to feel saddened about " breast feeding covers

(379 Posts)
Theas18 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:43:32

lady on the next table in the cafe I'm in ifs beat feeding a lovely month or so old baby under a huge bib.

maybe she feels " happier about it" and all that but really. What do you see for a happily breastfeeding b baby-the back of a sweet little head? no big deal and very normal.

Why are we ( society) doing this to mums and babies. surely a 6 month old won't tolerate it anyway, so I guess they give up then sad

CunningAtBothEnds Sun 30-Jun-13 12:47:49

Well thats a balanced and well
Rounded post... confused

GetStuffezd Sun 30-Jun-13 12:49:10

Not your business how she chooses to feed her baby.

Yabu. Maybe she doesn't want other people to see her nipples when the baby moves its head?

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 12:50:37

I'm absolutely in support of women's right to feed their babies however, whenever and wherever they like, and anyone who doesn't like it can simply use their neck muscles for their designated purpose and turn their head away.

But, I don't think you can assume that a woman using a cover is doing so because she is feeling oppressed by society. I've been to breastfeeding support groups where women have chosen to feed under covers, and most women I know will make at least some attempt to keep partially covered up while feeding.

I have large breasts and I don't particularly like flashing them to all and sundry, even when feeding. Not because I care if someone doesn't like it, but because it's not a part of my body that I generally have on display. I used to feed DS2 in the sling, and that generally kept things discreet, but I did occasionally drape things over us if he was being particularly wriggly, or if I was somewhere very busy.

It's entirely up to her if she wants to feed under a cover.

MorrisZapp Sun 30-Jun-13 12:50:58

Good for her having the confidence to bf out and about. I never managed it. So what if she uses a bit of cloth - that's all it is.

Save your tears.

WarmAndSunny Sun 30-Jun-13 12:51:32

My kids were on and off my boobs after abut four months if fed when we were out. They were so easily distracted by every noise going. I didn't want people seeing my yabu. How she feeds is up to her.

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 12:52:57

And if the baby is only a month old, she might be struggling with latch, positioning etc. It doesn't mean she's going to feed under a cover forevermore and "give up" at 6 months.

TidyDancer Sun 30-Jun-13 12:53:15

Of course YABU. But I suspect deep down you know that.

Why do u care and what has it got to do with you? confused
She's feeding her baby the best way she can. Wind your neck in!!

mumbaisapphire Sun 30-Jun-13 12:54:04

I'm new to breastfeeding and I use one in public, because it makes me feel comfortable. I'm still a bit all fingers and thumbs at this stage and I can assure you that you see way more than just the back of my baby's head as I have to attempt latching several times etc. Neither of us have perfected it yet and I would rather deal with the latching and relaunching etc under a cover than have to do it out in the open. Whether I will use one as we get better i don't know but for now YABU.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 12:55:17


It's none of your business now she chooses to feed her baby.

Maybe the baby is easily distracted whilst being fed and she doesn't like having her actual boob on display/feeding taking 5 times longer than it does with the cover on?

MamaChubbyLegs Sun 30-Jun-13 12:55:19

Not everyone feels comfortable getting boobs out in public hmm

picnicbasketcase Sun 30-Jun-13 12:55:29

I think there are things more worthy for you to feel sad about. Be happy that she has a baby, that the baby is being fed, and that she's confident enough to bf in public places, rather than spend energy worrying about the baby being slightly hidden from view.

Oh and have a biscuit

freelancegirl Sun 30-Jun-13 12:55:58

I used one for the first few weeks whilst struggling to get the hang of it and spending a few moments getting the baby latched on. It can be embarrassing to some people at that early stage when neither you or the babies might be pro and latch/feeding position takes some setting up and fiddling around. After that initial few weeks I've been happy to feed anywhere without one and am still doing so almost a year later. Please don't feel saddened, better that than feel you have to run home smile

mumbaisapphire Sun 30-Jun-13 12:56:13


landofsoapandglory Sun 30-Jun-13 12:56:52

Mind your own business. They weren't around when my two were babies so I covered up with blankets and muslins if I felt self conscious, but I know one woman who didn't bf because she was too embarrassed to do it in front of strangers. Maybe of she could have used one of these she would have.


BrianTheMole Sun 30-Jun-13 12:57:52

Its up to her. I cant see a problem with it.

MrsBungle Sun 30-Jun-13 12:57:59

Yabu. Your post comes over as judgy to me. Saying that you expect people who cover up a bit probably give up at 6 months due to baby not tolerating it. Christ, it's not good enough now to breast feed but you have to do it a certain way angry

I covered up a bit in the beginning both times with my 2. Whilst struggling with latch etc. a few weeks down the line I wasn't bothered.

Each to their own, mind your own business.

chickenliversfortea Sun 30-Jun-13 12:59:00

YANBU - hate the whole idea of "being discreet". It's not getting your tits out it's feeding your child.
Can't see any reason to be embarrassed about any part of it including - gasp- nipples.
Of course it's your right to do what you want when feeding but I can't help feeling it adds to the impression that tits are for naughtiness rather than providing the best food for a baby.

Sheilathegreat Sun 30-Jun-13 12:59:03

It is absolutely none of your business as someone else said- save your tears. If I hadn't have had my cape as I called it as I often forgot it was on and left it flapping behind me then I would never have got thought those first difficult months. And it really was that long and that difficult for me. She's breast feeding her baby- that's all that matters.

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 13:00:39

boobs should not be any different to legs or arms, it is sad they've been so over sexualised that women feel they have to cover them yes.

that doesnt mean is slating nothers who dont feel comfortable does it?

Startail Sun 30-Jun-13 13:01:14

I think it's very sad some people feel embarrassed to feed in public, but better under a cover than not at all.

In any case she may have a horrible digit of a baby or a top that offers no cover at all.

I think most of us would use a scarf or something in a wrap dress even if we are totally blasé feeding under a Tshirt.

I'm sure MN would have judged that I often sent DH to order food and fed DD1 in the car. She was hopeless, she hated BFing and the slightest excuse had her pull off even when really small.

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 13:01:46

that doesn't mean op is slating

Startail Sun 30-Jun-13 13:01:48

Fidget not digit

MorrisZapp Sun 30-Jun-13 13:02:11

There isn't a cover on the market that would have worked for me. The only way DS would bf was by lying on his back on my lap and me dangling my massive milk filled orb into his mouth. It worked for us, but try doing that on a bar stool before you get all sad.

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 13:03:27

I used a shawl, I liked feeding my babies anytime they were hungry and I was happier with a cover. Trains, bus, parks and over 20 years ago with far fewer facilities around.
But that's not good enough?
You'd judge me anyway?
That's why I never got into the whole Breast-feeding mafia brigade, or La Leche. Waaaay too stressful living up to the expectations of others.

intheshed Sun 30-Jun-13 13:04:24

I never bothered with one, but lots of people do. If it makes someone more comfortable to breastfeed out and about then that's a good thing.

However I do think they are a shameless marketing ploy to get money out of new mums- a scarf/muslin would work just as well.

mrspaddy Sun 30-Jun-13 13:04:41

I don't think your post is judgy.. I just think you are being honest about your opinion. I am planning to BF and I will use an apron/cover when out and about. But that is mainly because I never really feel comfortable exposing myself. It's my own issue I know. I am looking forward to feeding in my own home but when out/over at inlaws and even at my own parents, I have no intention of people catching sight of my nipples.
I think BF is amazing but never feel fully comfortable when out and about watching people. I wouldn't want them to think I was staring.. not because I don't actually like to see it.

Floggingmolly Sun 30-Jun-13 13:05:09

I always chucked a muslin over my shoulder, what's the problem?

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 13:07:10

Well, there wasn't much discretion in my case, both of mine snuffled and snorted like piglets.

I think the OP is getting a bit of a hard time here. I don't think that she is being unreasonable, to feel a bit sad that babies are still often expected to be breastfed out of sight. I remember my own mother being horrified that I intended feeding my baby out in the open and very helpfully pointed out that there "are toilets just over there"! sad. However, I do think that breastfeeding covers can be a god send, especially to new mothers, still getting the hang of breastfeeding. And I think it's great that mothers do feel, more and more, that they can breastfeed in public, whether they are using a cover or not, and I do not actually like the idea of "I can do it wherever I want to, and I don't care whether I offend anyone or not". When I was feeding, at home alone I would wap my boobs out freely, in front of other people I was more discrete. I never had a cover, as such, but still managed to feed without broadcasting the fact to the world. I used to love being able to see my babies face while they fed smile That was special!

Ginformation Sun 30-Jun-13 13:11:24

I used a muslin as ds was anything but discreet, and in the early weeks I would squirt like a fountain whenever he pulled off. Maybe she was protecting you from a shower of milk?

pianodoodle Sun 30-Jun-13 13:11:40

We can't please everyone!

You've passed comment on this mum using a cover, someone else might have passed comment if she didn't.

The sadder thing here is that people feel they need to make comment at all.

I was given a cover as a present but only used it once. For me faffing about with a brightly coloured cloth drew far more attention that not using it at all!

I don't feel oppressed but I am naturally quite modest - and I have a right to want to be discreet as much as others have a right not to be.

stopgap Sun 30-Jun-13 13:12:03

I didn't want to be restricted by wearing maternity bras/the two vest top thing, so the cover allowed me more freedom of my choice in my clothes.

But more than that, my son had awful silent reflux, and within minutes would be arching/screaming/flailing etc. and the cover helped me--and perhaps him--stay a bit calmer, when people in busy places inevitably started to stare.

Gooseysgirl Sun 30-Jun-13 13:13:47


maja00 Sun 30-Jun-13 13:14:33

I don't feel sad that individuals use covers - if it works for them, then great.

I do feel it's a shame that we live in a society where you are supposed to be "discreet" about feeding a baby though! What a load of bollocks.

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 13:15:45

'We can't please everyone! '

Exactly. I decided to please the baby and me, so I avoided all those that had opinions otherwise. Pro or anti or in your face.

YABU. I entertained guests to lunch recently and my female friend was feeding her 8 month old. She got out her cover and I hastened to say 'feel free' but she said she preferred to use the cover in a house with men in it. That's absolutely her perogative. My dh has seen me feed our three dcs. That means he's seen my boobs in feeding action but that doesn't mean other mums want him (or me) to see theirs. The important thing is that mums are able to feed whereever they need to not how they do it. I have big boobs too and depending on what I was wearing a muslin coul be very handy too.

Sheilathegreat Sun 30-Jun-13 13:18:09

This subject always makes me feel angry and maybe I was harsh on the OP. I understand the argument about breasts being over-sexualised in this culture and perhaps if people accepted what the primary function is we could all be a bit more sensible about b/fing but.... I struggled so much in my child's first six months. B/fing was a nightmare and I felt incredibly overwhelmed. I had to leave the house to feel sane and having never in my life sat in a cafe with my breasts exposed I didn't want to add that to the ever growing list of ways my life had changed.

With hindsight I needn't have bought anything special, a scarf would have done the trick and second time round this is what I did, but using the cover was honestly the difference between breast feeding or not for my first DC.

I just wish we could be more understanding about women needing to approach these things in their own different ways. I felt so judged and under the spotlight when times were tough with my first DC.I am incredibly grateful that it was much later when I discovered breastfeeding covers were a source of contention otherwise it might have finished me off!!

Signet2012 Sun 30-Jun-13 13:19:01

I wore a vest top so I could pull my normal top up which covered some boob. I did use a muslin for the first few times as well. I didn't feel confident about my latch and wanted to be able to reposition without feeling exposed.

Now she is 10 months and i would like to feed her under a duvet. Not because I'm shy but it might make her feed instead of trying to see what the rest of the world is up to.

Everyone does it their own way and whilst yes it is a shame if a woman's feels they HAVE to cover up but I'd imagine most just feel a little self conscious.

once baby has pulled off and squirted the lady opposite with bm you get over it

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 13:20:14

But some people might want to be discreet.

Most people spend their entire lives not showing their breasts. Are they supposed to switch instantly into a mindset where they don't care that a part of their body that has traditionally been covered, is suddenly on public display?

For most people, there will be a transition period, while they get used to the fact that it's okay for their breasts to be visible. Some people might never get used to that.

Even if we lived in a society where everyone smiled benignly at the sight of nursing mothers, people would still need to get used to having them on display.

It's not always about other people's perceptions. Every nursing mother has her own feelings and comfort levels.

pigletmania Sun 30-Jun-13 13:21:54

Yabu how she feeds her baby is not your concern.some women are not confident, some women don't want their boobs on display when a baby suddenly delatches

HearMyRoar Sun 30-Jun-13 13:23:28

I think you are making a bit of an assumption that she is using it because she is embarrassed.

Even when very little my dd would get distracted and startled by things around her when feeding so I would often pop a scarf over her if it was busy. Otherwise it would take an age to settle her on the boob and my nipples ended up a mess from her fussing and tugging.

Personally I couldn't give a monkey's who sees my bits when nursing and I still bf now she is 15 months.

havingamadmoment Sun 30-Jun-13 13:23:30

I fed all of mine until between 16 and 18 months. I almost always fed out of public view either in a quiet room or in a feeding area. When there was non I used to put a blanket over the baby - so pretty much the same.

It was my preference and it didnt affect how long or easily I fed.

LizTerrine Sun 30-Jun-13 13:23:46

Yy Maja - I don't feel sad for individual women, I just wish that the societal pressure to feed discreetly wasn't so overwhelming.

Not to go off on too much of a tangent but on the subject of breasts/breastfeeding...

An elderly friend of mine was out in town, when she thought she spotted a woman she vaguely knew breastfeeding her baby, sat on the steps of the town hall. She approached with a beaming smile, and reached out to stroke the baby's head with a cooing 'awww' noise.
Unfortunately her eyesight is not what it was. She didn't know the woman. The woman wasn't breastfeeding. The woman was spilling out of a skimpy vest top.
Thankfully my friend realised in time enough to prevent herself stroking a random stranger's breast!

DrCoconut Sun 30-Jun-13 14:06:25

DS2 fought anything off that was over him when feeding. I soon gave up trying as I worked out that "being discreet" actually draws more attention than just getting on and feeding. But each to their own.

Abra1d Sun 30-Jun-13 14:10:37

I hate those covers, too. But I wonder whether there are more women around these days with very large busts, who can't manage to do it discreetly under a generous top with a muslin/scarf as well

I suspect that now these tops are available there will be more pressure on women to use them and 'hide' the awful fact that they are feeding their infants in the way nature intended. Just my own prediction.

thebody Sun 30-Jun-13 14:16:59

I absolutely couldn't give a shiny shite how another woman chooses to feed her baby. Breast out or under a cloth or formula through a bottle.

The works would be a much better place if everyone just fed how they liked and kept their beaks out if other women's choices over their bodies.

Branleuse Sun 30-Jun-13 14:25:29

it's a good compromise for shy women. I don't see the problem

TiredFeet Sun 30-Jun-13 14:26:02

I think I know where you are coming from, I don't read your op as being judgy.

I really struggled with feeding in public, not because I have any particular issue with accidentally flashing a bit of boob but because health visitors etc banged on so much about being 'discreet' etc that I got all stressed about being discreet. the existence of these covers etc heightened my feelings that the key concern from everyone was that I was discreet. bottle feeders don't have to worry about feeding 'discreetly' and I do think there is an issue with the pressure for 'discretion'. I had enough to worry about without faffing with muslins and scarves just to not offend someone.

maja has put it more succinctly than me:

*I don't feel sad that individuals use covers - if it works for them, then great.

I do feel it's a shame that we live in a society where you are supposed to be "discreet" about feeding a baby though! What a load of bollocks.*

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 14:32:51


When I see this (women feeding under horrible big bibs) it serves to remind me how fucking screwed up we are about breastfeeding as a society.

Makes me feel the same way as when I see 3 year olds in a hijab, or women wearing niqab - it speaks of an underlying belief about women's bodies and their sexuality which saddens me.

tassisssss Sun 30-Jun-13 14:34:03

I personally think you can be more discrete NOT using a massive apron thing but good on her for BFing in a cafe and if it helps her feel more comfortable, fantastic.

SoupDragon Sun 30-Jun-13 14:38:07

[shrug] Who cares?

Is the mother happy?
Is the baby happy?

Beyond that I couldn't give a stuff - if it helps the mother feel confident to breastfeed when out the that is all that really matters. I wanted to cover up or (preferably) feed in private with DS1. I wanted to cover up with DS2. I couldn't have given a stuff with DD.

Probably the reason she used one was due to the possible judgement of others around her - so, not that different from your own judgement really ?!

We all make our own way through life (and patriarchy ?) the best way we can.

I'd rather judge those possibly making her feel uncomfortable than her for the strategy she uses to overcome the (possible) problem !

Theas18 Sun 30-Jun-13 14:47:30

Ok maybe I'm being a tad unreasonable- I'm from the generation that we expected to use baby feeding rooms that were toilets... but I see these bibs all the time now after three was a time when people did just get onand feed as they wished. It just seems a retrograde step ( or maybe it's another" marketing opportunity" of an essential though never know you needed! ).

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 14:49:06

Maybe there is a market for all those who feel judged because they are ff?
You could buy a cover and deceive passing LLLmembers.

LegoCaltrops Sun 30-Jun-13 14:51:47

I don't think you sound judgey either. I think if a woman feels uncomfortable exposing herself for whatever reason, fair enough. But it's sad that so many women are uncomfortable with using their breasts for their intended purpose.
I've got fairly small boobs so it was less of an issue for me, but I couldn't have used a cover if I'd wanted to - DD would struggle & scream if her head was covered. It was a lot more discreet just to quietly get on with it. I wore nursing bras & tops when going out to minimise exposure & the only people who passed comment were my mum & sister. Frankly I thought that if anyone didn't like it, they could f**k off. Luckily I live in a country where I'm allowed to EBF in public.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 30-Jun-13 14:53:57

Yabu. Each to their own.

intarsia Sun 30-Jun-13 14:56:06

OP it may be cultural. We lived in the USA for a while & it seemed the norm there.

BabsAndTheRu Sun 30-Jun-13 15:00:34

I always used a large scarf to cover up, my choice, not society's. Didnt want the world to see my boobs and at a 36G it is not just the back of the babies head you see.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 30-Jun-13 15:02:30

I think they are fine. IME there is no way an expectation that you "should" use one and I've never seen anybody objecting to the sight of a happily feeding, latched on infant.

However in the early days it can be tricky to get a latch and it can be easier to relax about it if you're not trying to cover yourself up as well. I know I used to go to feeding rooms and many other mums I knew did too until they felt more confident (at say 6 weeks, 12 weeks, whenever) and then they would feed wherever. If the cover allows you that confidence anywhere then it's no bad thing IMO.

I only know two people who used one past that initial difficult period and one of them had a baby who was so severely tongue tied that he never got to the stage of happy, discreet feeding and she used it because otherwise she would literally have been flashing at every feed, the other I don't know but perhaps she just felt more comfortable. I agree it's sad if society made her feel that way but maybe it was just her personal issue?

princesssugar Sun 30-Jun-13 15:04:29

Fgs. People arnt happy if you bottle fed, if you breastfeed, if you breastfeed with a cover or without. Why don't you mind your own business?

I feed by 10 mnth old under a cover because it makes me feel better, i dont have to worry about what im wearing i can just whip the cover round us. It also eliminates any distraction for my ds.

And people wonder why women dont breastfeed more. BECAUSE THEY CAN'T WIN WHATEVER THEY DO. Find something more important to cry about.

fuckwittery Sun 30-Jun-13 15:06:59

The only time I used one frequently was when I was showing my American cousin round London for a week (in his early 20s, religious background). I was not comfortable feeding in front of him, and as we were doing tourist stuff, didn't know where there would be to feed. Had a 3 month old who put up with it quite well. Never really felt the need for them elsewhere, i do use a muslin to drape though as i tend to get distracted and not notice when baby has come off and my nipple is hanging out
Anything that encourages breastfeeding is fine in my book, not everyone wants to risk a flash of breast

PeriodMath Sun 30-Jun-13 15:08:01

Do what you want so long as you do it!

But...but...I do think it draws attention to you and makes it all look a bit secretive.

Not that that matters, just my personal reaction to them. Lots of women feel self-conscious, especially in the early days so if it helps - why not?

soverylucky Sun 30-Jun-13 15:09:59

I think it depends on the company you are with sometime. I didn't have a problem sitting with my breast pump chatting to my mum or my best friend but when the inlaws were round I covered up.
I really can't believe that this saddened you or anyone else when you don't know the woman's reason for using the cover. If she was using it because she felt she had to but didn't really want to then fair enough. But it was probably just a personal choice.

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:16:11

See, this is why I hate the fucking Am I Being Unreasonable topic.

Op asks a reasonable question. She gets that she might be being U, hence putting it to mn jury. She isn't saying Am I Being Unreasonable To Hate Those Pointless Breastfeeding Covers? or Am I Being Unreasonable To Think That If You Are Going To Breastfeed You Should Be Out And Proud About It? no, nothing as provocative or unreasonable as that. She asks if she is bu to feel "saddened", nothing more.

And yet for this mild question she gets responses like this

"Why do u care and what has it got to do with you?
She's feeding her baby the best way she can. Wind your neck in!!"


"Oh and have a biscuit"

from Elvislives2012.

I really think people should be banned if they can't debate properly like a grown up. It is beyond tedious and into the realms of tiresome and embarrassing for Mumsnet as a whole.

Stripedmum Sun 30-Jun-13 15:17:05

I have to say I felt a bit saddened when a very close friend used one of these at a mum meet up the other day. We were all BFing. She's had 2 other babies that's she's BFed happily in front of us but this time I feel it's a gimmick that seems a bit over thought. Obviously her choice though!

Personally they seem 1. A total faff on. 2. Very ugly and weird looking 3. Very warm for the baby in this weather as it was dark navy blue and a thick plasticy nylon material 4. No interaction for you and baby 5. Seems like you have an issue with BFing in public.

Just don't like them! Maybe a nice white wafty cotton one? But then just use a bloody muslin!

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:18:40

It is obvious, with anyone with half a brain cell, that she means she feels sad that people feel they have to cover up to breastfeed and wouldn't it be nice if it were more normalised? You would have to actually be looking at a woman and directly at her breasts to get a glimpse of nipple, even if the baby pulled off.

Having said all that, OF COURSE, if someone prefers to feed under a cover then that is fine too.

I have mixed feelings - good on the woman for doing it but as abraid said I wonder if this will lead to negativity to those not using them - if so what a shame.

Stripedmum Sun 30-Jun-13 15:22:44

YY to Mintyy

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 15:26:57

It's always saddened me how judged and criticised and threatened women feel by other women.
And how freely criticism is offered on everything from appearances to housekeeping to child-rearing by women to other women.

Stripedmum Sun 30-Jun-13 15:29:43

Very true Eyes.

Also I'd like to say it won't kill anyone if they do see a nipple for a few secs.
So, women shouldn't feel an obligation to be discrete.
But I guess most of us choose some degree of discretion - whatever we feel comfortable with.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 15:32:55

maybe she doesnt want to whap them out for all too see this woman is feeding her baby and yet you OP are still moaning and looking for something to moan about, really it is nothing to do with you how women want to feed their babies breast or not, some women actually want a little privacy while they BF their babies

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 15:38:11

boobs should not be any different to legs or arms, it is sad they've been so over sexualised that women feel they have to cover them yes.

if boobs were no different from legs and arms then we would all be walking about with them out whenit is hot confused how to you feel about bums and penises

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 15:40:00

I tend to use something while bf in public as Ds4 is nosy and tends to pop off alot, totally up to her if she wants to cover up and noone else's business!

I had pretty nosy babies too Moomins - especially dd smile

- Perhaps she was saying "what you looking at ?" grin

peteypiranha Sun 30-Jun-13 15:47:04

I really dont see the point in them tbh, as breastfeeding is natural but some people feel insecure and have bought in to marketers myths to spend money.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 15:48:26

Isee breastfeeding mothers are dammed if they do and dammed if they dont woman again can not win whatever they choose to do even by other women that makes me sad not a mum covering up to feed her baby

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 15:59:43

I do think if anyone sees nipple they are probably looking too much, we are going away next week and I'm sure feeding during the evening entertainment will be fun with him off and on every 10 mins. He's not too keen on having things over his head now either and he likes to pull my top right up so he can get his hand there too.

juggling maybe she could feel eyes staring at her grin

ManifestoMT Sun 30-Jun-13 16:00:23

I think it's disgusting that women are breast feeding without a covering. They should be MADE to wear this covering

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 16:05:31

I think everyone should wear those, even if they're not bf!

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 16:10:00

It's a very natural act... so are the acts of urinating or defecating or inserting a tampon for example.

Some people don't feel comfortable exposing much skin in public; that's not sad or terrible it's their choice.

Let's not make this yet another issue for breastfeeding women to worry about ffs.

I know I had plenty to worry about in terms of right latching / baby comfort etc. to also be laden with some sort of weird guilt for not making a stand and "owning" my breastfeeding in public.

ManifestoMT Sun 30-Jun-13 16:15:53

They are good aren't they.

Being serious though I used to use a pashmina. It stopped any unnecessary nipple flashing when they got distracted and unmatched themselves. More to the point it hid my stained feeding bra from public judgement.

I used to leek like a fountain

ManifestoMT Sun 30-Jun-13 16:16:28

Leak not leek although cabbage leaves made an appearance

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 16:25:10

Dear God, I really do wish people wouldn't compare breastfeeding to going to the toilet or inserting a tampon!!!

ShatnersBassoon Sun 30-Jun-13 16:31:19

OP, you must get upset every time you see clothed women if a piece of cloth covering a bare breast truly saddens you confused

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 16:31:45

Sorry if you find it offensive somehow, but it is a physiological function (albeit possibly a very emotive one for some).

threefeethighandrising Sun 30-Jun-13 16:32:47

MrsCosmopilite that's funny grin

Thank goodness she noticed!

LadyBryan Sun 30-Jun-13 16:34:01

I'd far rather someone breastfed in the way they felt comfortable rather than not at all.

Might not be anything to do with whether she feels comfortable - maybe baby is a nosy little thing and won't concentrate unless under a cover.

I fed my daughter to 3.5 years, never once used a cover and didn't care who saw what. Doesn't mean everyone feels that way grin

LadyBryan Sun 30-Jun-13 16:34:59

Oh and IMO if people are unhappy about seeing breastfeeding mothers then that is FAR more their issue than mine.

I have nice boobs wink

ShatnersBassoon Sun 30-Jun-13 16:38:15

I've got decent boobs too, but I always attempted to keep them covered when I was breastfeeding, just like I do when I'm sitting in a cafe not breastfeeding. I'm not used to having bare breasts in public, so I feel more comfortable by keeping them covered, no matter what I'm doing.

I find it sad she feel a need to do this too.
I mean that's what they are for for goodness sake

rainrainandmorerain Sun 30-Jun-13 16:44:31

of course YABU. And with bf rates being so low here, objecting to covers is fiddling while Rome burns.

I never used/don't use an actual cover for bf-ing, but then I had/have a baby who latches on well, feeds easily, and as I'm quite clumsy, just lifting my top and unclipping a bra strap is as much as I want to deal with (also a cover would be one more thing to take with me on a trip out).

But if I had bleeding nipples, a fussy baby, very explosive let down or anything else which made it complicated, I'd be glad I had another option to explore.

The threads about covers always go the same way. A lot of contradictory guff and muddled thinking along the lines of 'how silly, women should just get their breasts out anywhere and be totally unselfconscious! and I always used a muslin or pashmina to cover up anyway...'

Which amounts to nothing more than 'my way is right and someone else's is wrong.' Pointless. Remember too that for women who have suffered sexual assault or abuse, issues of control over our bodies and who sees them can be difficult and emotive. A cover could be a godsend.

LadyBryan Sun 30-Jun-13 16:44:42

Shatners, my comment was a touch tongue in cheek. I don't mean I get my bazookas out at every given opportunity. But nor am I willing to be made uncomfortable by people moaning because they might see a flash smile

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 16:47:40

Oh yes the explosive let down in the beginning , I managed to hit the toddler from across the room a few times.

sarkyone Sun 30-Jun-13 16:49:06

I fed ds1 till he was 3. Never used a cover. Now ds2 is a different matter. I use a cover all the time as it's too hot to wear another layer - even in this dismal summer, he fusses and gets distracted if he can see all around and I have very big boobs and a lot of flesh gets exposed!

If I forgot my cover I'd still feed him but would tuck something into my bra strap to cover his head!

zoraqueenofzeep Sun 30-Jun-13 17:01:31

yabu, not everybody is happy with exposing their breasts, I wouldn't get mine out in public for anything and for the first few months after childbirth there is no way I would have risked anybody seeing a flash of flabby flesh anywhere else on my out of shape torso either. Breastfeeding covers are great for those who want to feed while maintaining bodily privacy. Women have the right to feed in whatever way makes them feel comfortable.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 17:10:29

I love how people are saying society this society that but women should be able to cover as much as THEIR OWN body as they want because it is theirs ,

PeriodMath Sun 30-Jun-13 17:19:29

I don't think the OP was saying its wrong to wear these cover-ups. Of course it's your body to do with as you wish. She just said it was a shame people feel they want/have to.

What's wrong with saying that? I happen to agree.

maternitart Sun 30-Jun-13 17:32:39

YAB so U.

I don't feel comfortable getting certain parts of my body out - like my stomach. Nothing to do with it being sexual or not. I make sure it's covered when I'm feeding.

There are loads of other reasons to use a cover. Stop milk hitting other people when baby pulls off or you need to relatch, help stop a baby getting distracted, help keep a baby snug etc.

I don't use one personally but I respect other people's right and desire to.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 17:40:38

Yes mrsjay - and the reason they want to cover their breasts and stomachs is because society has made them feel that lactating breasts and stomachs marked by childbearing are disgusting.

If you had lived in other countries where breast feeding is the normal way to feed babies of all ages (as opposed to just newborns like in the UK) you would recognise that our feelings about breast feeding are weird and dysfunctional here.

Honestly - the responses on this thread really bring to mind the saying 'fish can't see the water'....

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 17:45:57

I am still BF at 8 months I use a scarf, i do not want to flash my breasts at all and sundry, I do not want men learing at them either.

its no bother to me, and the baby sometimes reveals me, but its no big deal.

If anything I feel so sorry for her - with you next to her, still being critical, still being un happy and judgemental.

I hope she didn't see you glancing over and feel even more embarrassed or awkward.

She is BF - she has a cover, F off and leave her alone.

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 17:48:51

don't be daft mrsjay. Page 3 is full of boobs they arent illegal and men do walk around with theirs out when its hot. and infact many are pushing a D cup. far larger than mine. the only difference is that mine have a purpose! and unless you see bf as sexual that extra purpose is not sexual.

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 17:52:27

I have to say i think this is rather disgusting thread really.,

Its supposed to be a low rate of BF in this country and now the fucking statsi want all BF mothers to flop out their breasts full exposure while feeding.

There are Mini lots of different ways of doing things all over the world, in this country the UK, its rather cold and wet most of the time, we are not used to stripping down like perhaps some tribe in the amazon.



Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 17:55:14

mini I've yet to see Europeans breast feeding in a vastly different way to how we do in the UK. Perhaps more of them are doing it,but in much the same way.

jeansthatfit Sun 30-Jun-13 17:55:33

minifingers, your perspective is a bit narrow.

A cover can keep a fussy or easily distracted baby focused on feeding. Obviously going off to a quiet specifically designated breastfeeding room, should you be able to find one, or even just staying at home, would also help...

But then breastfeeding mothers should be able to go out and feed in public, shouldn't they?

And as I agree that societal attitudes are not in general kind to saggy bellies and stretchmarks and 'non bikini top' breasts - can you not see that expecting/asking a new mum, with all of the tiredness and emotion that can bring, and with perhaps the clumsiness and uncertainty that first time breastfeeders can feel, to find the strength to defy these attitudes and be relaxed about exposing their breasts in public to do something they've never done before....

Is maybe a bit much?

TallulahBetty Sun 30-Jun-13 17:58:22

Maybe the MOTHER feels uncomfortable, rather than being worried that others might?!

I didn't realise that these days it's not good enough to just breastfeed. You must do it in a certain way too hmm biscuit

jeansthatfit Sun 30-Jun-13 18:01:16

Actually, whoever mentioned the weather has a point. I've bf-ed in a cold November sitting on a parkbench, when ds was ravenous and was howling like a starving wolf baby. Tucking a flimsy muslin through a bra strap in a strong wind does feck all, just turned me into human bunting. A nice over the head cover might have been just the ticket then.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 30-Jun-13 18:06:34

Oh, there are so many things in the world to be "saddened" about that are so so much more important than this.

FWIW I bf DS until he was about 9 mo, often by sticking him up my top with his head (and most of the rest of him) covered. I'm not prudish, but neither am I particularly comfortable with being naked in public, even in all female changing rooms. Having a baby didn't make me suddenly want to wave my nipples around in front of strangers. And DS was very little and took a long time to learn to latch reliably, and was easily distracted. By the time we both got the hang of it we had established our feeding routine involving quite a bit of coverage all round. <shrugs>

DoJo Sun 30-Jun-13 18:16:34

YABU - it's not sad that she chose to cover her breast whilst feeding her baby, in the same way that it wasn't sad when she had her top covering up her breast before and after feeding.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 18:29:04

Well for all those who feel sad that bf women may not be comfortable showing some breastage in public, maybe you could spend a few weeks out and about with nipples on display! It should be down to all women to challenge people's opinions of breasts as sexual objects, not just bf women.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 30-Jun-13 18:32:20


For the love of god - feel sad about the little boy who was starved to death, feel sad for 2 girls murdered in "honour" for dancing in the rain.

But feeling "sad" because someone doesn't feel comfortable getting their baps out in public and having some judgemental cow (that's you btw) staring at her breasts? Get yourself a large one!

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 18:55:10

Keef - 'Stasi', 'flop their breasts out'. This language reveals what your real attitude to breast feeding and its promotion are. :-(

As for your comment about the weather - women in the UK feed indoors most of the time. No need to drape cloths over themselves
to stay warm while breastfeeding.

There is no moral imperative for UK mothers to be preoccupied with hiding their flesh while breast feeding, yet it's obvious that this is something that most women seem to do. It's a cultural thing - we are obsessed with breasts as sexual objects and unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the sight of breastfeeding. Hence the need to hide it. Even from the eyes of other mothers.

I agree minifingers.

Op wasn't judging the woman, she felt sad that some women feel they should hide breastfeeding. She felt sad that she lives somewhere where breast feeding is not celebrated. I don't get why that's so offensive.

maternitart Sun 30-Jun-13 19:05:44

Minifingers your post makes little sense.

Non BFing women, men and children don't usually walk around topless in cafes etc. So according to your logic all of these people are preoccupied with hiding their flesh, are they?

And I say this as someone who doesn't try to cover up my breasts when feeding.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:08:08

I love the way everyone is determined to ignore the real point that the OP is making - which is about how our culture makes us feel about breastfeeding.

Why no acknowledgement that women's self consciousness and feelings of shame regarding visible breastfeeding impacts on breastfeeding rates and mothers' feelings of ease while doing it? When I see someone feeding under one of this monstrosities I have two thoughts: 'glad she's breastfeeding' and 'what a shame she feels embarrassed enough to have to hide it'.

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 19:11:24

I see,

so when I do not want to go topless on holiday or wear a thong, thats because of shame is it confused.

Lead the way ladies, walk round topless.

my atttiude to BF is that I am bloody doing it - the essential most important part that I am putting my milk into my baby.

I would want to punch someone in the face if they had the audacity to sit there, covered up themselves and try and say I should be exposing myself!

Actions speak louder than words.

maternitart Sun 30-Jun-13 19:11:25

Minifingers, I agree that of course some women may feel embarrassed about breast feeding and that is a shame. But to assume you know exactly why this woman chose to use a cover in this instance is a bit arrogant.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 19:13:05

But I'm not sure what your point is?

I'm fairly sure the cultures in which breast feeding is 100% the norm (not many in the West) have other norms you would like rather less.

The OP is missing the point that these women are breast feeding in a way that makes them comfortable. It's great if you feel differently and go about it differently but - horses for courses isn't it. As long as the baby gets fed for it really matter how? No.

littlepeas Sun 30-Jun-13 19:13:31

YABU! I used to cover up with a pashmina when feeding dc1 - it gave me the confidence to get on with it and stopped me flashing everyone when I was still getting to grips with bf - it is a huge learnign curve with your first baby. I didn't cover up with dcs 2 and and 3, but I was much more confident and experienced then. Anything that helps women feel more confident bf is a very good thing as far as I'm concerned.

whatacrappyweekendthatwas Sun 30-Jun-13 19:14:13

The op is not slating the lady for wearing the cover, more society for making the lady feel as if she has to cover up.

PeriodMath Sun 30-Jun-13 19:16:35

I agree with your last post minifingers.

Most women (in the real world - not on MN!) don't breastfeed precisely because most women don't breastfeed.

Women use these strange shawls for several reasons. But the main one is embarrassment. If girls were raised to see breasts as being functional (as well as sexual and alluring...?) more of them would bf later in life.

whatacrappyweekendthatwas Sun 30-Jun-13 19:18:06

*I love the way everyone is determined to ignore the real point that the OP is making - which is about how our culture makes us feel about breastfeeding.

Why no acknowledgement that women's self consciousness and feelings of shame regarding visible breastfeeding impacts on breastfeeding rates and mothers' feelings of ease while doing it? When I see someone feeding under one of this monstrosities I have two thoughts: 'glad she's breastfeeding' and 'what a shame she feels embarrassed enough to have to hide it'.* This. I hate the way that many MNers are so determined to find an argument and deliberately misunderstand what people have posted just for the sake of it.

jeansthatfit Sun 30-Jun-13 19:18:55

Doesn't it occur to you cover-bashers that you might be making women who feel a little uncertain or self conscious about breastfeeding feel WORSE?

Is that so hard to understand? Btw, I find the OP's assumption that using a cover means those women will stop breastfeeding at 6 months very stupid. If we want to play a guessing game, why not imagine that havjng fed for that long on their own terms, and become more adept at it, as you do, then those mothers may cover up less as they get more confident?

Nah. Just look at them and pity them. Might it not, dare I suggest, be a case of 'oneupmumship' going on here? 'My breastfeeding is better than theirs?'

As a non cover using breastfeeding mother, I think if you want to change society's attitudes towards breasts, stop getting at breastfeeding mothers and start campaigning against lads mags, sexy tweeny clothes, the ubiquity of porn, the jokes and sexual references in what passes for family entertainment, and the casual sexism that informs so much 'banter'.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:24:42

"Non BFing women, men and children don't usually walk around topless in cafes etc. "

"But feeling "sad" because someone doesn't feel comfortable getting their baps out in public"

"maybe you could spend a few weeks out and about with nipples on display"

For those of you whose comments are actually about ridiculing normal, unselfconscious breastfeeding as practiced by the vast majority of women since we first crawled out of the swamp, as a Benny Hill type event ('Baps', 'Flopping them out') involving prolonged nudity and deliberate exhitionism - can I show you these pictures, as maybe they will make the point that you are spectacularly missing:










Abra1d Sun 30-Jun-13 19:25:25

I don't get all these comments about people wanting to flash their nipples around. You don't need to if you're wearing an ordinary, reasonably generous t-shirt or vest. Or if you have a scarf or muslin.

Spreading a bit more peace and love

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 30-Jun-13 19:31:48

Whatever helps people relax enough to feed in public comfortably. No big deal imo.

maternitart Sun 30-Jun-13 19:32:25

Yes jeans. Some people just love to bang their drum.

I can only speak for myself and perhaps I'm unusual but I'm in fact LESS self conscious now as a BFer and mother than I've ever been before. I don't have a special cover bib but there have been times especially early on when I used a muslin or similar to cover up, and it was never about not feeling confident about my body, or embarrassed.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 19:34:22

I think bf looks beautiful, but as kungfupanda said earlier, you don't suddenly change from a person who doesn't show bits of her body in public to one who does.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 19:35:20


I don't think I have missed the point

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 19:36:07


I agree with you.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 19:36:39

You know what, I found bf really fucking hard. Especially in the beginning and if I choose to wear a cover so as not to expose any nipple or breast while I am faffing around getting the baby latched that is entirely up to me!

hermioneweasley Sun 30-Jun-13 19:37:22

I quite like that "ta dah" element of BFing covers. And for my next trick....nothing up me sleeves...nothing in my hat....ta dah - a baby! Just me then?

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 19:37:56

Yup. I agree Miss Betsey.
I'd like to see an end to judging other women and making them feel embarrassed about what and how they feed their babies.
I'm leading the way for the emancipation of the female form from the tyranny of societal expectations though. Too late to feed babies with everything on show as an expression of freedom.
But...I don't use hair dye on my long grey hair. shock.
I walk around looking my real age every day. Brave enough?

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:38:09

"Doesn't it occur to you cover-bashers that you might be making women who feel a little uncertain or self conscious about breastfeeding feel WORSE?"

What - by pointing out that breastfeeding is nothing to ashamed of?

What about if I came on this thread arguing that mums who feel embarrassed/ashamed about not breastfeeding could use these as a way of hiding that they were bottle feeding? And maybe set up a company saying 'self-conscious about not using formula? Buy one of these covers and then you can pretend you're breastfeeding underneath! It'll make you feel so much more comfortable when you're out in public and don't want to be judged!'

You'd all be piling in saying 'that's awful!'

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 19:40:29

Oh how tedious minifingers, I suggested that ages ago.
Albeit I think I was arguing that it could be protection and deception for the roving bands of LLL fanatics.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 19:44:06


They are not hiding the fact that they are breastfeeding, perhaps. They are hiding their breasts.

The female body is nothing to be ashamed of, i'm quite happy with mine, and yet I don't get mine out in front of strangers, in changing rooms for instance. Doesn't stop me going swimming though.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:44:08

Yes -breastfeeding under a cover is your choice, and nobody thinks you're a 'bad muvva' for doing it.

Nobody is judging individual women here for being self-conscious.

A point which everyone seems determined to ignore - that this isn't a downer on the choices of individual women.

It's a comment on a society which makes women feel self-conscious about breastfeeding to the point that they feel the need to buy a special garment in order to hide what they're doing.

But you know - don't OP's about breastfeeding always result in a whole load of people coming on and deliberately misinterpreting other people's opinions in order to have a pop at breastfeeding promotion? It's like a national sport in the UK. Or rather a sort of collective fuck-wittedness.

Shootingstar79 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:44:30

I always used a cover when feeding. DD was less distracted and I felt more comfortable. At no point did I worry about what other people were thinking, it just suited me.

What if we invented a musical cover, to cover up those dreadful snorting noises some breast feeding babies make?

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 19:47:45

shock Dreadful?
You dissin' my babes?
Those were luvvly little snuffles to a mummy's ears. They only sounded like starved piglets to someone without a heart.

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 19:47:47

"we are obsessed with breasts as sexual objects and unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the sight of breastfeeding. Hence the need to hide it"

Erm... I hide my c-section overhang and my less than toned tummy and I'm pretty sure they aren't "sexual objects"

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:03

It's not my job to promote bf, I'll leave that to the hcps. I'm just minding my own and feeding my baby

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:06

i miss the snorting noises blush

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:53

Used to call DD Dynorod.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:49:44

"They are not hiding the fact that they are breastfeeding, perhaps. They are hiding their breasts."

They are hiding the sight of them feeding their baby.

Why is this the norm in the UK and not in other countries where women are generally far more modest in their day to day dress than in the UK?

Why do UK mothers want people not to witness their baby feeding?

Would you think it was normal and reasonable for women to feel the need to bottle feed their baby under a sheet in public?

Aw starving piglets oinking - its almost enough to make me broody..

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 19:50:40

yes poppy, most women with less than perfect bodies hide them. however how many hair fat man have you seen happy to take their shirts off in public? women and men have very different standards to live up to

plummyjam Sun 30-Jun-13 19:51:55

She might not be embarrassed of her boobs, or feeding her baby, she just might not want people like the OP gawping at her whilst she's having a drink and a sit down.

I think most people like to look at BFing women not because they're disgusted or pervy but simply because they're curious or because they think it's a lovely thing to watch. Plus you don't see it very often so it draws attention. When was the last time you saw someone breastfeeding on TV for example?

I'd feel pretty self conscious if people watched me whilst I was having a drink in a cafe for any reason let alone BFing.

Perhaps though that curiosity is because breastfeeding is not as mainstream as it should be which is what I find sad, not the fact that somebody chooses to use a cover.

MummyOfSunbeam Sun 30-Jun-13 19:53:10

Yanbu - you aren't criticising her, you are saying you are saddened that this culture is so unsympathetic to bf that ppl feel it necessary.

I use a scarf if I want to conceal nipples on latch - those bib things are much more noticeable than a scarf anyway!

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 19:53:14

Ds4 sounds more like an animal on the hunt

maternitart Sun 30-Jun-13 19:54:01

Dear minifingers

Of everyone on this thread it seems YOU are the one desperate to misinterpret the posts of others.

Why are you ignoring the many posts saying people are using covers and NOT because they're self conscious?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 19:56:24

Those covers are really really ugly, though.

vacantStation Sun 30-Jun-13 19:58:08

I don't thin op is slating. I feel a bit sad too that we have to be shy and discreet. I dont want to feel i have to cover up my babies head when feeding in public

badguider Sun 30-Jun-13 19:58:54

The only time I've seen one in use was in a national park in the us when it was cold and drizzly - it seemed a pretty good idea to me, I wouldn't have fancied exposing any flesh in those temperatures and its very often a bit chilly in this country for exposing parts of torso (breast or other).

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 20:01:27

I don't actually wear covers, I wear a vest top under my top. Vest top goes down under boobs other top comes up. Lots of people have said to me that they struggled to do that and fed at home or in toilets as they found it easier to have their boob totally out. Maybe covers are a good thing? Less people feeding at home and in toilets, more people out bf in public. Even if it is under a cover.

SchrodingersFanny Sun 30-Jun-13 20:04:24

I'm a secondary school teacher and I live in catchmemt area. I used one with my dd and think I might have fed ds longer if I'd had one for him. I once exposed both breats in a cafe, in an awful, flustering incident. I do not want my pupils seeing my breasts.

chickenliversfortea Sun 30-Jun-13 20:28:44

SchrodingersFanny because you wouldn't want any of the girls to see someone they respect modelling good mothering?
perhaps they think your enlarged breast are implants -is that a better image for a teacher then.

MummyOfSunbeam Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:18

Good point Moomin - at least she feels confident bf that way and is definitely visible as a bf-er! So maybe helps others realise it is a normal thing to do

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 20:33:48


Why so rude?

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 20:34:02

SchrodingersFanny because you wouldn't want any of the girls to see someone they respect modelling good mothering?
perhaps they think your enlarged breast are implants -is that a better image for a teacher then

no because she does not want kids to say OIY MISS I SAW YOUR BOOBIES|
be realistic we do not all live in a fluffy world of breastfeeding eutopia and not all children have seen BF and a sight of a nipple would send a kid into hysterics especially a teenager, she is a woman and a mother first she deserves a bit of privacy,

chickenliversfortea Sun 30-Jun-13 20:46:21

We don't live in a world of breast feeding utopia because social conditioning means we have chosen not to. It's not because breastfeeding is actually embarrassing. How we see breasts has changed massively in my lifetime.

Why can men get their knobs out in front of each other but women are aghast at seeing anothers nipple. All in the mind.

I think a lot of it is quite racist actually. Lots of poor black women with children hanging of their breasts (see the pictures on google). We are so much more dignified here in the UK...

And I'm rude because quite frankly those huge blanket things are just appalling. I have no idea how we have come to this, a shirt and well designed bra was cutting edge in my day. And if you think a blanket will encourage a working class mother to breastfeed then you want your head examined.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 30-Jun-13 20:48:40

I do know people who ff under a blanket, this thread reminded me.
Both did it because their babies fed better and with less fuss

Shootingstar79 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:50:44

Why do you think they are appalling, I don't understand? My baby was the most distracted little girl in the word and everything was more exciting than feeding. The cover meant I could feed her in public with minimal distractions because she couldn't see anything else and it was nice and dark. Anything that helped me to be able to leave the house when breastfeeding was a godsend to me! Really don't understand why you think that they are so awful?

soverylucky Sun 30-Jun-13 20:55:24

You know what I think when I see a woman feeding a baby in public? Nothing. I might think what a cute baby? Or I like that lady's hair style or I wonder where she got that coat from? But I would never ever think about whether she was bf or not or whether she had put a cover on her or not.

What really annoys me reading this is that some very pro bf women are actually making the situation WORSE! Someone up thread made the comment that now women have to bf in a certain way it would seem. Yes, that is the message that some of you are putting over. I mean of all the things to worry about - as I said earlier in the thread - you do not know why she was using the cover. If she said " I feel pressured to cover up when feeding" then fair enough but several people have pointed out that it has nothing to do with society whey they chose to cover up when feeding - they just feel more comfortable that way.
And it is a fact that breasts are sexual - men are attracted to breasts. They are obviously for feeding first and foremost but men are naturally attracted to breasts.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 20:55:26


Ah that's ok then hmm

As you were.

intheshed Sun 30-Jun-13 20:56:34

What worries me is the covers seem to be a new trend that is catching on- when I had DD1 5 years ago I just fed her in public by pulling up my top. Same with DD2 3 years ago. I used to hang out with other new mums in coffee shops and we'd all just feed our babies as and when they needed it.

In the last year or so nearly everyone I know who is breastfeeding a newborn has one of these covers! I don't like that it seems to be becoming the norm. It's like it's solving a problem that wasn't there, or making women feel they are doing something that needs to be hidden. Yes I agree the first few public feeds are tricky and you do feel self conscious but once you have done it a few times you realise actually nobody cares or even notices most of the time!

Mintyy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:58:48

Agree. Never saw covers when I was breastfeeding in 2001 and 2003/4.

So the worry is that they will become the norm and anyone who feeds without one will be made to feel uncomfortable.

spotscotch Sun 30-Jun-13 21:00:06

Tbh I would rather see a woman breastfeeding under a cover rather than the ' LOOK AT ME I'M BREASTFEEDING' types. Really, no one cares.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:00:58

OH ok so you totally ignored my comment about Miss I saw your boobies then chickens It is comments like yours chickens that scare women half to death about breastfeeding as they feel ashamed that they want to use a scarf or cover or whatever to feed their babies It is comments like that then women feel they SHOULD have their breasts on show while feeding their babies, comments like yours doesn't help anybody let alone other women, and fling a bit of racisim in just for good measure sigh

soverylucky Sun 30-Jun-13 21:02:02

Do you think if men were the bf's we would have this kind of debate?
It really is weird how people get so het up about what other people do. If a woman wants to use a cover let her do it. If a woman wants to feed without then let her. It does not matter how you feed your baby. I don't get how some people must spend their whole life looking at and judging people. Just live your own life.

soverylucky Sun 30-Jun-13 21:03:10

exactly mrsjay

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:03:37

I don't get how some people must spend their whole life looking at and judging people. Just live your own life.

^ ^ that too,

charlottehere Sun 30-Jun-13 21:06:25

Oh I dunno if it makes the mum feel better then heyho. However, After number 2 I just whip em out.. In factit's a bit of a joke among my friends.grin

Oh god yeah, those "LOOK AT ME IM BREASTFEEDING TYPES" - I mean, how dare they not cover up?!

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 21:07:40

I agree, sovery and mrsjay.

It is truly a case of live and let live; no woman should feel they have to "take a stand". They are just feeding their babies and are perfectly entitled to do as they wish.

Personally I think those purpose-built covers are seriously fugly, but that's my opinion grin

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 21:09:37

I honestly cannot believe that women using covers to breast feed is an issue.

If lots are being noticed then maybe that means more women are breast feeding - women who may well feel totally out of their comfort zone or just have a nosy easily distracted baby.

As long as the baby is being fed does it matter? Really?

KingRollo Sun 30-Jun-13 21:10:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 21:11:05

Breast feeding is by its nature, free. So, they have to sell us something to make it better. Et voila, we have breast feeding covers.

intheshed Sun 30-Jun-13 21:11:56

'LOOK AT ME I'M BREASTFEEEDING' types?! confused

I honestly see women breastfeeding all the time, just casually, sat in the park, sat in cafes, on the train etc. Not shouting 'look at me', just getting on with what they are doing- reading the paper, playing with a toddler, whatever! It's just not a big deal. This country just has very weird attitudes to breasts.

KingRollo Sun 30-Jun-13 21:13:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Minifingers Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:45

Why do you think women in countries where breastfeeding is done everywhere in an unselfconscious way without the need for special clothes and covers tend to have far fewer breastfeeding problems than western mothers and breastfeed for longer? And usually without any formal breastfeeding tuition? I can tell you why - it's because they grow up seeing over and over again what a baby who's feeding normally looks like at the breast. They see that the mother doesn't usually hold her baby in the crook of her arm like a mum who is bottle feeding (which is what the vast majority of Western women who have not yet breastfed do if you hand them a doll and ask them to hold it like they were going to breastfeed it). They know that a baby has to have a good, deep latch and a wide open mouth. They just know these things without necessarily being able to verbalise it, because they have seen it as part of their lived experience. It does make a difference you know, it really does.

The fact that the majority of UK mums have never seen at close range a baby breastfeeding normally until they have their own child really impacts on the experience of breastfeeding and can make it much much harder.

We really do have a dysfunctional situation going on in the UK when breastfeeding is being strongly promoted by health professionals while becoming less and less visible in society itself.

scottishmummy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:48

My friend has one,and is a significant factor in why she continues to bf

badguider Sun 30-Jun-13 21:19:34

I do agree if women who were previously happy to breastfeed without a cover now feel they need to use one then that is sad.
BUT if the women you see now with covers would previously have not been breastfeeding in public, or even not breastfeeding at all then it is a good thing.
The thing is, nobody on this thread knows which is which.. you'd need to do a proper study.

It does depend on the baby and the situation, I don't really worry about people seeing my boobs, and certainly don't worry about them knowing what i'm doing.. but I would worry if I had oversupply and was spouting milk across the cafe, and I would care if I had a distractable baby who didn't stay latched if there was stuff going on around him, and I would care if I had thrush or mastitis or cracked nipples and had to do a LOT of fiddling during every feed to rearrange things.... and I also would like to keep all my skin covered when I'm outdoors most of the year in the UK... or even indoors if it's likely to result in goosepimples and shivers..

Tailtwister Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:50

For me, the most important thing is that women feel able to breastfeed in public or even at all. If they choose to use a breastfeeding cover to do so, then that's great! I didn't use one specific for the purpose, but nearly always had a long cardigan or muslin at the ready to give me some privacy. It wasn't so much to shield myself for the benefit of others, but to make me feel more at ease.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:54

OK so I agree women shouldnt need to use any sort of cover but why is that the problem of the women using them why should they feed bare breasted to make a stand these women should not make any stand.

Doingakatereddy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:30:25

This thread has upset me. I use a breast feeding cover, DD 3 months won't take bottles and frankly I've got massive boobs and I'm shit at feeding discreetly.

To get out of the house, I use cover - yep, I feel like a bit of a twat & get sick if those mum's that can discreetly feed saying 'oh it's easy'.

But it never dawned on me that people would feel sad. I'm trying the best I can. Take your sadness and stick it

spotscotch Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:17

I'm not talking about the women who just breastfeed and get on with it, with or without a cover, I see this a lot (especially as I frequent a vair naice John Lewis cafe smile )

I'm talking about the types (I know a couple) who like to have a quick look around to ensure that someone is watching, before making a big thing about getting their boob out, while discussing how wonderful breastfeeding is. Every time. And then moan that they feel they can't breastfeed in public because people 'stare and criticise'.

Or worse, the ones who take part in breastfeeding frigging flash mobs.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:33:03

I know somebody who did a breast in in the middle of her town OKAY THEN hmm

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 21:33:19

Minifingers that was a really interesting post. I had certainly never seen a real-life baby attached to a breast before I started feeding my first.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:34:07

public Bfing was fucking awesome for my body confidence. I was the fattest least attractive I have ever been but I had an exhibitionist baby so people were going to see things whatever I did. So I got on with it and stopped viewing breasts and nipples as something shameful to be covered at all times. It was so very liberating.

Today I was getting changed at the swimming pool and realised I was delaying so I wouldn't have to get my boobs out in front of the other ladies. I am 4 stone lighter and looking fantastic in comparison to when I was public Bfing. But the body confidence is gone.....and breasts and nipples are shameful again. <sighs>

Does anyone have an answer to why male nipples are allowed to be seen in public and female ones aren't?

Also if you consider the statement "I am not ashamed of my <insert body part> but I wouldn't ever show my <insert body part> in public" you can see instantly that it is a total lie by substituting any body part NOT considered to be immodest by Victorian standards. Try it with arms, legs or face.

If you wouldn't show it in public then you ARE ashamed of it, whether consciously, unconsciously or simply due to peer pressure.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:36:36

doing are you saying that big breasts are more shameful and in need of covering than small ones?

spotscotch Sun 30-Jun-13 21:36:36

Doing don't worry I never even got to feeding ds in public as I had to be in an exact position on the sofa surrounded by cushions, and I gave up at 3 weeks. If I had gone out in public I would have needed a breastfeeding tent never mind a bib!

It's not enough for some that a woman is breastfeeding her baby, they have to criticise how she is doing it.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:37:20

Or is it fussy eating babies that one should be ashamed of confused

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:53

Haven't read the whole thread, but I'm the type of person who does have bigger breasts and bigger when breast feeding and I wouldn't even dream of feeding outside the house without a shawl or cover up cloth because I don't feel comfortable hanging my boobs out in public, and believe me they'd hang out if I didn't cover up.

That's quite a stupid ill thought out comment you've made OP. Can't quite work out what to say to you, apart from Fuck off with your sympathy.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:39:13

spots I think people are criticising society for making women feel that large boobs or fussy babies should be covered up. That the only acceptable BFing is discreet Bfing

How women react to the social pressure is of course up to them entirely and no one should stick the boot in.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:42

fakebook would you prefer to live in a society where you would feel comfortable Bfing without covering up?

I don't know ICBINEG - perhaps you're right but it doesn't feel like ashamed is exactly the right word for me - more a discretion/modesty/shyness type of thing ?

But completely agree that breastfeeding was great for me for body confidence - partly because not amply endowed but they bloody worked didn't they !

josiejay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:43:38

I bought a breastfeeding cover as a gift for a friend who had just had DC2. She had mentioned to me that she had felt too self conscious to BF her first child in public which had led to her mixed feeding, which had then led to her giving up BF earlier than she had planned. This wasn't because of anybody being negative about it towards her, simply she is quite shy on general and very very private about her body (ie would never use communal changing room etc).

She absolutely LOVED the cover, it enabled her to feed wherever and whenever she wanted and she did so for a whole year. She said it was the best baby gift she had ever had.

So yes, YABU.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:48:31

juggling see, I think modesty is a weasel word in general. It is kind of like saying that it is not only normal, but to be appreciated and rewarded that people act as though their bodies are something to be ashamed of.

If you take more extreme examples, people think it modest to cover hair and even their entire bodies, heads and everything in some cultures.

See my hair is nothing special, I am not proud of it, or ashamed of's hair! But I imagine I would end up feeling self-conscious about it if I spent enough time living somewhere where everyone covered their hair out of modesty. I would also imagine that seeing hair would become more sexualised in a society that keeps adult female hair covered in public although that is speculation on my part.

So imagine a society where women are as free to go topless as men. Breasts are significantly desexualised from the situation as we have it now, and people think literally nothing of taking their breast out to feed a baby.

What is the downside of this situation?

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 21:49:14

ICBINEG, I'd feel comfortable living in a society where I could dress and do as I please without people noticing irrelevant things such as this and make a big deal out of them.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:50:35

fake and do you think you have that now? Coz I don't. I think if I want to go topless for convenience their would be a serious problem and everyone would be commenting.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:51:58

grr there not their

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 21:56:51

...Breasts are significantly desexualised from the situation as we have it now, and people think literally nothing of taking their breast out to feed a baby.

See, I think this is exacty what separates us from animals. We're supposed to be a civilised race. We have evolved differently from animals which means we have the need to wear clothes and keep ourselves modest.. By all means, if a woman wants to pop her breasts out to feed her baby or walk around topless, I wouldn't bat an eyelid, but there are and will always be people who will. We will never devolve.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:57:39

honestly I don't get why people are up in arms about this thread.

I am sad that I feel uncomfortable taking my clothes off in a changing rooms - I wish I didn't feel that way. I am sad when friends feel uncomfortable feeding their babies in public - I wish they didn't feel that way.

BF covers are a symptom of the fact that people feel uncomfortable doing something I wish they could be able to feel comfortable doing.

So why is wrong to be sad when you see the proliferation of BF covers?

Am I supposed to be happy that people are uncomfortable instead?

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:03

Also, our climate would never allow us to go topless all the time.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:56

fake we have a need to be modest? wtaf? We have a need to keep warm! or cool, or keep the sun off. modesty is a bullshit social construct to make people view their anatomy with shame.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:00:45

fake so you think that the amazon tribes where women go topless by default have failed to evolve sufficiently?

fuck me.

modesty as an evolutionary trait my absolute ass!

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 22:02:22

Modesty is what makes us human. It's a human trait. It's not something we've been conditioned into.

If you think it's bullshit, then you won't believe in monogamy either and hump whatever person you fancy when you feel the need for sex.

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:48

Haha, I never thought about those tribes. I will have to read up about them before I comment.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:49

ahh so amazonian tribes people are sub-human now.

fake you really need to think about what you are actually saying.

Also the 19th century called and they need there moral standards back.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:07:45

well okay I will take back a little of my previous post if we X-posted. The point is that clothing is absolutely a conditioning thing. Places where it is unnecessary have totally different attitudes to nudity.

Modesty is most definitely NOT what separates us from animals. The ability to use clothing when it suits us might be a part of it...but not the insistence on it....that is mostly thanks to people (men) trying to control other people (women) in any way possible.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 22:12:33

I think using fire to cook our food is what separates us from other animals actually. Only species in the world to do so.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:21

am sad that I feel uncomfortable taking my clothes off in a changing rooms - I wish I didn't feel that way. I am sad when friends feel uncomfortable feeding their babies in public - I wish they didn't feel that way.

feeling uncomfortable in a changing room is your issue loads of women just strip off get changed and go about their day

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 22:15:41

Modesty is what makes us human. It's a human trait. It's not something we've been conditioned into.

If you think it's bullshit, then you won't believe in monogamy either and hump whatever person you fancy when you feel the need for sex.

^ ^ that people do not want to show their bodies to other people they dont want looked at It is the norm to wear clothes christ on a bike even the cave l mummies wore a fur to keep warm

intheshed Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:45

But mrsjay, it is the norm for mammals to breastfeed their babies! And it is not immodest to breastfeed without a cover, which is what your posts now seem to imply.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:20:23

alis yup tool use and fire in general is mostly wear it's at.

I actually cannot believe anyone is so brainwashed they think that modesty is encoded in our genes.


It must be on the Y-chromosome...coz men have no problem stripping off...and going topless...<snurk>

I will have to ask my friends in the biology department, where they think the modesty gene is...and why only those cultures heavily influenced by Victorian ideals seem to have one...

The whole idea is the most tragically laughable I have encountered on MN since I accidentally strayed into a young earth creationism debate.

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:21:14

I am really looking forward to the media breaking out with stories next week of women walking around topless in protest at breasts being sexualised.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:21:26

I think what Mrsay is saying is that anyone who gets their breasts out to feed is a sub-human animal, with a faulty modesty gene.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:22:54

keef I think it would work though...I mean what if every friday was topless friday....people would soon stop getting excited at the slightest glimpse of nipple?

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:23:14

Really ICBINEG - Men have no probs with it?

Tell that to my DH, My brother and my DFIL.

My DF has no problem with it, but being sort of well, human, he has different thoughts about it than those afore mentioned.

Just like some women do not mind wearing thongs and going topless and some women would rather chew a hand off than do that.

I guess that is what makes us human, being different.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 22:24:16

And it is not immodest to breastfeed without a cover, which is what your posts now seem to imply.

I did not imply anything of the sort,dont put words in my mouth I was talking about clothes and people being modest yes mammals breastfeed their babies Apes and Monkies closest related to us will BF their offspring, but they have not evolved as much as us and some women do not want to expose their breasts for whatever reason to feed their babies, they should not feel they are doing anything wrong, or society is telling them to cover up, we are all individual and we all have a comfort zone, breast feeding maybe the most natural thing to do but is is not the most natural thing to master, fiddiling about with nipples latching in full view is something that a lot of women don't want to do, they want to sit in a cafe have a coffee and feed their baby without being judged and other women looking on feeling sad for them

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:16

I look forward to you trying it ICBINEG.

I cant wait to see you in the media next week

" Mumsnetter caused chaos in local cafe by taking of her top garments whilst having a hot choclate, she said it was in protest at women feeling shamed into hiding their breast feeding child"

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:43

and sometimes a mother ape will go to a quite spot to feed her baby as well as they live in groups and will have others looking on and poking them and she needs her privacy too and a quite moment with her baby

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 30-Jun-13 22:26:30

I've thought about this some more, and if the OP was feeling sad that some marketing genius had thought up a way to get mothers to pay for some gizmo that is, as far as I can see, not much more than a large scarf, then I would agree that it is depressing that something free and natural is becoming commercialised. But to be sad that some mothers choose to use a cover to feel comfortable enough to bf in public? Nope, lost me there, I'm just glad that there's another mother who might otherwise have been put off bf after a month or so and feels able to continue to do so.

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:29:17

The problem with scarfs for me is they are too slack, the BF covers seem more stiff and starchy and have room under for the baby to have more air, and room.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:32:27

keef ohh even men have to hide their nipples?

Dear Gods....what have nipples ever done?

mrsay You are placing a moral value judgement on peoples clothing levels which simply doesn't exist outside of our current social constructs.

I deny your right to assert that 'properly modest' is defined by breast coverage just as much as I would deny your right to assert that 'properly modest' is defined by hair coverage or the wearing of a burka.

You say you agree that modesty is a human are people living in culture in which very little is worn sub-human? Are we less human than people living in cultures that insist on the burka?


Surely you can see that modesty is entirely arbitrary social construct that has nothing to do with our humanity at all?

PrincessScrumpy Sun 30-Jun-13 22:33:01

While feeding twins, one who had a terrible latch and was constantly coming off, I loved my feeding cover. Just because I wanted to breast feed didn't mean I wanted to show the world my nipples. I was a happy mum bfing my beautiful babies.
Mums cannot do anything without people like you judging them. Was she hurting her baby? No - then sod off!

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 22:35:19

Equally it's rather pointless to keep citing African or Amazonian tribes as an example, because our social context is completely different.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:31

I will admit that I never tried one of these covers....DD had a habit of screaming, grabbing shredding and chucking on the floor anything that touched her head or body. No necklaces, no muslins, nothing. It was go natural or don't go at all.

She also used to burp so loudly it would break local noise pollution regulations....nothing like making everyone in the room turn around exactly at the moment I was trying to stow everything modestly.

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 22:37:47

'I am really looking forward to the media breaking out with stories next week of women walking around topless in protest at breasts being sexualised.'

You mean like Slutwalk but with even less clothing? Probably happen in the next few years. Wait for a heatwave though, might be kinder.

You are being very harsh to mrsjay, an awareness of nudity and what that means is part of sentience, which is part of being human. How you view that nudity is social and personal conditioning.
There are enough threads on here about nudity and children and appropriateness or not, reservations as to how far is acceptable don't just stop at bf. Different people have different levels of comfort regarding how much clothing is ok and what it should cover.
Why don't more mothers bf? Often because they feel inadequate to the task, for a number of reasons, often linked to the smugness of those that have managed it effortlessly and tell them about it all the time, and refuse to accept that some mothers get stressed about unimportant things. Like covering up. Or ff instead.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:38:43

poppy when the point you are trying to make is that modesty has nothing to do with humanity but everything to do with social conditioning, the Amazonian tribes work quite well don't you think?

You know on account of them being human but not, as you so intelligently point out, in the same social context...

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:16

Excellent post, Eyes!

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 22:40:30

It's the garden of Eden all over again, innit. Eve sinned, realised she was naked and requested a feeding cover in an exotic lily print.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:41:32

eyes but no-one is saying it is odd or wrong to feel uncomfortable flashing nipple in our current societal context! What we are saying is that the societal context we find ourselves in sucks ass in the worst ways possible.

I am sad that society is as we find it...not that women have found a way to do something meaningful that they would otherwise feel too uncomfortable to do...that's a good thing!

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 22:42:10

There's even a movement for you.
Buttons might not work, Tshirts are out. Perhaps a nice hat?

PoppyAmex Sun 30-Jun-13 22:42:12

ICB actually I was addressing all the comments upthread about how women expose their breasts freely in other cultures.

"You know on account of them being human but not, as you so intelligently point out, in the same social context..."

I'm sure you can debate your point without resorting to sarcasm or personal attacks, no?

CalamityJ Sun 30-Jun-13 22:42:40

I often use a shawl in public so if DD falls asleep while feeding I don't have to disturb her while putting myself away. Also she gets quite distracted sometimes when we're out and about so like blinkers on a horse it helps keep her mind on the job. I use it when I want to keep chatting to the person I'm with rather than checking I'm not flashing when DD comes on and off. Depending on the weather it can be nice to have an extra layer so my chest area doesn't get cold whilst exposed. There's lots of reasons why I use one and I don't think it's sad; it's actually very practical.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:43:38

same great post....when oh when oh when are we going to stop being punished for the mistakes of a fictional woman....

stupid snake...

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 22:46:10

Perhaps we could leave the vulnerable bf mothers alone and target the confident young women using their breasts as sexual symbols, to those that feel the need to enhance them in all sorts of cosmetic and surgical fashions?

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 22:47:07

Eve made her choice as an adult with free will. Stop blaming a talking reptile.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:49:48

poppy not at this time of night...sarcasm is pretty much all I have...

Modesty is not an intrinsic human is a means of oppression.

Although oppression, I think, probably is an intrinsic human maybe modesty is also going to be here for a while....until we can evolve onto something a genuine acceptance of our bodies as simply the way our brains get from one place to another....and nothing that needs hiding.....EVER.


Amount you do not wish your body to be seen by others =/= the amount you are a good person.

Amount you do not wish your body to be seen by others = the amount you have been psychologically screwed by your parents, society and the media.

Gwlondon Sun 30-Jun-13 22:52:08

They make me feel sad. The ones that have some wire and sort of pop out like a tent. Shawls and Muslims don't make me feel sad.

Am going back to read thread in entirety.

Gwlondon Sun 30-Jun-13 22:52:28


ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:53:07

eye if I thought I was in any sense targeting unsure new mums then I would agree to switch targets.

Again, saying that society should be such that one should be able to feel comfortable getting ones breast out to feed a baby, is not the same as saying anyone that currently does not feel comfortable is somehow at fault.

But yes people exploiting societies current hideous attitude to female bodies for financial gain should be censured. That would include most companies, the government and the cosmetics industry in particular.

ICBINEG Sun 30-Jun-13 22:53:36

good night all...

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:55:22

NO Ice

Not all men as you said - feel OK with going topless.

My DH doesn't give a fuck about exposing his nipples.

He just doesn't like to take his shirt off, neither does my brother.

Going topless isnt all about nipples.

Blimey - and I only introduced the word "modesty" to the thread as a possible slight improvement to ICBINEG saying we must all be ashamed of our bodies if we feel the need to hide them away ?

What do you say to that ICBINEG ?
Do you deny it ? grin

KeefRegina Sun 30-Jun-13 22:58:38

There is a poster here that dives into all BF relating threads, in a manic way that makes me want to go and bottle feed right now because it makes me so cross.

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 22:58:58

Well I've just had a little read about the Himba tribe of Namibia and just as I suspected, they are an ancient tribe who still dress according to ancient traditions. They have preserved their culture and do not generally mix with the outside world, so as we have moved forward with new thoughts and ideas, they have not. So comparing our modesty to the modesty of the Himba tribe is a bit of a moot point.

I don't understand why you're getting so het up about this. Some women feel comfortable covering themselves whilst breast feeding. It's not really any of your business is it? Do you also look at muslim women wearing the hijab with pity because you think they're not comfortable? Or a Sikh man wearing a turban? Do you feel sorry for him too?

sameoldIggi Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:58

Interesting whether topless means nipples. For women I think it does (a photo shoot wouldn't be topless if you had something over them, for example) and a dress can be as low as you like, but is considered indecent if a nipple is exposed a la Janet Jackson.
I looked in to these covery things when I was pg with dc1, but fortunately I found the MN "one up, one down" advice and went with that instead. As an earlier poster said, it's creating a problem where there isn't one.
Not the bf mother's fault; it is a societal issue that business has tapped into for a profit, as per.

Fakebook Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:08

Modesty is not an intrinsic human is a means of oppression

So would you have sex with your dh in public then? On full view? Because we've been oppressed to keep intimate moments private aswell haven't we?

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 23:05:19

As I said at some point in my rambling, I'm not ashamed of my body.
I'm in my 50s now, grey hair, crow's feet and a rotund arse. None of which I'm attempting to hide.
OH and I had a fit of the giggles over an article in one of the weekend supplements, 50 essential products for women to beat back the signs of ageing. Well, he was laughing until I got out the calculator and started totaling up how much. Hundreds of pounds because women are not comfortable with their own bodies and the effects of time. Ridiculous.

MrsMook Mon 01-Jul-13 00:47:51

I just find that they're a bit "HELLO! I'M BREAST FEEDING DISCRETELY!!!" and therefore a bit self defeating.

I usually have a scarf avaliable should I need a bit more coverage, but normally a sensible choice of clothes, baby's head, and chosing the best location available means that I can feed and not draw attention to it.

It's a bit like being in a communal changing area. You don't register a person getting on with it naturally. You notice the faffer that gets themself in a twist by half covering up, squirming around in t-shirts/ towels taking 3 times longer.

It's good if it encourages someone to feed publicly that otherwise wouldn't, but is also a bit sad that it exists because of a lack of confidence in doing a natural function of motherhood.

ZenGardener Mon 01-Jul-13 00:53:05

I have breast fed three kids. I have breast fed while pregnant, tandem breast fed, extended breast fed etc and have always used a shawl or cover when feeding in public.

It's just my preference. I'm quite shocked to hear that would make someone feel sad.

I even covered up while breast feeding in a room with a close friend. She didn't seem bothered either way. My two year old was also fine with it and actually brought over the blanket when she wanted feeding.

It's nothing to do with how society feels about breast feeding or me being ashamed of my body. I just feel more comfortable with a cover. It really isn't a big deal.

LaLaLeni Mon 01-Jul-13 04:02:06

DS wouldn't latch without shields for 6 weeks. Sticking huge silicone things over your nipples is not a) something I could do without my whole nipple being out, or b) very familiar to most people - I had no idea shields even existed before then. They'd peel off from time to time spilling milk everywhere and looking like my nipple had fallen off. This combined with my agony and DS thrashing/screaming etc meant even at home I found feeding in front of anyone difficult as all conversation stopped, drawing focus entirely to what I felt was my inability to perform this function that was supposed to work as nature intended.

I bought a butterfly cover but it just made it worse - I couldn't see what I was doing and DS hated it. Scarves the same.

Had we started feeding in a cafe, I'd have then been stuck there for two hours because that's how long feeding him took, so all these factors add up to make you self conscious before you even start!

Consequently I've never fed in public and was pretty much a recluse for weeks because I became phobic about it. BFing is now dropping off at 3 months because my supply just isn't there so rather than torture DS with hours of forcing him to suckle I feed him EBM mixed with FF when we're out. I feel I'm judged for that more than if I was BFing tbh.

If I'd have found a cover that worked for us I'd have absolutely used it to combat my own insecurities about my feeding capability - not about my boobs. My shame was more in NOT being able to do it. I knew my boobs performed as sexual objects but the fact that I couldn't get them to work for their other primary purpose really affected me.

fromparistoberlin Mon 01-Jul-13 06:42:55


crumblepie Mon 01-Jul-13 08:32:52

its people like you staring that make bf mums want to cover up , stop judging and stop staring .

Purplecatti Mon 01-Jul-13 08:40:31

I use a cover, not for modesty but because my baby gets distracted and refuses to feed otherwise.
It must look very odd as I have my head under it too so we're in a little tent together cut off from the outside world.

cardamomginger Mon 01-Jul-13 08:44:22


ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 09:40:28

purple that is SO lovely! I can just picture you doing that! The perfect baby bubble!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 11:13:47

OP... Do you stare? I would want to cover up because you sound horribly indiscreet and leering almost. Whatever happened to being generally aware of what's going on and making a point of not noticing? I long for those days to return, for just about everything. People now feel so free to observe and comments on every-bloody-thing that is absolutely none of their business. angry

A woman feeding a baby is so 'un-newsworthy' that I can't see why you would need to comment on covers. You make me feel self-conscious with your post. Knowing that there are other leerers and or judgers like you makes me very, very uncomfortable.

I'm sure that's not what you intended by your post but way to go, eh? hmm

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 14:50:55


The only reference the OP makes to what she was actually doing in the cafe is as follows:

"lady on the next table in the cafe I'm in ifs beat feeding a lovely month or so old baby under a huge bib."

Can you point to which bit makes you think the OP was staring? Or leering? Or being horribly indiscreet? your own head much?!?

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 15:00:55

"OP... Do you stare? I would want to cover up because you sound horribly indiscreet and leering almost."

She doesn't.

You, on the other hand, sound like you want to turn this thread into a witch hunt. hmm

You find a lot of witch hunting going on in relation to this issue on this forum. It's disturbing.

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 15:06:36

"It's nothing to do with how society feels about breast feeding or me being ashamed of my body. I just feel more comfortable with a cover."

It IS something to do with how you feel about your body, because if you'd been bought up in a society where breastfeeding was seen everywhere and pretty much everyone did it, the likelihood is that you wouldn't feel the need to use a cover. I lived most of my life up to 20 outside of the UK in countries where breastfeeding is the only way most women can afford to feed their babies. You simply don't see women using nursing covers in these countries, or draping scarves over their babies' head. It is something which is specific to countries where a) breasts are fetished and b) where ubiquitous bottlefeeding has made normal breastfeeding almost invisible.

ICBINEG Mon 01-Jul-13 15:51:01

mini research has shown that peer/societal pressure is on average the most effective way to make people change their behaviour. The same research also shows that people on average think peer/societal pressure doesn't affect them.

What you can deduce from this is that people are on average spectacularly bad at realising when their behaviour is being controlled by their peers/society. It is like a huge communal blind spot.

There are a truly astounding number of people out there who think they came up with the whole idea of 'feeling more comfortable feeding under a cover' by themselves with no reference to society or their upbringing.

When you point out that no-one feels this way in societies which don't associate nipple coverage with virtue, they just think that they would have been the first <sighs>.

You see the same thing with people who are convinced that they actually prefer this months fashions to last months...just because they are better...and believe they have come to this conclusion all by themselves. Similarly with people who think hair on adult female legs actually is disgusting in some way, rather than realising that they think that due to conditioning.

CaptainUndercrackers Mon 01-Jul-13 16:58:01

ICB you're right, of course, that attitudes to modesty, nudity and breastfeeding in general are really all about social conditioning. But pretty much all human behaviour is socially conditioned. Men and women who live in communities where breasts are exposed whilst feeding are socially conditioned in exactly the same way as we are, they just have different social rules. The fact is we don't live in a society where women bare their breasts routinely when in public, just as men don't expose their genitals. That's not necessarily a good or bad thing in itself. The value judgement as to whether it's 'sad' or 'modest' comes down to the individual. And (as has been said by other posters) it's a bit odd to expect women to suddenly be comfortable with exposing a part of their body which has always been covered.

It does make me cross on these threads when breastfeeding covers are mocked by posters who then advocate muslins, scarves or voluminous tshirts as an alternative. It's the same bloody thing! Covering up is covering up, however you choose to do it.

Yawner247 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:02:31

Yabu I use a cover as my baby fusses at the breast and goes on/off a few times before settling in to a feed I like my cover when i'm out and about...if I forgot it I would feed away happily but I don't see why you should be saddened by the fact she chooses to feed under a cover....

IsThatTrue Mon 01-Jul-13 19:20:17

Well said captain

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 19:36:23

ICB and mini... That's how I feel from reading the OP. Not only does she feel 'saddened' about another woman's method of feeding her baby she feels the need to post about it on a chatboard and turn it into an issue of 'societal conditioning'.

There are far, far too many armchair bandits on this forum, keen to take any issue and project their own agendas onto it.

No witch-hunt here but then again, I don't have an agenda and don't feel the need to question what other women do... unlike some.

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 19:49:59

Umm, why compare normal exposure of the breast while breastfeeding, which is common in many countries, with genital exposure? They aren't remotely comparable. Exposing your breast while breastfeeding is normal in much of the rest of the world. Exposing your genitals in public is pretty much unacceptable in 99.9% of all social groups.

Prior to the widespread commercial availability of formula almost all women in the UK breastfed, mostly without covering the top of their breast or their nipple, despite keeping the rest of their bodies fully covered. African women mostly wear western clothes, and have all of their bodies fully covered when they are breastfeeding, but they DON'T hide their breast while they are using it to feed their baby!

It's only in Westernised countries where people are squeamish about lactation that women routinely seem to feel the need to cover the breast that the baby is feeding from, (thereby covering the baby as well!)

badguider Mon 01-Jul-13 20:06:21

I'm all for people breastfeeding wherever and whenever they want... but, here in the UK and in the US and some other countries we just do not ever expose breasts when not feeding, we don't do naked saunas or spas (mixed or single-sex), we do minimal naked sunbathing, many people don't even like communal single-sex changing rooms....

So it should not be a suprise that many women find it hard to switch from 'cover breasts' to 'dont need to worry about covering breasts' mentality the moment their baby is born... many women relax gradually as they get used to it... some never do... i don't see why that would be such a surprise to anybody??

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 01-Jul-13 20:24:07


I agree with you, that in an ideal world, breasts wouldn't be seen purely as sexual, and women would feel free to expose them in the name of breastfeeding.

But I think the way the OP picks out one woman, who is doing what everyone thinks is "best"and is still not doing it right.

I think the phrase "maybe she feels 'happier about it' "is particularly sniffy.

I think that whatever makes women happy to breastfeed should be applauded. I think that reasons for not breastfeeding are more complex than "squeamishness about lactation", and that if you do have a problem with formula companies, then choosing to start a thread like this in the way she did, does not give women the support they need.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 01-Jul-13 20:24:53

Agree with badguider, as well.

ZenGardener Mon 01-Jul-13 20:45:01

By the way I live in an Asian country where breast feeding is the norm and most women here cover up or use feeding rooms.

It's wrong to say women only cover up in Westernised countries.

Weemee Mon 01-Jul-13 20:59:04

Why feel sad?? Baby breast fed, mummy happy and comfortable to do it with the cover. I used one with my first and use it occasionally now with my second. There are a lot of things in the world worthy of your sadness. This is not one of those things.

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 21:04:45

If women never seeing a baby latched on was irrelevant in relation to the destruction of breastfeeding over the last 40 years in the UK (and it is in a sorry state, despite the increasing numbers starting breastfeeding - most stop within a few weeks) this would be a non-issue, but I think the invisibility of breastfeeding IS a factor in our current situation re: baby feeding.

Nobody should judge individual women for their choice to flourish a mini-tent/burka to feed under, and I'm not sure that's what the OP is doing. But it's not unreasonable to bemoan a culture that makes women feel the need to wear breastfeeding burkas/mini-tents, while allowing and encouraging a massive amount of exposure of women's bodies for commercial purposes.

CaptainUndercrackers Mon 01-Jul-13 21:23:17

mini ok, fair enough it was an extreme example. But my point was that every person in the world is socially conditioned, the women who breastfeed openly included. That's why they do it - because they have been socially conditioned to do so. What women consider normal in other countries is pretty irrelevant to us here in the UK. I agree that there is a lot of work to be done to reverse the excessive sexualisation and fetishisation of people's bodies (because men's bodies are not entirely excluded from this either). But I find it odd that people would be surprised or saddened that so many women feel more comfortable covering their breasts while feeding. It's a pretty obvious thing to do when your breasts are covered pretty much all of your non-feeding life.

I also think that trying to persuade women that they should feel comfortable exposing their breasts when feeding pretty is unimportant. It's also rather a tall order considering how taboo it is to expose your breasts in public. Maybe it would be more effective to focus on supporting women to breastfeed without pain or difficulty, and then they can decide for themselves how modest they want to be when in public.

CaptainUndercrackers Mon 01-Jul-13 21:24:27

Sorry should say is pretty unimportant

CaptainUndercrackers Mon 01-Jul-13 21:29:46

mini if you don't think women should be judged for their clothing choice when feeding then could you refrain from using terms like 'mini tent/burka'. That in itself is pretty judgy.

soverylucky Mon 01-Jul-13 21:36:54

Can I just throw in at this point that it doesn't matter how anyone else feeds her baby? She could latch baby on whilst naked and twirling a hula hoop for all I care or give a bottle while she wears a diving suit. It is none of our business. To repeat the point I have made earlier in the thread - it is sad IF the woman felt she had to cover up. But we don't know that was why she used the cover and therefore it is a none issue.

louisianablue2000 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:46:47

I would never judge an individual woman for using one and know how horrendous it is in the early days to get a baby to latch on. But I don't particularly like the existence of feeding covers or indeed BFing tops or feeding cushions. It seems like companies are creating a market where ideally a product shouldn't be needed.

Lariflete Mon 01-Jul-13 21:48:10

I have to speak up! I used a BF shawl til DD was 1 and it was because she would get distracted if she could see what was going on! The shawl was the only thing that stopped her pulling off mid-meal and getting my enormous breasts spraying the next table by accident grin

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 22:17:19

I might actually start marketing a nursing cover under the name Breastfeeding Burka. Except maybe spell it like this: 'Br***tfeeding Burka' so as not to offend the sensibility of people who don't want to even see the word 'breast' let alone deal with the reality of an actual mammary (or 'bap' as they are usually referred to in posts commenting unfavourably on indiscrete breadtfeeding) in a baby's mouth.

I might make a mint.

Wish I'd thought of making and selling these]]

Minifingers Mon 01-Jul-13 22:17:44
AnnoyedAtWork Mon 01-Jul-13 23:09:25

YANBU. I saw a lady using one the other day and i felt the same. It adds to the impression there is something shameful about breastfeeding, that it should be kept hidden.

And I don't think the OP was judging one particular woman for her choice, rather that it saddens her that there exists a market for these products because women are generally shamed for breastfeeding in public.

josiejay Tue 02-Jul-13 00:07:36

Not wanting to expose your nipples to the world doesn't mean you feel shamed for breastfeeding though! And if you're new to it and struggling to get the latch right, or have a baby who likes to bob on and off the boob, then there's a good chance your nipples will get an airing unless you cover up with something. Which is fine for some people but not at all fine for others. I am proud to bf but my nipples are me and my baby's business as far as I'm concerned.

I have never had any negative responses to breastfeeding in public. In fact I remember a thread on here recently asking people for examples of negative comments they've had while breastfeeding and far more people said that they've always either been ignored or had nice comments from people.

Honestly I think it's a non-issue.

sameoldIggi Tue 02-Jul-13 00:11:17

Love that link, Mini grin

MrsLion Tue 02-Jul-13 01:04:55

I used those huge bibs for all 3 of my dc. Fantastic invention.

When I was breastfeeding you could see a lot more than a 'sweet little head'. My breasts were about 3 times the size of my dc's head.

I was indeed a lot 'happier' with a breastfeeding cover in public. 

Society hasn't made me ashamed of breastfeeding or of my body. 

Funnily enough, I just don't like revealing my breasts and nipples to people, with or without a baby feeding from them.

Cutiecat Tue 02-Jul-13 02:09:02


I have breast fed my three children and never had a bib. I don't like them as I agree that they give the impression that feeding your baby is something to be ashamed of. We live in a very strange society that encourages women to hide away their breasts when feeding their babies but then has them exposed in the media for pleasure.

I think ICBINEG and minifingers and others have made many very good points in this discussion. We as women should support each other to move society to change. There was a time when a woman's ankles were considered to be risque.

itsaruddygame Tue 02-Jul-13 05:04:49

Yabu - how ridiculous to say covers give an impression of being ashamed of breast feeding. Using a cover got me out and about in the early days when I struggled to get a latch without needing to have everything out in the open - it helped me to feel confident to feed anywhere. Now we are more adept I rarely use it but still find it useful if I am somewhere that I feel less comfortable/relaxed. I love breast feeding and am proud of my body and its ability to nourish my baby but don't really want the world to see my nipples or to squirt milk on people. Frankly how anyone can find this upsetting is beyond me. As a culture we do not regularly expose our breasts/nipples in public - why should I start now. FWIW I don't make judgements about people who breastfeed differently from me - I think it's bloody ridiculous to do so!

Wuxiapian Tue 02-Jul-13 06:44:01


It's none of your business how a woman feels comfortable feeding her baby.

TiredyCustards Tue 02-Jul-13 06:52:54

Yanbu. I always think mug hmm when I see them used.

namechangea Tue 02-Jul-13 07:12:13

This bloody site, I love it and use it regularly but sometimes it makes me so sweary, ranty, shouty, like now.

Stop being such wankers. It's not a feminist issue
it's not about conditioning it's a bit of cloth. I fed DD1 till 22 months and hated doing it in public. I used muslins and blankets to cover me. Incidentally I have fabulous tits I just choose not to show them in public.

DD2 is almost 8 months, still feeds every time we go out of the house under 1 of my 2 fabulous covers. In that time I must have been approached and asked by a minimum of 50 people "what is it, where did you get it?" They didn't all look repressed and submissive and shock fucking horror I've gone past your 6 month mark.

Fucking jog on love.

namechangea Tue 02-Jul-13 07:14:46

Forgot to mention - Fuck off to the ridiculous immature notion of "ashamed to be feeding" if that was the case they/I would switch to FF.

SoupDragon Tue 02-Jul-13 07:28:18

I always think twat hmm when I see people judging a woman for doing what makes her comfortable.

kungfupannda Tue 02-Jul-13 08:43:04

Maybe the OP could have done her bit to reverse "societal conditioning" and taken her top off in solidarity with the breastfeeding woman.

Fine, we are socially conditioned to wear clothes that cover certain parts of our bodies. That is something that has evolved over an extremely long time. It's a bit artificial to expect everyone to shout "Bollocks to social norms!" and whip off their clothes and run naked down the highstreet.

There are parts of my body that I simply don't see the need to have on display. There's no practical purpose to it. I don't wear clothes that reveal my stomach. I wear short skirts, but not spectacularly short ones. I don't walk about in bra tops. I don't wear things that are so low cut you can see the tops of my buttocks. Some people do, and if they're comfortable, good for them. I personally don't see the need to show off these bits of my body. I'm not ashamed of them - I just live in a society where clothes are the norm and this is the way I choose to wear those clothes.

When breastfeeding, if there had been a need to have my breasts fully visible in order to feed effectively, I'd have done it without too much thought. But there wasn't, so I preferred not to. That is my choice. I'm not being suppressed by society. I'm just living in society and choosing which of the social norms I want to follow. I won't be dictated to by the rest of society if I choose to feed without covering up. Equally, I won't be dictated to by other people who think I should feed in a way that I'm less comfortable with.

Yes, if everyone stripped off on a daily basis, then we might start the process of developing a new social norm that put less emphasis on covering up, but it's not going to happen any time soon.

Yes, every woman should feel comfortable feeding her baby anywhere they choose - I fed walking about in a supermarket, in my office, while pushing DS1 on the swings etc - but new motherhood is an emotional and difficult time for many women. In lots of ways, a new nursing mother is probably the last person who should be expected to be a crusader for women's rights. She's got enough on her plate.

The world isn't going to change overnight. And no-one is going to change it by making women even more uncertain about what they can do without criticism from one group of observers or another.

Perhaps if everyone spent more time thinking about how to support new mothers in the choices they are comfortable with, we'd start moving towards being a society where women can be happy feeding covered up or entirely topless, as they choose. Instead of feeling sad that someone has chosen to cover up, why not smile at them and make them feel proud of what they're doing?

Or if defeating the social norm is more important than a mother feeling comfortable, take your own top off and start a campaign.

namechangea Tue 02-Jul-13 08:52:06

Everybody's Kung Fu loving after that grin

sashh Tue 02-Jul-13 09:06:17

what * kungfupannda* said

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:09:32

To give you some idea about the massive gulf between attitudes to lactating breasts and breastfeeding between countries, have a look at this public information film promoting breastfeeding from Puerto Rico. (do click - you'll enjoy the beautiful song even if you're outraged by the images of small school age children and massive toddlers breastfeeding!)


Imagine this being screened on UK TV.......... grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 09:14:10

Indeed, yy kungfunpannda.

BTW reference to 'leering' in my post didn't have sexual connotations; but 'sly, sideways glance'. Irrespective, OP and like-minded 'know-besters' would made me extremely uncomfortable. Leave women alone to do what they feel is best for them and their babies. You can do as you like with your own,

CaptainUndercrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:17:19

Well said kungfu

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 02-Jul-13 09:19:15

hmm boak, not the breastfeeding but the relentless attempts at brainwashing.

motownmover Tue 02-Jul-13 09:21:18

To be saddened about breast feeding covers no.

I thought you post was going to read as being saddened about breast cancer.

I think some covers have really nice patterns.

soverylucky Tue 02-Jul-13 09:21:56

are we reading the same thread mini? Who is 'outraged' by bf on this thread - most of the women replying on here either have bf, are bf or were bf. You are putting your own agenda onto a thread where it is just not needed. Start another thread if you like but you are barking up the wrong tree at the moment.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:28:31

"Fine, we are socially conditioned to wear clothes that cover certain parts of our bodies. That is something that has evolved over an extremely long time."

What - you mean between the 1950's (when widespread ff began to make public breastfeeding a rarity) and today?). here

So as women have got more and more modest about covering their breasts while breastfeeding, they've shown more and more flesh in every other situation - on the beach in tiny bikinis, in public wearing skin tight leggings, cleavage on show in strappy tops, arms and shoulders bared.

Really - this isn't about women 'stripping off' to breastfeed, or being naked from the waist up and displaying a lot of flesh. I can't understand why you are insisting this is an issue of public nudity vs public modesty. We're not talking about women feeding their babies with their whole upper body on show in the pub. We're talking about the difference between a woman being able to unbutton her shirt, or pull down her vest, and allow her baby access to her breast, and a woman feeling the need to drape something over her baby while they do this so that nothing of her breast can be seen.

"The world isn't going to change overnight"

It will never change as long as normal breastfeeding remains hidden from view from children and young women before they have their own babies.

Seriously - completely covering your breast and your baby while breastfeeding is a modern thing. A look through artistic images of mothers and babies through the ages will show you that even in times when women dressed very modestly, showing your breast while breastfeeding wasn't considered immodest or uncommon. here

PoppyAmex Tue 02-Jul-13 09:30:50

Would you pressure a woman to go topless on the beach on the grounds that she shouldn't be ashamed of exposing her breasts or allow them to be "sexualised"?

This is yet another stick for women to beat themselves with and instill guilt about personal choices.

Let's "be sad" about breast cancer or about babies who are being neglected and not fed.

Cheeseatmidnight Tue 02-Jul-13 09:33:46

I have 36jj breasts and had to hold rugby hold to get a latch. I also cannot buy nursing bras which fit well so need to hoik(spelling) my whole breast out.

In my case my breast is 5 times the size of babies head and baby looks like she is holding onto a space hopper... Latched on an off so nipple likely to be shown...

Even a bf cover could not cover me... Need one of those tent jobs...

Society were not doing it to me, my breasts are a shock fully clothes on my frame, but out with a baby attached...

I just couldn't do it.

I do wonder though if I lived somewhere where bf was everywhere I may have tried.

soverylucky Tue 02-Jul-13 09:36:33

This isn't about covering up bf - it is about doing what you want.
Maybe she is sick of people gawping at her when bf?
Maybe she leaks a fair bit and wants to contain it?
Maybe she doesn't want to show people her nipples?
Maybe she was cold?
Maybe she doesn't have a shirt that enables quick and easy access?
Maybe she liked the pattern on the bib and it went with her handbag?
Maybe she was bought the bib as a present and thought she might as well use it?
Maybe she has a baby who is distracted easily when feeding?
We don't know but whatever the reason it was her choice to sit in the café and feed her baby however she damn well wants to.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:46:35

"Would you pressure a woman to go topless on the beach on the grounds that she shouldn't be ashamed of exposing her breasts or allow them to be "sexualised"?"

I don't believe the OP 'pressured' anyone did she?

Everyone on this thread who agrees with the OP also agrees that women have the right to feed their baby any way they wish.

We are talking about what the choice to use nursing covers says about society's stance on breastfeeding.

Do keep up!

or carry on insisting this is about blaming individual mothers as it plays up to a popular prejudice about breastfeeding advocates being judgemental and horrible

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:48:11

"And if the baby is only a month old, she might be struggling with latch, positioning etc."

And it'll definitely help her see what she's doing if she ties a table-cloth around her neck while she's doing it..... hmm

CaptainUndercrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:52:53

Minifingers - I would point you back to your own comments about breastfeeding burkas and mini tents. Wouldn't you say that comments like these feed the 'popular prejudice about breastfeeding advocates being judgemental and horrible'? I would have thought that, as a breastfeeding advocate, you would avoid negatively-loaded terms like that.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:54:42

Again - the reasonable assumption that breastfeeding is only fit for public display if the baby covers the entire breast the whole time, and if no milk is seen, and if the nipple remains covered, and if the mum doesn't have to handle her breast.

There is massive squeamishness about normal breastfeeding in the UK, and most of the posts on this thread have confirmed this.

It's the prevalence of squeamishness and embarrassment over breastfeeding that the OP is flagging up - that's what the existence of nursing covers symbolises to her. It symbolises it to me too.

It really is a case of 'fish can't see the water' - ie that people believe that feeling 'yuck' about the idea of seeing a lactating breast is completely normal and reasonable. It's not. It's a modern thing.

"Modesty is what makes us human. It's a human trait. It's not something we've been conditioned into."

In the past women were massively more modest than women are today. But they stilll breastfed without the need to wear a tent which hides their whole breast. Again - look at the historical pictures of breastfeeding I linked you to and you will see what I mean.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:55:45

Captain - it's the tent/burka, and the social pressure to be modest while breastfeeding that I dislike. Not the mother using it!

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 09:57:05

Yes - can I say:

I fucking hate breastfeeding covers. They are horrible.

I fucking love mums who breastfeed. They are doing their best for their baby.

soverylucky Tue 02-Jul-13 10:00:53

I do not want people to see my nipples. I just don't. Doesn't matter if I am bf, sunbathing or getting changed at the swimming baths. It is nothing about the feeding it is about the nipple - but that is just me.

SoupDragon Tue 02-Jul-13 10:03:30

It will never change as long as normal breastfeeding remains hidden from view from children and young women before they have their own babies.

Well, it's pretty obvious what the mother is doing under the cover and she, most likely, would not have fed in public otherwise so you could argue that the cover has actually got someone breastfeeding in front of young women and children.

ZenGardener Tue 02-Jul-13 10:03:40

Here are examples of breastfeeding around the world.

It is totally normal in many cultures to cover up while feeding.

Meh, great another thing to feel guilty about.

FYI I'm very pro-BF and BF mine for 13 months but I also don't like my chubby belly or muffin top hanging out for all the world to see. A boob is no big deal but no way is anyone is catching a glimpse of my belly! I never managed to find anything clothing wise that solved that problem, so I never BF in public which was frankly a bit limiting.

I was planning to sew myself a nifty cover for next time around, but thanks, now I know that plenty of people will be judging me about that too!

CaptainUndercrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 10:12:35

Well that wasn't really my point. Earlier in the thread you said that you hate it when women say 'baps' instead of breasts. So obviously you have a dislike of derogatory language and the way it feeds negative social norms. So if you are concerned about prejudice around breastfeeding advocates being judgemental, why use derogatory language when discussing other women's choices? It detracts from the debate. The difference between saying 'why do women use nursing covers' and 'why do women use breastfeeding burkas' is huge.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 10:14:02

Yes - in cultures where many women already often wear hijab and are expected to cover themselves up in mixed company.

How many cultures tolerate women displaying a lot of flesh EXCEPT when they're breastfeeding, when it's more the norm to show NOTHING?

As I said - this complete covering of the breast and the baby with a cloth attached around the neck is a new thing in the UK in terms of history, and to my mind it's a bit like Victorians putting skirts on table legs: absurd and symbolic of a public neurosis about breastfeeding.

Minifingers Tue 02-Jul-13 10:16:59

I AM judgemental of these covers. I am not judgemental about the women who buy them.

PoppyAmex Tue 02-Jul-13 10:19:07

"We are talking about what the choice to use nursing covers says about society's stance on breastfeeding. Do keep up!"

Mini you are the one missing the point completely - women don't cover because they want to hide breastfeeding, they cover because they want to hide their breasts.

It's actually not about breastfeeding at all, but about the way women feel and perceive their own bodies.

ZenGardener Tue 02-Jul-13 10:32:05

I suspect women having the time and money to sit around breastfeeding in coffee shops is a relatively new thing in UK's history.

My grandmothers were from the West coast of Scotland. They really didn't do a lot of socialising in mixed company except for church. I really don't believe for a second they would have exposed their breasts in the Free Church.

You are trying to compare women in art or women rich enough to have their photo taken with every day working class women.

BumbleBee2011 Tue 02-Jul-13 10:32:50

YABU, I'm using a cover atm as DD2 is a week old, I'd rather cover us up so I can concentrate on getting a good latch rather than what people can/can't see.

DD2 is very good at feeding but DD1 was much smaller and had trouble getting a good latch so I had weeks of nipples looking sore and cracked at times...would've been mortified if anyone saw them at the time, especially as a first time mum!

How do you know this mother wasn't having the same problems and wasn't feeling self-conscious about that? Even if she was just shy, it's nobody's business surely?

OP do you go around judging people for not wearing shorts/miniskirts in hot weather? (Must admit I do judge people with convertibles who keep the top up on a sunny day grin)

CaptainUndercrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 10:32:57

Right, so you're not being derogatory about who they are, just what they do? Maybe you could just avoid derogatory language altogether. You know, to avoid confusion.

zeebaneighba Tue 02-Jul-13 10:36:31

Both OP and those who are insisting on making this a feminist issue - YABU. I am a breastfeeding mum and shock horror, often use one of these oh-so-oppressive covers. What a victim I must be!

Except hey - guess what? I choose who I share my body with, and as far as I'm concerned my breasts belong to me and are shared with DH, DD, medical professionals and the shower. Just because I breastfeed does not make my body public property. I thoroughly resent being made to feel like I'm 'letting the side down' by not doing it in a way that promotes breastfeeding to others. I'm not a walking billboard, my breasts are not yours to put on display just because you think 'society needs it'.

Breastfeeding is a relationship between me and my daughter, not me and the rest of the world. Whether I feed covered or uncovered (and I do both, by the way) is absolutely none of your business and certainly nothing to get upset about. I am in fact exercising ny rights over my own body - just because I do that differently to you doesn't make it wrong.

Oh and my cover was quite cheap and was handmade by a mum who sews for a business. Not quite the big corporate devil there then huh.

kungfupannda Tue 02-Jul-13 12:04:35

What zeeba said. We're all primarily responsible to ourselves and our babies when we're nursing, not to everyone else who has an opinion on it.

There's no right or wrong way of doing it - it's personal preference.

The transition to motherhood is a huge change, and people have to adjust to all sorts of differences. To a great extent, the mother's needs become entirely secondary to the baby's needs. No-one has any right to judge any other woman for the way she makes the transition from a completely autonomous and independent person, into a nursing mother with a dependent baby.

Even if we lived in a society which venerated nursing mothers, where they were given a standing ovation every time they fed their child, it would still take most women a little time to adjust to revealing a part of their body that is normally hidden. Most people don't have the ability to switch mindsets instantly. Before you have a baby, you don't habitually show your breasts in public. After you have a baby, it is suddenly permitted. You don't instantly stop being aware of the fact that this is a part of your body that is normally hidden. Women shouldn't be judged for how they manage that change.

And there is an element of judgement/criticism on this thread. People say that it's not the mother's fault that she is being made to feel this way, and in the next breath they say that breastfeeding won't ever be normalised if people don't see it happening. That makes it the responsibility of nursing mothers to make breastfeeding visible. But what if they don't want to?

Plenty of women do. The ones who don't should be supported and encouraged to do whatever makes them, and their baby, comfortable. I would hate to think of a nervous new mother reading this thread and feeling that she's being judged by one group of people for feeding at all, and another group for the manner in which she's choosing to feed.

Instead of feeling sad for women who are choosing to do things in a particular way, wouldn't it be better to look for ways to help them make that adjustment? If a woman looks like she's nervous and is desperately trying to keep herself covered in a café, why not offer to swap seats with her if yours is in a quieter corner? Ask her if you can get her anything as you can see she's got her hands full with the baby? Both of these things were done for me when I was feeding DS2 and it doesn't half help you relax.

Fakebook Tue 02-Jul-13 12:20:03

Also, another reason to cover up for me, was because my let down reflex resulted in milk spraying half way across the room at the speed of police water cannons. I Don't think people would have appreciated breast milk in their coffee if I'd let that happen in a cafe. But that's probably a whole other thread.

ICBINEG Tue 02-Jul-13 14:10:43

That whole spraying thing is something I definitely don't remember being covered in antenatal classes. It's like they leave it as a little surprise comedy moment for new mums....I'm just glad it happened at home the first time it happened!

ICBINEG Tue 02-Jul-13 14:16:33

breast feeding women = cool

breast feeding women using covers = cool

living in a society that is happy to allow women to make money out of posing topless for page three but in which BFing mothers feel uncomfortable about getting out their whole boob or showing their nipples in public = sucks

or more simply,

society making Bfing women feel uncomfortable for any reason = sucks.

See it is society that is a fault, not the women....never the women...except in that they are part of women who buy the Sun to stare at boobs are at fault. There I said it.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 02-Jul-13 14:36:28

I once sprayed milk across the table in Las Iguanas. Waitress was a bit shocked.

I just used an over sized muslin or a scarf. Though neither helped when DS erupted in a fountain of vomit afterwards. Ahem.

I could feed happily in a cafe, but could never bring myself to feed infront of my FIL. Go figure.

But yeah, ICBINEG has the jist of it covered.

GetYourSocksOff Tue 02-Jul-13 16:13:04

I never understand this.

Cover, muslin, clever top arrangement... Who cares? It amazes me people care about this stuff. I've yet to meet a mum half naked in a cafe.

For me, the whole page 3 issue was entirely unrelated. Some women get their boobs out in public for sexual purposes. Some women like to stay covered up. And everything in between. Me, I'm pretty modest in my everyday dressing and that extends to my breastfeeding. So as a big boobed breastfeeder with a wriggly baby with a crap latch I'm a much less flustered breastfeeder when I have a cover.

I'm just feeding my baby, in my way, doing my thing. Feel sad about that? I'll pass you a tissue grin

BridgetBidet Tue 02-Jul-13 18:18:48

Wildstrawberry I agree that it is just another thing to feel guilty about. To me the OP sounds like one of these women who enjoys using breastfeeding as a stick to beat other women with. I think she was so disappointed when she saw this mother was breastfeeding she was determined to find something else to complain about and another stick to beat her with.

Unfortunately this reinforces my belief that many breastfeeding evangelists aren't so much concerned with the babies welfare as they are with having an opportunity to criticize other women.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Jul-13 18:20:45

OP would probably be weeping into her skinny latte at the sight of someone FF

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Jul-13 18:21:32


I think your responses on this thread have been really measured.

frutilla Tue 02-Jul-13 18:22:25

Covers are a great idea if they provide help to women who would rather use them. Personally, with DS1, it was really embarassing as he would break off feeding suddenly and milk would be spouting into the air 3/4 of a metre away! Then he would be back on and off again, it could happen several times in a few minutes.
Because of this, I rarely fed him in public, only if I was stuck and he was crying.

GetYourSocksOff Tue 02-Jul-13 19:24:59

I've just read a couple of pages back, I wasn't going to because I knew it would rile me up.

I'm relatively new so forgive my ignorance but... minifingers are you for real? If so it's a terrible shame that someone so pro-breastfeeding can do it so much damage.

Also, I'm not clear what point you're trying to establish with the pictures - none of those women are sitting next to a group of businessmen in costa. Women's lives are very different now, as I think someone mentioned further up.

ICBINEG Tue 02-Jul-13 20:18:25

yeah minifingers how DARE you care that society makes BFing women feel uncomfortable.

You are damaging the cause of BFing no end with your ridiculous ideas that people should actually feel comfortable while BFing, even if it involves a fussy baby, big boobs, milk spraying or nipple visibility!

CaptainUndercrackers Tue 02-Jul-13 20:37:10

Yes, those stupid women who are perfectly comfortable with BF their baby whilst covering their breast with a scarf. What idiots! Privacy is so unnecessary once you're a mother...

GetYourSocksOff Tue 02-Jul-13 20:49:51

Icbineg Just... hmm

When I was out with my babies society never made me feel uncomfortable. I was comfortable and my baby was happy and fed.

If I was bf for the first time after reading some of the negative comments on this thread - from a pro-bf poster - I'm not sure I would have been breastfeeding for so long. I hadn't even realised other women judged you for using a cover.

KeefRegina Tue 02-Jul-13 21:10:08


Quite right.

You can really see from some of the posters on here where the term Bf stasi emanated from.

I had never experienced it before coming on MN.

nenevomito Tue 02-Jul-13 21:21:56

I used a breastfeeding cover and I'm pretty shock that its that much of an issue. It's really a completely non-issue really.

I have H cup breasts, had to feed the DCs 'rugby style' and it took a hell of a lot of manouvering to get them onto the breast, even as a seasoned Pro. Also there was no way of doing it where the baby covers the breast like smaller boobed women can do, so you had a little mouth and a mass of white fleshy-veiny boob.

I didn't feel ashamed about breastfeeding or my breasts and when I was at the BF group or at home I didn't bother, but no I didn't fancy spending 5 or so mins trying to get the DC to latch on while exposing a large amount of flesh out in public.

Much more important to be able to breastfeed comfortably out and about IMO. By the time they were almost one, it was moot as by then they'd worked out how to shove the damn thing in and get on with it. grin


nenevomito Tue 02-Jul-13 21:24:05

Oi oi - I felt very comfortable breastfeeding, but since I'm the sort what has never even worn a bloody bikini, why should I change my basic psyche in case it upsets someone.

I refer you back to my previous 'bonkers' and raise you a 'like conkers'.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Jul-13 21:48:14

"Would you pressure a woman to go topless on the beach on the grounds that she shouldn't be ashamed of exposing her breasts or allow them to be "sexualised"?"

Good point Poppy

GetYourSocksOff Wed 03-Jul-13 11:04:42

I can't stop thinking about this thread.

The point above is absolutely spot on.

Other posters have already expressed my thoughts more eloquently than I have, but the expectation and judgement placed on new mums by other women, who claim to be promoting women's freedom and choice, has shocked me.

Want to promote breastfeeding in society? Let us do it in our own way.

I would happily and vocally defend any woman's right to breastfeed openly in public, however they see fit. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never needed to do this.

This thread is the closest I've come to feeling judged on my breastfeeding choices, which doesn't matter a jot now that my babies are older and no longer bf. But as a new mum I've felt flustered and self-conscious and overwhelmed. I've also had a hard time breast feeding. I do wonder if my choices would have been different if I'd read a thread like this before DC1.

badguider Wed 03-Jul-13 11:12:22

Poppy's point reminds me of my two encounters with mixed naked saunas in countries where that is socially normal.

In Latvia, I was in a group for a professional study-trip with people from my professional life, though not close colleagues. We were presented with a naked mixed sauna situation... our Latvian hosts were very understanding when we started out in swimming costumes, even though they were naked... over the course of the evening (beautiful outdoor situation with lake for dips between sauna sessions, at sunset) we generally all (starting with the 2nd generation British Hungarian and then the older people, gradually moving to the younger ones) removed swimwear and used towels to cover ourselves, then were happy to generally be without the towels even.

In Austria, I was again in a social situation with people from other countries I didn't know well and the social activity was a mixed spa. This spa had big signs banning any sort of swimwear at any point and also provided you with their own (small) towels..... I confess that even though this was a few years after Latvia I didn't go in... it was just too much all at once to strip off and walk around naked in mixed company having come from the UK.

To me this illustrates perfectly the feelings that women have on starting to breastfeed in public, it IS socially acceptable (at least everywhere I mix) but it's also uncomfortable at first and takes a lot of getting used to. Easing into it gently imo makes it more likely to happen.

intheshed Wed 03-Jul-13 16:29:23

I can see both sides- on the one hand, when I was breastfeeding newborns I did have to think about my wardrobe and didn't wear some things due to the fact they would give maximum exposure while breastfeeding, such as strapless maxi dresses in the summer etc. So I guess the cover kind of solves that problem.

On the other hand I just dislike what feels like even more commercialism and pressure on new mums to buy unnecessary stuff! I remember in my NCT group with DD1 approx 5 years ago someone had found a link to a US website selling these covers and we all had a giggle- not in a nasty way, more in a "only in America, what the hell will they think of next" kind of way. And yet these days they seem to be everywhere, (along with the ubiquitous cath kidston change bag and bugaboo)

Meh, maybe I'm just old fashioned. It really isn't a big deal though, breast, bottle, can of fanta I really don't care what or how other people feed their babies!

GetYourSocksOff Wed 03-Jul-13 19:26:28

For some of us they are absolutely not unnecessary commercialism, they're a godsend.

I certainly didn't buy mine because I felt I 'had' to have it. I discovered them with DC1 just as I had had enough of expressing enough to bottle feed every time I went out and figured I'd give it a go. It's the one single reason I kept feeding 2 children for as long as I did. Believe me, I had practised, but things just weren't working for us and I felt stressed and exposed.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 03-Jul-13 19:32:48


If you didn't want to buy one, how about one of those comedy men's aprons with a nude figure on ....

ICBINEG Wed 03-Jul-13 19:34:24

Can someone point out where all the judgement on this thread is supposed to be?

I (and all the other posters I have seen including the OP) don't have the slightest problem the woman using the cover. Or FFing for that matter.

The only problem I have is that society applies pressure to women that sometimes makes them feel the need to cover up while feeding.

Can people really not understand the difference?

You do as you will and good for you, whatever.

Society on the other hand needs to sort it's shit out so that breasts become substantially less fetishized and people don't feel the need to blush if they accidentally flash a nipple.

We are not judging people, we are judging society.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 03-Jul-13 19:41:21


As I said earlier, I think the OPs real attitude leaks out with this sniffy quote from the OP:

"maybe she feels " happier about it" and all that but really." Like the mother's happiness is a minor consideration.

I agree society needs to sort out its shit, I really do. But I think it's a bit of a dangerous message to be giving to women that they have to be the standard bearers for the "correct" way to feed.

GetYourSocksOff Wed 03-Jul-13 20:06:42

Actually, ICBINEG, your attitude stinks right there.

Yep, I can understand the difference. I don't need your approval, albeit slightly marred by the 'whatever' but... whatever.

I do however think other women should be able to breastfeed in whatever way they feel comfortable, without other people feeling pompously sad or having a giggle (I know that wasn't aimed directly at a mother). And that's just this page.

namechangea Wed 03-Jul-13 20:12:49

I must stop looking at this thread as once again I'm getting Mumsnet tourettes.

GetYourSocksOff Thu 04-Jul-13 11:48:32

This is my first experience of mumsnet Tourette's and I'm scared it might get addictive hmm

ICBINEG Thu 04-Jul-13 12:04:28

I don't recall insisting that anyone be a standard bearer?

And I really think it is allowable to feel sad that society makes BFing in public something that some women feel uncomfortable about.

ICBINEG Thu 04-Jul-13 12:12:42

I also feel sad that I would feel far too uncomfortable to BF my toddler in public. In fact I felt uncomfortable when she started telling my family about how cow's milk comes from cows and 'purple milk' (don't ask) comes from breasts.

I don't beat myself up over not feeling brave enough to expose the local cafe frequenters to BF of toddlers though, sometimes you don't have the energy or gumption for such things......

but I do feel a tiny bit sad that I don't feel able to just feed my child the way I want to....and I will continue to feel sad for everyone out there in the same position - be it due to big boobs, milk spray, fussy babies or child age.

I don't know about pompously sad...but I could give it a shot! Is it like normal sad but with pompoms?

PoppyAmex Thu 04-Jul-13 12:23:15

ICB as I said upthread, I think you're confused - this is not a breastfeeding issue at all.

Women aren't hiding breastfeeding because they're ashamed of the act; that's simply not the case.

I've never ever heard of any breastfeeding mother expressing shame about the act of feeding their babies (in public or not).

They're hiding their breasts, which is an entirely different matter.

ICBINEG Thu 04-Jul-13 12:27:39

I will accept in my case of toddlers it is a different issue...but the two aren't exactly separable.

ICBINEG Thu 04-Jul-13 12:30:39

Also I am even more pompously sad that women are required by society to cover more of their bodies then men by default.

GetYourSocksOff Thu 04-Jul-13 13:24:11

Sad with pompoms grin

Interestingly, ICBINEG I agree with you about the toddler issue. I think there is a great deal of acceptance now when it comes to feeding babies in public. Some people in the proximity may find it a bit awkward or embarrassing but it's getting better all the time. Because increasingly nursing mums ARE getting out there and doing it. But yes, the older the child gets the less comfortable westerners are.

But this is a complex issue. The African pictures, for example, are lovely to but paint it as some kind of matriarchal utopia is polarised and misguided. And as somebody pointed out, it's a hell of a lot warmer over there grin. Hygiene standards necessitate longer nursing times in many cases, which simply isn't the case over here. It's never going to be as widespread and therefore as mainstream for older children to breastfeed in the UK.

But I also agree with poppy . And please don't shoot me down for this, but I like that my breasts can also be sexy. I'm not ashamed of them, in fact, since having babies, I think they're pretty amazing. They're not for general viewing however, this is my choice and always has been.

My problem with the thread is that there are comments from pro breastfeeders which are not at all supportive of mothers using covers (I was going to look for some quotes but there are so many it really is stating the obvious). It's an emotive issue and that kind of approach will almost certainly do more damage than good <shakes pompoms and sobs a bit>

ZenGardener Thu 04-Jul-13 14:06:09

I feed my 2 year old in public. I don't give a flying fig what people think but I used to work as a secondary school teacher and I really would rather my former pupils don't see me with my boobs out especially in this age of phone cameras.

Maybe that makes people sad but I don't care. It's actually quite snuggly and intimate to use a blanket to feed.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Jul-13 15:41:45

Its an issue for the BF mother and no one else.
Its not for any other person to look at another and try and work out why they are doing something.

Having a neck high scarf on, for me, was simply easier to manouvre underneath with plenty of room and giving baby plenty of air and space too.

It was nothing - nothing to do with wanting to be hidden from the neck down like a Victorian bather.

My cover was in valuable to me, when I got the hang of BF with more ease, I was able to graduate onto tops, and scarfs.

I never bare my breasts on a beach, and whether anyone likes it or not they are sexual objects.

Men get turned on by breasts.

You can ban the sun but they will still find them sexy.

I chose to cover mine when BF because I always cover them. I do not even wear tops showing much cleavage.

They have never ever been something I want to show off, or a feature.

Some comments on here sound like students come back from a gap year in Africa wishing we could all be the same grin

YummyYummyYum Thu 04-Jul-13 16:44:21

She likes to cover, that's all. On the other hand, I have no shame and I am proud to show my 30G boobs thank you bra intervention ladies when feeding my baby.

grants1000 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:35:11

I had very large breast feeding boobs, unlike some who have little ones so easy to pop on baby and feed, I had to get my feeding boob almost completely out to feed and both took a while to latch on, so lots of nipple exposure.

Why would I want to that in a cafe without any privacy? A muslin and a quiet corner sufficed. No sad or shamfull, just easier, more comfortable and conveniet.

OP is bonkers.

Minifingers Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:29

"Why would I want to that in a cafe without any privacy?"

Well - in the UK you wouldn't.

But if you'd been born in other countries where the majority of people don't bat an eyelid at the sight of a baby breastfeeding no matter what the size and shape of the mum's breast, and where you see breastfeeding EVERYWHERE, you may well have felt differently.

"Some comments on here sound like students come back from a gap year in Africa wishing we could all be the same"

I lived in Africa, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand as a child and young adult so have seen normal breastfeeding across the world. I DO wish were more like women in those countries, because they don't seem to have half the angst/problems we have with breastfeeding. Maybe it's because they don't spend as much time as we do worrying about people looking at them while they breastfeed and thinking they've got wobbly tummies/saggy boobs/big boobs/big nipples/stretch marks etc.

"It's actually quite snuggly and intimate to use a blanket to feed."

Yes - I love eating my sandwiches with a pillow case over my head. hmm

Minifingers Thu 04-Jul-13 18:07:36

"Women aren't hiding breastfeeding because they're ashamed of the act; that's simply not the case."

No - if you go by many of the posts on this thread they usually seem to hide breastfeeding because they're ashamed of their breasts/body, and don't want to draw attention to them.

grants1000 Thu 04-Jul-13 18:42:59

"No - if you go by many of the posts on this thread they usually seem to hide breastfeeding because they're ashamed of their breasts/body, and don't want to draw attention to them"

The above is utter crap.

I would not want someone looking at my vagina in a cafe, does not mean I'm ashamed. Why would I want to expose my breast and nipple to complete strangers to see? This does not mean I am ashamed it means I want privacy.

I had no angst or worries about feeding my child with a muslin because I did not want people being able to see my breasts and nipples, nothing at all to do with shame/angst/worry.

No one eats with a pillow over their head, what a daft thing to say.

Why not go the whole hog and have sex in public? It's natural after all, bodies are not to be ashamed off, a nice ball sac with you latte madame?

GetYourSocksOff Thu 04-Jul-13 18:53:28

A nice ball sac with your latte madam - love it grin

You see, it's the blind arrogance and blind sightedness which makes me despair. Minifingers, you might make some valid points along the way, I honestly have no idea because I'm so pissed off by your arrogance.

How dare you completely dismiss somebody's feeding choices with her own child? And equate it to an adult eating sandwiches in a pillow case? Bloody ridiculous.

GetYourSocksOff Thu 04-Jul-13 20:47:07

Interestingly, and by complete coincidence, I clicked on a blog link on MN earlier (about judginess and avocados). And have found myself falling a little in love with the author and exploring the blog further... Including her section on gentle parenting and as part of that, breastfeeding.

Can I link on here to blogs? I'm not sure.

Her posts on breastfeeding are beautiful and make me wish I'd found her blog before either one of my babies. It's inspiring and has shifted my own perspective a little. Maybe part of the difference is that there are pictures, beautiful pictures, of her feeding her baby and toddler (as opposed to 'do as I say... whilst I sit fully clothed and judge you'). And her writing is humorous and positive and balanced.

This is the kind of message which needs to reach new mums. Just that it's one way of doing it and normal people are doing it and it's kind of beautiful and inspiring. Not that everybody else is getting it wrong.

GetYourSocksOff Thu 04-Jul-13 20:48:30

Sod it, here's the link, someone please report the post if needed.

CaptainUndercrackers Fri 05-Jul-13 08:21:18

That's a fab blog get, thanks for the link. And totally agree that this kind of positive message is so much more effective - and inclusive - than the 'but why are you doing it that way?' handwringing that seems to be so popular.

itsaruddygame Fri 05-Jul-13 10:13:46

This thread really gets on my wick. It's nobody else's business whether a breastfeeding mother feels more comfortable covering up or not. Our society in general is accepting of breast feeding mothers and it is encouraged and promoted as best for babies in this country. Let people get on with feeding their babies and worry about something more important.

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