breasfeeding in public

(45 Posts)
lillian13 Sat 07-Apr-12 22:58:29

I am currently breastfeeding my 3 month old daughter which i love doing but i hate feeding her in public places. I am trying to find corners to hide in or i struggle to hide my breast under my babys blanket which is ridiculus for me and baby.
Please does anyone have any helpful tips for me to feed discreetly in public.
I know breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and i shouldnt be ashamed, but i just cant help feeling like this.

Casmama Sat 07-Apr-12 23:02:48

I think layering is you friend. If you have one top that you can pull up and say a stretchy vest top underneath that you can pull down then your tummy and upper chest are covered and your dds head will cover your breast.

MNHubbie Sat 07-Apr-12 23:03:00

Ranty always picked clothing that allowed her to feed without anything showing (blouses that opened, flexible layered tops that could come up and other that could come down with ease).

It was very rare that folks knew what she was doing.

Wear loose, flowing tops with a stretchy(ish) vest top underneath. Reach up under loose top and pull vest top down to below bra level. Then the material of the other top should cover the rest.

As for attitude... well, if you can't brazen it out completely, would it help to read a magazine or look at the internet on your mobile while you are feeding?

I also found it helped to figure out in advance where I would breastfeed, meaning there wasn't an awkward moment with DS crying and not be able to find somewhere quiet.

Roseformeplease Sat 07-Apr-12 23:07:11

Not much to add but I always chose "family" restaurants and cages. Once was the only customer in Bella Pasta and asked for a quiet place to feed. The waiter, very loud and camp Italian, came round the corner with my coffee shouting "Knock, knock" Still makes me laugh.

Roseformeplease Sat 07-Apr-12 23:07:36

Cafes not cages. Could try the zoo?

LadyWidmerpool Sat 07-Apr-12 23:11:59

Keep at it, it gets easier. Even little things like your baby's head getting bigger will help. Cardigans and big scarves are good for tucking around you both. But the more you do it the more you realise that hardly anyone is paying any attention!

Just don't go too far in the other direction and absent mindedly hoick your entire nork out in Starbucks because you've forgotten you aren't at home. And not notice until your husband gives you a funny look. That certainly didn't happen to me. It was a friend of mine. Yup.

TrueRomance28 Sat 07-Apr-12 23:13:13

I'm currently pregnant with my first so I've not had chance to breast feed yet, but intend to`& know they'll be the odd occasion when I feel the need to cover up so I've brought a Mamascarf to try ( http://www.mamascarf.co.uk/ ) . Not had chance to use it yet of course, but it looks a lot nicer than those apron type things you can buy.

Also have a look at what Brighton mums did recently http://www.brightonmums.com/brightons-first-breastfeed-flash-mob-a-huge-success/
Seeing their flashmob in town helped me feel a little more confident about the prospect of brestfeeding and made me realise it is totally normal. Maybe the article will give you a little extra boost too!

lillian13 Sat 07-Apr-12 23:36:02

Thank you all very much for your replies, i will definetly try the baggy top and vest underneath. No more hiding in corners and sometimes even toilets for me!

Lots of good advice here re what to wear.
Get comfy, deep breath & feed. I bet soon it will be second nature and you'll be feeding wherever you fancy!

Beveridge Sat 07-Apr-12 23:41:42

It doesn't have to be a baggy top! Even cupping your hand round as you lift your top while feeding will screen out everything with the most awkward of tops (thinking specifically of 'lady's fit' SRU rugby top that is a bit tight, but combined with this and vest underneath it is all fine.

I find a 'don't even think about it' look about me also helps...grin

lillian13 Sat 07-Apr-12 23:54:42

I have had a look at the mamascarf, looks great, would definetly keep me covered.
I know people dont mind mums breastfeeding in public but ive noticed people taking a secong glance at me when they realise ive got my boob out and i get so embarassed.
I will definetly take all this advice on board and try to just get on with it and stop worrying about everyone else around me.

HappyCamel Sat 07-Apr-12 23:55:14

There are some nice breastfeeding tops with slits. Mamas & Papas, Next and Seraphine (I especially liked the latter).

OeufRouge Sun 08-Apr-12 09:05:44

Don't feel embarrassed about the way you feel- confidence comes with time and your DD is only 3 months old- you're both still finding your feet! smile

Along with the great tips you've already been given, some mothers find it useful to practise in front of a mirror so that they can see what everyone else sees. From your perspective, you see a lot of boob but it may be that no-one else can see a thing.

A lot of mothers find it reassuring to BF in public with other BF mothers- safety in numbers and all that grin. Do you know anyone else that's BF? Or is there a group nearby like LLL or Baby cafe where you could meet other BF mothers?

I actually find slightly tighter tops work better. If mine's too baggy it flaps over DS and annoys him making him more likely to pop off & expose me. The 'one up, one down rule' definitely works though.

Also, work out where is genuinely BF friendly in your town. Here it's the M&S cafe and a little family coffee shop. Almost everyone in there is BFing!

Finally, remenber that if people are giving you 'funny looks' they are probably thinking 'awwwwww bless' not 'ewwwwww yuck'. Every comment I have ever had while BFing in public has been positive.

Hope that helps smile

readyforno2 Sun 08-Apr-12 09:27:50

Why not get yourself a poncho? I had one whilst feeding ds and it was great, although you do get used it to whole feeding in public thing and it will soon become second nature. Best of luck

startail Sun 08-Apr-12 09:40:11

We need a secret code, like the Masons, that we can give in support when we spot a breast feeding Mum.
A kind of been there, got the baggy milk stained T-shirt, handshake. wink

grin startail

NAR4 Sun 08-Apr-12 11:20:12

The one top up and one top down thing is great. I have had many people awwww at my baby whilst I am breast feeding and even had an old man come to talk to her (I had to actually tell him that I was feeding her at the moment and he could speak to her in a bit). He hadn't realised. I think you are feel much more exposed than you actually are. To start with I made myself a poncho out of T-shirt material, because my baby used to pop on and off quite a lot, but as she got older I stopped needing it. It will come in time but if you really feel in need of more privacy a lot of places have feeding rooms (most supermarkets, M&S etc).

lillian13 Sun 08-Apr-12 21:00:39

Thank you all for your replies. Im starting to feel more confident already just from all your advice.
I have a poncho so will definetly be trying that out and having a look in the mirror to see what other people really see. I also have a list off my health visitor of breastfeeding friendly places in my area.
I went to to the park a few days ago and had to leave because it was so busy and i just didnt feel comfortable feeding there, hopefully i wont have to do that again with all your good advice. Thanks everyone.

harverina Mon 09-Apr-12 00:21:12

Hi * Lillian*, I agree with the advice to wear a floaty/baggier top over a fitted vest. This is what I lived in when my DD, now 2, fed alot. It means that your tummy/back and top of your boobs are well hidden.

My biggest piece of advice would be to just go for it - the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel. Sometimes I found that the more I tried to hide my boobs, the more I flashed! When feeding in public take your time, find somewhere that you are comfortable and do not worry about what other people think. Take your time to get your baby "latched on" properly. I found it handy to carry a book or magazine so that I could latch my DD then sit and have a read if I was on my own. Plan your feeds as much as possible - my DD was fed on demand but she got into a a routine around 8 weeks where she fed every 2-2.5 hours. My anticipating my DD wanting a feed soon, I was able to start looking around for somewhere to feed, or head to a coffee shop or feeding room. I fed my DD anywhere and everywhere but still used feeding rooms if we were looking for somewhere quiet. Sitting in the park is a good way to feed too in the summer. I sat with my legs crossed on the grass when the weather was nice.

You will find that most people are very positive about breastfeeding. I had so many lovely comments and had many people offering to help me in some way. One older man offered to pour me my drink when I was breastfeeding in a very open plan coffee shop when my DD was very young. I was feeling very embarassed and he really put me at ease and started to talk about his wife breastfeeding their children in public and what their experiences of this were 30 years ago.

Do you have a local feeding group? If so, they are a great way to start feeding in public as all the other mums will be doing it at the same time.

Good luck!

WottingerAndWottingerAreDead Mon 09-Apr-12 21:30:16

Hi OP, here's how I did it-

like others have said- vest underneath, any sort of top you can pull up on top. Had a floaty light big scarf thing (not breastfeeding specific).

put floaty scarf round neck- unclip nursing bra at top, put hand under 'over top', pull down vest just under boob and also nursing bra. All this is happening when your boob is totally covered with the over top. Get baby in position to feed, drape floaty scarf over baby, whip over top up, get baby feeding, remove floaty scarf from over baby to round your neck. If baby pops off you can whizz the floaty scarf over any exposed boob before anyone notices what's happened.

agree also on working out in advance what positions in the cafe/ what cafe you'll feel most comfortable in.

once I'd perfected the above, I fed anywhere and everywhere, and it's such a virtuous circle, the more you feed publicly the more comfortable you feel and the more you do it.

Good luck!

ps. Primark vests are a wonder for the job- super cheap so you can get all the colours, stretchy so easy to pull down and nice and long so don't ride up and expose post pregnant stomach..

lillian13 Mon 09-Apr-12 22:10:46

Can i just make sure im getting this two top thing right. Do i pull one top down and one top up so just my boob is out?
I have got a scarf i take everywhere with me, that does work well to help cover everything.
I didnt think i needed to go to breasfeeding groups because i feel i have got the actual feeding right, but i think i will go to get more confidence.

lillian13 Mon 09-Apr-12 22:11:44

Just re read it, got it sussed out now!

LovelyMarchHare Mon 09-Apr-12 22:18:56

I have really big boobs and I thought that I would never ever feed my children in public. As it was I fed both of them for ages. As someone says above I think that you are more concerned about it than anyone else in the room and that most people aren't even aware what is going on. Try and relax as much as you can and it will go more smoothly. If you are stressed the baby will get stressed and won't latch on properly and you might end up revealing yourself to all and sundry.

You will be just fine. Whatever you do, don't resign yourself to feeding in some smelly old toilet for 40 minutes just because you think others might pull a face. It is your right to sit with your partner/friends and enjoy your drink/meal just as much as anyone else.

Good luck!

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