I don't want to breastfeed in public yet...

(34 Posts)
TwitchyTail Thu 11-Apr-13 23:29:22

...so can I still go out? sad

I have a 7 week old ebf first baby. I am shy about bodily things. I just don't want to breastfeed in front of people (at least, not until I can do it really discreetly, which is most definitely not yet - my areolas are bigger than his face ffs). So far, going out in public has involved short trips where I pray he stays asleep.

Has anyone else felt like this, and if so, what did you/are you doing? I've heard of some places like John Lewis that have breastfeeding rooms - any creative ideas for other "private" places to breastfeed, other than the loos grin

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:32:25

Look out for cafes (or even family pub type places) which have nice tall private booths if you can snag one.

Have you thought about getting a nursing cover? They're like a big apron which covers the baby and all chance of boob flashage, but they have a bit of a "tent" thing at the top which opens it up so that you can see them, and also so the material doesn't cover their face and annoy them.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:34:02

Also feeding in front of a mirror at home can help you see how discreet you're being - can help with confidence smile And finding a group of other BF mums - somehow it seems "safer" in a pack! Or if you find a breastfeeding support group, it's at least a safe space to feed there with nobody other than other BF mums around to see.

cleoowen Thu 11-Apr-13 23:44:13

I was just like you at the beginning and went out between feeds always making sure I was back for the next one. I had a cover which went around my neck and covered my front too.

However after maybe,6 Weeks I decided to bite the bullet and feed in public, I went in the John Lewis feeding room, then I got braver and braver as I became more confident with it. I went into a cafe and did it in the corner a few times, finally at 8 Weeks we had a wedding to go to and I had to feed as there was nowhere very private I just had to get in with it and be as discreet as I could. Although, I was nervous at first having to do it in public it made me get my confidence and after that I was doing it with one hand whilst having dinner.

So I would say you will get more confident and set yourself little targets gradually. John Lewis and other baby shops have dedicated feeding rooms in them. Use a cover to start with if you want too, it won't be long before it's unused in the back of the wardrobe like mine but it helped me in the beginning.

TwitchyTail Thu 11-Apr-13 23:53:21

Thanks everyone - really useful ideas smile I will get practising in front of a mirror first, and then in the feeding rooms, and work my way up from there. I have some big lightweight pashmina type scarves so could try using those as covers to begin with.

So basically, does everyone breastfeed in public eventually? ie is it just a matter of time rather than a choice, if you see what I mean?

ThePskettiIncident Fri 12-Apr-13 00:04:53

Before I went out I checked where mother are and boots were as my local ones both have mother and baby rooms. Then I knew if I needed to feed Ds we could just go there. After a few times out like this I got more confident and just went to a cafe. I had big scarves to wrap around me and my baby. Sometimes his sling was good too, as it was one of those big stretchy fabric wrap slings.
Good luck! It's easier when you just go for it and get out there.

BonaDea Fri 12-Apr-13 00:07:15

I felt like this too. Then one day on a carefully times, short trip out my DS wanted food. No choice but to do it! Of course no one paid a blind of notice - we were in a cafe full of mums and babies - but it was great to get that first time out of the way!!

DiscoDonkey Fri 12-Apr-13 00:11:35

I didn't with ds1 but with ds2 I was much more confident (plus he fed all the time and I didn't want to spend all my time in public loos!)

I found feeding in the car a good way to get more comfortable with it. Private enough but not completely out of view.

JassyRadlett Fri 12-Apr-13 00:20:15

I found one corner of a muslin tucked into my bra strap created a fairly effective cover if I felt I needed one - would depend on what I was wearing.

The parents' rooms at department stores are a godsend when you're starting out. Do you have anything like that near you?

ThreeWheelsGood Fri 12-Apr-13 00:23:08

I agree that you just need to get the first couple of times out of the way, then you'll feel less nervous. It's journal to be a bit nervous but you'll soon realise there are lots of others out there doing it, you've probably just never noticed before! Try different outfits, I find it's more discreet doing the vest top/lift jumper manoeuvre.

My dd is 8 months old and I've still not fed her in public. I've fed her in shopping centre feeding rooms and a few times in a car but nowhere else. I've not even done it in front of anyone but dp!

I was so worried about it in the early days and got myself in a state over being shy about it and not doing it yet, but I've got by alright. I take a bottle of expressed bm if I'm not sure what sort of place Im going to.

Don't feel bad either way!

EMUZ Fri 12-Apr-13 01:11:48

You need a good local pub smile
I don't know where you are but my mum has a pub and I know she's been asked before about breast feeding. She's happy to let someone feed in a private area or in one of the bedrooms if there is one free (and she possibly supplies beverages while you feed) wink

ImYoniHappyWhenItRains Fri 12-Apr-13 01:33:46

Something like this nursing cover might help you at first.

I used a muslin tucked into my bra strap with my first. With dd2 I just have a strapped vest on underneath my top and the top provides the cover if it is loose enough.

soapnuts Fri 12-Apr-13 01:56:29

wawaskittles - 8 months?? how do you go out long enough to do anything? I hated feeding DS1 (had to use shields and he was a fussy monster) but I just had to do it if I wanted to be out of the house for more than an hour or two. DS2 is much easier and i think half the world has seen my boobs now! I'd go stir crazy being stuck in so much!

Twitchy - while i know it's hard i think the longer you leave it the more it gets built up into an issue - if you can just get yourself out and just do it you'll realise how much of a non-issue it is to everyone else (seeing you feeding that is) and you'llbe much more comfortable

EauRouge Fri 12-Apr-13 08:16:39

It is totally normal to feel like this when it's all new, it doesn't mean that you'll never be able to BF in public. You've been given loads of really good tips. Best of luck, I'm sure when you've both had a bit of practice you'll be more confident, but there's no right and wrong- do what feels comfortable for you.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 08:39:30

You don't ever have to feed in public if you really don't want to. However most people find it practical to work out a way to do so sooner or later. smile

What are you worried about? Perhaps we can help?

Just to let you know you will get lots of approving looks and comments - I certainly did. Little old ladies were particularly keen to tell me how well I was doing smile

Guitargirl Fri 12-Apr-13 08:46:15

I felt the same way as you with my first baby. I felt all fingers and thumbs and it took us so long to get latched on that I usually felt a sweaty, clumsy mess and I had no confidence to feed in public. DD was also 7 weeks old the first time I fed in public and I chose the venue carefully - a cafe attached to a very nearby children's centre which did baby groups. There was no way I would have been able to make it as far as John Lewis without DD wanting a feed!

Anyway, it was just about confidence and before long I was feeding everywhere. You will be fine just take your time to get settled.

BabsAndTheRu Fri 12-Apr-13 08:52:39

I don't like it much in public as well but needs must, not easy being discreet with size 36G boobs. I wear a vest top under my normal tops and use a bid scarf. The vest top means my stomach is not exposed to the world. People that I have been out with always say they can't see anything and the mums at the toddler group have commented that they don't notice when I'm feeding. Good luck.

TripleRock Fri 12-Apr-13 08:54:12

I didn't really crack feeding in public with DD until she was about 9 mo (just in time for her to be cutting out day feeds!). No idea why looking back...

DD was a very quick feeder and very predictable with timings, so I never found it restrictive. I had a little network of places I could head to e.g. mothercare, john lewis, or if all else failed the loos, which i'm mightily embarrassed to admit now tbh...

I'm 18 weeks with no. 2 atm, I just know i'm going to be fine from day 1 this time. If I could go back I would have just got on with it much sooner, not sure what held me back really, just a silly habit I got into

BabsAndTheRu Fri 12-Apr-13 08:55:00

Also agree with StealthPolarBear, always got really positive feedback if anyone did notice, never had a negative experience.

BabsAndTheRu Fri 12-Apr-13 08:57:33

Meant to say one of my favourite places to feed was in M&S cafe on the big couches. Very comfy and you find you are usually surrounded by mothers doing the same.

Salbertina Fri 12-Apr-13 08:59:26

I bfed everywhere over 3 years in total and only 1 negative comment (Lincolnshire country pub) in ALL that time. Either people didn't notice, didn't care or were v friendly.

I was the same as you. Few things, some of which has been already mentioned:
- do you have a local Breastfeeding regular meet up or a toddler group you can go to? It's a good "audience" to start with
- I bought bf tops but never used the "holes" - far too small and faffy! I always wore (still do - force of habit!) a black vest top under another dark coloured top: pull up the top and pull down the vest. Used a BF bra.
- I fed in "public" only a handful of times with my first, mostly relied on mother and baby rooms and fed a LOT in supermarket car parks!! I used to block the window like a blanket tucked into top of car window
- I did get more confident with 2nd - coffee shops good. Mother and baby rooms in supermarkets not good unless its separate from the changing room.
- In the end, I realised that actually no one really notices. I had never spotted a woman bf in public before I had DC which is maybe because I'm v unobservant but people do tend to go about their business and not notice so don't worry. Take baby steps and you confidence wil grow.

HTH and enjoy your newborn! grin)

I think it might help if you can see other women doing it, too.
tgere will probably be meetups for bfing mums, usually at your local children's centre, but other places do them too.

I do it in my shop, and I like to think it helps to normalize it wink

anyway, if you make friends at one of those meetups, you could arrange to go out with them/her and breastfeed together. (I find dd needs a feed just because another baby is feeding.)

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