Breastfeeding in public – it’s not unusual

Here’s some of the extreme places Eliza and I have breastfed over the past 18 months:

A crowded bus in central London, the tube during rush hour, a train during rush hour, a train full of drunken football fans, on various busy station platforms, on a beach in Bournemouth, on a beach in France, walking down a busy road, on a cross-channel ferry, at the zoo, at the Tate Modern, in various museums, at the Olympic torch relay and at the actual Olympics.

Then, of course, there’s the hundreds of normal and less remarkable places: cafes, parks, pubs, restaurants, living rooms, sofas, play dates, baby groups and yoga classes.

feeding in publicAnd the amount of negative feeding experiences I’ve had during this time? None. And the amount of positive experiences? Loads; the best being an older lady who tapped me on the shoulder on the crowded bus in central London and said “that is so lovely to see” (read more in Mother Scuffer’s post on public feeding).

We’ve fed on-demand since Eliza was born, and as she generally wanted feeding every hour and a half for months this meant we’ve done a lot of public feeding. I was apprehensive the first time I fed in public, but it was with my NCT group and everyone else did it (I’m sure they were just as apprehensive). And at the time, I was more conscious of a crying, hungry baby than getting my boobs out.

You shouldn’t be at all afraid of feeding in public, as feeding your baby is much more important. If it makes you feel more comfortable to wear a cover, wear a cover – but never, ever feel you have to. I’ve always favoured the top up / vest down approach, and then after a short while you do stop really caring if people see. I’m sure most of the time people actually don’t, and if they do, they’ll probably be more positive than you’re expecting.

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I’m also giving away a Deluxe Emma-Jane Nursing Vest so make sure you enter via my earlier post about breastfeeding and social media.

Here’s some other brilliant bloggers taking part this week: Pea Musings / Circus Queen / Sorry About the Mess / Life with Pink Princesses / Faded Seaside Mama and on the brand side, HotMilk Lingerie.

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14 Comments

  1. June 26, 2013 / 9:40 am

    What a lovely post and thanks for linking up to mine, it’s so good to share positive experiences!

  2. June 26, 2013 / 12:47 pm

    i accidentally squirted my eldest daughter whilst the youngest took a break from the boob. luckily my eldest laughed and jokingly spoke to her sister.

  3. June 26, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    I’m currently breastfeeding my second baby and have never had any negative comments from anyone either. I think the minority of people who do say something put lots of people off doing it in public and that’s a real shame. You’d think the sound of a crying baby would offend people far more than the sight of them being fed! x

  4. Tracy Hudson
    June 26, 2013 / 6:10 pm

    I was feeding my 14 week old baby on a bench and an old couple sat down next to is. I am always well covered with my feed me mummy vest so wasn’t too bad until izzy did the loudest burp ever as she pulled herself off

  5. June 26, 2013 / 6:15 pm

    Not sure it is funny but discovered the unfortunate way that if you are nursing in a sling whilst in the post office queue taller people can see rather more than they might have bargained for…

  6. Lyndsey
    June 26, 2013 / 7:06 pm

    My nursling popped off the boob yesterday to give his train a go! Nom nom choo choo!

  7. Theresa
    June 26, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    Have only had positive experiences so far, although that might change as my daughter gets older. (She is nearly 9 months now.) Have squirted her a couple of times when she has got distracted and let go, its the only time I get a little frantic with her trying to get her to relatch so as not to waste too much precious milk and so as to not show off any more of me than is absolutely necessary.

  8. June 27, 2013 / 11:46 am

    I must admit to almost being disappointed that I’ve never really had any negativity, as I had a list of lovely come backs! I’ve also been complimented on feeding by complete strangers, which is nice.

    Funnily enough though, I actually feel far more anxious about feeding in public now, at almost 20 months, than when he was a newborn. Perhaps because I think there is even more negativity towards “extended” breast feeding, or perhaps because I don’t do it as often.

  9. June 27, 2013 / 2:48 pm

    Love this post. I miss breastfeeding 🙁
    I have to say I have been on the receiving end of odd looks and too loud comment’s However it would never and never did stop me.

  10. Donna McP
    June 27, 2013 / 7:45 pm

    when my daughter was about 6 months old I was attending a close family members funeral. She had been really good through the service, sitting with Grandma and Grandad as I did my reading up front, but by the time we were graveside she was definitely hungry…. I knew if anyone was going to be able to hear what was happening I’d have to feed her…..I apologised to the vicar and he said “the needs of the living far outweigh those of the deceased, you carry on”.

  11. Hanneke Legerstee
    June 28, 2013 / 9:41 am

    I fed my DD in the waiting area of a garage a few days ago whilst waiting for my car to be fixed, 3 mechanics were standing right in front of me behind the counter. i don’t think any of them noticed 🙂

  12. Kate
    June 28, 2013 / 8:42 pm

    Not had any negative comments yet (5months) but she does enjoy pulling herself off to have a look around if were out, normally when the waiters leaning over the table to bring our food!

  13. July 3, 2013 / 1:47 pm

    My toddler likes to bring books to read when she’s nursing. They’re never small books, so I often have to sit with my head right back or I get hit in the face.

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