Charlotte Church supports Welsh Assembly Government's nursing drive

04/30/2008 at 09:19 AM ET

Church_charlotte_09_042908_cbb_2Charlotte Church has been quite open about how much she’s enjoyed nursing 7-month-old daughter Ruby Megan, and is getting involved in encouraging other young UK mums to do the same. The 22-year-old singer and TV host has become involved in a Welsh Assembly Government drive after recent statistics revealed that only 42% of new Welsh mothers under 20 attempt to breastfeed their babies, as compared to a 76% initial start rate among mothers over age 30.

Being a young parent herself, Charlotte felt it was important to share that it can be done, and talked candidly about why nursing is the right choice for her and her daughter.

It was really reassuring knowing that Rubyhad extra protection from chest, ear and stomach infections, as well asfrom diabetes and allergies.

On top of that, breastfeeding is free and really convenient — especially in the middle of the night! Feeding Ruby myself has been such a positive experience and Iwould definitely recommend to other mums that they try it.

Idon’t know why so few young mums choose to breastfeed, but I think thereare a lot of myths out there. It’s important they hear from real mumslike me and have all the information they need to make their minds up.

The campaign officially begins on Monday, May 12th.

Source: The Press Association; Photo by FAME.

Thanks to CBB reader Laura.

Do you think celebrities should publicly endorse breastfeeding? Do you think it will help educate the mainstream or just preach to the choir? If you are someone who previously has not been interested in breastfeeding your children, would having a celebrity endorsement make you more likely to try it? Do you think having celebrities talk about breastfeeding will help raise awareness of the benefits or will it alienate people?

Please limit your comments to those that respond to these questions. We will not publish "breast vs bottle" comments.

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Showing 25 comments

Becky on

Good for her!

Megan on

It’s great to see other young moms making that decision for their babies. I’m 22 and still nursing my 9 month old.

mary on

Wow! I am sure this will cause a stir. But I am glad that she can do something like that to help young people (and older) cut through some of the myths. In the end the mom will choose what is right for the baby and herself.
Every mom should know the facts of breast vs bottle. Bottle feeding moms should never put down a breastfeeding mom and a breast feeding mom should never let a bottle feeding mom feel less superior.
I breast fed all four of my children. I had our first at the age of 23 year old (two months before turning 24) Neither my mom or my mother’n law breastfed. I made sooooo many mistakes and for nine months it hurt like hell. She went on the bottle and with the next one I got help from a professional and it was bliss. The last two were so easy. (plus I was way into my middle and late 30;s) Most of my friends never breastfed and at first when we would get together with all of our kids they would say somethings that made me second guess my reasons. Years later some actually said that they were in “awe” that I did nurse. Although they still would not want to try(I asked). At least for them they feel they made the right decision. And I made mine!

Kelly on

I’m not quite sure where I stand on this one. I think that talking about breastfeeding will help new mums to not be so scared of it but I personally find that the health care professionals view on bottle feeding is all wrong. I think that mum’s to be should be given information about both bottle and breast feeding and then be able to make a decision without any pressure or guilt being placed upon them. I was practically forced to breastfeed my daughter and I hated it, I was often in tears because of it but I felt I could not stop for fear of disappointing my family and I was scared the midwife would tell me off! With my Son I stood my ground and I bottle feed him and I am proud of it. So yes, please give new mums information on breastfeeding but lets also loose the bad attitude we have with bottle feeding and I don’t just mean the general public I also mean midwives, health visitors, doctors and nurses.

Lisa on

Good for her! I really wish I could get past the judgement I feel about mothers choosing to bottle feed, but to me it’s like asking me not to judge a mom who chooses to feed her children a diet of nothing but fast food because it’s more convenient. I just can’t help myself.

Michelle on

I certainly agree that women should not be made to feel bad or pressured into one form of feeding or another. However, we need to be given accurate information (not something watered-down out of fear of offending someone), so that we can make a well-informed decision that is appropriate for ourselves and our families. The simple truth–backed up by research, not just opinion– is that, unless there are some unusual circumstances, breastfeeding is better for the health of mothers and babies. I think that also means women should always be encouraged to at least attempt breastfeeding, especially by health care professionals, and even offered assistance as it can be challenging sometimes. BUT–if they decide against it, as Mary and Kelly said, they shouldn’t be made to feel inferior or treated with contempt or scorn. They are still feeding and loving their babies!

Genevieves mummy on

id finished breastfeeding Genevieve at 20 months by the time Ruby was born but i think its great that Charlotte is supporting it. Plenty of people endorse bottle feeding, Jordan / katie price was pictured in an uk mag bottle feeding princess and it had the milk company logo on the side so i think its nice to have a young attractive mum in the limelight shining the torch for breastfeeding. I didnt manage to BF my son and im not saying that just because a celebrity did it it would have made me try harder but it would have been nice to have it feel normal!! (i was 19 at the time)

Shawna on

I practice extended breastfeeding and child-led weaning so I think it’s great!

R on

I had my son at 22 and because of breast feeding problems had to pump for over 18 months. By far the hardest thing ever but so worth it!! I am a huge breast feeding supporter and do enjoy seeing other moms, celebrities included nursing because it’s so good for their babies!
Good for her for being so open!!

J-Lin on

I don’t mind when celebrities give their opinion whether its on clothes, presidential candidates, or breastfeeding. It’s an opinion and I expect them to have one just as every Tom, Dick, and Harry has one. Just don’t force it on me on make it confrontational.

Cathy on

Good for her. I had my first at 17 and nursed for 6 months. I’m glad that she has chosen to share her opinion and make people aware.

D on

Celebrity endorsing will definitely help educate the mainstream if done in the manner Charlotte is doing (not preachy, but educational). Some of my friends and family don’t fully know the benefits of breastmilk and I cringe when I hear them say ignorant things – myths do need to be cleared up!

I’m hoping with more local breastfeeding support out there (and celeb endorsing!), moms can at least try and then decide what’s best for them and their baby.

Ann E. Mouse on

I think it is great when celebs share that they breastfeed, as long as they don’t make it seem like a horrid chore (as Catherine Zeta-Jones used to), or only focus on the downside (potential for thrush or plugged ducts, for example). It seems to me that breastfeeding has long been seen as the poor mom’s cheap food so when a wealthy mum like Charlotte says, yeah, it’s free, but it’s also really, really good for her, someone who was just going to bottlefeed like her mum before her (like J-Lo) might think about giving it a try and any breastmilk is better than none at all!

I’ve nursed two babies, one to 29 months and the other to 17 months (and counting) and it’s been an awesome experience.

Sarah on

I don’t care what celebrities think of any topic any more than I care what a co-worker thinks. If I want to/ don’t want to do something, that’s my decision. Good for her for breastfeeding, but I don’t understand why some people are so public about their choices.

And as for a previous poster’s comment about “enjoying” seeing other women breastfeed, I’m sorry, but I find that creepy.

Linda on

i think it’s great. i think everyone should talk about nursing and encourage it because it’s the very best thing for the babies. to me, it’s a birthright.

i too enjoy seeing other women breastfeeding. it’s sweet to see a mother and baby connected like that. there’s nothing creepy about it.

Rita on

I think everyone who practices breastfeeding should publicly endorse it :) Celebs have a unique advantage at being able to positivley influence more people, so go for it.

Pencils on

Yes, I think it’s a good idea for celebrities to endorse breastfeeding. It makes it seem more normal, more do-able. And when a young woman sees a beautiful celebrity with gorgeous breasts who said she breast-fed her child, she won’t worry so much that breastfeeding will “ruin” her breasts.

Candace on

I have VERY mixed feelings on this topic. I am a young, married mother (23) to two children and tried very hard with both of them to breastfeed and both times it ended up being a nightmare for a multitude of frustrating reasons. Absolutely no bonding OR effective nourishment going on.

Seeing posts like this about celebrities and them gushing over their love of nursing send me on a guilt trip all over again, when I feel like I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m a failure since breastfeeding didn’t work for me, no matter how hard I tried.

Although I sincerely DO feel that breastfeeding is the ideal choice for mother & baby and I will continue to try it with each subsequent baby I think it’s pushed too hard on mothers. What may have started out as good intentions to “educate” mothers has, to me, turned too much into another way for mothers to look down on one another. I wish there could be a balance struck between supportively and positively educating mothers about breastfeeding and also being totally supportive of what a mother eventually ends up choosing.

babyboopie on

I was 19 when I had my son- initially (before I had him) I was scared to breastfeed him as I heard so many horror stories of mastisis and cracked nipples, etc but then when I first saw my son, I knew I just had to breastfeed him so he would get my colostrum- the antibodies he needed to help fight against infections. I would do anything for my little boy so I knew I had to give breastfeeding a go- he latched on and it was a success until he was 6 months old- he wasn’t getting enough from me so after a tearful few nights, I decided to stop breastfeeding my son and put him on the bottle as well as solids. He’s now 4 years old and in perfect health, beautiful and just active!

Kelly on

Yes I agree. I think that the whole attitude to breastfeeding and bottle feeding is wrong. I was practically forced to breastfeed my daughter as I was too scared to stand up to my midwife and tell her I wanted to bottle feed, I was constantly in tears about the situation. Why can’t information about both breast and bottle feeding be given to expectant mum’s and then a decision can be made by them with no judgment from other people? Yes breast feeding is natural and free and it certainly helps bonding but why are women who bottle feed made to feel guilty, as long as their babies are healthy who the heck cares? And as for the person who said the comment about enjoying seeing other women breastfeed was ‘creepy’ she didn’t mean it in a funny way she just meant it’s nice to see women doing the natural thing!

BELA on

I personally don’t care what a celebrity thinks about breastfeeding. I did not breastfeed both of my boys and they never had an ear infection or any major colds as babies. As a mother you have to do what feels right for you and the baby, not what some celebrity tells you to do! I also had a midwife and she never pushed me to brestfeed at all. She told me to do whatever I wanted to do. Unlike poor Kelly who was forced by hers!

emma on

i think its great that celebs endorse breastfeeding. It is one of the ways to promote the benefits of breastfeeding. At the end of the day lots of people follow celebrity trends – what could be more better than breastfeeding being hip & trendy!

maelynn on

hi!i really love ur story.hope u get well

luv alwayz…..
ling-ling

Kristen on

I was 19 when I had my first and I breastfed her for over a year. I know that for me it was inspiring to read things about Lucy Lawless (Xena) breastfeeding. I was determined to breastfeed anyways, despite how hard it was at first and despite the formula being delivered to my doorstep by not-so-well-meaning companies. But even though I was so determined it was still very reassuring to me to see a celeb talking positively about breastfeeding – especially to young mothers. It seems like most celebs just give it token attention for a little bit then all you see are pictures of babies with bottles. It’s good to see a celeb actively promoting it. I hope she does inspire young moms :)

sadie on

I think that Charlotte has done a great thing! My baby was due the same day as Charlotte’s and I remember reading magazine interviews with her in which she said that she wanted to breastfeed. It inspired me to give it a go too, which was a real trial as my baby was born 10 weeks early! After 9 weeks of expressing milk every 3 hours day AND night!, without much success, I finally managed to get my son to latch on and feed. He has had breast milk for 10 months now, something i thought would never happen after his early arrival. It has helped him and our bonding process no end. I cannot say that learning to breastfeed was easy, but I was very lucky to have ALOT of support and guidance from nurses and midwives. I really wish every mother could have that amount of help, although it takes serious dedication and determination too.

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