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Too Shy To Breastfeed In Public?


Breastfeeding in public shouldn't be an embarrassment, but that's how I felt. Probably amongst many other women too, but why should we be embarrassed? It is one of the most natural things to do! To be honest, I think it's more to do with ignorant people. People who don't breastfeed, people who don't understand it and judgemental people.

I try as little as possible to breastfeed in public, but then why should I? If my baby is crying out for food, I should be able to feed her right there instead of finding a room to go and feed her in. I have got better and will now just feed Amelia if she is hungry, much easier than dealing with a screaming baby. I do still cover up usually with a scarf or when I had my long hair that came in handy. I tend to use the pull top down approach instead of pulling my top up as it tend to show less. I'm fine with feeding in front of family and friends but strangers? I'd rather not!

I feed Amelia on demand and have done since birth, so when ever she is hungry I feed her where ever that may be. We have nursed in the car, on the train, on a plane, at baby group, in a restaurant, in shops, at the beach and the park. I always cover up or at least make sure you can't see anything. We don't use a nursing cover but my hair has always been long enough to hide anything and now that Amelia is older she's big enough that she sits across my body. Most of the time it just looks like I'm cuddling her, you wouldn't even know she was feeding! People don't even notice that you are breastfeeding most of the time it's that subtle. 

I remember my first time feeding Amelia in public, even though it was at a baby group it was still a big step for me! I am a very shy person and like to keep myself to myself. But in a room full of women and babies I felt at home. It actually broke my nerves and I felt much more at ease about the whole thing. After that it was a breeze, I figured I'm feeding a baby there's no need to feel embarrassed and just get on with it. Like I previously said I don't really feed in public too often, and now that Amelia is older she is on solids it's much easier. But to keep a screaming baby quiet, it's much easier just to whip out a boob and feed. 

I have learnt that you shouldn't be afraid of feeding in public, feeding your baby is much more important that worrying what the couple across the room are thinking. If you are shy like me, I would wear a cover, or a scarf. But don't feel like you must cover up. You will be surprised, many people don't actually mind and think it's great what you are doing for your baby. 

What are your experiences or thoughts of feeding in public? 


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I’m also giving away some Dr Brown's Breastfeeding Products and 4 Nursing Pillows from Theraline.

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22 comments

  1. Here, Here! I too was embarrassed to breastfeed Laura in front of anyone....she too feeds on demand, I think the most embarrassed I've been is when my father in law came to visit, whilst in the middle of a feed, He walked in the house & said 'Hi, oh t**s, t**s' then walked right back out and waited on the doorstep til I'd finished, it was sort of funny at the time, as his face was a picture!

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  2. Its funny isnt it, I remember one lady i knew she BF her children till they were like 3 she would be feeding and the children would have finished and she still had her boob out! oh dear! I always had a muzzy which i tucked in my bra strap so she couldn't pull it off!!

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  3. I have feed me mummy vests which are very discreet. It's embarrassing when you are out feeding and you are engorged and it just fountains everywhere and poor izzy is covered on milk

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  4. This so so very true! And I feel like it's worse in the U.S. People stare because they aren't used to seeing it and some people even give dirty looks. I felt like I should have had pamphlets to hand out to people to educate them about how important it was!

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  5. Is this open Worldwide? Thanks you for sharing your NIP story. I too was nervous about NIP and always did in my car. I, unfortunately, had very unsupportive family members who even considered that NIP. It's so wonderful that such an influential blogger like yourself is taking a stand. :)

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  6. Pretty much sums how I felt whilst breastfeeding although I did feed in public second time around which I think I only did once the first time around! x

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  7. I was really nervous about feeding Mads for the first time in public, and I am still not very confident about doing it now either- I don't think I am a 'natural' breastfeeder, but I do love it. Plus both my girls seemed to feed better doing it at home- they both get too distracted while they are out. x

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  8. I admire anyone who breast feeds in public, don't understand why people have a problem with it. I was at Dublin zoo a few weeks back and saw a lady breast feeding it didnt bother me but some people were just down right rude about it, don't understand how something as old as time and so natural is so frowned upon

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  9. I am whip is out type of bf'ing mama. I was only intimidated one time "in public" and that was at the school I teach at. I really didn't feel comfortable in front of my peers and or students. Not a boundary I wanted to cross. OTher than that, when baby wants to eat, baby eats. We don't cover and I would like to hand out pamphlets on normalizing bfing, the benefits, to those "in public" who comment or give me dirty looks. Do you notice when people who are uncomfortable, wont look you in the eye or won't take their eyes off yours.

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  10. Perfect timing! I had a 2-week checkup at the pediatrician today, and that was one of my concerns. She suggested getting one of those cape-looking coverups. I still don't feel comfortable feeding him in front of people (even friends and family), but I know the time will come when I'll have to in order to keep him from screaming. I just need to build up some confidence! Thanks again for the encouraging post!

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  11. Im gaining confidence with every feed outside, hope one day I just wont care.

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  12. I was so scared 2 NIP in the beginning that we never left the house for very long. Luckily I soon got over it and have never had any negativity. Luckily I have had lots of support and admiration for sticking with it after the awful start we had

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  13. Not so much funny but nice! The first time I feed by eldest in public was at a National Trust property. I found a spot in the garden and was sat nursing when a group of about 5 elderly ladies appeared. They all started smiling and said how nice it was to see a baby nursing so nicely. It gave my confidence a huge boost and I will always remember it!

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  14. I found it hard to feed my first daughter in public, she was tongue tied so kept slipping off and I got stressed. This time round I used a breastfeeding butterfly until I got more confident and it has really helped. I now feel able to feed my baby in most situations although I still take the cover in my bag just in case.

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  15. I don't prefer to BF in public I have huge breasts and that can be a bit of a hassle at times. I will say I have nursed in restaurants, parks, and stores lol.

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  16. I can imagine that I would of been shy to breastfeed in public if I had done it but hopefully the need to feed my baby would of made me overcome my fear. I hope for next time it would anyway!! x

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  17. 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".

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  18. 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 :)

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  19. No funny stories unfortunately, but maybe with baby 2 :-)

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  20. My toddler likes to point out when she sees mums breastfeeding babies. She shouts, "be-boos!" I certainly feel sorry for those mums who are trying to be discreet!

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  21. I think it is really important for mums (who want to) to breastfeed in public. The more it happens the less of a taboo it will become. I try to cover myself when I'm feeding (I'm Muslim and go for modesty) but if somebody gets a flash of boob then I'm not really bothered as I'm feeding my baby. Scarves come in very handy! Although I choose to cover myself I have absolutely no issue with mums who feed with everything on show, I wouldn't bat an eyelid, good on them!

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  22. Other than in front of the lactation consultant and other moms at the hospital before leaving after my son was born, the first time I nursed in public was at the zoo. All the times I was out and about, I would find a private space but sometimes you just don't have the time! I was nervous but saw a handful of other moms breastfeeding while walking around and looking at animals and thought, "Well, if they're doing it, so am I!" I do prefer a private and quiet setting though but if my child is hungry and can't wait, then I'm feeding him no matter what!

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