To all mums who are intimidated about breastfeeding in public
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