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Why I Breastfeed in Public
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post here if you've never had a problem breastfeeding in publicpost #1 of 731/7/13 at 1:17amThread StarterBefore a new mom chooses bottles over breast for fear that she will encounter harassment for breastfeeding in public, I'd like to say I breastfed my son for about two years and never had a problem. And I nursed him in public places, as well as at home. I hope incidents of moms being asked to leave are rare. Is there anyone else who can offer hope to new moms that breastfeeding, even in public, is generally accepted?post #2 of 731/7/13 at 1:29ampost #3 of 731/7/13 at 2:05am
I can't say that I've never had a problem but I only had one incident and and an "all out there" nurser. My LO is in a phase where she likes "two boobies" meaning that she wants both totally out of my shirt so she can hop from side to side.post #4 of 731/7/13 at 9:18am
DS is 7.5 months old and so far so good. I nurse in public if needed without consideration of adults taking offense. I cover when my son allows and don't when he's not having it - but am always discreet regardless. Thus far I have never had a negative experience.post #5 of 731/7/13 at 9:55amNo one aside from family has ever said or done anything to me about BFing in public. Mom once tried to cover me up. More often than not I nurse in a carrier. I've had many complete strangers request that I remove the hood so they can look at my baby, which I find a little weird. Typically when I admit I'm breastfeeding they get flustered and move along.
I have been in places where BFing has felt more uncomfortable, where some one or many people are obviously disapproving, typically in restaurants in smaller towns and suburbs. (I live in a mid-sized city, downtown, amidst a group of BF friendly folks, so typically spend my social hours with like-minded people.)
I think it'd be rare to find a BFing mum that never felt awkward nursing in public, but it's also not that common to be outright asked to leave. Nursing in public is not the norm, thus people get shocked and uncomfortable about it. People are slow to change and our culture has not presented the image of the nursing mother as normal. Before my boob was used to feed my child, and I adjusted my view of the breast from sexual to functional, I got slightly uncomfortable watching a mom feed her child.
I feel that anyone choosing to breastfeed should be prepared to deal with some awkwardness. Breastfeeding really isn't that easy all the time. Choosing to feed your baby at the breast in public will always have some consequences, it imprints the nursing mother and child image into every person who sees, further normalizing BFing in our culture, or creating a stir.post #6 of 731/7/13 at 10:14amThread StarterI had one funny incident breastfeeding in a mall. My son had fallen and hit his head on a wooden high chair in the mall's food court. As I was nursing him, so he would allow an ice pack to be put on thespot that hit, a young man in his early twenties walked into the food court. At first he smiled and nodded in my direction, then, realizing that I was breastfeeding, turned red and looked pointedly away from us. He was so intent upon not looking at me, he didn't watch where he was walking and walked into a pillar! Hearing the thud and muffled yell, my son asked what happened. When I told him someone had walked into a pillar, accidentally, he got off my lap and offered his ice pack to the man, who left quickly! I felt sorry for him, but couldn't help chuckling.post #7 of 731/7/13 at 2:09pm
I've been nursing continuously since 2006 and have never had an issue. No one has said anything overtly negative to me or anything. I've nursed all over, in many states and many different locations and situations.
I always came up with little responses to have ready if anyone ever gave me trouble and it has been somewhat disappointing to have never gotten to use them!post #8 of 731/7/13 at 2:17pmOh I didn't mean there haven't been awkward moments! When dd1 was a few months old I was nursing her at the communion rail to keep her quiet and she flashed me to the priest when it was my turn. . He didn't miss a beat though...gave her a blessing and moved on. Awkward for me though!
That's so sweet, Pek64!post #9 of 731/7/13 at 2:18pm
I nursed my son until he was over 2 and 1/2 and never really had any issues. Once when I was out with a group of friends at a restaurant and was nursing I had someone in my group hand me a blanket that I just handed back and continued nursing. I honestly thought I would have more issues but maybe I just missed the dirty looks because didn't seem to come across any.
post #10 of 731/7/13 at 2:21pmI nursed both my sons for about 20-22 months, have lived in California and Virginia, and have visited Massachusetts and Rhode Island: I have never had a problem when I have nursed in public.post #11 of 731/8/13 at 10:06am
I've had almost 6 years of nursing (still am at the moment. . .) and have never had any problems nursing in public.
Heck, I was once out at a fair with dh and both dd's, and sat down to nurse 6 mo old dd2 in the shade, and there were 2 other ladies nursing their littles with me right in the same shade. Was a nice moment to have company. One of the other moms said something about how we'd all found the only shade there that day for the babies. That's pretty much the only comment I had about nursing the whole 6 years (and kinda vague at that).post #12 of 731/8/13 at 10:24am
6.5 years of breastfeeding (3 kids....4.5 years tandem, 8 months triandem)...never encountered any issues BF'ing in public. (I am in a pretty rural area where I don't know many others who BF and rarely ever see anyone else NIP) The only discomfort I had was in my own head and created by all the horror stories I'd read/heard about. I tend to cover myself well, though...not necessarily cover baby (that always causes more of a scene for us than not doing it), but just my own body because I wouldn't want people to see my bare skin, breastfeeding or not. So usually my babes are just wrapped in a blanket so that I can use it to adequately cover my tummy, and I only adjust my shirt/bra enough for them to access my nipple without trouble.post #13 of 731/8/13 at 5:31pmI nursed5 babies. My oldest is 20 and my youngest 1. I'm still nursing my youngest. I can't think of any time anyone has ever said anything negative. I've gotten positive comments but usually
I don't think people even notice.post #14 of 731/8/13 at 5:51pmpost #15 of 731/8/13 at 6:19pm
3 years nursing my daughter in public without any problems, and I never bothered trying to cover myself or to be super discrete. Occasionally I would get an older lady staring at me, which would make me a bit uncomfortable, until she came up to me and praised me for breastfeeding. I even got a few compliments from guys, mostly foreigners!post #16 of 731/10/13 at 5:27am
I have never been harassed, and nursed 3 kids, two way past infancy. People don't give me dirty looks. If anything, as other posters have said, guys quickly *don't look*. It is good to have a social circle of moms who also breastfeed, especially older babies. That helped me alot, knowing I wasn't the only "weirdo" nursing a non-newborn in public.post #17 of 731/10/13 at 5:46am21 months, still nursing while pregnant. I've never had a bad experience NIP but I know my rights just in case. Right now DD doesn't nurse much during the day but I honestly hope that changes when the baby arrives. I'd actually love to NIP more with her and even nurse her simultaneously with baby if possible. I'm not a super vocal person IRL but I think my actions speak loud and clear. I want to show the world that nursing a toddler is healthy and normal and that for some families tandem nursing can work. I have a good group of mama friends but I'm the only one still nursing at this age apart from my friend and her 4 year old who nurses at bedtime.
It's wonderful to read about all you ladies nursing loud and proud. Keep up the great work.post #18 of 731/10/13 at 11:53amNever had a problem with the public/ in public. my mom has offered blankets/ tried to use her body to block me from the public. I only see her once a year so I consider her my private circus and not a public issue.post #19 of 731/11/13 at 7:29amGranted, I didn't end up breastfeeding in public very much, but I had no negative experiences either and while I would be discreet for my own comfort, I didn't cover up either. Usually people didn't notice or would give me a quick smile or look away, but not in a OMG-how-horrible way, just trying to be polite way.post #20 of 731/11/13 at 7:43am
I personally do not have a problem BFing in public or in front of family members and I do not use a cover. My kids have never liked a cover or blanket and it actually makes it harder for me. As the kids get older I do try to find a more private space to nurse in public, mainly because the kids can get distracted. I figure, as long as I'm not showing my nipple, I feel comfortable. The only time I have been harassed was actually by my Dad in his house while nursing my toddler (but that's another story), never in public.
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