I have a few mums that have said to me ‘I’m shocked you have the feeding in public fear, you seem so confident’. Its not that I fear feeding in public, that I have no issue with. Its that I fear the confrontation that some mothers face for doing it. You hear all the horror stories and very few positive stories. However I was also well aware of my rights and whenever we have fed in public I’ve always found it very empowering.
I definitely found it easy when I was with friends and family so that I could carry on a conversation and focus out of everyone around me who may be trying to stare or make eye contact. Very occasionally I used a breastfeeding cover if I felt uncomfortable in a situation but I can tell you that was countable on one hand. Probably only 4 times maybe. I know once was when little man was still quite young, my mum was off work at the time and we were in Nandos, the place was filled with business men in suits and I really wasn’t feeling so hot about doing it with very little female support around and so decided to use the cover. That being said I’ve sat on packed commuter trains feeding and people around me have got up to leave, thats their prerogative.
Knowing my rights was what meant I always did feed in public when I needed to. I knew that if a manager or employee of a coffee shop challenged me I could tell them I was within my rights to feed there. That helped because I knew I wasn’t in the wrong. I knew if a fellow customer asked me to move elsewhere or to the toilet that I would challenge them with ‘would you like to eat your lunch in the toilet?’.
I think there are a number of reasons why people think its acceptable to ask a breastfeeding mother to move but lets not get into that debate. My big thing has always been if you have no issue with a mother bottle feeding her baby then why do you have an issue with a mum breastfeeding their baby? They are both eating and getting the nutrition they require. So whats the difference?
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Tomorrow I’ll be writing about pumping and what its like having over supply!