More than 90 percent of Nursing Mothers Do Not Consult Lactation Experts or Use Milk Banks Despite Facing Challenges in Breastfeeding

  • Almost 50% of mothers cite low milk supply poses breastfeeding difficulties
  • Only 7% consult a lactation consultant
  • 55% of mothers mentioned their baby’s hunger is not satisfied exclusively with breastmilk
  • One-fourth of mothers report not having access to milk banks where they live
  • Around 40% of nursing mothers use breast pumps

As part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, World Breastfeeding Week is commemorated every year to raise awareness of the advantages of breastfeeding for infant growth and development. This year’s theme #WBW2022 focuses on “Educate & Support”- how everyone – spouse, family, community, workplaces, govt. as well as public health organisations can support nursing mums to breastfeed. To better gauge women’s awareness about the measures available to support them to breastfeed and the challenges that they still might face, Mylo, a leading full-stack D2C platform for expecting and new mothers, conducted a survey with over 1,200 nursing mothers across India.

The Survey revealed that breastfeeding presents major challenges for over 83% of Indian mothers. Almost 50% of nursing mothers surveyed expressed facing physical difficulties in their breastfeeding journey. The difficulties faced range from incorrect latching and sore or irritated nipples, to an equal number of women citing inadequate supply of breastmilk as a major obstacle.

Contrary to what may be perceived, only 7% consulted a lactation expert for advice or support. Most breastfeeding mothers either solicited advice from family or friends (66%) or from YouTube and videos available online (33%).

Amongst the nursing moms, 55% confirmed that their baby’s hunger is not satisfied exclusively with breastmilk, leading 46% of moms to use baby formula as a supplement. Interestingly, although 46% of the moms surveyed were aware about the availability of milk banks, only 5% had ever accessed a milk bank to purchase milk and feed their infant. 25% of the mothers stated the reason being that they have no milk banks in the area, indicating a lot more needs to be done in terms of setting up milk banks across the country.

The survey also reveals an increasing awareness amongst lactating mothers about the usage of breast pumps to ensure that their baby is breast-fed even when they are unavailable to do so. Almost 40% of nursing moms use breast pumps as it assures them that their babies are breastfed with adequate nutrition even when they are away due to work or household chores.

Given the societal outlook and the taboo around breastfeeding in public in India, 25% of the mothers confirm that they are uncomfortable to breastfeed while travelling or in public places. Here breast pumps offer the convenience of feeding the baby with a bottle of breastmilk while on the move. 22% of the new mothers have complained that the infant not latching effectively poses a challenge while breastfeeding and a breast pump is also useful for a lactating mother to pump out milk. Breast pumps also help prevent engorgement of breasts, a very common problem with lactating mothers.

Reflecting on the survey findings, Shaveta Gupta, Head – Content & Community, Mylo, said, “Mylo ensures that new mothers enjoy the wonderful journey of becoming new parents and not be stressed with challenges in breastfeeding. To educate nursing moms, the Mylo app provides free access to expert-verified videos and articles. To further support them, the clinic section on the app provides lactation expert consultation services. This breastfeeding week, Mylo has also launched a tech solution providing easy information and access to milk banks across India. Understanding and acting on the survey results, Mylo will offer free consultations with lactation experts this complete month, to help nursing moms to overcome any challenges they may be experiencing in their breastfeeding journey.”

About Mylo

Mylo is a leading full-stack D2C platform for expecting and new mothers. It acts as a close companion to mothers as they embark upon this journey of raising a family. The platform provides a personalised experience, a helpful community of mothers & experts, and curated products – everything a mother needs for her parenting journey. Last year, Mylo launched its own D2C Brands for Mothers & Babies in personal care, premium Ayurveda and daily essentials based on community feedback and leveraging its R&D capabilities. Recently, Mylo has launched Mylo Clinic where a new or expecting mom gets access to curated health packages and can book consultations with doctors and experts. Mylo has recently raised $17 mn in Series B funding. At Mylo, the company’s vision is to – “Raise Happiness” of all mothers as “Happy moms raise happy families”.

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