BF'ing in front of family members - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you keep it discreet or not? And this is in front of parents who never breastfeed their own children - I was not and neither was DH. When I was BF'ing DS, I would go in to the next room because a) I was still new at it and b) I didn't know how my IL's and parents would react.... and well, still don't!

I just wonder if this is something that I'm going to have to do while out in public - go in to the restroom or a private area and nurse the baby. DH is not a fan of NIP - thinks that I should nurse before hand and bring a bottle for while we're out, etc., etc.,

Just a ton of things that are running through my mind right now that I'd like to get BTDT's on or advice. Damn hormones!

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#2 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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When I was pregnant with DS, DH thought I should cover while nursing in public, but then he saw how little of anything actually shows while nursing (I wear a tank top under my shirt, and pull the shirt up and tank top down, and settle the shirt around my son's face). After actually seeing it, it wasn't an issue.
As for nursing in front of family, I nurse the same way I NIP. My dad is the only one at all uncomfortable with it, he's pro-BF, but just a little freaked out at the thought of accidentally catching a glimpse of his daughter's breasts, which is understandable I suppose. My step mom never nursed my stepsister, but it doesn't bother her at all if I nurse around her. My mom nursed us all to a year, so she's fine with it, and it doesn't bother my brother or sister either.

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#3 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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I never nursed in front of my family... Different countries and by the time I got to see them we had weaned.
BUT my MIL had nursed her 7 kids, and STILL had issues with me nursing COVERED in the main living area of her house. My FIL would leave the room.

I was cool with that until over the holidays she told me to nurse in the basement so I wouldn't be around the Teenage Grandson.

Oh, and she told me this as I was exiting the bathroom....

Edited to say: Sorry, I got distracted by my own memories... Call it pregnancy brain.

My point is, you cannot make everyone happy. Not your parents, in laws or husband. That being said. Your baby needs to eat, your baby needs to feel loved and secure, and at this point nursing gives that to him.
My SIL offered her baby a bottle so her husband could feel more involved and "bond" with their baby. She weaned onto a bottle at like 3 months.

I am not saying that in all circumstances this will happen, BUT if you want to EBF, and feel that it is right, give your husband some information about the benefits of it. And out of respect for his feelings, offer to use a cover... If the baby will tolerate it. I use one, but that is my comfort level for people seeing my body.
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#4 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I nurse the same way we do when out and about. I wear a nursing tank because I like my belly covered. Then I just lift my shirt. That way there is a bit of fabric on top of my breast and I have something to pull down when DD pops off. FIL gets really interested in the tv when we nurse, but that is about it.

Our real issue is that DD gets distracted by all the people. She can be starving and crying because she is hungry, but she just can't focus and eat so sometimes I have to go elsewhere so she can calm down.

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#5 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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It doesn't bother my Mom or MIL so I usually only cover up around Dad and FIL, SIL, etc. Though sometimes I leave the room if there is a lot going on (t.v., loud conversations) or if DS is particularly fussy so we can have some quiet time.


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#6 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I wear my bella band around my tummy or a nursing tank. I have tried nursing with a nursing cover, but it doesn't work. It gets hot under there, I can't see babe and when I was first starting out (and sometimes even still) aiming the nipple into babe's mouth at the right angle is hard when I can't see, as well as stressed etc.

Now my arm and babe's head covers the side I am nursing from, and then I cover up a bit on my other side with a receiving blanket. I have done this in front of my stepfather, my family, in public, etc. A little nervous though about this weekend though when I go see hubby's family :S
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#7 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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I just try to gauge the situation at the time. For the most part, I will nurse in front of any other female. With men, it depends. I find I can be very discreet. OTOH, if I'm in Bible Study, which contains a lot of family, I choose to sit in the adjoining room. Part of that is discresion and part of the is the "noisy commotion" that goes with the feeding: patting, burping, honking, etc.

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#8 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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I had no issue breastfeeding onfront of family. I would even pump at the table while eating with my step-dad and my mum they became totally 'immune' to my breasts. They saw them simply as a 'milk machine'. I come from a breastfeeding family though, I think of all the family member I am close to only 2 cousins were FF.

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#9 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Around my family, i nurse like i do at home. Around everyone else, i nurse like i nip.

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#10 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I use a nursing cover in certain situations and not in others. For example, with friends I don't (even those without babies, what better way to show them how it's done?) but when out in public I do. I go into a room by myself around DHs friends and family though. I just make myself the judge of the situation.

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#11 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Ditto on all the comments. And one more thought. If your hubby wants to use bottles, is he willing to do all the work himself to get them ready? When he sees it is a convenience thing too, he may alter his opinion. Maybe next time you are getting ready to leave the house, and you have to take longer because you have to nurse, get baby ready, etc., just before you leave, (when he may already be feeling impatient), point out that this is the time when he would have to either make the bottles or wait an extra 20 minutes while you make them to get ready to go. I probably didn't explain that exactly right, but hopefully you get my point. When he sees how much more convenient it is to EBF straight from the breast, he may understand. My hubby was a bit uncertain about NIP, but now that we have been in a few situations and he sees how it works, he's fine. I think that (understandably) hubbies feel a bit proprietary about their wives' bodies and don't want them just whipping out boobs in public. Once he sees how discreet it is, especially if you use a cover, he should be fine. GOod luck!

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#12 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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Oh, and I love ObliviousAnnette's comments about how important your baby's needs are to be fed, comforted, etc. Great point, ie, weigh your baby's needs against the needs of the family, whoever, who might feel uncomfortable, then your own level of comfort. I'd guess most of the time, baby's needs would win! Of course, you have to feel comfortable too. I would have trouble nursing in a situation I didn't feel at ease in, in which case I would probably slip into another room -- but not for the other folks comfort-- for mine!

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#13 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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I have to applaud pumping at the table. And here I thought *I* was advanced.

I never made any exception for anybody, except distant relatives, and that was the one time we saw them. If you were there, and my baby was hungry, we nursed and you (gma, gpa, greatgpa, cousins, aunts, nieces, etc etc) dealt with it. Or left the room. I don't cover, and I do let my tummy/back hang out. Mostly nothing can be seen, however!

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#14 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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I'm always discreet, so nursing in front of family is the same as nursing anywhere for us. The only time I go to a different room is if there are a ton of ppl around and I know DD will be distracted by them. Otherwise, we plop on the couch and I lift my shirt, tuck my bra over, and she goes to town. Usually I will take my shirt and cover any exposed breast and my tummy -- but her body really does block anything that's "showing".

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#15 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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My inlaws would never make a negative comment. They know how good it is for babe, and are very tolerant folks. But I know it makes them uncomfortable, so I do cover around them, even though I normally don't.

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#16 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frontierpsych View Post
(I wear a tank top under my shirt, and pull the shirt up and tank top down, and settle the shirt around my son's face).
this is what I do, too.

that said, my baby is the 4th breastfed baby on my side of the family, and my mom breasfed her babies, too. When I am around my side of the family, I nurse regularly, unless my dad/grandad/brother are around, and then I'll toss on a little blanket too. More for my own comfort, I think.

Around the ILs, however, I am very very shy when breastfeeding. no one on my hubby's side has ever breastfed, and they are all uncomfortable with it and baffled by it. Knowing how uncomfortable they are, I just prefer to go to another room. I'm all for lactivism and all, but the uncomfortable silence and the awkward shifting of gazes and clearing of throats is all too much for me. I'd rather sit and have a quiet moment with my baby, unawkwardly.

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#17 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Do what ever YOU'RE comfortable with. Personally, I started in stages. My daughter had some bad reflux, so not feeding her in public wasn't an option from the get go (unless I didn't want to go out in public). So I started with a blanket and then when it was hot I got a hooter hider (horrible name). Within a month of getting the cover, my daughter decided she didn't want to be covered anymore. Since I've always worn tank tops under my shirts, I wore nursing tank tops and did shirt up and tank top down. I still mostly do that, but if the need arises I just go from the top.

As for other people, they'll get used to it the more you do it. If you're confident, they probably don't bother you about it. My husband wanted me to pump and bring it along when I went out (what a hassle!) when I was pregnant, but pretty quickly realized that wouldn't happen after she was born. Now he's the one ready to pounce on anyone who says anything about me nursing in public (luckily, no one has yet).

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#18 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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I tried not to around Dh's family but that's just more b/c they're my ILs and less b/c they didn't nurse. I would generally find a quiet place and nurse. I'm not a fan of 'blanket nursing' b/c to me it screams "HEY EVERYBODY! LOOK OVER HERE! I AM NURSING A BABY SO DON'T YOU DARE LOOK!" LOL. I was more a discreet with the top up, maybe a blanket under to cover my tummy type nurser. That's also how I did it in public and was frankly much more comfortable in public than around ILs! I also used the sling alot with my second, and though I couldn't nurse and walk in the sling, it worked well to swaddle around anything I didn't want to show. I used those belly bands a lot the second time around, too, so my tummy would show.

I felt particularly triumphant when, with my first, I left my mom's living room to nurse in her family room since my twenty-something male cousin and his male roommate were there. At some point the roommate came and sat down right next to me to look at a book or something with me. I first thought, "Wow, he's so hip." Later he looked at the baby and said something like "He's just sacked out, isn't it?" Ha! He had no idea I was nursing.

If it was nurse in the same room, discreetly, or go somewhere that was inconvenient or uncomfortable I would stay.
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#19 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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I nursed both of mine opening with my fam, but always in a separate room with my ILs, when the males were present. I was the only one who EBFed, and it freaked out both FIL & BILs. When it was only the girls or my DH & DS, I whipped it out and fed right in front of them.

I NIPed all the time, but I choose to pick my battles with the ILs. It was easier to go in another room and save my battles for later on (like EBFing, Child led weaning, no candy, etc).

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#20 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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I've always just nursed infront of whoever, wherever I was. I've never, ever, ever nursed in a bathroom nor gone in a seperate room to nurse, unless baby was just WAY too distracted by gobs of people and kept popping off and looking around and smiling and then popping back on, rinse & repeat ad naseum... my boobs just don't appreciate that
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#21 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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I nurse in front of anyone and everyone. FWIW my MIL thinks it is odd and disgusting that I nurse my 24 mo old. She has directly told me so. And I have told her that I didn't ask her option and I don't care what it is. She can stick her option where the sun doesn't shine or she can just not see her grandkid anymore.

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#22 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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In someone else's house (ie the IL's) I go to another room. I always make a comment about how it's for the BABY's comfort, though, not theirs!

Out and about, I nurse as necessary, usually preferring a quieter, out-of-the-way bench because DD2 is a popper-off-er-and-a-lookie-loo.
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#23 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 11:48 PM
 
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I only left the room because I wanted space. If I wasnt in the mood to leave I did not. No one ever complained though I could tell they where uncomfy especially after the kids where over a year old. My brother got a bit uncomfy a time or 2 but not in a eww way. Just wasnt used to seeing my skin.

Out in public I usually ended up in the car but never left a store to go to one it just usually worked out that way since I nursed before leaving the house. I would never nurse in a nasty bathroom to many germs plus I dont want anyone getting the impression that nursing is something to be hidden especially my kids.

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#24 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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It's appaling that a baby having it's lunch/dinner/breakfast etc can be the cause of such stress for people who, when they see a woman's breast, they think sex.

I have to put up with bare topped men at the beach and even while out shopping during the summer months yet it's perfectly acceptable?

I fed my daughter at our table in a restaurant last night. I don't even think about it. She's hungry, I'm her mother, it's my job to feed her when SHE wants, not when it suits someone else. I wouldn't expect anyone to eat in the bathroom so my daughter certainly won't.
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#25 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
I've always just nursed infront of whoever, wherever I was. I've never, ever, ever nursed in a bathroom nor gone in a seperate room to nurse, unless baby was just WAY too distracted by gobs of people and kept popping off and looking around and smiling and then popping back on, rinse & repeat ad naseum... my boobs just don't appreciate that
I always hate it when I go in a separate room so she won't be distracted and I'm concerned people think it's because I'm trying to be discreet. And that's such a silly thing for me to worry about! lol

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#26 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I must come from a weird family, not only did I pump at the table but my mother would manhandle my boob to try and get my son to latch on she would 'squish' and I would 'rapid arm movement' she would then hold a towel up to the other breast as it leaked over the baby as I nursed on the other side. I completely lost ALL inhibitions about my breats very soon after my son was born now, that WAS my mother, I wouldnt let my dad manhandle my breasts but I certainly wouldnt care AT ALL if he saw me nurse. If he (or anyother family member) didnt want to see, they know what they can do

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#27 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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I know my FIL is a little uncomfortable seeing me nurse, but he's never made me feel unwelcome or anything, so at his house I usually use a receiving blanket or something to cover my tummy, mostly to signal to him that it's time to go make coffee or something if he wants to duck out of the room. I don't cover ds's head, but nothing shows anyway. SIL's boyfriend gets really grossed out when I nurse and makes a big deal about it, so I make a point to nurse when he's in the room.

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#28 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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Just think of it as an education for your family!
I was the first to openly nurse in my DH's family. It was never anything I "announced" or discussed with anyone because it wasn't their business. I was taking care my baby's needs. I never moved to another room though my FIL often did when I started nursing.
My brother would make a big stink about it too but I just ignored him or turned it into a joking thing with him like "uh oh, here comes the boobs!" and he'd go running.

Well, 4 kids later and 10 yrs later nursing in front of my or my DH's family is not a big deal and no one even notices! I encouraged my SIL to nurse her 3 kids in front of the family too. Now it's just a normal thing, not an issue at all.
Even my once "boob phobic" brother now doesn't comment on it (except when he accidentally sits on one of my used nursing pads LOL)

I nursed my baby at the table during a meal with my FIL straight in front of me. When I was done and holding the baby up he asked, "weren't you going to feed her?" I said "I did!" and he didn't even notice. This type of thing is common now around our place.

So don't make a big deal about it, just do it. Don't ever apologize for it either-it's a normal function and people need get used to it.

Good luck.

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#29 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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my house i do not hide or cover.

other's houses i ask them what they prefer and if i'm asked to go to the other room, i announce what i'm doing

nip i only cover if dd is distracted or if she's having a hard time latching. i don't go to the bathroom and will not use a nursing room that is dirty to even change a diaper!

Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and rainbow1284.gifAmelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11

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#30 of 47 Old 12-29-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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I don't cover up when my immediate family is present (mom, dad, brothers, sisters) but when other family is present I am very discreet, especially if the other family members are male. My mom breastfed 4 of her six kids.

Mama to dd born 7/2005, dd born 12/2007 and dd born 11/2009.
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