When someone offers you "more privacy"... - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Question When someone offers you "more privacy"...

...do you feel criticized?

I have never yet, in 2+ years breastfeeding my first child and 3 months with this one, had anyone actually tell me not to BF in a place or that I was being disgusting or anything. I'm grateful for that!

But there have been a number of times when my baby is already nursing in some public place, where I have found a spot that is adequately comfortable, and then someone comes along and says, "If you want more privacy, we have a place for nursing mothers," and tells me where it is. Invariably, it is far enough away from where I am that I wouldn't have chosen to go there when the baby was already fussing because I know she would get so worked up that not only would I feel bad for her and have trouble getting her to latch because she's screaming so hard, but I would feel bad about her disturbing people.

My response has always been to smile and say, "Thanks, but we're doing fine here." On the surface it seems to work okay--the person goes away. But I always FEEL like they are judging me and really want me to get up and move to the "appropriate" place. Both of the times this has happened with my current baby, my 9-year-old has reacted like, "Sheesh, what's her problem?" and at least one woman nearby has made a BF-positive comment...so it seems I'm not the only one who sees this as my being Spoken To.

But my partner, who has not witnessed this, says it sounds like I'm being over-sensitive because these people are just offering me a more comfortable place IF I'd like to move or to use it in the future.

What do you think?

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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I've had those offers too, back when I was nursing, and I think some of them were meant kindly, sometimes they were meant as a passive-agressive way to tell me to go somewhere out of sight, and sometimes they were an excuse for the person to brag (indirectly) about how awesome their establishment was to have thought to provide accommodations for nursing mothers.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:37 AM
 
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I found it was all in the tone of voice. Sometimes it did feel like someone telling me to move, others felt more in a spirit of helpfulness. I've always said something along the lines of we're fine here thanks, whichever way it felt.

I did love the librarian who came up to me while I was sat on a sofa at the library. She asked me to let her know if DS was to distracted with people coming and going and she could open up one of the meeting rooms. I really knew it was a helpful comment though when I said we were fine thanks and she brought over a pile of kids books for me to read with DD while feeding,
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:05 PM
 
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I think it's really hard to know people's intentions. I think @rachelsmama hit it on the head - there are a lot of different reasons for offering. There have definitely been times when I was feeding my baby in public that I really wish someone *had* offered me a better place, because I really wasn't comfortable with where I was - I was just doing what I had to do. Other times, things have been just fine the way they were.

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