Across most of America and Europe, a mothers’ right to breastfeed in public places is protected by law. Companies there can even be fined for preventing babies from being breastfed. However, in APAC, a mother’s right to breastfeed in public areas is not as well protected. How comfortable do people in APAC feel seeing mothers breastfeeding in public areas? YouGov, the world’s leading online research firm, polled 9,242 people in APAC to understand the acceptance towards public breastfeeding.
77% of APAC respondents think breastfeeding in public is acceptable
In general, acceptance towards breastfeeding in public areas is high across APAC. Over 3 in 4 people interviewed in APAC think it is acceptable for mothers to breastfeed their babies in public. The acceptance level is the highest in Australia (87%), Hong Kong (87%) and Thailand (85%). However, people in Indonesia are least likely to think public breastfeeding is acceptable, with only 61% saying it is acceptable for a woman to breastfeed in public.
Younger and single respondents tend to be less supportive of public breastfeeding
Looking at the acceptance level across different age groups, the younger generation tends to be less tolerant than the older generation towards breastfeeding in public, with only 74% of respondents aged between 16-34, compared with 80% of respondents aged 35 or above saying public breastfeeding is acceptable.
Single respondents (74%) are also less supportive of breastfeeding in public than those respondents who are married (81%).
Interestingly, more male respondents (78%) than female respondents (76%) think breastfeeding in public area is acceptable.
Less than 10% of APAC respondents feel that a mother’s right to breastfeed in public should not be protected by law
Should a mother’s right to breastfeed in public be protected by law? Most of the APAC respondents are supportive of this, with 75% saying a mother’s right to breastfeed in public should be protected by law, and just 9% saying it should not
Despite Singapore having a high acceptance of public breastfeeding (79%), they are the least likely to be supportive of a law with only 65% agreeing that a mother’s right to breastfeed in public should be protected. This is even lower than an Indonesia (who were least likely to find it acceptable), in which 71% of respondents agree to a law for the protection of public breastfeeding.
Data was collected online between 26 Mar to 4 Apr 2017 using YouGov’s panel of over 5 million people worldwide. It was weighted to be representative of online population. Sample size: Asia Pacific (n = 9,242; Australia: 1,001; Hong Kong: 911; Indonesia: 1,140; Malaysia: 1,734; Philippines: 1,185; Singapore: 1,055; Thailand: 1,181; Vietnam: 1,035)