likely to see celebrity moms breastfeeding in public as being an influencer (18 percent).
  • East Coast moms:
    • Rate least likely to think breastfeeding in public is perfectly natural, at 41 percent, but 25 percent say that it is unavoidable.
    • Also rate least likely to believe a baby should be breastfed for 12 months, at 23 percent; however, they had the highest belief that babies should breastfeed past 24 months (5 percent).
    • Rate highest in feeling that a gap exists concerning health care provider support (18 percent). These moms were told only the basics of breastfeeding and not how to cope when problems arose.
    • Seem to feel minimal impact of celebrity moms breastfeeding in public, although East Coast moms rank this slightly higher than moms from the Midwest and South.
  • West Coast moms:
    • Are the most likely to believe that breastfeeding in public is perfectly natural (51 percent).
    • Rate highest in the nation for feeling positively supported by their health care providers regarding breastfeeding issues (50 percent).
    • Top the chart across the nation for believing breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby (84 percent).
    • Rate highest in stating the likelihood that celebrity moms breastfeeding in public would influence them (27 percent).
  • Opinions about breastfeeding in public are consistent among U.S. moms who work full-time, work part-time or stay (work!) at home.
  • Very few moms list breastfeeding being a more cost-effective solution for infant feeding as a major benefit. This is fairly consistent regardless of number of children or working status, which is surprising considering the current challenging economic conditions many are facing in the U.S. The average cost of formula for an infant for one year is estimated to be between $1,500 and $2,000.
  • The optimal length of time moms should breastfeed is also a question in the Lansinoh survey. Most moms surveyed (26 percent) believe six to nine months is the ideal length of time, and only 19 percent of moms agree that babies should be breastfed for longer than 12 months.

“This survey gave us a deeper understanding of how moms’ feeding decisions seem to be influenced (or impacted) by what region of the country they live [in],” said Ciagne. “Lansinoh and other breastfeeding advocates still have a lot of work to do, especially to reach and teach moms in areas of the country where moms have identified the negative perceptions and barriers to breastfeeding success, namely in regard to feeding in public. It is important for people to understand that breastfeeding is the best preventive medicine for children, as it provides health benefits for moms and babies that last a lifetime, but it is also important for moms to know how to do it practically and to feel comfortable doing it.”

The Lansinoh survey was completed in 2012 and includes responses from nearly 5,000 breastfeeding moms in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Turkey.

Lansinoh has been helping breastfeeding moms around the world for more than 25 years have greater success in breastfeeding, by working closely with the professional community to promote breastfeeding education and to develop product advancements and innovative solutions.

The Lansinoh brand is the top choice of U.S. moms, with its No. 1-selling HPA Lanolin, Disposable Nursing Pads and Breastmilk Storage Bags. In October 2012, Lansinoh unveiled its newest innovation for moms — the Lansinoh Affinity Pro Double Electric Breast Pump, the first pump that offers three customizable pumping styles to help moms increase milk production and pumping comfort. The Affinity Pro is expected to launch in stores nationwide beginning next month. For special offers and coupons for Lansinoh products, go to


Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh has been committed for more than 25 years to helping new moms succeed in breastfeeding. Famous for its award-winning cornerstone product, HPA Lanolin, today Lansinoh is the market leader in breastfeeding accessories and premium toddler mealtime and baby toiletry products that help moms, families and babies live healthy lives. Lansinoh is committed to continuing to drive innovation and maintain the highest quality standards in the industry. The Lansinoh family of brands, which is available in more than 25,000 retail stores nationwide, includes Lansinoh breastfeeding accessories, Lansinoh mOmma bottle feeding systems, mOmma toddler mealtime products and Earth Friendly Baby skin care. For more information, please visit or, like us on Facebook at LansinohUSA or mOmmaUS, and follow us on Twitter at @LansinohUSA and @mOmmaUS. For current coupons, visit


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Hilary Riedemann, 703-300-8544

Release Summary

Lansinoh Laboratories Inc. today released the 2012 Lansinoh Breastfeeding Study. Moms’ ages and geographic locations dramatically affect opinions about breastfeeding.


Focused Image
Hilary Riedemann, 703-300-8544