‘Breast is best’

July 02, 2010, 8:46 PM GMT+0

The majority of British adults believes that breast milk is the best type of milk to feed babies aged 0-6 months, and most think women should have children in their 20s, recent research has found.

Despite Mother and Baby magazine deputy editor Kathryn Blundell reigniting the sensitive breast/bottle debate recently (when she described breastfeeding as ‘creepy’), only six percent of Britons think formula milk is the best milk to feed babies in their first six months, compared to a much larger 82% who think breast milk is better. When it comes to first time births, 75% feel that the ages 20-29 are the best time for women to have their first child, while only 16% feel that the ages 30-39 are a better option.

However, despite seemingly widespread support for breastfeeding, only 48% of British adults say they feel comfortable seeing a woman breast-feeding her child in a public space while a significant 13% say that seeing a baby breast-fed in public makes them feel uncomfortable. Interestingly, younger people are more likely to feel uncomfortable – 19% of 18-34 year olds compared to 12% of 35-54 year olds, decreasing again to ten percent of people aged 55 and over.

Age is also a factor when it comes to the best age for a woman to have her first child. While the general consensus is for younger first-time mothers, younger people think it is better to be slightly older, while older generations believe it is best for women to have their first child slightly younger. On average, 18-34 year olds think 28 is the best age to have your first child, compared to 27 for 35 to 54 year olds and 26 for the over 55s, perhaps reflecting the current trend for women to have their first child later in life.

Survey details and full results