Breastfeeding in Public 

 

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

The Pramshed

	

10 Replies to “Breastfeeding in Public ”

  1. I’m a mum to 3 girls 8, 3 and 6 weeks. I have breastfed them all and have to admit I still get nervous feeding in public. I think the worst part is trying to cover up and get them latched on as you can’t see what your doing with mussie’s and scarfs and such in the way! I always get hot and bothered and baby gets stressed as they just want their dinner. Once their latched on and feeding happily I relax and feel alot better. Luckily I have never had any negative comments while feeding in public and can only say just concentrate on you and baby and ignore all the starers (this will only get worse once the tantrums come a few years down 😅). Don’t let it stop you going out. Hope this has helped. Your baby is gorgeous btw, enjoy motherhood its hard work sometimes but is the best job in the world 😊 xx

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  2. My little girl is 16 weeks now and i know exactly how you are feeling. I was exactly the same timing trips out around feeding and rushing to get home before she would need fed again. I recommend finding a breast feeding support group as thats when i started to build up my confidence as everyone else is feeding their babies at some point and go from there. I still worry but at the end of the day you are doing whats best for your baby and if you or anyone else were hungry you would just eat and that’s all your baby is doing. If anyone doesnt like it then that is their problem not yours xx

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  3. I breastfed my son for 6 months and I was never scared to feed him in public but to start with, as like yourself, I did find myself choosing a more discreet place in a cafe/restaurant, leaving rooms to latch him on etc. As we both became more accustomed to it (and I didn’t want to cry everytime he latched on) I soon thought sod it!
    I always chose to cover myself when feeding, but that was due to my own personal preference of not wanting to expose myself, NOT because other people would care that I was feeding my son. Someone once told me though that if someone is staring at you whilst feeding, stare them directly in the eye and wink! They’ll more than likely be so embarrassed you caught them gawking that they will stop.
    It gets easier as they get older when they learn to latch on themselves rather than having to help them out, keep at it, you’re doing great x

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  4. I totally understand where you’re coming from!! Ed really helps me with covering up with a swaddle blanket (easy for Rosa to breathe and enough fabric to cover everything) when we’re out and I definitely feel for confident when trying when he is with me! However when I’m by myself I definitely feel more confident than I used to (even feeding on a jam packed train!!) hope you start to feel better about it soon! It’s a shame we feel this way when all we’re doing is good! Xxx

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  5. I’m 22 and my little boys 10 months and I’m still breastfeeding and love it! At the very beginning as I got used to latching him on, i would be a bit nervous in public but soon felt very comfortable! I’m so proud to be able to feed him for this long and couldn’t care less what people think. I have been very lucky and have only ever received lovely comments off people! Please don’t let others effect what you want to do, do what you feels best for your baby. It’s the most loving thing to know your the only one who can feed and comfort your baby. You’re doing a brilliant job, keep telling yourself that! Milo is an absolute cutey!! X

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  6. When I had my first child I was exactly the same, when the in-laws came to visit us I went in my bedroom to feed my son. Looking back at how I was, I feel silly because I stopped b/f after being too overwhelmed by it all. With my second I was determined to b/f for as long as I could but I was still very embarrassed to feed in public. I bought a breastfeeding cover and used it a handful of times then something just changed and now I feed anywhere, even walking around in public. My second child is 10 months old and he’s only recently got teeth, my nipples are so sore from him biting them but it’s the best feeling in the world overcoming my fear of b/f in public. Don’t worry about people giving you funny looks, the likelyhood of seeing them again and remembering who they are is unlikely.

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    1. I did it the other day in a cafe and i was a little less bothered by it. I kind of have the attitude that if you don’t want a crying baby next to you then just ignore my boob squirting milk all over his face while I try and latch him on and we will all be friends. Thanks for the supportive comments, breastfeeding mums definitely need support and assurance that we all feel the same but are doing well. x

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  7. I know exactly how you feel, especially the bit about finding the perfect chair when we were out and about. At first I was so self-conscious, sometimes our little one would be so hungry and screaming and wouldn’t latch on, that was the worst when we were out. I particularly liked a seat at a booth or on a long bench, as I often felt that these were the most private. But then I think about it, why are we trying to seek out the perfect chair as you say, there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding, but that doesn’t stop people staring or making you feel self-conscious doing it. It really does get easier hun, I promise, as the baby gets bigger and can support their own head, it is so much easier to hold them and get them to latch on. Also as they older feeds become less frequent. Thank you so much for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG, hope you come back next week. Claire x

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  8. This is such a great post, my baby is 1 week old and we’re planning to go out for the day soon and I’m really nervous about breastfeeding in public. It’s great to read everyone’s experiences and know that I’m not alone in feeling that way but it’s also made me try not to care about what others think, at the end of the day my baby needs to eat! So thanks for writing this post, I feel so much more reassured reading your post and everyone’s replies 🙂

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