Bf in first weeks - visitors, family and friends(16 Posts)
Baby number one is expected on wednesday. So I've done the course and visited the bf support group, I've got the bf counsellors number and I've studied the pictures for cued feeding. I can maybe manage a pass on the theory and I feel like I've got support on the practical. I've got some really fuzzy ideas on the social side though.... I am not a body confident outgoing person so wondered if anyone would mind sharing their experiences and coping strategies for feeding in a number of scenarios?
In the early weeks of establishing feeding at home, how did you handle visitors who were maybe only popping in for an hour to see baby? I'm guessing you can excuse yourself in this scenario to go and do a feed?
When visiting other people (I have a mil who refuses to leave the house and thinks bf is odd) what did you do then? Did you just go for it or delay visiting until you were more confident?
When popping out for a short trip say to the shops, what do you do if you can see baby rooting? I live in a semi rural area and want to get out for even a short walk every day - in fact this was recommended on my bf course to establish sleep patterns. There are no coffee shops etc to pop in to but quite a few neighbours who want to see the baby.
I'm probably over thinking these scenarios but I'd really like to hear about other people's experiences and strategies. Id like to think my confidence will grow to the point I can feed where necessary but I can't see this happening immediately!
Took me a little while to get the hang of feeding without exposing everything! I ended up wearing a vest top under another top so I could pull the lower one down and the top one up so nobody saw anything. Give it a go in front of a mirror, it's less revealing than you'd think.
In the very early days when DS would keep coming off and milk went everywhere (fast let down), I used the feeding room at the local shopping centre (google to find one near you).
And don't let any negativity from mIL put you off. If she doesn't like you feeding at her house then point out that you can always stop visiting, but then she won't see her DGC unless she gets off her backside and comes to you.
I just went for it! Baby wanted feeding at home and if we were at other people's houses but if she was out in the pram she'd sleep mostly.
Sometimes I'd use it as an excuse to go somewhere quiet if I was feeling a bit tired and antisocial- or if there was an absolute house full but most of the time I just whopped a boob out and went for it.
Good luck :-)
I got better at seeing benches outside, feeding rooms inside, and places to feed discreetly. Once you have mastered it, very little shows (and the baby gets bigger and covers more). You can buy extra large muslins - tkmaxx often has them which will form a lightweight cover to get baby latched on under. You can also get feeding covers, but as the baby gets bigger they're likely to not like these as much!
To start with, it feels terribly public, but after a while you notice women everywhere feeding, and never see anything.
Look up the two vest technique, or a breastvest.
Just remembered going to town when DS was about a month old with MiL. He wanted a feed so I suggested going for a coffee. She was a bit that I was going to feed him in public and tried to stand in front of me shielding me with her coat so "nobody knows what I'm doing"!
I told her not to be ridiculous and that she was drawing far more attention by acting like a human shield! In fact, people were staring at her so much they had no clue I was BFing
Don't feel guilty about saying "excuse me, I need to go and feed my baby" and sitting in your room to feed while you are still getting hang of latching on
must admit, I lost all sense of shame after I had my baby and in the early days just got my boobs out in front of anyone. I tried to time visits and going out to between feeds but when she decided she was hungry in the middle of church I just went for it and it was fine, nobody cared.
If I was at someone's house I'd just say "do you mind if I feed her?" and they'd say "no" and often avert their eyes a bit.
You'll be fine. It does work better the more confident you are.
Also, remember that by feeding your baby you are doing the most important job (no matter how you feed them) which is more important than people's sensitivity (they should deal with it) or their desire to cuddle the baby at their convenience!
I just fed wherever I was comfatable, in the early days baby was mostly sleeping when people came to visit. I would usually move to the corner of the room so others cpuld carry on their conversation without me. I went other places when I was ready but mostly to my mums and whole family are used to bf so was not an issue for me.
When going out local shops etc I would always go out right after a feed so baby would usually sleep all the way through the outing. If I could see baby rooting then if I was only local I would pop home, as I was comfier with my cushions etc. Tbh with dc1 it took me a while to get going out other than my mums or bf support group, I was too tired, with dc2 I had alredy bf everywhere with dc1 so wasn't as concious.
I have a muslin with me wherever I go.I tuck it under the bra strap & cover the baby's head with it to minimise exposure.The two vest trick is good but not in this heat.Muslin thing means I can wear strappy dress and just pull the top down.
I'm bf my 3rd so lost any inhibitions years ago but in the early days if at a friend's house I would just say that I needed to feed the baby,sit on the nearest comfy chair and get on with it.Just make sure you have a muslin or cloth to hand for sicky burps.
With my first dd breast feeding didn't work out as I didn't have the confidence to feed in front of other people and didn't know about the fabulous support groups out there which would have got me through it. With my 2nd dd I invested in some Breast Vests which I bought from www.rosebudbaby.co.uk which for me made a huge difference. That being said, this time I just went for it and did my best to just not care what people thought. In the beginning I'd find tables in the corner of coffee shops but before long I fed everywhere and it was incredibly liberating. I even started keeping a list of the weirdest places I did it! If family members aren't comfortable they can avert their eyes but I bet before long they won't even notice you're doing it!
I wasn't confident bf in front of others at first, so just minimised visitors, and if baby needed to feed when they were around, off I would go to the bedroom and leave DH to entertain them. Baby came first.
Now I just do it on a case by case basis. I'm very happy to feed in front of friends who have bf themselves; less so in front of those who haven't as they sometimes get embarrassed and I cannot be faffed being all discreet (fidgety and distractible baby, not very adept me), so I just go to another room. My family are prudish about body stuff even though we were all bf, so I tend to go to another room when I'm at my parents'. I'm happy to feed in "anonymous" places like parks, quiet tables in cafes, the car, etc. I just take it as it comes and have never been in a really difficult situation with nowhere private-ish to feed.
Do what you're comfortable with. You'll probably find your confidence increases as time goes on. Fewer visitors the better in the early days IMO, especially ones who aren't supportive of bf! If your weird MIL refuses to leave the house and thinks bf is odd, well, she can just jolly well wait to see the baby can't she?
Thanks for all the advice. I have two bf tops and some primark vest 4 sizes too big that currently cover my bump but will be good for the pull up pull down trick. I have Muslins too but not huge ones. I'll see how the feeling takes me re: people. After a lot of fertility treatment I'm not shy with strangers but people I know are different and some of them have been quite negative about bf including those who have done it themselves which is odd!
Also, don't feel bad to get one of the specially designed feeding covers, especially if your baby is a bit of a tricky feeder! They let you see down to the baby but cover you both completely from everyone else.
In the first few weeks especially I've loved the simple feeding tank tops, as they are much easier for latching on as you can see what you're doing and don't have multiple layers to faff about with, and in public you can easily cover up with a cardigan, another loose top or a light scarf.
Feeding when out and about is usually not tricky, any bench can do. After the first few weeks they become a bit more predictable (usually!) and after the first few months they generally fall into more a routine.
Personally I was surprised to find that I had no shame and happily fed any time. It gets a lot easier as you get the hang of it after the first few weeks, just yesterday I was feeding DS in a cafe in front of a pregnant friend and she didn't even notice until I was detaching him!
Don't ever be put off from feeding, it will just lead to a grumpy, hungry baby and you'll get engorged and uncomfortable. I found I was feeding so much the first few days I just got on with it, whoever happened to be there (felt like constant visitors for weeks) but if you want a break its also a good excuse to go somewhere for peace & quiet!
Comments are funny, from my family (none of whom bf) it was mainly "she can't be hungry again" ad infinitum, and trying to entertain her rather than give her to me for her feed . My mil who had be was v supportive but based on her experiences in the 80s so how she never fed in front of any men (even fil & her father!) And would go to a different room to feed always, even in for night feeds. Also to only feed 20min each side and keep a record of each feed
I've also had my mother trying to cover me up in public, only once though, I think she's given up now!
Second vest tops to pull down, found m&s ones with elasticated straps the best (at least they can do 1 thing well!).
Bf groups also great to build confidence at feeding in public.
Good luck op!
The early days can be tricky - I found I needed the corner of my sofa with the cushions just so - so feeding elsewhere was tricky. Mind you, he had a tongue tie so getting him to latch was a nightmare! However, you and LO will get better at it and then there's no stopping you. I bought a few big very light scarfs which I could drape over us, although in the end they were most useful for holding his feet (he pulled off if feet weren't supported!). Now just over four months in and feed anywhere (weddings, funerals, the zoo). It becomes quicker, and you'll do it without thinking. That means people notice much less and you get more confident.
Don't let anyone put you off. If you more comfy in private At first then do it. The early weeks are mad in so many ways do what works for you. Congrats and good luck!
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