I’m gobby. There is no doubt about it. I have yelled at people for pushing in queues in shops, given drivers the “V” who have cut me up and hence my Nan has called me a fishwife in the past. This is not something I am generally proud of now and I do try to think before I open my mouth.
So the very thought of someone daring to make a comment about me breastfeeding in public was enough to get me riled. I was ready for ANYONE who challenged me. But it never happened. Not once. Trust me this was a surprise. What about all those stories in the Daily Fail? Being booted out of cafes and restaurants for showing a nipple and daring to feed their children. I’m not sure sure if it’s where I live, the friends I was with who were also feeding, or just my blase “whip my boob out” attitude.
I’ve fed in the lovely designated John Lewis baby rooms, cafes, restaurants, the park, on an aeroplane, in a side room during a wedding, behind a clothes rack in Tesco, on floors, in people’s houses. I’ve lost track. I never had an issue. Not once. In fact people have been really nice. On one particularly difficult day I sat on a bench in town, whilst the gremlin refused to latch on. A nice old dear came up to me to have a peek at her and said how lovely it was I was managing to breastfeed. This was great and I persevered with the little monster.
I’m not saying people don’t have issues with public feeding. You do read about it all the time, it does happen and it is horrendous. I do believe however, a lot of issues may stem from fear and worry by the Mum themselves about what other people may think about their public breastfeeding. There is a lot of insecurities, possibly instigated from some of the horror stories published in the news. Can someone see my boob? Am I doing it right? What if my baby cries? There are lots of worries. I know people conversely worry about public bottle feeding (well they aren’t breastfeeding so what about being judged?).
My experience was very positive and my advice would be, as Nike says, “Just do it”. The more nonchalant you are the better. Try breastfeeding cafes, go with friends and practice at home first if you are worried. If all else fails and your baby is screaming or you nipple pops out, hold your head high and stuff everyone. You have a right to feed your baby wherever you need to and feel proud that you are doing such a good job.
Great giveaway thank you! I support breastfeeding!
I found the first latch with my daughter 9.5 years ago relatively easy, but I just couldn't do it after that. I tried expressing but gave up after just 2 weeks so have no experience of feeding in public. Have regretted it ever since and am more determined than ever to get it right with number 2. Due in 10 weeks and hoping to feed until at least 6 months, hopefully a year this time 🙂
Lovely to read about your positive experiences. I've never had a problem either. In the early days I was a little nervous but definitely found lots of support with other mummies feeding out and about.
Great giveaway- breastfeeding is hard but so important for the baby's heath and development so keep at it everyone!
I'm another gobby one who has been most disappointed to never be given the chance to give someone a mouthful about my breastfeeding 😉
Thank you for a lovely post.
This is great! The only problem I ever had with breastfeeding in public was with myself. But I soon got over my fear after an incident when Evie wouldn't latch on and was crying, the 'curtain' fell off onto the floor and I fully flashed my boob to an entire restaurant of onlookers concerned why my child was upset. After showing my boob to so many people in my feared situation I soon got over it. No one then cared either which was great, they all seemed more concerned that I was struggling. xx #maternitymondays
I am so glad you had a positive experience and it is great that you are honest about it, people tend to share the negative side of things so it is so reassuring that you can share the positive. I also had a positive feeding experience in public! Thanks for linking with #mummyandus
Great post and so glad you had a positive experience – that can make all the difference to it all working out #mummyandus xx
It is great to read about a positive experience rather than all the negative stories. none of the mums I interviewed had any comments made to them but many did feel conscious and some a little defensive. Great post. #mummyandus
Really pleased to see you're having such a positive time with it. I loved breast feeding and can't wait to do it again when bump nu.2 arrives. I hated feeding in public at first but then I just didn't care. x #MaternityMondays
Great post! I got more confident with time, but I felt really vulnerable to begin with. By the end I didn't really care. I too never had a bad experience! #mummyandus
So glad that your experiences with public breastfeeding have all been so positive – mine have too and I always loved the supportive comments that I occasionally received from old ladies. Good point about highlighting too that people can be anxious about being judged for public bottlefeeding because they are not breastfeeding. All goes to show that some people are just judgmental what ever you do as a parent and it is best to just ignore them and remember that it is your child and you are doing what works best for you as a family. I didn't get on with using a cover when breastfeeding either – much easier to just get on and feed without the faff as far as I was concerned but if they make other mums more comfortable about feeding when out and about that's great.
I never used a cover, I tried a muslin with Boo but she is too nosey and liked to see out, even if it was a limited view. I have had a couple of tuts, but that was as Boo got older. I agree with you about just do it and the confidence thing, easier said than done in the early days when you are both learning but it happens =) brilliant post =)
I also had only positive experiences of public breastfeeding. And I did it a lot! Just stopped BF after 16 months. I live in South Africa now where far less mums BF at all, but I carried on nonetheless and am so glad I did! #maternitymondays
I've been breastfeeding my daughter in public for 4.5 years, and mostly it's been fine. Had an issue at a swimming pool in Bristol, and a couple of comments on the bus about her being too old (when she was 2), but either I am oblivious to negativity, or nobody is bothered!
Fantastic! Great that you are bringing awareness to breastfeeding in public. I hope that more mommies do it & then everyone will be more comfortable in time! #mummyandus x
This would be absolutely fantastic as pregnant with Twins at the mo and Due on Christmas day! super excited!!!!! Thank you so much for the chance. x
My kids are long grown, but I breastfed all three and never had a problem in public. Think it is totally idiotic that peopel would object, when there is nudity everywhere you look. Breastfeeding is what breast were meant to do, after all. I also bottle fed the second and first because they quit too soon one because I was too young to know what to do, the second because I ended up in hospital with an infection, so yes, I understand the pros and cons of each. Bravo to you and anyone else for refusing to make a big deal, and just doing it. 🙂
Fab post and giveaway thanks
I love feeding so much, the first 2 weeks were the hardest, but after that I would say its much easier than the bottle as it's on tap all the time! No warming, always the perfect temperature. I just love it ! 🙂
I think you should be able to do it in public.
I think you should be able to do it in public.
Breastfeeding is so important x
Indeed; a mother can and should feed her baby wherever and whenever needed. It's good to share experiences of things going well; the instances when they don't dominates and results in so many insecurities. Like you, I'm ready to rail if ever challenged, but it took ages to get that confident. It defintiely helps to get on with it, without thinking someone is waiting to challenge us. 🙂 #MaternityMondays