The Breastfeeding in Public Fear

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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11 thoughts on “The Breastfeeding in Public Fear

  1. I really found it difficult to feed my first daughter in public due to low confidence and her tongue tie so ended up giving her ebm. I now have a 3 week old baby and am slowly gaining the confidence to feed on public with her as she is a much better feeder. A breast feeding butterfly helped at first too as I felt that I was a bit more covered up. I’m so glad I can feed her while out and about this time.

  2. I’ve never had any issues with feeding in public however I have a friend who was very nervous so I offered to meet her in a local cafe for moral support and maybe that’s how we help our friends gain confidence to feed in public.

  3. You make a valid point that mums are rarely asked to move on when feeding their babies with bottles (be that formula or expressed milk)
    when my daughter was about 6 months old I was attending a close family members funeral. She had been really good through the service, sitting with Grandma and Grandad as I did my reading up front, but by the time we were graveside she was definitely hungry…. I knew if anyone was going to be able to hear what was happening I’d have to feed her…..I apologised to the vicar and he said “the needs of the living far outweigh those of the deceased, you carry on”.

  4. I was on a packed commuter train yesterday and was thrilled to see that a woman near me started breastfeeding her tiny baby and no one blinked an eye. I was fully prepared to fight her corner if necessary!

  5. It’s easier to nurse in public in a sling so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing and sit down. Also as they’re upright it can reduce reflux. Visit a local sling meet/library for advice.

  6. I fed my DD in the waiting area of a garage a few days ago whilst waiting for my car to be fixed, 3 mechanics were standing right in front of me behind the counter. i don’t think any of them noticed :)

  7. I fed my daughter on a bus full of elderly people, lots of people said that it was a good thing. Also fed in a crowded McDonalds… was so nervous

  8. I don’t have any funny stories. I only fed my son once in public, it was at a softplay area and another woman walked up to us with her toddler and started explaining to him that I was feeding the baby, it was sweet, but as a nervous first timer it really put me off.

  9. I was feeding izzy at my sisters and had finished ages ago when my niece told me I had left my boobie out. Had just forgotten but glad hadn’t gone outside or answered door

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