Nursing at the dinner table - anyone else do it? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dinner time is probably the only time we all get to sit down as a family, so needless to say, I value it immensely. DS2 is only 3 months, and as can be expected, quite crabby by the time we sit down. My solution is to put him on the breast and keep him there the entire time we eat (so we all eat together!!!). I love it, and it works great for us. But here is the issue: a few weeks ago, we had friends over for dinner. I let DS2 fuss for a bit on my lap while we ate, then asked if anyone minded if I nursed as he really wasn't settling. My friend offered to help me by getting the nursing pillow and asking if I wanted her to bring me my food... my original intent was to nurse at the table (and cover up), but I didn't make that clear so I just took the pillow and said, thanks for the help, I'll be right back. I nursed in the bedroom... These people are not close friends, more like acquaintances, and I don't really know much about their parenting style or if they even breastfed. Now, we're having other friends over this weekend, again not super close friends, but they do come over about once every other month (this will be their first dinner since DS2 was born). So I guess my question is, is it weird to nurse at the dinner table? How should I approach this? I'm very comfortable nursing in public and always very conscious of being discreet... Thanks!

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#2 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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Yep, the babe has a right to eat too. I've done this at home, at the restaurant, etc. I do make sure when I am out I am wearing a nursing top so I can be discreet and not flash too much skin, lol.

Michelle , wife to Ray, mama to Anthony(12/20/05), Bryant(01/08), Carisma (08/21/10) , step ma to Amber(12/13/94), : :
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#3 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Yeah I do it all the time and my babe is 7.5 months and is always popping on and off. I'm pretty much over the idea that people might not be comfortable with breastfeeding. And I don't go out of my way to wear clothing specific to nursing. I try to be discreet for my own sake when we're out. I wouldn't ask if people minded if I nursed in my own home at all. I would just do it.

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#4 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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Eating at the dinner table seems pretty normal to me!

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#5 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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I also think it is using excellent manners! If I had guests that were just acquaintances like you are having, I probably would make some effort to be discreet-ish. But, I don't think it is a big deal in your own home. I think it shows how everyone can really enjoy being together.

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#6 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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Yes, I have done it, and would do it again. But I just let my boobie hang out there, so I wouldn't do it with dinner guests. It made dinner time so easy and mama actually gets to eat!
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#7 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Before we intro'd solids I nursed dd pretty much every time we sat down to eat. In fact restaurant tables were some of my most frequent NIP spots, but my dining room table and the ones at my parents and my Il's have seen lots of nursing too.

Honestly I wouldn't ask. It gives people the idea that it's ok to say "no." Just latch your dd on as you would when you NIP. You don't want to start feeling like you're stuck going to the bedroom every time you nurse whenever you're around these folks until whenever your dd weans.

I would assume that the 1st friend was just trying to help and just never figured that you could nurse right where you were. I think it would have been perfectly ok to say, "Thanks so much for offering, but I usually just nurse right here. That way I can still visit we you guys and not be so isolated. " It might have made them feel awkward for a bit, but they'd get over it.

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#8 of 26 Old 02-23-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I nurse at the dinner table all the time too, especailly in the beginning when dd fussed every time we all got set down to eat. I haven't done it with guests over to dinner, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't, I guess for me it would depend on who it was and how comfortable I was.
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#9 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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...whenever and wherever he needs it, for me...

If you want to sound wise, go to school. If you want to be wise, go to nature.
My 3 sons! 8/92, 1/97 & 12/09!!
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#10 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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ALWAYS. my dsc stare sometime and dh has to remind them that we are all allowed to eat at the dinner table.

i get that you are trying to be a gracious hostess, but if it were me i wouldn't disrupt our routine for the supposed comfort of others esp. in my own home. no one else has to hide to eat.

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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#11 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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if I didn't, I'd never eat! lol. Regardless of who, where, or what my baby eats at the table with me. Ditto what the pp's said about not asking in my own home, but to be honest I wouldn't ask in someone else's home either; I'd just do it and leave it up to them to say something if they want.

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#12 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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I always did. I also never asked if anyone minded if I fed my kids.
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#13 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Yep, I did this today actually, at an after funeral lunch gathering. Everyone found it amusing how her little butt and legs stuck out of the bottom of the nursing cover! :P

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
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#14 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I always did. I also never asked if anyone minded if I fed my kids.
This. Never occurs to me to say "do you mind if I feed the baby?" I'm just going to feed the baby. I don't use a cover, but you can't see any of my boob anyway because I pull the shirt up from the bottom and what isn't covered by her head is covered by my shirt.

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#15 of 26 Old 02-24-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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I have, I do, and I will again! Your nurslings are part of the family and deserve to eat at the table!
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#16 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all! I usually never ask, so I guess I was just trying to be polite Oh well!

Thanks again for validating my beliefs, mamas!

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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#17 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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I have been nursing for the last 5 years, I can hardly remember a dinner when I haven't nursed... LOL
Quite often I have been busy cooking, so when sitting down mu nursling sees it as an invitation to feed. If anyone was uncomfortable with that - in my home - then too bad.

A text from a t-shirt I once saw came to mind: If nursing offends you, please feel free to put a blanket over your head.

I understand you wanted to be polite - but hey - you are doing the right thing so be proud, mama!

Happy mama to DD 04 and 08 April 2011
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#18 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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I always do, too. My little one seems to sense when its time to eat and likes to eat with the family.

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#19 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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In my own home, I'd nurse at the dinner table and never think twice about it, no matter who my guests were.

In other people's homes, I'd consider more what their comfort level was. In a few rare cases, I might choose to go somewhere else in the house. But for the most part, I'd still nurse right there at the table.

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#20 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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Wow! I've never tried this! I guess the timeing is right if you have someone to help you feed the other children... If you have more :-)

Doesn't your eating distact the baby?
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#21 of 26 Old 02-25-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I do, but when guests are over or I am in public I do cover as much of my breast as possible by wearing a nursing top and draping a shawl over my shoulder and across my chest...not over the baby's head, just over any flesh that might make me uncomfortable to expose to all but my closest of friends.

I also don't ask.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#22 of 26 Old 03-01-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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I do! We currently live with my parents and let's just say we've really broken them in when it comes to nursing. (My family was a formula family.) I've never asked permission to nurse at the table, I just do it. Nobody minds, except maybe my 13-year-old brother, but he's getting used to it. I would definitely do it around others as well.
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#23 of 26 Old 03-02-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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yes, I nurse at the table and never thought it could be seen as rude until my brother made a comment about feeding the baby here at the table Of course I didn't move but I would never hesitate to feed at the table being discrete of course.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#24 of 26 Old 03-02-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
In my own home, I'd nurse at the dinner table and never think twice about it, no matter who my guests were.

In other people's homes, I'd consider more what their comfort level was. In a few rare cases, I might choose to go somewhere else in the house. But for the most part, I'd still nurse right there at the table.
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#25 of 26 Old 03-02-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by breastfeeding-bff View Post
Wow! I've never tried this! I guess the timeing is right if you have someone to help you feed the other children... If you have more :-)

Doesn't your eating distact the baby?
Depends on your nursling. Mine wasn't ever really distracted by my eating until she got old enough to start wanting to eat my food too. Lots of her NB to 6 month clothing has stains on the sides from me dropping food on her. She rarely even noticed.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#26 of 26 Old 03-02-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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yeah, lol, the only problem is when I drop food! Actually, especially at restaurants I have to nurse her while we are eating, no matter who is with us. It works pretty well too, she's happy and I can eat. I don't think anyone ever notices because I always ask for a seat on a bench or booth so I can sit comfortably.
At home I never thought about it, though I can see your wondering how they would feel, especially if you aren't very close friends. It's a more intimate setting than a restaurant.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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