I have never had a negative encounter in public. I nursed my first for 18 months, my second for over 3 years and my third is currently almost 2. I have nursed everywhere from a mall, restaurants, at my older kids sports lessons, etc. I never use a cover, but do try to wear clothing to minimize full breast exposure.
I must confess I started to cut public sessions when my DS1 was about a year and a half. But that was only because by then, we had a pretty set routine and because DS1 was totally fine with that, if he wasn't, I would continue. But even after that, when I had to nurse him out , I did, like last week when I nursed my 3.5 son sitting under a far away tree in a public park because the baby was away with grandma and I was getting engorged.
It is so necessary to speak about our positive experiences in nursing in public. I have never had any looks or confrontation but I always felt it was hard to brush off that self conscious feeling and I think this is because I have read, in forums, so much fuss about how problematic it is to nurse in public. Yes, this notion is pretty much blown by ourselves, I believe.
I visited my country when DS1 was almost two. We were out everyday, all day and feeding him was not easy, so I nursed him away during the trip to maintain a happy LO. I did it always in public, and it felt so good. If anyone there gets shocked, I'm not sure, i believe the breastfeeding culture is a lil stronger there. But I breastfed a toddler in public without restraints or embarrassment because it was my land, my rules. I am starting to feel this way in the US.
Today, with DS2, (7mo now) I decided to not even bother an inch. It's a natural thing. If anyone out there, has a problem with it, it's clearly their problem because we all know it is not a problem at all.
I hope I don't have to nurse my toddler in any busy public environment but the day my child needs it ... Baby's gotta eat.
Married to, Mom to 02/00, DS 02/10, 02/13 and 07/96
I've only been breastfeeding for three months, but I've never had a problem and I've breastfed in public lots and lots of times. Of course, I live in Eugene, OR, the friendliest most accepting town ever. I even have women who I don't know walk up and talk to my baby while she's nursing, like it's the most comfortable thing in the world. ("Oh are you getting a little snacky snack to hold you over?" she smiles and coos, then continues nursing.) At first I tried to use a light blanket to cover while nursing, but after a couple weeks, I decided that was silly and unnecessary and only made it harder. I now just wear loose shirts and pull up or down depending on the shirt, and it is easy as pie. No awkwardness. If it makes anyone else uncomfortable, I haven't noticed...maybe a few men who purposely avoid looking, but that's okay. One friend who blushed a little the first time I whipped out the boob by them, but got over it quickly. lol.
I am going in 4 months of no problems nursing in public! At least not from other people. I have blushed once or twice at a nip slip that's happened because my daughter pulled away quickly before I could slide my shirt down.
Writing about life-long learning and discovery at: www.neoapprentice.com
:: A neo-apprentice knows there are no true masters.
25yo FTM to a Wiggle Panda , student teacher , newlywed
and i have never had a problem bf in public myself too
My baby is only four months and I love breastfeeding. :) It's so easy. I feel more awkward nursing in front of friends and relatives than I do in front of strangers. I don't care at all what strangers think of me, and no one has ever said anything. But if relatives feel weird about it they are more likely to let you know, even if they are trying to be sensitive. The first time I nursed in public was in a restaurant. We were with a cousin and his wife, the cousin being raised in a non-breastfeeding home, but his wife very open to it. Everyone seemed to think I was headed to the bathroom and my husband picked up the diaper bag and pointed the restroom out to me. I said "I am NOT feeding my baby in the bathroom", and sat down on the edge of the booth so I would have more elbow room. My husband helped hold the blanket while I got the baby latched on. He doesn't usually do that, but it was a tight space, and the baby was extra mad. If I can help it I would rather not flash my boob to the entire room. His cousin made a comment after a while about how he hadn't realized how long it takes. Glad I could be a good example for him and help his wife out.
There was another time I was at the mall with my MIL. When the baby was ready to eat she suggested I go in the dressing room in a store. But I let her know I was fine just sitting on the bench where we were. She was fine with that, but it's strange that people assume you want to hide. Whenever I have gone and "hid" somewhere to feed my baby it has made me feel ashamed. I don't like to feel that way! I know there is nothing to be ashamed of and I now enjoy feeding my baby wherever I happen to be when he is hungry. It makes life easier and happier.
I don't use nursing covers either. They are like a sign that says "my boob is out under here!". I am discreet though. Most of the time people just think I am snuggling my sleeping baby, and I have had to warn a few people that he is eating when they come up to take a peek at him. :) It's funny to see them blush and divert their eyes,
She was even covered up, but his reasoning (yea right!!) was that if someone who lost their baby saw this, how would they feel??
My question to him, then maybe a mother shouldn't take a bench to give a sandwich to a 2 year old or lunch to a grandmother, because what if someone came along that had lost one of them??!
His response, "she should have some decorum!"
Feeding your hungry child is not behavior in keeping with good taste, etiquette or decency!??!!!
It was him who was not having decorum; to harass a protected class, which in California, breastfeeding mothers are a part of!
So according to California Civil Code § 43-53. 1997 Section 43.3 of the Civil Code:
43.3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present.
So without having a designated breastfeeding area, this man telling this mother to move was illegal and him questioning her decency for doing so was insulting!!
Mount View Cemetery, maybe your staff needs to be informed about the law, before any future insult of this type leads to legal injury for you!
Mothers feeding your hungry babies in public, maybe we should keep the video recorders on our phones on when we do, so that next time we can send a viral message to educate men like this that get jealous over babies having access to the womanly parts that they covet!