To all mums who are intimidated about breastfeeding in public

December 15, 2014

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Don’t be.

I know it’s a daunting prospect, at first, feeding in public (getting your boobs out…in front of people?)

I know the world is currently full of breastfeeding stories; the Claridges cover-up, politicians, and so on. I know it might seem that Nigel Farrage or another comedy figure will pop up and usher you into a cafe corner, or that all waiters are prepped and ready to smother you and your baby with a large napkin, tablecloth, or similar.

But, you know what? If your hungry baby needs feeding or comforting, then feed them. Wherever you are. That’s the most important priority. And the law is on your side, whatever the minority opinions of anyone or any antiquated establishment may be.

And the people who say it’s fine, as long as you’re not ostentatious? Be as discreet as you like, if you want to be. But you don’t have to be; try telling a baby to be discreet. Why prioritise the feelings of adults who should know better over the basic needs of your baby? Look away people, it’s that simple; nothing to see here but lunch.

I wrote earlier this year about all my positive experiences of public breastfeeding, in hundreds of places, out and about, and never having had a negative reaction. And second time round, when I’m even less bothered, and even less bothered about being discreet, it’s been exactly the same.

Feeding your baby – however or wherever you do it – is an act of love, and no-one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable just because they can’t deal with women, breasts or babies.

There’s hundreds of fantastically positive blog posts about breastfeeding. Join in with Chelle McCann’s breastfeeding advent,  here’s Jessica from Along Came Cherry on why breastfeeding in public is not like going to the toilet, Adele with more positive stories, and a TalkMum article with lots of options about why we’re even still debating this issue.

PS the photo is me feeding teeny baby Eliza in a really nice restaurant, where no-one batted an eyelid. What have everyone else’s experiences in public been like? x

7 Comments

  • Molly

    December 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Love this post Gill – such a brilliant way to turn all the recent negativity on its head. My experiences have been positive too. I remember feeling self-conscious when Frog was a baby but soon realised it was only me who felt that way – no one around me gave a toss! This time around it’s been easier because I simply don’t have time to think about it. I’ve fed baby girl everywhere and never had a negative comment or reaction. I think I’m probably quite discreet (mainly because it’s COLD!) so I expect most people aren’t even aware I’m feeding. There was one time last week when I was feeding the baby in a cafe and she was fussing a bit. There was a woman trying to get to a table behind me and she moved the table and apologised because she didn’t want to disturb me. It was a really thoughtful act and one that made me realise that most people don’t mind if you’re breastfeeding in public – they’ll actually be kind and considerate or ignore it. Either way suits me fine!

  • Kirsten

    December 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Great article! I’ve definitely had positive experiences with both of mine, although this time I’ve acquired a cover, more to keep distractions at bay! Recently a lady in her 50s/ 60s approached me in a cafe to congratulate me as when she was feeding her children she even had to hide away upstairs when at her parents house! I’m very thankful that most people’s perceptions have improved but I can’t help looking for the corner seat myself, just in case!!

  • Mostly Yummy

    December 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    I love this so much! I remember being nervous about feeding my first baby in public and my lovely midwife told me feed at home in front of a mirror so that I could see for myself that actually, there was nothing to see! Such a simple tip but that really helped my confidence at first 🙂

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