James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
As it’s reported that Britain is the worst country in the world for breastfeeding, one caller says it’s a class problem.
James O’Brien was discussing the revelation that British mothers breastfeed less than mothers in other countries. This has been attributed to pressure on mothers to “get their lives back” in terms of losing weight and socialising more.
Ella from Hommerton offered another reason for the low rates of breastfeeding - class.
“I come from a very working class background. My own mother called it [breastfeeding] disgusting and my sister said I couldn’t do it in her house.
“I’ve got tears in my eyes now thinking about it. I was so upset.”
Ella, who has two children, says that her husband, whose family she calls “more professional”, have always been supportive of her desire to breastfeed her children.
The reason why her family was so hostile to Ella breastfeeding isn’t clear, but it could have something to do with how they perceive breasts. Another listener wrote in that the problem was “many women don’t breastfeed because they worry that their partners think their breasts are purely sexual. A change of attitude, especially in working class men, would really help the health of their children.”
“Yeah, I totally agree with that.” Ella said.