The government is enouraging mothers to breastfeed in public

A national campaign has been launched to encourage mothers to breastfeed in public after a poll found that they feel embarrassed.

Public Health England said it wanted to "break down the barriers and stigma" around breastfeeding in public with its new Start4Life campaign. Its poll of more than 2,300 people found a third of new mothers have shied away from breastfeeding in public, with 21 per cent feeling other people do not want them to do it.

"Breastfeeding gives babies the best start in life and it comes with a whole host of benefits for the mother, too," Dr Ann Hoskins, from Public Health England, said. "Anxiety about breastfeeding in public certainly shouldn't be a barrier to breastfeeding in general."

Six out of 10 new mothers have tried to hide their breastfeeding in public, while 34 per cent have felt embarrassed or uncomfortable.

Separate research conducted last year by YouGov found most people were supportive of women breastfeeding in public.

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