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Baby Feeding Negatively Impacts Most Moms’ Mental Health, Survey Says

“As a team of moms, we wish that someone would have told us about all the different paths this journey could take. There isn’t a one size fits all mantra. Every feeding journey is different.”
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published September 14, 2021
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Image: Courtesy of Bobbie

The fourth trimester is one that many new moms still feel inadequately prepared for. Not only are new mothers still recovering from labor and delivery, but they’re also worrying about how to best care for baby—and dealing with all the judgement that comes with it, particularly when it comes to feeding baby.

A new survey of 1000 new moms—conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Bobbie, a female-founded and mom-led infant formula company—found that 46 percent of new moms have lied about their feeding choices, including 54 percent of working moms. The survey also found:

  • 90 percent of new moms felt the challenges of caring for baby had negatively impacted their mental health
  • 72 percent of new moms said feeding baby was much more challenging than they had anticipated
  • 70 percent of moms who had intended to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months were not able to meet that expectation
  • 79 percent admitted to feeling guilty about some aspect of their infant feeding journey

Alongside the research, on September 13, Bobbie launched The Feeding Confessionals, a year-long video project that captures the feeding journeys of 10 different parents. It will look at the journeys of 400 new moms over 6 months from pregnancy through the fourth trimester with video diaries to understand how much expectations varied from reality.

The project aims to help and prepare new parents and parents-to-be for the raw realities of feeding baby. Plus, to help new moms feel more supported as they adjust to motherhood and caring for baby, Bobbie is also partnering with Mindful Mamas, a maternal wellness app, to offer 20 original guided meditations around breastfeeding, pumping, bottle feeding, weaning and more.

“As a team of moms, we wish that someone would have told us about all the different paths this journey could take. There isn’t a one size fits all mantra. Every feeding journey is different,” Bobbie co-founder and CEO Laura Modi said in a press release. “The Feeding Confessionals looks to create another safe space for parents struggling to breastfeed while advocating for less mom guilt…We recognize that the health benefits of breastfeeding (for the mother and baby) cannot be compared to formula but we hope to end feeding stigma in the parenting community because it has a severe impact on moms’ mental health, emotions and wellbeing.”

Mindful Mamas CEO and founder Terra LaRock also added, “On a daily basis, the Mindful Mamas team speaks with mothers who are riddled with guilt, second-guessing their decisions, or overwhelmed by information. We must continue to normalize experiences and give our mothers a safe place to rest their busy minds. That’s exactly what the app’s new feeding meditations do. They normalize, they educate, they encourage and they empower. We need to keep the drumbeat of maternal wellness alive, and that includes evolving the conversation around how we feed our babies.”

To learn more about the project and the survey, visit MilkDrunk.com.

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