I have only been a mum for a short amount of time (5weeks) and we have been through some ups and downs, I won’t lie to you it’s hard work sometimes. However, I was sitting today wondering about that we could do each day so that Milo sees different things and has a change of scenery because I’m sure our living room and me constantly smiling in his face can be quite boring for someone just discovering the world. A lot of people suggest going for walks into town, going out for a meal and baby groups but I find myself hesitant to go outside at the moment.
Today I was reading an article about Sam Faires recently putting pictures up on Instagam of her feeding her son and the backlash that she got for it. Suddenly it just clicked.
This is 100% the reason that I put off going places and make excuses. Even though I know that nobody can ever ask you to leave because you are breastfeeding and I know it’s just how I feed my baby, no big deal right? Wrong. Everyone around you will make it a big deal.
I have breastfed once in public and Ash said I have never looked more on edge. I walked into the cafe and I chose my seat carefully, there was no tables away from everyone so I chose one near a grandma, mum and two children because I thought they won’t care, they know what it is like! The grandma stared at me the whole time I was trying to get Milo to latch on (which made it 10 times harder) and when I caught her eye she gave me an awkward smile but still continued to stare.
To me everything is wrong with that situation. Why should I have had to choose my seat carefully because I need to feed my newborn baby. If I had a bottle I wouldn’t have chosen that seat. Why should I feel nervous about feeding my child and want him to feed faster than he usually does, I don’t do that at home. Why should people look at me awkwardly? The attitude to breastfeeding is so mixed that nobody knows exactly how the feel about it, not even me.
I love breastfeeding (when it’s not every half an hour) and I am totally comfortable and happy with how it is all going at the moment but even when I am around my inlaws I feel the need to go to a different room and get Milo to latch on and then cover up in front of them which is ridiculous! However, it just makes me so anxious about what other people are thinking.
I remember in the first week after giving birth this is what I cried about the most. We had so many visitors who asked about feeding and told us ‘just give him formula’. It really really upset me because I just needed encouragement at this stage and all we had were doubters. Ash tried to explain to me in my hysterical state that they just suggested it because it might be easier for me. Still, it was a massive kick in the stomach and I remember crying on the couch and waking up Milo just so I could cuddle him and feel better.
I don’t have any solutions or big ideas on how to normalise breastfeeding, it just angers me that it is like this. I don’t want to be scared to do things just incase someone stares at me while I feed my son. Who knows how I would react if someone actually said something!
As I said at the start of this post I’ve only been a mum for 5 short weeks and I have plenty more moments like this ahead of me and I’m sure I will feel more comfortable at some point. I hope it’s soon though.
Do you breastfeed? Let me know how you feel about it in the comments and how you deal with the looks.
Lots of love x