to wonder WHAT exactly it is about a breastfeeding mother that some find offensive?

(335 Posts)
MistressDeeCee Fri 06-Jun-14 17:01:46
Thurlow Fri 06-Jun-14 17:08:38

I'd say, simply put, that some people don't like the sight of a woman's bare breast in public. It's dirty, don't you know hmm

emotionsecho Fri 06-Jun-14 17:10:03

Sorry, can't answer that OP because I have absolutely no idea what people could possibly find offensive about breastfeeding. There are many things in this world to find offensive a breastfeeding mother is not one of them.

cantbelievethisishppening Fri 06-Jun-14 17:11:09

Boobs out in public

Squidstirfry Fri 06-Jun-14 17:11:18

Ha! Bare breasts are fine so long as its sexual thrill for men, but as life-giving source of nutrition and sustenance? - Abhorrent!

Never understood the breasfeeding in public furore. I also think it's a British thing?

lljkk Fri 06-Jun-14 17:12:05

Also the bodily function part. It's okay to eat in public (bodily function, everyone does that).

It's okay for a baby to fill a stinky nappy (guess they can't help it). And presumably we all know babies are filling nappies with wee all the time.

Breathing is okay, coughing or sneezing within limits.

Even burping can be laughed off on occasion.

I don't see why expressing milk should be so different, but in many people's minds it is. Unfamiliarity I suppose.

ZuluinJozi Fri 06-Jun-14 17:16:03

The hanging in public of what is reserved for men's eyes only hmm

Don't you know boobz is for the menz to perv at and any other use is just wrong. I mean you can feed your kid formula and be like normal.

Pisses me off that a woman can't feed her baby anyway she chooses in public. As I said to one woman who complained and told me I was a dirty disgusting bitch if she found me feeding my child the way my body was designed to then she could stay at home.

beccajoh Fri 06-Jun-14 17:18:42

Because breasts are meant to be sexual playthings for men, ergo, using them to feed a baby is akin to paedophilia doncha know.

Flippancy aside, I don't know why it bothers people so much. Adults and other children are allowed to eat in public, but babies aren't allowed. Baffling.

TheBogQueen Fri 06-Jun-14 17:19:01

I think it's to do with a woman getting her dirty pillows put to feed her baby and thus making a show of herself.

MistressDeeCee Fri 06-Jun-14 17:21:25

I suppose its the fact that a woman took part in the abuse that shocked me the most. Im not saying of course that it would be better if a man did it, but Id expect a woman - even if not a mother herself - would be more understanding, or at least censure him. Not that I would ever be with a man who would do that kind of thing but if it were the case he'd be sitting on his arse alone in Costas & it would be me calling the police.

LarrytheCucumber Fri 06-Jun-14 17:23:13

It would be offensive to some ethnic groups who believe women should be covered up.Otherwise no idea.I did have a wrap to cover up in public, but DS is 19 now. Seems things haven't moved on much.I like seeing mothers feed their babies but it makes me jealous as I shan't have the cha ce to do it again.

RoseberryTopping Fri 06-Jun-14 17:23:33

God knows! I understand not every woman wants to do it and there's nout wrong with FF, but I don't get why people are so squeamish about breast feeding. It probably is to do with the way boobs are marketed, they're only meant to be used sexually and seeing an innocent baby suckling on them probably feels very wrong to some. Still weird though.

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 17:23:40

I think it's because the breasts are seen as a sex organ rather than feeding vessels
add to that that they are being sucked in public and I think that's where some people's problem lies.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 06-Jun-14 17:23:54

I've feed all mine in public and never had anything said a few sniggers and pointing but nothing else, I think these poor women just run into nutters.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 06-Jun-14 17:24:23

Fed not feed ffs.

parentalunit Fri 06-Jun-14 17:24:51

I think it's about expectations. Every time I breastfeed near my Dad, he freaks out as it's just not something he's used to seeing. Now I use a nursing cover, and he's more ok with it as he knows what's coming smile It seems to be increasingly common, so here's hoping attitudes will change!

DinoSnores Fri 06-Jun-14 17:26:14

"It would be offensive to some ethnic groups who believe women should be covered up."

This is a rather uneducated view. If you are talking about some Muslims, then BFing is strongly encouraged until the age of 2 in Islam and BFing in public just happens as part of that.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 06-Jun-14 17:26:56

Apparently they called her a slut shock

Not that she should ever ever made to feel shameful about BFig but it wasnt even "uh dont do that" but slut?!?

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 17:27:08

Although I have no problem with breastfeeding, I do believe there is a time and a place much like anything! Feed your baby in a restaurant/shopping centre/swimming pool by all means but not everybody wants to see your boobs. What I am trying to say is some women really seem to enjoy going out of their way to feed in blatant view when it isn't necessary, just use a cover up!

Oakmaiden Fri 06-Jun-14 17:28:05

It would be offensive to some ethnic groups who believe women should be covered up

And yet it is my understanding that in many Muslim countries (using Muslim as an example as they are the culture I am most aware of which prefers women to dress modestly and cover up) breastfeeding in public is an expected norm.

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 17:28:27

I've never seen a bare breast/nipple whenever I've seen someone breastfeeding. only the baby's head.

Subtext Fri 06-Jun-14 17:28:56

Because the English are squeamish about bodily functions and prudish about nudity. Unless it's sexual nudity, which is fine, because it's a naughty thrill for the menz.

But actual real un-airbrushed bodies, doing natural bodily functions? Bleeuuurrrrggggghhhh.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 06-Jun-14 17:29:12

But surely most bfing mums dont wap a boob out in full view and exhibit it before latching the baby on - they adjust a top, attach a baby and pray it doesnt pull off and spray milk anywhere.

Minimal boobage.

I tell you, the sight of a bfing mother is a damn sight more pleasant than a grown man swanning around in this heat with his top off and his hairy armpits glustening with sweat

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 17:29:27

For example, not that long ago I was at a party. A group of us were sat in the lounge when I friend of the host's mum decided to join us. All well and good until she decided to start feeding in front of everyone, breast entirely on show. It was awkward to say the least, considering only one of us knew who she was!

BertieBotts Fri 06-Jun-14 17:32:26

YY, and in Jewish lore, when breastfeeding "breasts are as hands" which means that they are performing a natural, necessary function which would be impossible if they were covered and hence it is fine to have them uncovered although they would be covered usually.

mollypup - there are plenty of other people's body parts I'd rather not see. Like topless hairy pale flabby men on hot days. Or muffin tops under short T-shirts. Men's vertical smiles as they bend over in their jeans. And yet I accept that this is my own problem and people are free to cover their own bodies (or not) as they see appropriate. I fail to see why breasts are any different in that way. If you don't want to see someone's breasts, look away. No-one should ever feel obliged to cover up to suit someone else's personal idea of modesty.

DippyEggNSolders Fri 06-Jun-14 17:39:08

I have a male friend who has a wicked evil mother (she really is, toxic is a kind word for her). My male friend was brought up to think that breasts / breastfeeding was dirty, encouraged men to oggle at the woman, that she was "asking for it" etc etc. it was seen, in her eyes as utterly wrong to do, and certainly in public.

My male friend then met me and I fed my daughter as I knew I wanted to. He was educated by me as he saw me feed and grow my daughter.

He had been fed a tararge of incorrect, damaging information about something that is so normal and natural, he was completely eluded as to why women did it.

He is now fully supportive and a male advocate of breast feeding, even helping his niece recently and putting me in touch with her to support her.

To me, there are people around like his mum that have that view and will not change that.

There are people like my male friend who need educating.

Stories like the OP's link make it vitally important for us to continue to educate and spread the word that it is normal and natural way of feeding a baby. The more people that chose to feed in public, the more it becomes normal and a "non issue" as it is in many European countries.

RufusTheReindeer Fri 06-Jun-14 17:41:03

When I was pregnant with ds1 my dad said

"You're not going to be one of those women who breastfeed in public are you?"

Few weeks after ds1 was born my dad kissed his head to say goodbye..when it was still firmly attached to my tit!!!!!!

He'd gone from prude to MUCH MUCH MUCH too comfortable in a matter of weeks

Cruikshank Fri 06-Jun-14 17:47:52

mollypup - do you think that women who breastfeed in public are force-feeding their infants in order to get attention? How does that work then? Surely the most likely explanation is that they are feeding their babies because their babies are hungry and they happen to have got hungry while they are outside the house? I should imagine that most people would rather have a quick flash of boobage to deal with than a screaming hungry infant, in terms of public behaviour.

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 17:53:25

Oh mollypup. hmm

PrincessBabyCat Fri 06-Jun-14 18:03:01

I also think it's a British thing?

Americans can get a little squeamish about it. But we have topless laws that any woman is allowed to go topless in most states so they can't be legally told to stop. The attitude is still disapproving in some parts of the country. In my state, we're full of health nuts and "crunchy moms" so no one bats an eye here. But there's some parts where a store is under legal action because they didn't allow a woman to breastfeed her baby in one of the changing rooms.

There's an aggressive breast is best campaign because our mothers give it up very quickly since maternity leave is only 3 weeks and it's impractical to keep taking breaks to pump at work. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't here. If you bottle feed in public you get comments about formula feeding, if you breastfeed you get comments about boobs.

Mrsfrumble Fri 06-Jun-14 18:03:10

Mollypup, the situation was awkward because of yours and the party-goers attitudes, not because of the mother's actions.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 06-Jun-14 18:09:16

People take offence, not give it. You dont like it, dont look. Dont take that offence.

missymayhemsmum Fri 06-Jun-14 18:13:03

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

Polyethyl Fri 06-Jun-14 18:15:08

But let's remember that the vast majority of times no one is critical. Or perhaps I've just been lucky - no one has ever been negative in any way to me, I have not even been tutted at. And my 16mo is a demanding boob monster so I have fed her in all sorts of places.

curlyHedgehog Fri 06-Jun-14 18:18:29

Yanbu, it is symptomatic of the fact we live in a misogynist society, boobs are for male gratification,not to feed babies hmm

I don't hear the same furore about the lads mags with scantily clad young women on the cover, which I'm forced to see every time I go to a petrol station, newsagents etc

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Fri 06-Jun-14 18:19:02

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

Oh dear...!

Maybe you should say something to them missy then they could tell you all about trying really hard to BF and being very upset that ultimately they couldn't. Or that the baby is adopted? No need to be sad or upset at all.

Babesh Fri 06-Jun-14 18:23:59

Mollypup I really don't believe the women in the room found it awkward that another woman was breast feeding. I think you found it weird as your personal criteria for right place and right time in the right manner wasn't met. And if I am wrong and you all did find it an extraordinarily inappropriate act then what a joyless limited group you made.

TheBogQueen Fri 06-Jun-14 18:27:19

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

Really hmm

freezation Fri 06-Jun-14 18:28:00

Why do you find it sad missy? That's a very judgmental attitude. I'm as pro-breastfeeding as they come but what business is it of anyone else's how a woman feeds her baby? It's a bit much to say you find it upsetting. I'm sure you would hate it if someone said they found it saddening and upsetting to see someone breastfeeding. It works both ways. Let's stop judging each other on our feeding choices smile

ForeskinHyena Fri 06-Jun-14 18:31:44

The thing that people find of side about BFing is that the women showing their breasts are not always nubile young twenty somethings with beautifully coiffed hair and Barbie faces, they are normal natural looking women of all ages and sizes, daring to show parts of their natural bodies while doing something natural.

We should only ever show ourselves in public if we have spent lots of time and money on ensuring that we are bronzed, toned and beautiful, preferably with some fake parts added on for good measure, whether that's hair extensions, fake eyelashes, breast implants or just several kilos of slap.

After all, nobody seems to mind too much seeing the endless parades of exposed breasts going into a nightclub at a weekend or lounging around on the beach. Add a few pounds, minus some tan and attach a small child and it's pure filth.

keepyourchinupdear Fri 06-Jun-14 18:33:43

Sparklingbrook the majority of mothers bottle feed because it's what society expects of them. Adopted babies or mothers/babies who genuinely struggle to bf are in the minority.

Either way, I can see Missy's point. It seems it's always bfing mums that getting verbally abused & harassed in public. Disdain for ff is not widely publicised, discussed or excepted. Imagine if this news story we're reversed - a mother being berated for formula feeding? Oh no, that would not happen! Formula is not a convenience food, it's just as good as bm, a bf & ff infant have the same health outcomes.

I've heard all this mince before, but I don't berate people for their feeding choices!!

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 18:33:45

Missymayhem wins the judgypants this evening.

Really? Why do you care about something that has absolutely nothing to do with you? What if that mother was on necessary medication harmful to her baby?

Ever think of that, hmmmm?

freezation Fri 06-Jun-14 18:37:34

keepyourchinupdear we shouldn't accept criticism of either feeding choice/necessity. Two wrongs don't make a right!

I know exactly why I didn't BF. If anyone had asked why though I would have told them all about my 6 weeks of complete misery.

People also need to know that not all people who FF do it through choice.

gorionine Fri 06-Jun-14 18:39:25

I never understood the big fuss about it. I am a prude I there ever was one. I also am a Muslim (not really relevant, just to set the tone that I'm by no means an exhibitionistsmile) but I had 4Dcs and have BF them all in public for 2 years each I cannot think of anything more natural.
I have Bfed in front of DH's rather 'conservative' family and NONE of them found it offensive which to me speaks volume.

I was reading some comments this morning about it in the very open minded DM. and one was on those lines. "it is terrible to BF in public, in my days women would never have dared! they new that once they had babies they could not go out as if they were still single." I had not realised that women with children were never meant to walk in the park for a bit of sunshine anymore or quite simply go out for the weekly shopping, visit friends and well, basically lead a rather normal life.

As an aside, I think it is not appropriate to turn the issue of BF in public into a Brest is best VS Bottle feeding that is just MHO though.

Rainbunny Fri 06-Jun-14 18:39:39

I have a male friend who admitted that he finds the sight of a breastfeeding woman incredibly icky. He said that it seems oddly sexual to him and the whole child sucking a woman's breast thing is just gross. So yeah he basically admitted what I've always thought, men think of breasts in a highly sexual way and can't handle the fact that they have a purpose to feed a child and they certainly don't want a visible reminder of it.

I don't know why some women object though, although I've only ever heard women from older generations make comments about public breastfeeding. I figure some older women are just more uptight about "acceptable behaviour in public."

andsmile Fri 06-Jun-14 18:43:41

Possible two reasons depending on the type of fuckwit gawping

Because a women is using her breast for nature intended which directly contradicts the gawpers internalisation of them as sexual objects - how very dare they.

Because a womens breast are sexual and therefore she's a dirty caw for aving em out.

Oh and lastly

Some women just feel threatened by the confidence or size of boobs os the breastfeeding women.

needaholidaynow Fri 06-Jun-14 18:46:41

Because they are ignorant, prudish idiots.

Penguin0fMadagascar Fri 06-Jun-14 18:46:42

But I don't think all men "think of breasts in a highly sexual way". DH has told me of an occasion when he was chatting to a friend at kids' parties and only become aware part way through the conversation that she was breastfeeding her baby - I think because the presence of the baby renders the breast a non-sexual part of the body.

keepyourchinupdear Fri 06-Jun-14 18:48:10

Sparklingbrook don't feel you need to justify your decisions. m fully aware that not all mums ff through choice.

I have a lot of admiration for women who make an INFORMED decision to ff from the start. That takes a lot of balls imo. I feel so sorry for the mums who want to bf but receive no support or encouragement to do so for various reasons - the main one being society's view that bfing is icky/unnecessary & the pressure to introduce formula/granny, etc wanting to feed baby, etc...

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 18:48:40

Oh easy peasy.

Most UK babies over a few weeks old are fully bottlefed. This has been the case for years and years, and it's made breastfeeding almost invisible as a normal parenting practice for all except the mums of very tiny babies. So people aren't used to it and are discomfited by it.

tankytoppy Fri 06-Jun-14 18:49:08

I think the vast majority of people have no issue with it. The ones that do aren't worth worrying about as they probably have weird ideas about all sorts of stuff.

Not sure why the lady in Costa felt the need to run to the papers about it though.

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 18:52:04

Come to think of it the only people I've heard comment negatively on bf in public are older women.
My gran used to leave the room when I was bf DC which made me feel a bit rubbish like I should have been hiding away.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 18:54:49

It's perfectly logical that people who feel that breastfeeding is really important for health and quality of life will feel sad about some babies not being breastfed. That doesn't mean you don't appreciate that breastfeeding is emotionally of physically impossible for some women.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 18:58:19

Older women may have been deprived of the experience of breastfeeding by shit advice and care. It must make some of them feel (at some level, not necessarily conscious) like they've missed out on the feeling of closeness, pride and self sufficiency that many breastfeeding mums experience. Some of these older women may be quite bitter.

PrincessBabyCat Fri 06-Jun-14 19:03:25

Maybe you should say something to them missy then they could tell you all about trying really hard to BF and being very upset that ultimately they couldn't. Or that the baby is adopted? No need to be sad or upset at all.

I didn't breastfeed because I didn't like it, and I'm not going to justify it or act apologetic for my choice. Just like I don't expect breastfeeding mothers to feel like they have to justify it or feel guilty about breastfeeding in public.

If someone went up to ask me, I'd tell them because I chose to bottle feed and leave it at that.

Macocious Fri 06-Jun-14 19:03:56

I've had a couple of older women (70+) come up to me and say "isn't that lovely" while I was feeding

Maybe some of the women who get up in arms about it are worried about their partners looking at the woman in question?

I was projecting a bit PBC. I had six weeks of misery. So I would have loved to have told them all about it in great detail.

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 19:16:57

I remember when I was a teenager a male relative passing comment on breastfeeding that "the mothers enjoy it" said in a sleazy way that made it clear he thought the mothers got a thrill from the baby feeding. hmm

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 19:22:13

Anyone who gets all het about about something that doesn't remotely affect them, IMO, has serious 'ishooz'.

That's everyone on MN Please, especially AIBU. grin

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 19:26:56

I knew I would get flamed for my opinion. Let me just say this, I have absolutely no issue with breast feeding in public HOWEVER it goes without saying, from experience that some women have become unnecessarily militant about it. I would just like to point out that it was not the breastfeeding woman I was uncomfortable with, but rather that she decided to not feed the baby immediately, instead she sit there talking with her tits out for a good couple of minutes prior! Why?! I don't have children myself yet, so maybe my opinion will change.

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 19:27:26

Nothing wrong with a bit of banter grin

Fleta Fri 06-Jun-14 19:28:30

I bf daughter to 3.5 years. In a wide variety of places.

I got comments only once from a coven of old women in a pub. My wonderful, wonderful father went over to them and proceeded to educate them - perfectly politely - as to why their views were offensive and outdated. He'd understood how important it was to me to bf and had been reading up on it so he could be supportive. I may have blubbed a bit.

MexicanSpringtime Fri 06-Jun-14 19:33:30

I think a lot of older women who bottle-fed their babies feel an implied criticism when they see younger women breast-feeding. Just like people who were hit as children sometimes begrudge present-day children to right to go untouched.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 06-Jun-14 19:36:02

My mother would be someone sat there with a cats bum mouth, clutching her pearls if there was a woman BF.

When I was pg with DS1 she kept saying to me "you're not going to do that BF thing are you? It's not natural!" hmm.

Fortunately we live miles away so I didn't get badgered about it when I was BF. I fed him for 6 months, but when I saw my parents I took expressed milk because it was easier than listen to her harp on!

With DS2 I fed him for a year. He's 17.5 and to this day, she knows he was BF for a bit but not for how long because she would have flipped and go on and on and on!

She really does have issues about BF, I have no clue where from, but my sister who lives near her did not even try due to her pressure and nor did either of my nieces!

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 19:36:32

What do you mean by militant Molly?

Ask the boys at The Student Room - Lots of breastfeeding hate here . Isn't it funny how the majority of those saying it's disgusting are boys with no experience of children, and yet they still feel qualified to comment?

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 19:44:37

ah moomin's link: the old chestnuts comparing bf to going to the toilet in public or having sex in public.

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 19:51:43

By militant I mean women is purposely go out of the way to make a point of breastfeeding in public as opposed to those who use a little more common sense.

This article was written by a guy but I think it's pretty sensible. Just as someone wouldn't sit in the middle of Sainsbury's eating a McDonalds, why would it be necessary to start breastfeeding your child?

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 19:53:41

That all you have to base your argument on. Sigh.

Oh, Moomin, I had just cheered up (with chocolate self-medication) from being depressed about internet fuckwittery I encountered earlier today, and then you went and posted that link. My favourite comment is, "One thing I maintain though is that my wife would not be breastfeeding in public and there would be no discussion on that matter."

hmm What a catch that young fellow is. He must have to beat the girls off with a stick.

Sorry Annie sad I've been reading it all afternoon and I don't think I've stopped sighing and shaking my head at their utter stupidity sad

molly That's exactly the point. The article was written by a guy. I wonder if he's ever had to deal with a screaming hungry baby in a public place, where everyone is silently urging you to shut the baby up with death glares... but heaven forbid you should shut them up by breastfeeding them!

ShergarAndSpies Fri 06-Jun-14 19:59:58

Do you have kids mollypup ?

Andrewofgg Fri 06-Jun-14 20:05:24

I know there are plenty of twattish men around, but I would suggest that this is more of a generation than of a gender matter.

When my sister fed my nephew, and he's 33, my DM was uncomfortable about it; not I, nor indeed my DSF.

Inevitably some adolescent males will gawp but there's not a lot to be done about that except hope that they'll grow out of it.

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 20:06:20

In my previous post I stated that no I do not have children personally, but my friends do, family members do, heck I was even a child myself once. All of them manage to look after their babies perfectly fine without this 'I'll do what I want, when I want' attitude. The whole breastfeeding in public debate is rather new, what on earth did people do before?!
I don't think it's right to compare feeding a baby to other natural functions like the other articles make a point but at the same is it so wrong to want breast feeders to be just a bit mindful sometimes?

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 20:06:53

*make a point of

It's a perfectly natural sight these days to walk down the street and see people eating or drinking, but if you're breastfeeding then you're militant?

The main reason we don't see breastfeeding happening more often in public is because of disgusting, outdated opinions such as that.

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:09:17

"I'll do what I want, when I want" - what, like feed a hungry baby? Goodness, how unreasonable!

molly, are you really saying a woman at a party got her bare breast out and then sat like that for a couple of minutes chatting before picking up her baby to feed it?

mollypup Why should they have to be mindful? If you don't like it, look away. No-one's grabbing you and forcing you to stare at them. Which one of these responses seems more appropriate to you?

"Ooh someone's breastfeeding. I don't like that. How rude. I should contact the news. I should tell everyone how disgusted I am. I should go up to her and call her a slut for getting her breasts out in public! The more I look, the more revolted I feel! She's disgusting! Why can't she be more considerate? I'm sitting here, you know. She should go and sit in the toilets where no-one has to look at her!".


"Oh. She's breastfeeding. Not keen on people breastfeeding in public. Ah well, she's over there. I just won't look over there".

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:10:44

I saw a militant bottle feeder the other day just bottle feeding her baby in the school playground, totally shameless, where children could see her! Why didn't she use some common sense and wait til she got home?

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 20:11:43

I doubt somehow that you're with your 'friends who have kids' 24/7. So with that in mind, I also doubt they share every single detail of their child rearing with you. What I mean is if they are out and about and are bf mothers I can guarantee you they'll have had at some point to do it in public. As your rather objectionable to the where and when, they've probably not disclosed these details as you're quite judgemental and dictatorial about what is or isn't acceptable.

Mindful? Heh heh. Ok.

ShergarAndSpies Fri 06-Jun-14 20:17:50

mollypup the reason I asked is you said this in an earlier post:
Just as someone wouldn't sit in the middle of Sainsbury's eating a McDonalds, why would it be necessary to start breastfeeding your child

Which suggested to me that you believe that a mother should wait for 'an appropriate time and place' to BF a baby.

Now anyone who has had sole care of an infant for any length of time is very aware that often, they can't even go an hour between feeds and when they suddenly decide they are hungry / thirsty / unsettled and need comfort they have a strongly held belief that they are entitled to it immediately.

Babies need to be fed when they need to be fed. It often isn't predictable or convenient - one of the many things that makes parenting a small child challenging and sometimes stressful.

LucyBabs Fri 06-Jun-14 20:20:31

I don't hold the opinion that breasts are for menz sexual needs confused

However bf makes my stomach turn it has made me feel like this since I first saw my Mum bf my brother and then later on my sister bf my niece.

It has nothing to do with sex for me just my own weird squeamish ness.

I don't think anyone should be stopped from bf in public it's my own problem.

Anyone who calls a bf mother a slut has their own deep dark issues

OxfordBags Fri 06-Jun-14 20:22:20

Well, I'm glad a man has explained what's what about breastfeeding, Mollypup. Seeing as no man, ever (bar a couple of female to male post-operative transsexuals) has breastfed, and has zero experience of what it is like to produce milk, have breasts, feel a child suckle, or, indeed, be a woman, I really rate his advice above all else. hmm

And that woman was not sat there 'with her tits out', she was preparing to breastfeed. It's got nothing to do with mothers having an "I'll do what I want, when I want" attitude, as you ridiculously put it, it's mothers having a "my baby must have its needs met" attitude. You see, one problem with breastfeeders is that we do rather tend to presume that other people won't be immature, ignorant twats who'd take issue with a child's needs being met, and that, if for some pathetic reason the sight of a suckling infant upset or perturbed them in some way, those people would have the good grave to feel ashamed, realised they were being ridiculous and decide to address whatever inadequacies or personal issues led them to be perturbed in the first place.

If you think the discomfort of ignorant, immature adults matters more than a baby's need for nourishment and comfort, or that attending to your child's needs is 'militant', then please remain childless. The baby's needs always come first, bottle or breast fed. Babies are not like adults who can choose to go hungry for a bit, or rationalise it, to make things convenient for others.

What did people do in the past? Women breastfed their children whenever, and wherever, since the dawn of time. What with the human race dying out if they hadn't done, FFS. It's the covering up or bottle feeding debate that's new, dearie.

And on a better note:
I've only ever had really nice experiences with older people witnessing my DS Bfing. They seem to go all misty-eyed about it. One old geezer shouted, "That's the good stuff, Sonny!" with a cheer, when DS latched on furiously when he was very little.

LadyAlysVorpatril Fri 06-Jun-14 20:24:51

Wish I hadn't clicked on those links, sooo depressing.

mrsmopps Fri 06-Jun-14 20:29:58

" thats the good stuff sonny "
love it!

God. In this day and age! I never stop being gobsmacked about crap like this. Who the hell are these people. Ridiculous.

I breastfeed everywhere and anywhere.

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 20:34:40

oxfordbags seriously, immature and ignorant twats? Why are you reacting so badly to my opinion?

It is categorically not right to have referred to this woman as a slut or anything else negative that happened. I wasn't referring to the OP's article when I commented.

Also, oxfordbags you are paraphrasing my use of 'with her tits out' to reflect badly. Other posters have used the same terminology but because it was used to express a more positive view that's okay is it?

And yes she did sit there bare breasted for a while before feeding, the child was not crying or acting particularly unsettled. Two minutes was probably a bit hyperbolic but my point was that it was unnecessary.

It's clear that unless your of a specific opinion, you aren't very welcome on mumsnet, how nice. hmm

deakymom Fri 06-Jun-14 20:35:30

the only thing that gets me is the need for threads like this

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Fri 06-Jun-14 20:37:20

Tell you what Molly, rather than feeding a child, would it make you less uncomfortable if the baby just screamed in your ear until I have finished whatever I'm doing anything in public and I can take my arm milky offensive tits out of your eyeline.

Or, perhaps you could avert your eyes? Or chuck a blanket and over your head? Or, you know, just fuck the fuck off?

*breastFED everywhere and anywhere. DDs are 10 and 8 now, not breastfeeding any more grin

dawndonnaagain Fri 06-Jun-14 20:41:44
Cheepypeepy Fri 06-Jun-14 20:44:51

I was sitting on a bench in a scultpture park BF my very hungry baby when a very old - 80+ - couple came over to tell us we were a much better work of art grin

A much nicer attitude

Bunbaker Fri 06-Jun-14 20:45:06

"I'd say, simply put, that some people don't like the sight of a woman's bare breast in public."

But you don't actually see the breast because the baby is feeding. In my experience women don't tend to hang it all out to feed.

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:47:14

I see mollypup, so she didn't actually sit there with a breast out for no reason - she just got her boob out to feed her baby before it cried? Which is surely polite - feeding the baby promptly rather than waiting for it to cry and disturb everyone?

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:47:57

Even if you do see some breast, does it matter?

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 20:50:43




Hundreds of examples on that site. Before formula women breastfed everywhere. In countries where women can't afford formula they still do.

Bottle feeding has resulted in chronic ignorance about normal breastfeeding behaviours - a belief that even quite small babies can easily be breastfed to a schedule and only need to be fed a few times a day, neither of which is true. Many babies who are exclusively breastfed feed literally dozens of times in a 24 hour period.

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 06-Jun-14 20:51:38


I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned

Thank you. That's the sort of patronising claptrap I got from my HV and NCT "counsellor" who between them managed to ensure the 3 miserable months I breast fed were some of the most unhappy of my life.

Andrewofgg Fri 06-Jun-14 20:51:55

The only bit that bothers me is the proximity of a hot drink to a baby's head. Would I be wrong to hope she was having something cold?

(Come to think of it the thought of getting hot coffee on my nipple makes me shudder and it's probably less sensitive to pain than hers!)

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 20:53:26

dawndonnaagain thanks, however I'm not sure that's entirely relevant to me.

I said I have no problem with breast feeding in public, or a woman's right to feed.

It does seem though that some women are now going out of their way to prove a point! That's all I'm trying to say, no need for such bloody hostility!

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:53:27

I often sit down with a cuppa while breastfeeding.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 20:53:30

Molly, you need to travel a bit.

Get a bit of cultural perspective on this issue.

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 20:54:44

mollypup - why on earth would you think some women breastfeed to make a point? What possible point would they be making? You seem to think anyone who doesn't hide away is some kind of militant.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 20:55:42

Bogqueen - did your HV force you to breastfeed?

Andrewofgg Fri 06-Jun-14 20:56:07

OK, fledermaus, you know more about it than a father of an ff child does!

My hunk of a son was at school with a boy who was brought up by his father after his mother died of complications of childbirth, so I guess ff has its place.

Babesh Fri 06-Jun-14 20:58:42

Mindful breastfeeding? Mindful of ignorance, of squeamishness of those ill equated with normality if bf and of how it is a legally protected right?

Really no, just like I am not mindful of those who are racist, disabllist or suffer other forms of bigotry. And yes you might develop a more insightful perspective as a nursing mother.

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 06-Jun-14 20:59:59

Sorry, sorryBogqueen it was Missy who made that stupid and judgemental remark.

Missy why don't you go ahead and tell them?

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 21:00:04

fledermaus I absolutely do not, but I do think like everything, its appropriate to be mindful of your environment. Of course though, this in relation to breastfeeding is considered worse than murder on here so it's not going to make a blind bit of difference what I think.

dawndonnaagain Fri 06-Jun-14 21:02:44

Far as I know Molly women tend to feed because baby is hungry. I have a teenage son, he is 19. He occasionally nips downstairs at 2 a.m. for a cheese sandwich. See, kids, unpredictable!

ShergarAndSpies Fri 06-Jun-14 21:02:46

The thing that really fucks me off is when people say that BF mothers are doing it 'for their own benefit'.


Cracked / blistered nipples / unpredictable feeds / having sole responsibility for feeding / nipple twiddling / biting / having to faff about with bra, nipple pads, vest, top etc / night feeds / libido suppression / feeling touched out - that's all for my benefit huh?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud I BF DC until past 2. But I did it because we know it is the best feeding method for them and I was lucky enough to be physically able to do it.

But it was only ever about the best option available for the baby. So when people are rude about BFing, it makes it even worse because it's not like it's a lovely luxury for me!

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:05:18

molly, what do you mean by mindful of your environment? Tbh the only things I am mindful of is if my baby needs a feed and if there is somewhere I can sit down confused Not sure what else there is to mind?

dawndonnaagain Fri 06-Jun-14 21:05:21

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

Having had life saving breast operations, I had no choice but to feed my twins with a bottle. Even expressing would have been dangerous for them and me. Please try not to judge, whilst you admit you wouldn't comment, the fact that you comment here, travels, and travels far.

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 21:06:45


I don't think you're entirely qualified to comment on the correctness as it were of when and where to breast feed although you're entitled to your opinion if course.

Yes you posted a link to some man writing about a woman bfing in a pool and how inappropriate it was because breast milk would contaminate the pool or whatever it was (I've no opinion on this incident as I really couldn't give two hoots as I wasn't there) but do you realise just what a bacterial soup a public swimming pool is? Sterile breast milk would be the least of ones worries. Anyway no the point but the logic at least is flawed wouldn't you agree?

tallulah Fri 06-Jun-14 21:07:36

The whole breastfeeding in public debate is rather new, what on earth did people do before?!

It certainly isn't new. My eldest is 28 and when she was a baby I BF her everywhere. But a lot of my friends were embarrassed to feed theirs. One used to go and sit in her bedroom to feed if her mother was visiting shock

I have BF in public all over the place over the years. On a hovercraft, on planes, in the car, on the seafront, in Pizza Express, in various universities. Nobody has ever said anything nasty to me, or asked me to stop. I have never ever used a cover of any description either, aside from normal clothing.

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 21:08:09

Babesh completely unnecessary and downright rude. Where exactly have I disagreed with breastfeeding being a legally protected right?

So by your logic, to have an opinion you must have experienced it for yourself? I don't think that's the case I'm afraid!

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 21:08:32

We've got a situation in the uk where the vast majority if mums can breastfeed but choose not to do so for more than a few weeks.

If somebody flags up the fact that we're now, overwhelmingly, a bottle feeding culture, you can guarantee that someone will be compelled to point out that formula is essential for babies whose mothers die. A blindingly important and relevant point given that a baby is less likely to lose his or her mum than to win a £1000000 on the lottery.. hmm

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:10:12

Genuinely though, I'm not sure what I am supposed to be mindful of confused

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 21:12:14

I meant that yes I understand the baby is hungry, but in the case of the woman nursing in the public baths what was so impossible that she couldn't have sat on a bench or seat that typically surrounds a pool? Why the pool itself?! confused. It's not that she has a boob out at all, I just think really, why do it there?

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 21:12:36

Why not do it there?

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:13:35

Why not do it there though? Maybe she was supervising another child in the pool, maybe she didn't want the baby to get cold, who knows? The point is there was no reason to get out.

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 21:15:00


MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 06-Jun-14 21:15:13

The Student Room often makes me very sad indeed but I did love the response to the chap who's poor wife wasn't going to be allowed to breast feed outside - "Obviously only one tit in that marriage" smile Genius!

Attitudes to breast feeding are pretty weird, I got the hardest time from some of the women in my family. Conversely, I was once on a long train journey among a whole load of young squaddies and they were so lovely and supportive about my baby feeding it still brings a little tear to my eye.
In general people can just be pretty strange when it comes to what's under the clothes.

MrsKCastle Fri 06-Jun-14 21:15:42

I have to say, this crops up in the news every now and again and I know there are some really ignorant, rude people out there. But in over 2 years of bfing wherever I needed to, I don't think I received so much as a negative look. I do think things are changing for the better- slowly- as people become more educated about bfing. Let's hope so.

Also, older people are not always critical, like other posters I've had supportive comments from them. I used to visit my gran at her nursing home and one very vocal lady used to ask if I was 'feeding the baby myself' with a very obvious gesture and lots of smiles.

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:16:27

molly I would still like to know what you think mothers should be mindful of?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Fri 06-Jun-14 21:19:23

The breastmilk in the pool thing is ridiculous. You're worried about breastmilk and seeing breasts when you''re swimming in a marinade of piss, sweat, snot and chlorine?

mollypup Fri 06-Jun-14 21:21:55

feldermaus I just personally think that some places just aren't suitable for breastfeeding babies, clearly I'm in the absolute minority though...

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:22:29

What places? And what makes them unsuitable?

fledermaus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:23:02

I'm struggling to think of any place you can safely take a baby that you couldn't feed them...

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 21:28:10

Mollypup - if a mum and baby are happy to breastfeed in any given environment and it's not putting either at risk of injury, then why shouldn't they do it?

The right place for a baby to feed is wherever they want to feed unless it's sitting astride a galloping horse or something, but that's a bit silly

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

And that's the exact kind of fuckwittery that creates the bottle vs breast divide.

I've spent all afternoon trying to educate the twits on the student room thread about why their arguments are so ill-thought-out, offensive and wrong. DD wouldn't latch on at all, despite nipple shields and all the will in the world, so I had to stop breastfeeding much earlier than I wanted.

If we start saying "I find seeing a baby fed in this way offensive", it makes it right for everyone else to say it? Why can't we just be happy that babies are getting fed, full fucking stop?

Playinginthedirt Fri 06-Jun-14 21:44:20

BF in public offensive? No, sexualisation of women in magazines, newspapers and TV is offensive. Mollypup do you take offence at billboards with lingerie advertisements? That is more sexualisation than breastfeeding. I am always so happy to see women who have the confidence to BF in public.

gorionine Fri 06-Jun-14 21:44:26

MoominAndMiniMoom This is one of these timeswhere I wish MN had a like button for posts.

LadyNexus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:44:31

I'm having an urge to slap an ignorant fucker round the face with a lactating breast.

That probably wouldn't help though would it? wink

LadyNexus Fri 06-Jun-14 21:48:13

Let's not start the ff vs bf again, we've all heard it all before.

I fed dd for a year, the first 6 months was hell on earth I can totally understand women not wanting to put themselves or their family through that.

Nothing wrong with ff

Nothing wrong with bf

Now ff and bf's together, let's concentrate our attentions on ALL the ignorant wank badgers out there that think they have a right to dictate what the right way to feed a baby is and where you can do it.

I am getting the urge to hide the thread and any further threads about BF/FF that pop up in AIBU. There is a BF/FF topic which I have hidden, and I now know why.

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 21:54:19

Yes mollypup, please tell me where the unsuitable places are. I need to know so that if I'm in such a place when my gorgeous, wonderful, innocent and above all, at that point, HUNGRY 3 month old asks for a feed I can ask her to wait. I'm sure she'll understand. Of course at first, as I get my boob out she won't be crying. I'll have spotted her feeding cues because I feed her 8-10 times a day and have done for the past 99 days. However to the very untrained observer she might not actually appear unsettled for, I dunno, a couple of minutes. Don't worry though, if I make her wait for a more 'suitable' venue she'll soon be raising the roof with her screams - far preferable to a brief flash of flesh that no one should have been looking at anyway.

Pleasejustgo Fri 06-Jun-14 21:55:46

Molly do you plan on having children and I'd so will you bf or ff?

adds fuel to the fire

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 21:55:49

LadyNexus - me too. Or maybe we could just squirt them in their ignorant eyes when they're ogling disapprovingly?

Well apparently all breastfeeding mums whap them out and squirt people at will mindthe. Like a giant supersoaker grin

LadyNexus Fri 06-Jun-14 22:00:59

We could make quite a fun game out of this grin

' Squirt the Squirmers'

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 22:01:28

So true Moomin - these days life is one long wet t-shirt competition. That must be why we do it! [Grin]

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 22:02:01

Ooops - grin fail - grin

Ilovexmastime Fri 06-Jun-14 22:06:01

I've secretly always wanted to be militant... turns out I already have been. Who'd have guessed?

ZadokTheBeast Fri 06-Jun-14 22:06:31

"Most UK babies over a few weeks old are fully bottlefed."

This is just NOT true. In my county (pretty mixed in terms of depcat/other socioeconomic indicators) the % of babies exclusively or partly BF at 6 weeks is something like 56%.

HVs collect and report these data nationally. So if you're interested in finding out, you can. Also I would really disagree that 'society' pressures women into feeling that FF is the 'normal' or 'acceptable' thing to do - anyone who's had a child in the last ?10/20 years will have had the BF message loud and clear.

Personally, I couldn't BF longer than about 3 or 4 weeks. I had a weird pregnancy-related tendinitis in my hands and couldn't hold my lovely baby. Plus when her milky vomit after feeds was blood-streaked from my shredded nipples, I figured my sanity was more important. I'd not have thanked anyone for commenting on my choices, and I don't give a monkey's what anyone else chooses to do.

We're doing a decent job, I think, in getting the BF message across but ultimately it is up to the individual. And I don't see any single adult who is obviously disadvantaged by having been FF, or even a child for that matter. It's part of a whole range of things you can do (or not) to give your child the best possible.

PrincessBabyCat Fri 06-Jun-14 22:07:50

Now ff and bf's together, let's concentrate our attentions on ALL the ignorant wank badgers out there that think they have a right to dictate what the right way to feed a baby is and where you can do it.


There's no wrong way or place to feed a baby. I got a cup of warm water for FF at a coffee shop to bottle feed DD, while another woman a few tables away was BF. We exchanged smiles and went back to feeding our babies.

Also, let's be honest, this time and place thing is a load of crap anyway. No one seriously sits down in the middle of feet traffic, on the train tracks, in the road, in the middle of a police crime scene to BF. It's a nonargument, and a weak one to try and make designated BF areas.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Fri 06-Jun-14 22:09:57

Lady Nexus - if how babies are fed wasn't a public health issue, then the NHS wouldn't be spending money trying to increase the rates of it.

It's not just a lifestyle choice, and it's not just about the needs and preferences of adults. The campaign to increase breastfeeding rates continues because research shows that at a national level more breastfeeding = fewer sick babies. I appreciate that pointing this out is inconvenient to the feelings of those people who can't breastfeed, won't breastfeed, or are breastfeeding and not happy about it, but the NHS doesn't tend to prioritise protecting the feelings of adults when it comes to campaigns promoting healthier choices for children.

PhaedraIsMyName Fri 06-Jun-14 22:11:24

Also I would really disagree that 'society' pressures women into feeling that FF is the 'normal' or 'acceptable' thing to do - anyone who's had a child in the last ?10/20 years will have had the BF message loud and clear

24 years ago in my case and huge pressure from all health care professionals concerned to bf despite it clearly not working out and a very depressed mother.

OxfordBags Fri 06-Jun-14 22:12:14

Mollypup, I see you're displaying the same calm, well-thought-out approach to my comment as you do breastfeeding - me not agreeing with you, hell, everyone not agreeing with you doesn't mean you're not welcome on MN. It just means that people don't agree with you on this particular subject. You'd be a lot happier if you thought about why that was, exactly, instead of looking daft bleating on as though you're being ceonsored or ganged up on.

Incidentally, breast milk has anti-bacterial properties, so the notion that it could contaminate the water in a swimming pool (that beacon of public hygiene!) is ridiculous.

And breastfeeding is being mindful of other people - it's being mindful of the most vulnerable and needy members of society: babies.

Babies are humans with rights too, I don't know if you've heard. Their right to feed is a leedle bit more important than the rights of a grown person ridiculous enough to be offended by the sight of a breast in a non-sexual context.

dementedma Fri 06-Jun-14 22:13:20

Can we stop with the stupid term "menz"?
See it on the feminist boards a lot. Plural of man is men, not menz.
Hate them if you must, but using stupid baby made up words doesn't add any gravitas to the argument

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 22:13:22

Totally agree with Princess - the only place that might actually be unsuitable would be somewhere that was dangerous, where obviously you wouldn't be wandering about or sitting down for a cup of tea, baby or no baby!

OxfordBags Fri 06-Jun-14 22:23:57

Like saying silly things like feminists hate men adds gravitas to your argument, dementedma... ?

dementedma Fri 06-Jun-14 22:26:42

I don't have an argument. I was just asking why people use the made up term " menz". What is it supposed to signify?
Genuinely interested in the reasoning behind this

Babies are being fed!!! Hooray!

Who cares if it's breast or bottle? They're being fed!

OxfordBags Fri 06-Jun-14 22:44:13

It's just a piss-taking thing to signify when a large quantities of men are being idiotic, or when women are pandering to them in ridiculously internalised sexism-style ways (which is taking the piss out of the women doing it), like the whole 'you know what men are like' bullshit that gets trotted out about stuff like housework, or remembering birthdays, or something. That's how I perceive it being used.

It's just a bit of fun, it's not some sinister misandrist hate-term.

GurlwiththeCurl Fri 06-Jun-14 22:57:16

A couple of years ago I saw a thread on the Student Room that was very similar - the usual tired old stuff about BF in the loo, BF being disgusting, women should cover up etc. As I read through it, I noticed that one poster was strongly arguing in favour of BF, using very similar ideas to mine, but written in a very clear and concise way. Kept reading and then realised.

That poster was my younger son smile

mindthegap79 Fri 06-Jun-14 23:06:29

That's fab Gurl! Bet you're v proud smile

Aww Gurl, that is the loveliest thing I have heard all day!

Fandan Fri 06-Jun-14 23:12:50

I BF both my babies wherever and whenever they needed to. Not once was I hanging my boobs out for all to see. In fact I've never saw anything other than the back of a baby's head when I have seen others BF.

I never experienced any negative comments, looks etc during my time BF, and I fed them both till at least 12 months.

There is no need for other people to react in this way about BF, it's completely ridiculous.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 06-Jun-14 23:28:50

The whole breastfeeding in public debate is rather new, what on earth did people do before?!

I was feeding DD2 in a cafe once, an elderly man and his wife remarked that it was lovely to see a baby being breastfed as was common when they were young.

OxfordBags Fri 06-Jun-14 23:32:45

Aw, you must have been so proud, Gurl. Did you tell him you'd seen it?

Aradia Sat 07-Jun-14 00:05:22

What makes me laugh is the lack of outrage from the anti BF dickheads at the sight of a completely exposed pair of breasts on Page 3. Do they gasp in horror, avert their eyes and tut when confronted with a NATIONAL FUCKING NEWSPAPER displaying nipples and everything? No they do not. Because they are twats. Breasts are designed to feed babies, get over it. Go sign the No More Page 3 petition if tits on display bother you that much.

I may pop on Student Room again and suggest that those with an issue with seeing breasts sign the petition, Aradia grin

mrsspagbol Sat 07-Jun-14 00:16:03

What Aradia said. I am looking at you Mollypups

Babesh Sat 07-Jun-14 00:54:30

^Babesh completely unnecessary and downright rude. Where exactly have I disagreed with breastfeeding being a legally protected right?

So by your logic, to have an opinion you must have experienced it for yourself? I don't think that's the case I'm afraid!^

Molly -You suggested you might feel differently when a parent. I agreed that you might. I do not think that everyone must experience something to have an opinion on it though I do think experience can bring changes to opinion. There are, of course, some who lack the emotional intelligence and skills of reflection to be able to genuinely engage with imagined experience or to develop their opinion despite experience...

Molly you believe that there is a tone and place for bf appropriately, the law says you can bf anywhere you can ff, anywhere you can have a baby. There is a contradiction between the law and your belief. That doesn't make you against the legality of bf but it's people who think like you who have necessitated legal protection for bf mothers. Whilst you might do nothing more than raise an eyebrow, chat with your friends when the challenging bf mother left her friend's front room then gossip about her on the internet some people would harass the mother directly or ignorantly point out how she could moderate her behaviour to suit their feelings.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 07-Jun-14 02:11:30

I appreciate that pointing this out is inconvenient to the feelings of those people who can't breastfeed, won't breastfeed, or are breastfeeding and not happy about it, but the NHS doesn't tend to prioritise protecting the feelings of adults when it comes to campaigns promoting healthier choices for children.

Of course it's healthier. So is making your own baby food instead of buying jarred stuff, but I still see people using Gerber. In the long run though, the difference between the two is minimal at best.

Guilt tripping mothers into BF isn't the way to go about encouraging more breast feeding. I don't know how it works in the UK, but here in the US, we get bombarded with it, and then get no support. No one really knows how to do it, and all the classes make it sound so easy so that when you can't you feel cruddy that you can't so a seemingly simple task.

Not to mention most women do feel awkward feeding in public. Yes, there's lots that have the guts to go and whip a boob out in the middle of a crowd, and bless them for that. But a lot of women (myself included) feel incredibly self conscious about people staring. Most women breast feeding are older, more confident women. I don't see very many young moms breast feeding in public.

There needs to be a better attitude than "Breastfeed because I say so!" from doctors.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 03:35:26

Princess I was 31 and I hated the idea of breast feeding in public. I don't think I ever did it. I was so tired I hardly left the house anyway.

I only lasted 3 months and hated every minute of it. I found it revolting. Nothing to do with breasts being sexual, producing milk simply disgusted me. I hated leaking milk and I didn't like the smell. It made me feel less than human.

On top of that the rush of oxytocin made me feel sick, I was exhausted the whole time, I had mastitis and it was very painful.

I've said before on here the professionals who were supposed to be helping were simply judgemental. The only advice I got was I wasn't trying hard enough. HV refused to advise on how to introduce formula even although she knew I wasn't coping and I was going back to work full time.

shoopshoopsong Sat 07-Jun-14 04:21:25

Anyone that thinks there's a "time and a place" to breastfeed has never held a hungry screaming baby. Sometimes when my son has been sleeping he wakes up crying hungry, no warning signs, and I'm not gonna let him cry in my arms when I could move my shirt slightly and stop him crying, who would?!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 04:43:28

I breast feed in my own home in front of all my relatives, my friends, my DH's relatives and my DH's friends. If any of them felt uncomfortable they didn't look it or say anything. They were all polite enough to look away during the attachment process but once DS was on and feeding the conversation would resume as though nothing was going. There was no way I was going to hide away upstairs to do something so completely natural.

I had to publicly breast feed for the first time when DS was 9 weeks and it was in the middle of a very large and very full GP waiting room. My GP appointment was running late and DS was getting really irritable and then the crying started! I knew he wanted feeding and the choice was either I feed him or let him scream the place down for however long it would take for me to see the GP. I was nervous about doing it but I proceeded to feed him and I think most people were just glad of the silence!!

I was out for a family meal a few nights ago and DS started screaming as he was hungry. My mom said, "Is there anywhere you can go to feed him?" hmm I told her I had no reason to go anywhere and was quite happy to feed him right where I was sitting smile

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 08:17:00

No sorry I'm still standing by what I said.

There is benefits to bf yes, but the outcome is at the most minimally different if not at all different to babies ff fed.

I bf dd to 12 months, my great nephew was ff. absolutely no difference in health, weight in our children.

The horrendous pressure my niece felt under to try an bf was ridiculous, I'll say to you what I said to her when she was sobbing because some twat of a midwife had berated her for not 'trying hard enough'

' look there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula, I was brought up on it, so were you, so was the entire family.

Are we Ill? Stupid? Poor health? Overweight ( well yes me a bit but that's due to cake not ff)

Studies say all kinds of shit, it generally doesn't mean anything. There are sick and healthy bf babies, same as ff babies.

Now cheer up and pass me the bottle'

As you can see I am very scientific grin

But seriously why keep insisting on much better bf/ ff feed is. In the end it makes sod all difference.

Those of you keep ramming bf down everyone's throats we get it. You want to feel superior, like you are the ones doing the best for your baby and that's lovely. But get off your high horse. It not some magic power, and in real life, not studies, it doesn't turn your baby into an all infection/ disease battling super child wink

And everyone who insist bf is disgusting, well now you are just weird aren't you? Don't like it, then don't look. Agree with pp bet you think nothing of pg 3, because after all that's the natural function of boobs isn't it.

Seriously, with you two groups arguing against each other no wonder so many women feel attacked for their choices.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 08:35:54

Health benefits aside (we can agree to disagree Lexus) I reckon a lot of women do it just for the pure convenience of it smile

When I was having lots of trouble with BF and couldn't get my screaming baby to attach at some silly hour of the morning, I caved out of exhaustion and amidst the tears I told my DH to go and make up a bottle (we had back up formula in case of situations like this). By the time he eventually reappeared I'd manage to get DS attached and feeding.

However, I appreciate there are ways around that now with pre-made bottles and gadgets to even prepare and heat them the 'inconvenience' of Bottle feeding is much less now.

TiredFeet Sat 07-Jun-14 08:41:06

I hate breastfeeding in public, I would love to avoid it, but I don't think it would be fair to make my three year old boy stay home for an entire year, nor to make my baby daughter scream until I can find somewhere suitable to hide

So I get on with it, when necessary, whereever we are. I have fed in all manner of places, at church, in a cafe at a secondary school (where ds goes swimming), in pubs and restaurants and coffee shops, on trains and in hospitals and at a law firm and in a glass fronted meeting room at an investment bank (didn't want to but no choice,dd was screaming!). I have only ever received one negative reaction and that was from a man walking past with his wife when I was feeding my daughter in a children's playground hmm

Most of the time, actually, I think people don't care/dont notice.

I think the best thing we can do is just quietly get on with it whenever we need to. It was seeing my friend breastfeed in public with her first that gave me the confidence to this time round (with ds I just basically became a recluse until he was weaned)

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 08:48:35

Writer the "convenience" of bf was wildly exaggerated as far as I was concerned.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 08:53:24

How come phaedra?

It's much more convenient for me to make a bottle of formula than it was to sit there with my screaming baby, trying desperately to get her to latch when she hadn't eaten for nearly 24 hours because despte everything, she wouldn't latch.

I go back to my earlier statement, babies are being fed! Hooray! Who cares what they're fed? They're being fed!

slightlyglitterstained Sat 07-Jun-14 09:03:42

BF is massively convenient if it works for you, inconvenient if it doesn't, surely?

Similarly, I found it perfectly possible to feed w/o needing a cushion, sofa arm, etc to prop me/baby up and get into a comfortable position - I didn't realise that wasn't the case for everyone until watching a friend trying to get her baby latched on w/o that.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 09:05:00

writer did you read my earlier post? Bf made me feel sick and it was very painful,my son fed constantly, I was exhausted, I had mastitis, I was barely able to leave the house for almost 3 months.

I didn't understand the feeling sick bit and only found out recently on here it was a reaction to the oxytocin rush.

And like Nexus' niece, assistance offered by HV -you're not trying hard enough, and I won't tell you how to make the transition to ff for when you return to full time work.

It was like that for me Moomin. I had to get myself into a good position with a V pillow underneath the baby and couldn't do it without getting my whole breast out then try to get him latched on while he screamed and squirmed.

That was in my own home. I didn't think Costa's was ready for that.

slightlyglitterstained Sat 07-Jun-14 09:08:48

I do wonder if some of the heat about breastfeeding in public is actually partly fuelled by the hatred of some people for actually seeing babies or small children in public at all, combined with underlying misogyny? I.e. it's a wider thing than breastfeeding, just that breastfeeding is a convenient target.

Some weirdos do seem to feel they "own" all public space and should be allowed to police who gets to use it. (E.g. weird fucked up shit like "shouldn't be allowed" about an 'unattractive' woman.)

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 09:11:16

LadyNexus, are you suggesting that you know better than every single study done on the topic of breast milk?! You do realise, don't you, that not a single bit of scientific research ever undertaken has ever shown that formula is equal to the benefits of breast milk? For example, breast milk changes constantly throughout the day, to respond to what a child requires. Your example of a couple of people proves zero.

Studies say all kinds of shit, it generally doesn't mean anything Um, yeah, it does mean stuff. It means that things have been rigorously and repeatedly proven to be true. That means a lot, ffs.

Now, I'm not saying there's anying wrong with FF. There's not. Whether you choose to do so, or Bfing doesn't work out for whatever reason, or you decide to transition from BM to FM, that's cool. But the fact still remains that breast milk is a superior nutritional product to formula. Nothing can change that fact, and science can't properly replicate it in formula.

It really undermines any pro-FF argument, or even just arguing for equality in feeding choice, to trot out the falsehood that formula is the same, or as good as, breast milk, because it makes that person look ignorant. Concentrate on the equality of mothers to choose to feed their babies however they like. THAT is what really matters.

And having to make this point makes pro-BFers like me look like we're criticising Ffing, which I'm not. I passionately believe in choice for all mothers, but I won't let people fling lies and ignorance around on any topic, never mind this one. You don't need incorrect facts to back up your choice. Just stand by it. Choice is good. Being pro- anything doesn't mean you have to be anti- anything else.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 09:11:21

I'll admit that getting DS attached isn't the convenient part - especially when out in public - he's 11 weeks now and I still struggle to get him attached properly and discreetly, hence why I get nervous about doing in public and have people think, "What the hell is she doing?!"

The convenience to me is just the fact I don't have to sterilise anything, I don't have to worry about packing bottles or formula in my nappy bag if I want to go. I won't ever find myself in situation where I run out of bottles/formula should my plans overrun. I like the fact that I know I can go out all day knowing there is milk on tap smile I also like it that when DS shows signs of being hungry I can just pop him on without having to make him wait for a bottle to be made up and warmed - but like I said, I know that issue doesn't really exist anymore and probably doesn't take anytime at all really.

Its definitely convenient at night though when he needs a feed, I just lean over and pick him up, it's nice not having to get out of bed grin

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 09:14:07

Good post 0xford - well said. In my job I have to do 16 hours worth of breast feeding training (a 2 day course) and I doubt there'd be much to say for 16 hours if BF really wasn't that important or beneficial.

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 09:14:51

YES, glitterstained! I totally agree. I think a lot of it is just misogyny, and the baby aspect is actually incidental. Breastfeeding is women occupying a space doing something entirely female, and they are using a part of their body traditonally seen as sexual objects for the gratification of men as non-sexual objects to care for a child (caring not being respected in our society). Many misogynists - and that includes women with internalised misogyny - feel really angered and perturbed by that, and they blame the woman, not their own inadequacy (as misogyny always teaches to blame the woman).

YY my aim was to be a skilfull discreet breastfeeder and move on from the v pillow, and be in a cafe all serene breastfeeding, smiling and drinking a latte. Because that's what my ante natal classes had led me to believe.

They didn't cover my actual scenario funnily enough. grin

We got into a routine with the FF and it really wasn't a faff at all with a bit of organisation.

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 09:25:15

Oxford are you really suggesting that I should have quoted studies at my sobbing niece to 'prove' how superior bf is?

No, I used our own personal experiences to help her realise that, in our family and everyone we know, that superior breast milk hadn't made diddly squat difference to any of us, or our children.

I didn't say it was not superior. I know it changes with the baby's needs blah blah, hence why I put up with 12 months of hell to do it.

But it didn't actually make my dd any different to my great nephew. There's a benefit obviously. But it's minimal.

Or did your baby sprout a cloak and X-ray vision? wink

Fleta Sat 07-Jun-14 09:30:32

I do think whether you get left to feed in peace/receive a barrage of abuse depends on the confidence of the feeder. I was fully confident, happy to feed anywhere and woebetide anyone who would have asked me to shut up. Clearly I had a "do not approach" face grin

And actually, it doesn't matter why someone is offended by my breastfeeding - I am not doing ANYTHING to offend. The issue is wholly theirs and they are choosing to be offended. Therefore their problem - I'm not changing perfectly reasonable behaviour on the whim of a prat.

TheBookofRuth Sat 07-Jun-14 09:32:00

Oh I loved the freedom of having an EBF baby - just pop her in her sling or pram and off we'd go. I have lovely memories of DD and I going off for all day adventures, stopping for a bf wherever she happened to require one.

I was not in the least bit discreet - my boobs are huge, which makes it difficult, and from a couple of months old DD refused to stay under any kind of cover, crying and kicking at it till I gave up - and I never had any negative comments, possibly because I live in a very affluent area with high bf rates. I would have felt very comfortable challenging anyone who had though - none of their bloody business how I feed my child, and if they don't like it, they don't have to look.

If I could have BF in public I would have done it definitely. But I wanted to be confident first. As I wasn't any further on in the confidence stakes after 6 weeks I accepted it wasn't meant to be.
I needed to leave the house.

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 09:41:13

I agree that it's silly to claim that formula is just as good/just the same as breastmilk, or that there are no health risks to formula - but generally the differences are seen on a population level rather than individually (unless the baby is unlucky enough to be one of the 5% or so allergic to cow's milk of course). Formula is a perfectly valid choice for many reasons.

Damnit Nexus I'm depriving my baby of x ray vision? sad

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 09:43:28

And I'm not discreet about feeding either - I just get on with it in the quickest and easiest way for me and my baby. The biggest benefit to breastfeeding for me is not having to worry about all the safety aspects of formula - sterilising, making it up properly, storing and transporting. My babies have both also had formula but only at home for those reasons!

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 09:43:56

Apparently Moomin grin

Don't worry though I must have done something wrong, fed dd for 12 months and she didn't even fly around the room once!

I'm a failure as a mother (sobs)


Once DS1 was FF I suddenly had loads more time between feeds and didn't have to feed him while out in public much at all. That was a convenient plus after all the misery that preceded it.

Mine can do a sonic scream... I must just have had super colostrum seeing as a little bit of expressed colostrum is all she got grin

Pleasejustgo Sat 07-Jun-14 10:00:35

Bfing mothers wouldn't need to feel confident feeding their babies in public if there weren't people with ridiculous attitudes towards it though.

It was nothing really to do with other peoples attitudes in my case. It was how I felt about it. I wouldn't have wanted to do it if I was the only customer in Costa, I wasn't relaxed or comfortable unless on my own settee IYKWIM.

GurlwiththeCurl Sat 07-Jun-14 10:06:44

Personally, after reading MN, I wonder if the feeding in public issue has got worse instead of better since I was BF my boys twenty or so years ago. I fed both of them for a year and BF them anywhere and everywhere. No adverse comments at all, in fact the opposite.

Yes, me and my DH are that older couple who smile and stop for a chat when we spot a BF mother and baby. I saw somewhere on here that some women don't like that, but we just want to show support. We also talk to FF mothers too. Perhaps my hormones are going mad in my late fifties but I love babies!

Both of my lads are now well versed in the issues and it will be interesting to see what kind of fathers they become.

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 10:10:20

I've never had any negative looks or comments (though one unpleasantly smutty comment from a man to his wife hmm) and no one I know has either.

Pleasejustgo Sat 07-Jun-14 10:12:23

Fair enough however for me I've some friends I'd feel very strange feeding in front of because they are all oh dear it's a hungry baby and some I'd actually let help me latch the baby on as they just see it as a situation where a baby needs to be fed. I also understand maybe your need for privacy as some people just prefer to be more private irrespective of attitude but for many women they don't feel confident because if the negative attitude towards it.

It someone has stary eyes at them where they hadn't mastered something it can be daunting. The don't give a fuck attitude comes with experience I think.

PrincessBabyCat Sat 07-Jun-14 10:16:25

Similarly, I found it perfectly possible to feed w/o needing a cushion, sofa arm, etc to prop me/baby up and get into a comfortable position - I didn't realise that wasn't the case for everyone until watching a friend trying to get her baby latched on w/o that.

Yeah, the only way I could get DD to latch was to sit a certain way on the bed, propped her up a certain way, fiddle with my boob, position my nipple and the plop her on and hope her rapidly shaking her head back and forth didn't mess it all up. BF kept me confined to my bed since I wasn't producing much any DD was hungry every 2 hours (which meant I was only NOT BFing for 40 minutes at a time). I personally would not be able to go in public and fiddle with my nipple in front of other people so DD could latch.

Yes I agree Please. I do wonder that me being me and a quite a private person in RL with a few issues about personal space maybe I am deluding myself to think I would have been BF all over the place had it gone successfully.

I can imagine starting to feed and people coming and sitting very close, and I would hate that because I hate strangers sitting/standing very close to me anyway.

I think there must be people like me about. <antisocial emoticon> grin

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sat 07-Jun-14 10:19:30

I bet none of those student room posters buy FHM or Nuts to read in Costa either.

PBC that all sounds v familiar, especially the shaky head bit, praying he wouldn't detach and i would have to start again. Plus much nipple fiddling.

Pleasejustgo Sat 07-Jun-14 10:22:54

If someone sat next to me and I was feeding I'd have a meltdown. I'd consider it a gross invasion of my space. Whether that's anything to do with bfing or general proximity issues who knows.

If I feed in public I like to do it a little bit away from the group and that's not because I care in anyway what anyone thinks I just also value my privacy and space. I won't however not feed somewhere just to not upset other people. If my children are hungry then their needs come first.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:47

Other people's supposedly negative attitudes had nothing to do with my not wanting to feed in public. Like another poster (Princess I think) as baby had such short breaks , day and night , between feeds , doing anything else , let alone getting dressed and leaving the house was academic.

Making up bottles and using an electric steam steriliser was a doddle compared to the misery of ebf ,

Sometimes I do feel for the other people in cafes. They may be very pro breastfeeding but feel uncomfortable trying to not make the BF Mum feel uncomfortable if that makes sense.

Spare table nearby. If I sit at it will that make the Mum feel uncomfortable? If I don't sit there will they think I am anti-BF and don't want to go near them?


CrystalSkulls Sat 07-Jun-14 10:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 10:31:20

Sparkling and PBC your descriptions sound exactly
like my experience too.

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 10:36:46

Clearly I'm not saying your niece should have suffered, LadyNexus, let's not be silly now. Did I not point out that I believe mothers should feed their babies however they want or need to?! My point was that your absurd statement that studies don't prove anything was ridiculous and that using a few people known to you as an a example of something is redundant.

The super power thing is puerile. Can you not discuss the topic rationally?! Me saying that breast milk is superior nutritionally is not me hyperbolically claiming it has incredible, almost supernaturally powerful qualities, for fuck's sake. It's so draining and boring to try to discuss somethinng sensibly with someone unwilling to be balanced about it.

Pleasejustgo Sat 07-Jun-14 10:40:58

grin Oxfordbags

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 10:41:16

Wow Oxford, just wow.

Try to lighten up a bit, you'll live longer.

No, those studies don't mean anything to me. I accept that breast milk is superior, but would you be kind enough then to enlighten me on what this marked difference it makes is?

My point was that in my personal experience breast fed babies have turned out no differently to formula fed babies, and to be honest I have seen no evidence to suggest that they really have, have you?

So if, in the end, babies turn out the same, does it actually matter that bm is superior to formula? At all?

Is it any reason to make anybody feel shit about themselves?

TheBogQueen Sat 07-Jun-14 10:46:47

It's like slot of things when raising children, it's best to take a pragmatic approach.

Yes breast milk is better. That's a fact . But formula is really excellent nutrition too.

My strapping DP was raised on tins of evaporated milk and weaned at six weeks. My French cousins had some weird French vegetable stuff.

If studies had shown that BF babies grew up to see in the dark/have superhuman strength then I am afraid my DSs would not have those attributes. Simple as that.

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Sat 07-Jun-14 10:49:45

I think a lot of it is just misogyny, and the baby aspect is actually incidental. Breastfeeding is women occupying a space doing something entirely female, and they are using a part of their body traditonally seen as sexual objects for the gratification of men as non-sexual objects to care for a child (caring not being respected in our society).

This hits the nail right on the head. I might even save it for future use!

As for feeling sad about seeing babies being bottlefed - I have up BFing fairly early, not because DS couldn't latch or because I didn't have enough milk (I had loads!) or because of medication etc. I gave up because every second of breastfeeding made me utterly miserable.

Now, DS is way healthier than pretty much all of his breastfed peers and we had lovely snugly bottlefeeds and now have a wonderful bond. What could you possibly find sad or upsetting about that?

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:13:04

I'm curious as to why the breast feeders did breast feed? (Or still are).
Especially if they had a lot of difficulties but struggled on as opposed to changing to formula?

Was it because you knew of the health benefits and that was your driving factor? Or was it because it felt like breast feeding is what women 'should' do as it's natural milk and the concept that 'mammals feed their young'.

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 11:15:57

Writer I think mine was because I'm stupidly stubborn smile

I also had pnd which I think always made me feel unhealthily guilty when I thought of giving up.

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:16:04

Nexus, the whole point of my original comments to you were about not making women feel shit. I pointed out that the argument for choice would be strengthened by not trying to deny the evidence, as you do, and instead focus on mothers being respected and supported for their choices to nurse their babies however they want. Are you actually reading something different from what I've written, or are you just deciding for yourself what I've said?!

My point was that in my personal experience breast fed babies have turned out no differently to formula fed babies, and to be honest I have seen no evidence to suggest that they really have, have you?

Well, I've seen reams and bloody reams of medical evidence to prove, not suggest it, yes.

But you seem to only value anecdotal, subjective 'evidence'. So, I'll give you some. I could point out here that I was FF and my siblings BF (I had a bad tongue tie, and my mother was pressurised to bottle feed. She had more confidence and there was no tongue tie for the others), and that my health, particularly immune system, is much, much worse than theirs. There's no other factor in our upbringing or genetics than that which would make an obvious difference. And that there's noticeable health differences between my cousins who were BF or FF. But I suspect you will say those prove nothing, even though you simultaneously claim that your own experiences prove everything that you state.

If you want evidence on the benefits of breast milk, then look it up. I suspect I'd just be wasting my time finding lots of links for someone who believes that studies prove nothing.

We're actually on the same side, I'm just suggesting that you weaken your argument by coming out with daft stuff about studies not meaning anything.

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 11:19:37

No Oxford that is new to me I must admit. I have not seen or heard of reams of evidence that prove breast fed babies turn out markedly different to their formula fed counterparts.

But I will take your word for it.

( p.s it's much easier to get on board with what you are saying when you aren't using anger/ insults to prove a point grin)

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:26:55

Writer, I had a lot of problems with BFing. In fact, there were pretty bad problems on and off for the first year. It is a common myth that women who breastfeed, especially those who keep it going for any length of time, find it effortless, which is so not the case, so thanks for asking that question.

I didn't feel pressurised at all to BF. In fact, everyone I know, even FFers agree that the pressure comes from people trying to persuade you to switch to formula. The health benefits of it mattered to me too. But my main driving force was that my DS clearly loved, wanted and needed it so much, and it created such a lovely bond between us, and, despite the problems, it was so helpful (sleeping, upsets, illness, etc.) too, that I just thought 'suck it up' to myself, I got through the issues, and he is still Bfing at gone 3.

Now, I don't think anyone else should 'suck it up' if they feel things are too much for them, or that Bfing is the only way to create a strong bond, just that that's what worked for me and DS.

I will say here that I don't think there is much discernible difference between FFed babies and BFed babies when the BFing stopped before 6months or even a year. The longer my son BFs, and I know other mums in RL who BF, or have BFed, their kids past age 2, the more I see benefits and differences. Some of these are behavioural and emotional, as they have access to a powerful, familiar source of comfort that's been continuous throught their entire lives. Humans are meant to BF until they get their adult teeth in, so I think it makes sense that any benefits only start to show when a child has been BF or not for several years.

elizadolittlechoc Sat 07-Jun-14 11:31:08

I BFd my three. Was shocked that my DSis who chose not to have kids thought that breast milk is a bodily fluid like pee or saliva and thought it shouldn't happen at swimming pools as it was disgusting and spread AIDs etc!!!

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 11:31:57

I breastfeed because I and my babies enjoy it, and after the initial few weeks (both had tongue ties that needed correcting) it's safe, healthy and easy, no planning ahead or worry about having enough. And you can do it in your sleep grin

I couldn't fleder. I had to be awake to fiddle with nipples and fight the baby onto my breast and experience the toe curling pain.

Early on DH had to wake up and help me. grin

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Sat 07-Jun-14 11:35:17

oxfordbags - I think what ladynexus is getting at (sorry if I have got it wrong!) is that if you lined up 100 adults it would be incredibly difficult to determine which of them was breastfed and which were formula fed. I am a teacher and I wouldn't have a clue which of the kids in my care were breastfed. Also no one ever asks 'how we're you fed as a baby?' When you go to the doctors as an adult (or even past the age of about 1 ime!).

In the grand scheme of things it just doesn't really matter does it?

I don't know, maybe I just have a bit of a coloured view because I have watched quite a few friends really struggle with breastfeeding but persevere because its best for their baby - only for their babies to get every illness and allergy going. I would be really bitter if that happened to me!

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:36:09

LadyNexus, I don't know if all the differences could be called 'marked' in all BF children. It will usually be subtle, or look subtle, as it's all part of a bigger picture. Plenty of other things a mother, or both parents might do or not do can easily negate those benefits (I've seen a couple of women smoking whilst breastfeeding, which is going to be far worse for a kid in the long run than a non-smoker giving her baby formula). That's why yes, breastmilk is the optimal nutrition, but it's part of a bigger picture of what parents can do for their child's health. My approach is very much 'if you can give them that optimal choice without suffering yourself (and that includes mentally, as some women don't like the idea of Bfing, even if they are physically capable, which must be respected), then why not give it a go?', as opposed to 'everyone must do it, or they've failed'.

However, a very inportant part of the picture, which people don't consider, is that the benefits continue throughout a lifetime, so it's not just about any immediate benefits or differences to a baby or child there and then. When discussing benefits or differences, this should always be kept in mind, I feel.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 11:36:41

Oxford what pressure to switch to formula? The only pressure put on me was to bf and to continue bf despite it making me utterly miserable.

Talis i thought all the A* grade children would be BF surely? grin

LaurieMarlow Sat 07-Jun-14 11:38:46

Here's some reading that suggests that the benefits may not be as clear cut as we have been led to believe.

As with most medical research, evidence from different studies can be contradictory, it's difficult to determine if sample sizes are big enough and its hard to know if all other biases have been removed.

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Sat 07-Jun-14 11:38:47

By the way, I am NOT saying that formula milk is the same or better than breastsmilk, just that already the way I fed my DS already seems so insignificant and unimportant and he is only 2!

TheBogQueen Sat 07-Jun-14 11:39:48

I think...i think, it's more to do with how things are as a baby - so bf babies are less likely to have gastric problems, D&V...although all three if my bf babies had terrible colic.

Also bf helps the babiy's immune system - so if baby ill, it passes germs onto mother through nipple, she produces antibodies which flow back through the milk.

And it's free

But breastfeeding is not some badge of honour and there are times when bottle feeding formula is best fir mother and baby

Wait til he's 15 Talis. I had forgotten all about it until discovering MN when he was 12.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:42:53

oxford - I'm with you. BF didn't come naturally to me at all, it was horrendous. By the time I got to 5 weeks I was an absolute mess. I was ringing helplines in tears and having Peer Supporters round to my house to help me and listen to me pour out my worries. I joined a BF support group which also really helped and I went to see a Breast Feeding Advisor twice in order to try and address some of my difficulties. At one point I was so low with it all that I was crying constantly - my HV and DH were genuinely worried about my emotional and mental well-being. My DH thought I was on the verge of 'cracking up'. Even now at 11 weeks I still haven't perfected the technique and don't think I ever will. The majority of my friends and family couldn't understand why I didn't just give formula - but it just wasn't an option in my own mind.

LadyNexus Sat 07-Jun-14 11:43:35

Yes Talis that is what I meant. I've just seen so many friends and family struggle when as adults I couldn't pick out which of us had been ff vs bf.

Genuinely Oxford I am completely ignorant of any benefits provided by bf in to adulthood, even my bf advisor didn't mention those. I'm really surprised they aren't more widely advertised.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:45:45

Don't forget the benefits to he mother: reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis smile

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:46:11

Talisa, no-one has ever claimed that BFing is some magic wand that will stop a child getting illnesses or allergies, etc. I think a lot of people get confused when its benefits are discussed and think it means that it eards these things off, and when they see different, they think the claims are bullshit or not qualified by real life experience.

The benefits are subtle, complex and fluid (I don't mean as in liquid). When people talk about benefits to the immune system, for example, it doesn't mean that it'll stop things happening to a child. It can mean that a cold, say, is a bit milder, because of the properties in breastmilk, but also because breastmilk is often the only thing that a baby or child can keep down when they are ill, and the act of nursing in mummy's arms is really comforting, so there's a psychological aspect to the healing process too. With allergies, a child will still get them if they are genetically programmed to develop them - breastmilk can't retrospectively alter one's DNA! - but they can manifest more mildly than they would otherwise do, or maybe they not manifest the whole spectrum of intolerances that they have the genetic potential to develop. Do you see? It's not about babies/children never getting ill, it's about a much bigger picture.

I find it a really odd concept to be bitter that a BF baby would get ill despite me struggling with BFing confused It's not about the validation for the adult.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 11:49:42

Oxford what benefits lasting a lifetime?, I think the fact my son had 2 non-smoking parents, high earning parents, a mother who didn't didn't drink and all the other benefit that come with committed parents will count for more than whether I bf for 3 months than 2 years.

This is anecdotal obviously but I was exclusively ff and am one of the healthiest people I know son had 3 months of this magic potion, he is the same.

Or is benefits lasting a lifetime meant to mean non bf are prejudicing their children for a lifetime?

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Sat 07-Jun-14 11:50:02

But * oxford* most women in this country do 'give it a go'. Isn't the breastfeeding rate at birth something like 86%. It dwindles massively though, and very quickly, which suggests it is not that the 'breAst is best' message isnt getting out there, but that the support to keep going with it jet isnt there.

Talisawasnotsupposedtobethere Sat 07-Jun-14 11:51:15

Sorry Oxford I was replying to your previous post.

TheBogQueen Sat 07-Jun-14 11:53:02

But I also think alot of women just don't want to continue with it.

Why is that a problem?

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:55:22

Nexus, the adult benefits are subtle, and include mental and emotional ones. It's to do with overall immunity, and so on. But again, individual factors prevail. No-one can ever say definitively that having been BFed as a baby will do X, Y, and Z for you as an adult, because everyone is unique. They do know the basic benefits with basic other factors taken into account (ie average lifestyle), and that's it, I guess. Again, I would say "why not give it a go if you can do it and want to do it", as opposed to insisting that everyone BFed their kids and felt bad if they couldn't or didn't want to.

Writer is correct that it is proven, however, that breastfeeding a child has benefits for the mother. That remains even with other factors. They first decided to investigate these when they started to notice that nuns are statistically miles more likely to have female cancers than any other group of women, and loads of research showed that the defining factors were them not having children to a minor extent, but not having nursed a child to quite a significant extent. That's not saying that any mother who hasn't BF will get cancer, of course not, just that Bfing gives some benefits.

And Writer, you will get there, trust me. I was saying the same as you at 11, 12 weeks, but it does improve. Sometimes, they just need to get older and deepen their latch.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 11:55:33

writer a few posts back you queried my post that the convenience of bf was greatly exaggerated as far as I was concerned. Yet now apparently you didn't find it particularly easy either.

OxfordBags Sat 07-Jun-14 11:56:18

Phaedra, see my first paragraph above smile

Even the phrase 'deepen their latch' reminds me of the excruciating pain.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:58:22

I did find it very difficult at first and I explained in my original post what I found convenient about breast feeding and I certainly didn't say it was because it was easy to do grin

pianodoodle Sat 07-Jun-14 11:58:26

Awful that happened however hopefully abuse like that is becoming rarer.

I've always been fine when out and about bf and never felt uncomfortable from other people.

My only problem is a big heavy baby! At home I have my life saving widgey cushion. Out and about I get sore arms unless I get lucky with the right type of seat smile

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 11:59:47

Most babies are breastfed at birth, and a third are still breastfed at 6 months, so it's not exactly a ridiculously small minority.

I found out after my failure that none of the women on my mother's side have managed to successfully breastfeed. Which I found quite interesting.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 12:02:58

fledermaus - in the county I live in over 80% of babies are breast fed at birth but in the particular area I work in only 11% of babies are still breast fed by the time they are 6 weeks old.

However, the majority of the area I work in is quite deprived and I do wonder if the rates vary between geographical areas.

fledermaus Sat 07-Jun-14 12:04:21

Of course rates vary - they vary among different areas and different demographic groups.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 07-Jun-14 12:04:32

Oxford that would be the paragraph which starts "no-one can say definitely"

Why then your earlier posts about "not forgetting about life-time benefits" which are just hinting, heck more than hinting, that the failure to feed in your approved way has lifetime consequences.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 12:05:07

sparkling - it's interesting you say that as no women in my family, except my sister, have been able to breast feed either. That's why all my family are very anti breastfeeding unfortunately. Some relatives in particular can't help but make their 'helpful comments and digs' as to why I should be bottle feeding instead....

We aren't a close family at all Writer so I had no idea beforehand. My Mum dropped it into the conversation about 6 months later. I think the family is pro Bf but just can't do it. sad

Writerwannabe83 Sat 07-Jun-14 12:16:07

The only first inkling I got about my family's anti BF attitude was when my sister was breast feeding her baby (8 years ago) and our mom was making some very nasty comments about it. She told my sister that breast feeding was disgusting and she couldn't believe my sister was choosing to do it hmm

Thankfully my mom wouldn't dare say anything like that to me. My feeding method is definitely a taboo subject of conversation though! I make a point of breast feeding DS every time she comes to visit though grin

caruthers Sat 07-Jun-14 12:17:13

How can people get upset and offended by a woman breastfeeding confused

In my 52 years on this planet I have never come across a woman breastfeeding it must be because they are uber discreet and I am not that nosey.

UriGeller Sat 07-Jun-14 12:25:07

I breastfed 4 children, starting 24 years ago (with gaps obvs) and whilst breastfeeding no one but my baby has been able to see my whole boob.

I show more boob wearing a low cut top or a bikini top than when I was BFing.

I don't get it.

Thing is, its not the men who are bothered, they couldn't give a shit IME whatever way a baby is fed. Some women hate it, I don't know why.

They can't be women who BF so they must be women who FFed or women who don't have children.

stopgap Sat 07-Jun-14 13:02:19

I breastfed because, in one generation, my family has gone from being in perfect health to one riddled with autoimmunity and terrible stomach issues. I and most of my cousins are afflicted. My parents and their siblings were all breastfed, while the younger generation was not. You could argue that pollution and poor diet was to blame, except we were raised in quiet locations and ate mostly home-cooked nutritional food. I honestly don't know why the health of my family has deteriorated so much, but it was enough to convince me to breastfeed both my sons for 18 months plus.

MexicanSpringtime Sat 07-Jun-14 14:17:00

I am strongly prejudiced in favor of breastfeeding, but, that being said, if someone has a strong aversion to bfeeding, I'm sure bottle-feeding is the way to go.

BertieBotts Sat 07-Jun-14 23:27:36

Writer I breastfed primarily because the concept was familiar to me and what I'd always assumed I'd do. Luckily I had both good support, and no serious problems.

Which, TBH, is I reckon the driving force behind most people's BF vs FF decision. Studies show as well that the most influential factor is what your friends and family do. So I think it's less that people have strong views about "what women should do" or the health benefits necessarily, but if it seems normal to you to BF then it seems like the normal/natural thing to do. Whereas if it seems more normal to FF then BF might seem like something special, scary, difficult. You might give it a try but ultimately not worry too much if it doesn't work out, or you might not try at all.

The thing is that in this country we are so lucky - we have access to clean water, we have money to pay for formula, the vast majority of people can read, if we don't understand the instructions we have lots of opportunity to ask others for help. We have an understanding of hygiene which is so developed it is almost instinctual, and we have excellent access to medical care, so something like diarrhoea for a baby is nowhere near the death sentence it would be in the developing world. For most babies the common cold is nothing at all to be concerned about.

In short while there are risks to using formula in comparison to breastfeeding, we are a rich nation and because of that those risks are negligible. It is and always will be a perfectly adequate, perfectly valid choice and option in the Western, developed world. So there's no need to attack one another confused

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 02:02:49

BertieBotts Thank you. I wish you had been my health visitor.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 10:20:13

"n short while there are risks to using formula in comparison to breastfeeding, we are a rich nation and because of that those risks are negligible"

Only if you are prepared to disregard all risks (including increased risk of SIDS and breast cancer for non-breastfeeding mothers) other than those associated with insanitary formula preparation. unicef

But I agree with you that most mothers do what seems obvious and what they're comfortable with, though they may primarily justify a decision to breastfeed on a belief that breastfeeding is better for babies.

Everyone should have the right to be left alone to their feeding choice. As always every thread descends into bf v ff and drifts away from the original point...

For those people that went through a lot of pain and obstacles to carry on bf, it is quite hurtful and offensive to be told that bf is no better. It makes you feel like you went through all that for nothing.

Just as I would never dream of thinking or saying to a mum that she should have bf instead of ff I don't expect to be told that bf is no better.

In my opinion, bf is best for mums who want to bf, and ff is best for mums who want or need to ff.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 10:40:58

From an analysis of SIDS tests

"The authors concluded that bottle feeding is not a significant independent risk factor for the sudden infant death syndrome. Patterns of maternal smoking, preterm gestation, and parental employment status account for most of the apparent association with bottle feeding."

"The authors concluded that the study is supportive of a weak relation between breast feeding and SIDS reduction."

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 14:07:31

It's interesting how on this thread people are trying to discredit breastfeeding with their stories, links to research and anecdotes, but you don't see any breast feeders trying to discredit formula in the same way.

I honestly believe that FF women give BF women a much harder time than the other way round.

I don't give BF women a hard time. confused There are probably a few threads on MN discrediting formula at any one time. It all goes back and forth in a relentless fashion along with the other MN 'hot' topics.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 14:20:10

Sorry sparkling - I didn't mean specific people on this thread are giving BF a hard time, I just meant it as a general theme out there in public. I worded it rather clumsily smile

I know Writer. I think BF/FF will always be discussed like an age old boring record TBH.

This thread was not even about FF but somehow it turned into the yawnsome argument they always do with feelings hurt and guilt reignited. All mixed up with the pros and cons of both methods raked over and over.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 14:36:35

winter you clearly missed this charming comment

I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!

RonaldMcDonald Sun 08-Jun-14 14:38:54

I think most people the vast majority don't care.

However from my own experience
I think they also don't want to be endlessly lectured about it.
They don't want staged breast feeding
They think it is simply one way of nourishing a baby.

I also think that for most people breast feeding is just a thing you do or don't do whatever your choice or circs at the time. For others it becomes their entire life.
I think some ardent breast feeders do more harm than good to the cause of breast feeding

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 14:40:36

Oh and writer if mentioning my awful experience is "discrediting" bf then possibly you like my HV and feeding "counsellor" are happy to to peddle the lie it's so easy, so convenient, every-one can do it.

I belong to the group that would have dearly loved to have successfully done it but couldn't, and I have no idea where I fit into the debate TBH.

Reading about the benefits of BF benefits and possible FF non-benefits makes me feel a bit numb about it all.

Sorry one too many 'benefits' but you know what I mean.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 14:53:27

Sparkling I often get the feeling that's what the intention is.

This thread has descended into that. The descent began with the comment from missy about being "saddened etc"

For a baby with committed parents, with a sufficient income , who don't smoke, understand nutrition and a good diet, a mother who didn't drink whilst pregnant I really doubt it makes any difference.

YY that comment felt like a kick in the teeth a bit Phaedra, plus comments saying people can do it if only they got support and the right help. V unhelpful and not true in my case.

As I have said upthread DS1 will be 15 in a couple of weeks and seems none the worse for 'only' getting 6 weeks of BF. grin

Icimoi Sun 08-Jun-14 15:15:32

I breastfed out of a conviction that it was the best thing for my dc, and I was lucky enough generally to find it pretty easy. I was certainly grateful for the fact that it was so much less hassle than bottle feeding.

I get the feeling that people who find public breastfeeding offensive are almost afraid of it, but I can never understand why. There is also a type of commentator who can never deal with it without getting offensive - e.g., they won't take about someone putting a child to the breast, it's always something like "flopping their baps out". The line that really exposes the terminally stupid ones is "People say it's natural, well so is defecating but you don't do that in public do you". I always wish I could confront someone like that with examples of each and ask if they really can't see the difference.

I have never met a person in RL that finds BF offensive. I have never really noticed anyone breastfeeding in public, and i have never seen anyone challenged when doing so.

All the BF outrage I have seen is via the Daily Mail. Sports Direct, and in swimming pools of late.

I'm an amazing mum regardless of how I feed, and the same is true for any mum on this thread. I don't love my daughter any less, nor is our bond weakened by the fact that I have rubbish nips and DD can't latch for toffee.
As I said on another thread, this constant back and forth, spouting facts and figures extrapolated from a huge amount of people and applied to individual posters, does no good. Some posters on this thread seem to have a bee in their bonnet about formula feeding, others earlier on in the thread don't like people breastfeeding.

Why can't we all just accept that we're amazing mums to our children, and that we need to stick together in the face of discrimination and abuse aimed at mothers, however they feed their babies? What is wrong with leaving the statistics and studies out of it, because it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference, and celebrating the fact that our babies are being fed! Maybe a few babies have a slightly higher chance of poorer health than their bf counterparts, but that's preferable to the idea of thousands of babies not getting fed at all and starving?

Come on. Forget these stupid agendas against formula, forget the not being keen on seeing women publicly breastfeeding and support other mums, because motherhood is really bloody lonely if you feel unsupported.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 17:03:37

I have no problem accepting that mums who formula feed are just as loving and caring as women who breastfeed.

I'd love to believe that how a baby is has no bearing on health, but I'm an adult with a working brain and an interest in the evidence which says otherwise.

Accusing those people who refer to the evidence in support of a belief that it matters how babies of putting down parents who formula feed, is an underhand form of censorship. I'm sick of it being reeled out to close down discussions of this topic into those where medical evidence is considered to add nothing and where anecdote and bland assurances are the only comments allowed.

Surely there is a place for a RANGE of contributions, and people shouldn't be told that they are making personally offensive comments when they are doing nothing more than referring to the evidence?

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 17:18:41

Except the evidence you linked to said the SIDS risk was marginal and there were many variable lifestyle factors in the equation.

Again only anecdotal, the only SID I have come across in real life was ebf. The 2 people I know with the worst food and pet allergies, continuing in to adult hood, also bf.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 17:19:38

phaed - I did see that comment about feeling sad when a baby is being bottle fed and I found it very bizarre. I have no idea why it would make someone sad?

I didn't comment though as I wasn't sure whether the poster was referring to being fed via a bottle as opposed to feeding off a breast, or whether she was assuming formula was in the bottle and that's what saddened her because she thinks the baby should have breast milk.

After all, if she is saddened by formula, who is to say the baby isn't having expressed breast milk? She's making the assumption that bottles=formula which isn't always the case anyway.

If she does come back (I can't remember what poster it was) I'd love her to explain herself further as I think feeling sad for formula fed babies is actually quite an unnecessary and hurtful comment to make.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 17:23:24

writer it was a nasty comment and from it the thread went where it did.

I took "sad" to mean the same as I feel sad if I see a child being ignored, or sworn at or hit. She didn't come back to explain.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 17:33:56

Yeah, almost like she feels sorry for them or feels pity for them. A very odd and like you said, nasty comment. Whether she meant it maliciously, who knows, but she probably hurt a lot of people's feelings. I just found it a very bizarre thing to say.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 08-Jun-14 17:55:31

Ooo also I personally found the breast feeding in a swimming pool thing meh.
I'd have fed before swimming.

lifehasafunnywayofhelpinguout Sun 08-Jun-14 18:21:04

Although I would never breastfeed. D.D was bottle fed as will any children that I'l be blessed with. My children, my body my choice. I would never say it's offensive. What can possibly be offensive about a women feeding her baby. We don't get offended when we see animals feeding their babies do we. xx

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 19:08:25

"phaed - I did see that comment about feeling sad when a baby is being bottle fed and I found it very bizarre. I have no idea why it would make someone sad? "

If you feel strongly that breastfeeding is important for babies, and if you know that most people can do it, it does make you feel sad. It's quite logical that you'd feel this way - you feel that the baby is being deprived of something which it was get pleasure and health protection from.

I know midwives who've said that when they started practicing they would get quite choked up watching a newborn on its mum's chest rooting for the breast in an instinctive way, if they knew the mum wasn't going to breastfeed it. Just felt there was something sad about it.

So it's not alright to feel sad, and to voice that you feel sad, when someone bfs in public..

But it's fine to voice that you feel sad seeing a baby being fed formula?

You're right, most people can do it. But imagine how many more cases of stress and PND would occur? People need to mind their own business. It's none of theirs how other people feed their babies.

FreeWee Sun 08-Jun-14 19:39:39

Billboard posters selling expensive fragrance show more boob than I did breastfeeding in public.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 19:48:51

Well - one is feeling sad because of a vulnerable newborn baby being deprived of something which has been made specifically to give it the best possible protection from ill health while it's tiny and vulnerable. The other is feeling sad/upset because you are squeamish about breasts. I know which one I feel more sympathy for...

That said - I wouldn't voice either opinion Ito a mum feeding her baby in a cafe, and if I voiced them in the context of a mumsnet discussion thread I'd be prepared to be challenged on my opinion.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 19:51:44

Incidentally - it's also 'ok' to feel discomfited by public breastfeeding. You can't help how you feel. As long as you understand that a mum has a right to feed her baby without interference.

jellybeans Sun 08-Jun-14 19:56:20

Because the breast is sexualised in our society.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 19:57:06

And by the way - at a national level there is no link between high breastfeeding rates and high rates of PND. If anything breastfeeding is often protective against PND because breastfeeding mothers have physiologically normal postnatal hormones, and their babies experience less ill health.

Would want to add, before anyone comes thundering on saying that breastfeeding made them suicidal - I acknowledge that in individual cases breastfeeding is emotionally unsustainable for some women, particularly if they live in a culture where breastfeeding is poorly supported and socially misunderstood, as in the UK.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 20:03:17

lesmis - are you from somewhere outside the UK?

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 20:16:50


passmethewineplease Sun 08-Jun-14 20:26:16

Wish I hadn't read those links to the student room. Depressing.

I'm so glad my dp doesn't have the attitude that attitude he said himself if anyone said anything to me he'd soon tell them where to go.

I think people who have an issue with bf in public are weird and need to avert their eyes if it offends them that much, I assume the bfing mother isn't in their face doing a little shake is she?

I will raise my son to know what the primary function of breasts are, if I raised a child with some if those views I read on TSR then I'd feel like I had failed as a parent tbh.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 20:49:06

pass - the image if a woman with her breasts out and 'doing a little shake' did make me smile.

Children should be raised to know what breasts are for. I was at my sisters a few weeks ago and she has a little girl who is 5. I told her that DS was hungry and she went to my nappy bag and asked where his bottle was. I told her that not all babies have bottles and that my baby had milk from somewhere else, then I asked her to guess where. She had no idea what I was referring to so I grabbed my boobs (over my top) and told her that's where my milk was. She absolutely didn't believe me! She kept laughing and saying, "no it's not!" I obviously whipped my breast out and she saw DS attach and start to feed - she was absolutely fascinated. She watched e for the entirety of the feed and her head was so close to my nipple area that my poor little DS seemed quite alarmed smile I explained that the reason why women have boobies is so they can feed their babies and she said, "why does mommy have boobies then? She hasn't got a baby." grin

Whenever I go round now she sits next to me and asks if DS is hungry and can she watch grin

TheBogQueen Sun 08-Jun-14 21:25:22

Wow * thestudentroom*

Are these meant to be intelligent people ? They are incredibly pompous.

"But for some women, displaying their breasts in public stops being a "last resort" when they're breastfeeding, and they're insistent upon doing it, even when it isn't a necessity, or when they could have avoided it quite easily. "

lolalotta Sun 08-Jun-14 21:31:22

I've never had anyone take any notice of me BF, in fact I had one lady come and tell me "well done". Perhaps I've just been lucky, or perhaps it's connected to where I live, there seems to be a pretty even proportion of BFs and FFs when I'm out and about, so neither seems out of the norm.

passmethewineplease Sun 08-Jun-14 21:33:05

writer I did the same with DD she wasn't BF (tried and didn't work out) I think it's important kids know what they are actually for bedore they are bombarded by Crap like page 3 and lingerie billboards and alike.

My DD was fascinated and even tried bfing her doll, I was weirdly proud, I was glad she realised that they aren't purely sexual I think. smile

I remember when dd walked in on me pumping, she was gobsmacked and then had great delight in telling FIL to be that mummy gets milk out if her boobs. blush

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 08-Jun-14 21:40:42

Writer, DS and dd, 5 and 6, didn't believe it when I told them the other day about breastfeeding! I was like, 'eh, I breastfed you both for ages, you numpties!'
They were still very surprised! I guess in our area bottle feeding in public at least is the norm.

Lancashiregal10 Sun 08-Jun-14 21:45:01

I think five reasons:-
1. I think to breastfeed in public you need a certain confidence and people are jealous of that confidence.
2. we live in a society where is seen as the norm almost to slag people off and put them down.
3. A lot of men and even women think breasts are for sex and are a sexual object (the amount of times I have seen or heard the comment "well you would not like it if a man got his penis out"
4. People see breasts and get embarrassed and prudish
5. Totally brainwashed by the daily mail (I once read a breastfeeding in public article in there and the reporting and comments made by the readers was disgusting.
Or you could just lump them all into one and just say some people are twats.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 21:47:27

"Or you could just lump them all into one and just say some people are twats"

^^ this


Lancashiregal10 Sun 08-Jun-14 21:48:14

Also the student room - OMG- if that is the future of this country then God help us

Skippingthroughthefarm Sun 08-Jun-14 21:57:39

Breasts are for feeding babies they are not some sexual object anyone that finds it disgusting or sexual for women to breastfeed are messed up in the head IMO if that mum wanted a relaxing cuppa and a slice of cake while she fed her DS then she can he shouldn't have to eat his dinner in a toilet just because some backwards OAPS thinking its dirty !! angry she has thanks brew cake from me

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 08-Jun-14 22:49:34

Well - one is feeling sad because of a vulnerable newborn baby being deprived of something which has been made specifically to give it the best possible protection from ill health while it's tiny and vulnerable

That comment gives the lie to your comment about understanding how bloody awful bf can be. "Deprived" to me indicates you do believe the "every-one can do it myth"

frumpet Sun 08-Jun-14 22:50:21

mollypup i will be honest with you and explain that as a sleep depived parent who breastfed , there have been occasions in the past where i have got the boob out and not immeidiately attached the baby , not because i am a big girly show off , but because i was distracted and was so used to whipping them in and out , that i forgot , my Dads face really was a picture grin
I am probably one of the least militant people you could ever meet , one child FF , one BF and one half and half .
I am also guilty of publicly groping my breast's to work out which is the one i need to feed off next , as i cannot remember ( again due to lack of sleep )

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jun-14 23:02:42

I do that frumpet - feel them up and go for the hardest grin

Lancashiregal10 Sun 08-Jun-14 23:44:40

Hate the everyone can do it attitude. Only made by women who have either never had children or found it a breeze.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sun 08-Jun-14 23:54:00

Nobody has said 'everyone can breastfeed' have they?

Only that 'most people can breastfeed'. Which is true.

Why look for imaginary comments to get cross about?

Lancashiregal10 Sun 08-Jun-14 23:55:13

OMG just read some of the comments on the student forum and this was one of them:-

Maybe she's not a slut ( we don't know), but breastfeeding in public is very off putting, especially to parents who don't want their kids exposed to that kind of stuff and asking questions that could effect them maybe in the future (?) I don't know personally, if Costa is breastfeeding friendly, then she has the right to do so but others I guess have the right to express their thoughts of the actions, maybe not as badly as they put it though.

Kids exposed? WTF

Lancashiregal10 Sun 08-Jun-14 23:56:31

Yep because I have quite often heard of people scarred by seeing someone breastfeed!!!!

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 09-Jun-14 00:03:58

Lemiserableoldgimmer "deprived" is a pretty loaded word if you weren't trying to be judgemental.

I had 3 months of being more unhappy than I'd ever been in my life and getting that sort of comment from people who thought I wasn't trying hard enough.

Skippingthroughthefarm Mon 09-Jun-14 00:05:44

Most people can breastfeed but some just can't its a fact i hate it when people act like formula milk is the devil's piss and its wrong to give your baby it when in actual fact it is the same as breastmilk its just breastmilk is convenient easy and natural plus its free. i plan on breastfeeding my PFB but if i can its no big deal and even if i can it is painful at first which is what the medics advising it do not tell you which is why most women quit it because the pain shocks them. but yh formula milk and breast milk are both fine for babies and neither should be judged in public

Lemiserableoldgimmer Mon 09-Jun-14 00:29:39

Breastmilk and formula are not the same. Ff babies are more likely to be sick, be hospitalised, need antibiotics, visit the GP. Doesn't mean you shouldn't ff - you may feel these risks are not great and are acceptable to you. Fine, that's a perfectly reasonable, socially acceptable and common POV but either way - be an adult, don't ignore the facts or deliberately characterise views you don't agree with as extreme. Nobody thinks formula is evil. Everyone knows it has a place.

BertieBotts Mon 09-Jun-14 00:36:40

They are young people BogQueen grin Did you see the thread the other day about "twatworthy things you said or thought as a student"?

Writerwannabe83 Mon 09-Jun-14 06:05:10

skipping - I don't have any problems with FF babies and have worked with enough new mothers to know BF isn't for everyone and like phaedra said it can cause an horrendous state of mind for some women to the point it really isn't worth pursuing - but to say formula milk is the same as breast milk? Well that's a bit of a silly thing to say.

I know breast milk is not the same as formula, I couldn't BF. I am now hiding this thread, and I will be hiding any other BF/FF that comes up in Chat/AIBU. I have BF/FF topic hidden and I know why now.

At the time I knew about the supposed 'risks' and no they weren't acceptable to me Lemis but I had no choice. 15 years on I am upset that threads like this can still make me feel crap about it.

parentalunit Mon 09-Jun-14 07:24:02

Lesmis, there's no need to make people feel bad if they can't breastfeed. Besides which, correlation is not causation, e.g. mothers who have preemie babies are likely to find it much more difficult to breastfeed, and the babies tend to be more ill...NOT because of formula, but because they are preemies. I have yet to see any normalized statistics on BF vs FF

Lancashire I posted on that thread on student room a lot the other day... someone rn out of arguments against my points and turned it into a giant slanging match about how he was going to refuse to talk to an ignorant moron who had a baby at 19, and told me I'm am embarrassment to my DD because I'm not at a Russell Group uni. these kids may be our best and brightest, but I wish someone had interrupted their maths lessons to teach them some social skills once or twice.

the irony was, he accused me of being ignorant and uneducated, but he was insisting that every parent changes to formula at 6 months old, and she could've just made him some formula to go out and breastfed at home.

laurelandgurdy Mon 09-Jun-14 11:52:19

I think the offense taken is a cultural thing. "One does not do that" sort of Brit attitude.

My late sister thought I would die if I picked a smarty off the floor and ate it. It was ettiquette overdone

pianodoodle Mon 09-Jun-14 12:00:06

I am also guilty of publicly groping my breasts to work out which is the one i need to feed off next , as i cannot remember ( again due to lack of sleep )

Pahaha glad it isn't just me grin

I keep an elastic band on my wrist and swap it each time as a reminder... but I forget to swap it so just end up prodding them instead or trying to remember which side of the sofa I was sitting on last time.

Whoever is saying you should take formula for days out has never had to walk about with one giant boob weighing them down... smile

Writerwannabe83 Mon 09-Jun-14 12:17:39

I've had 2 people think it's as easy as just give them bottles during the day. One person is having a wedding and my BF DS can't come do she told me to just leave him with someone else with some bottles. The other person was my dad who wants to take me on a nice surprise day out (apparently babies can't be there) and has said just to leave him with someone who can bottle feed him.

What do they want me to do?

I'm sure the bride would love it if I had my breasts out during the ceremony and speeches as I pumped away grin

And I'm not sure my dad would feel comfortable with me sitting topless in the passenger seat draining my breasts of milk grin

Never mind the fact that I don't want DS to have bottles and even if I did, where's the guarantee that he will take one?

Lemiserableoldgimmer Mon 09-Jun-14 12:36:47

"Lesmis, there's no need to make people feel bad if they can't breastfeed."

If people want to engage in discussions and debates around the subject of baby feeding then they have to accept that others may not agree with them, and may offer information in support of their beliefs, and sometimes that information may make them feel uncomfortable. Offering information is not a personal attack. It's just not.

"I have yet to see any normalized statistics on BF vs FF"

Maybe you haven't looked properly. All decent research done into infant feeding in the past 30 years controls for a range of confounding factors. The evidence NHS recommendations on infant feeding are made on control for gestational age, parental smoking, social status, and often maternal education.


TBH - I'm surprised you could entertain the idea that the epidemiologists, doctors and midwives who sit on panels to review the evidence underpinning NHS guidance are so thick they would be happy to make recommendations about the benefits of breastfeeding on the basis of research with flaws in it so glaring that any GCSE science student would be able to identify them. Do you really think they're that dense? Ditto your feelings about the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Paediatrics, Royal College of Obs and Gynae, yada, yada, yada..... hmm

Floisme Mon 09-Jun-14 12:38:43

A lot of people just don't know how breastfeeding works so they don't understand why you can't feed your baby 'in advance' or give them a bottle if you go out. I was the same until I breastfed myself. I don't think most of them mean to be obnoxious, it's just ignorance.

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 09-Jun-14 13:45:58

It's rather difficult to see the selection of words like "deprived" other than as a personal attack. In the context of my and my son's background "deprived" is laughably inaccurate.

I looked at the reports and indeed quoted section of them which referred to the benefits not being as spectacular as you are making out.

I also see a Dutch report which recommend 4 - 6 months. Imagine, my failure "deprived" my son of 1 month.

What's the point of using loaded words like 'deprived', and giving sob story anecdotes about weeping midwives because a baby isn't being breastfed? Give the facts, sure, but why use that kind of guilt-inducing language? It isn't going to change anything. I'm not going to switch my 2-month-old DD onto breastfeeding, which she can't even latch onto. All it does is create guilt and a feeling of us vs. them. You seem to have a deep-seated problem with formula feeding, lemis

Lemiserableoldgimmer Mon 09-Jun-14 16:29:23

"What's the point of using loaded words like 'deprived', and giving sob story anecdotes about weeping midwives because a baby isn't being breastfed?"

I use the language which reflects the way I feel about babies not being breastfed. I understand that some women don't want to breastfeed, and some can't, and agree 100% that it is their right not to breastfeed. But that has no impact on how I feel about a baby not being breastfed. I accept it, but I still feel sad about it.

"It isn't going to change anything. I'm not going to switch my 2-month-old DD onto breastfeeding, which she can't even latch onto. All it does is create guilt and a feeling of us vs. them. You seem to have a deep-seated problem with formula feeding, lemis"

Why do you think I'm targeting you and your feeding decisions? I have no idea who you are and I have no stake in you or your baby, and you ought to ask yourself why a stranger's opinion about formula is so personally hurtful to you, given that you clearly don't feel that formula feeding is in any way problematic. Can we not agree to differ?

Lemiserableoldgimmer Mon 09-Jun-14 16:51:12

"It's rather difficult to see the selection of words like "deprived" other than as a personal attack. In the context of my and my son's background "deprived" is laughably inaccurate."

Your child being carted around in a Bugaboo or wearing cashmere won't confer protection from infections or SIDS. Only breastmilk will do this.

"I looked at the reports and indeed quoted section of them which referred to the benefits not being as spectacular as you are making out."

First off - I have not used any sort of language to suggest that the benefits of breastfeeding are 'spectacular'. That is a distortion on your part in order to further your argument.

What the paragraph you read said was that "Breastfeeding may be documented as having a “small protective effect” against certain illnesses." and goes on to say that at a population level these can be very important indeed. And at an individual level the fact that some respectable studies find exclusive breastfeeding may lower the risk of SIDS by about a half, and has a significant impact on a woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer - well those two things alone would stop me from describing the benefits of breastfeeding as 'trivial' or 'minor'.

I understand the politically correct stance is to say 'it doesn't matter how a baby is fed', but for me - though I accept the right of any woman to do what she wants in regard to feeding her baby - in the context of an AIBU thread, that warrants challenging.

Skippingthroughthefarm Mon 09-Jun-14 17:27:26

Formula milk is the same as breast milk it has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years and its packed with everything a baby needs i live seeing a breastfed baby but i think considering breast milk some magic wonder liquid for you baby is ridiculous I've seen children that are FF with tip top healthy and children that were BF with glasses and hearing aids and asthma etc which proves they are the same if your child is going to have anything wrong with them the kind of milk they drink isn't going to stop that as is in their DNA that they have those problems not their diet

Igggi Mon 09-Jun-14 17:41:29

Skipping - rofl.

Igggi Mon 09-Jun-14 17:43:11

(I assume your comment "formula milk is the same as breastmilk" was meant as a joke, as no-one could be that ignorant!
It is a good substitute, however.

Nancy66 Mon 09-Jun-14 17:50:18

A lot of these stories turn out to not be true.
Not saying this one isn't but a lot don't check out

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 09-Jun-14 18:20:38

won't confer protection from infections or SIDS. Only breastmilk will do this.

That is not true and you know it. The impact of the parent's lifestyle plays a huge role.

Odd the only SID I know in real life was bf.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 09-Jun-14 18:56:41

skipping - if you truly believe that formula milk is the same as breast milk how do you explain why formula doesn't contain antibodies? Or why it isn't constituted of fore milk and hind milk? Or why it can't change to meet the needs of the baby? Or why it needs to be heated as opposed to breast milk being naturally warm? And why is there no research to show that there are health benefits to formula just like there are with breast milk?

Formula is a perfectly acceptable form of feeding but it is not 'just the same as breast milk'.

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