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breastfeeding in public, share your story

(39 Posts)
syl1985 Wed 21-Aug-13 01:10:04

Hi ladies,

I haven't fed my 3 boys much in public, but that was because giving them breast milk never went very well.

I'm again, really going to try to make it work this time.

But when you're outdoors.
Where will you feed the baby?

If you feed them in a public place do you get any nasty comments?
I've been looking online for breast milk information.

I ended up on youtube on these "how to breast feed" instruction videos. What shocked me was that all of them had rude comments on them. From men who somehow think giving breast milk is a sexual thing.

Even people posting by the comments advertisement for porn websites.

I don't mind feeding my baby if he's hungry. But I'd feel horrible if a man would stare at me or something.
If someone would give me a rude comment. I really wouldn't have any idea on what to do. I'd be furious.
I'm then feeding my child. How can that be erotic to anyone?

And if it's, then keep it to yourself. Don't they understand that for most of us women it feels really uncomfortable that there're idiots around who do get hard by seeing us giving our baby our own milk.

With my 1st son I once posted a nice picture somewhere online for family to see. It was a picture not long after birth that I gave him my breast.

Some asshole, how he got there, I don't know.
Somehow thought it was ok to post there that he would love to suck my breasts too.

I immediately deleted that picture and I never posted anything like that ever again online.
After reading the comments on you tube I quickly learned that there're a lot of men who find it erotic to watch a lady giving her baby her breast.

Not only that but they totally don't get it that (to me) these comments felt so uncomfortable to read.

I really don't want any weirdo's to say those things to me face to face or stare at me when I'm feeding my baby.

Anyone who wants to share her feeding outdoors experiences with me?
Are there ladies who just wouldn't care what someone else thinks about them?

Maybe it's a personal thing. I just don't feel comfortable with walking around naked when other men can see me.
For example my partner likes going to sauna's. In Holland, where we come from those are usually nude.
He asked me to come too. I told him how I felt about it. But he wanted me to try it. So I did

I HATED every second of it!!!
Even worse was when someone tried to talk to me. A lady, no problem. With a man I felt like: 'What do you want of me? Just leave me alone'.

And I'll be honest. I didn't always have good experience with men. Maybe it's what has happened to me that makes it difficult for me to feel ok in the nude around men.

Difficult is a big word. If they leave me alone, no problem. It's when I get the feeling they want something of me. I feel very tense and angry. If they leave me alone and don't even look at me. I'm fine and happy.

Sunnysummer Wed 21-Aug-13 01:36:44

You sound very stressed! Honestly, it isn't that tricky, once bf is properly established (at least up until they get curious and start pulling off the breast /grabbing) I've whacked out a boob all over town and never had a second glance from anyone, in fact most of the time people don't even know you're feeding - I've had older ladies come over to comment on the cute new baby only to smile and back off once they see he's feeding, and one pregnant friend who was chatting about her stress at feeding in public until I pointed out that I was actually feeding at the time. My NCT group and I were chatting the other day that none of us have ever felt harassed, despite the off putting stories you hear in the media.

If you either get some big floaty scarves (my preference), one of the special feeding covers, or some singlets that you can pull down while pulling up your main top, it's very discreet and you can feed in cafes, the park, wherever. My only mistake so far has been trying to feed on an unfamiliar train and getting in a bit of a flap when the station arrived a bit quicker than anticipated smile. Good luck!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 21-Aug-13 01:40:00

Good lord.

There is nothing similar between a sauna and feeding your baby.

I fed both mine many many times in public and never received one look, comment or anything that wasn't 100% positive.

syl1985 Wed 21-Aug-13 01:48:21

Thanks ladies,

@Alibabaandthe40nappies
I only put that their to point out that it also just might be me feeling uncomfortable with feeding, being a bit nude in public.

@Sunnysummer
Me stressed, no more then normal expected mothers I think.
But I shouldn't have read these comments on you tube. I was watching these normal instruction videos and I wanted to see what other mums. Hopefully more experienced mums then me thought of them. Or had anything else to add to them.

Then I saw lot's of men commenting about how sexy it's and advertisement of porn sites.

That was for me quite a shock to read those type of comments on there.

I'm glad to hear that both of you had no negative experience.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 21-Aug-13 02:12:51

I dont know why but people who comment on news articles and YouTube almost always seem to be ignorant, aggressive twats. I always imagine they're the preserve of people who feel a bit inadequate and are angry at life. To be honest, anyone who finds a woman breastfeeding her baby "sexy" has quite a lot of issues and should probably re-examine their triggers.

Mogz Wed 21-Aug-13 02:15:31

I think you will find that people are much worse behaved on the Internet than they are in real life. On the Internet they think its big and funny to post rude comments to get a reaction and they can hide behind the anonymity of it all, in public these people would probably not even be bold enough to look someone in the eye.
By breast feeding your baby you are not breaking any laws, you are doing something that humankind has done since we came down from the trees (and heck, before that the mammals/primates were doings since they crawled out of the ocean) and you should try to feel as confident as possible. I'm hoping to be able to breast feed my first and will certainly not be letting anyone else's funny ideas put me off, good luck!

yoyoyo Wed 21-Aug-13 02:23:11

Hi I'm feeding my boy wherever he wants food. Sometimes it's costa, sometimes it's the park. I always try to be descreet but at the end of the day a quiet baby on the boob is always preferable to a screaming baby. I haven't had any negative comments.

annamelissa Wed 21-Aug-13 04:03:21

There are also laws protecting breast feeding mothers in public - here's the info: www.maternityaction.org.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/breastfeedingpublicplace.pdf

...though I realise that doesn't help with the potential 'feeling stared at' issue, I'm due with my first in a few weeks and have no idea how I'll feel about it, but friends have seemed to have no problem with it, and certainly have never said they've received negative comments...

UriGeller Wed 21-Aug-13 04:19:20

Youtube comments never offer any valuable information, don't read them!

I've bfed 4 babies, I'm feeding dd right now. I've nursed all over the world, in towns and airports, malls and villages. I've never had a negative comment!

I think its because I never expect one. Yes maybe someone might look but i haven't any control over what other people look at! If they have a problem with what I'm doing, then its their problem. I dont have to take on other people's problems!

One time I was nursing my baby by a fountain at a street market, an old man sat next to me, it was a really hot day. He gave me a bottle of water and said I must keep myself hydrated to make good milk!

There are many more kind people in this world than rude people. just choose to see the kind ones.

I did have one man tell me it was disgusting to feed on a train but the lovely wonderful lady sitting beside him yelled at him and told him if he was so offended by boobs perhaps he should stop reading the Daily Star.

Most people are wonderful. A lovely old man told me how much he liked seeing babies 'fed properly' and how it reminded him of happy times when his children were babies. As he left he bought me tea and cake and sent it over (he made me cry he was so lovely)

BlackholesAndRevelations Wed 21-Aug-13 06:59:06

I've had no negative comments whatsoever, and lots of smiles. I fed both of mine til they were 11 months and am looking forward to feeding my third. You can get quite good at feeding without showing a millimetre of skin (see post above). Don't stress.

What I did was practise infront of the mirror until I felt confident enough to do it in public discreetly.

I always found that the only people who looked at us when I was feeding were the ones who didn't realise I was feeding him! The few people who did realise usually looked away or moved away to give me space abd privacy. I've even fed standing up on a London train and noone noticed. bf is incredibly discreet once you've mastered it.

Never had anyone buy me came though envy

Get thee along to a Baby Café or similar bf support group. Not only do they give advice, support and cake, but you can watch other women feeding, and feed yourself, in a 'safe' environment

TobyLerone Wed 21-Aug-13 07:02:01

I genuinely had a woman in a shopping mall food court ask me to go and feed my baby in the loo, because I was "putting [her] husband off his lunch". I politely suggested that perhaps he might like to take his lunch to the loo to save him having to watch, but that DD and I were just fine where we were.

He managed to finish his McChicken Sandwich without having to retire to the bathroom.

That was 12 years ago, though. Things have changed. This time around, I'll whack 'em out anywhere!

When I had my first baby, I was comfortable feeding in front of any member of my family except my grandad. I didn't want to make him uncomfortable. He used to visit most days and one day newborn DS was crying. He said, "Don't worry about feeding him in front of me. Your nana used to feed her babies wherever she needed to, and I've never been so proud of her."

SweepTheHalls Wed 21-Aug-13 07:06:25

Just to reassure, I bf both my boys, and never had a single negative comment in public, just really supportive ones from little old ladies about how great it was for a baby to be all snuggled in. Good luck, I expect you won't have ant of the problems you worry about.

MrsBungle Wed 21-Aug-13 07:12:00

I've breast fed my two in many different places. I've never had a rude comment, I've not noticed anyone staring at me. Nothing, whatsoever.

Faverolles Wed 21-Aug-13 07:12:32

I fed ds wherever and whenever.
In the early days, after feeding was established, I did practice feeding without showing much, so that I felt more confidant when I was actually out and about.
In 2 and a half years of feeding him, I've only ever had the odd tut and head shake, but bizarrely, only in the dr's waiting room by old ladies.
Out and about, I've had plenty of smiles and people saying how lovely it is to see someone feeding their baby (but again, mostly old ladies)

KateCroydon Wed 21-Aug-13 07:19:37

No negative comments, lots of smiles, but mostly people hardly notice. Have fed in parks, pubs, bookshops, cafe's, trains.

Cravingdairy Wed 21-Aug-13 07:24:52

Never ever read the comments.

I have never had a negative comment or so much as a funny look in 23 months. Very little of your breast is actually visible.

Start somewhere you feel very safe - it could be the doctor's waiting room, the library or a baby group. That will give you confidence for busier places.

If you are looling for BF advice online I would stick to Kellymom, a fantastic and reputable website, as there is a lot of rubbish out there and of course horrible comments.

Good luck!

peteypiranha Wed 21-Aug-13 07:30:22

Fed them anywhere at any time. Loads of people have seen my boons, and I dont care and no ones bothered. Had a few people come up and tell me they are proud etc but thats old people and a bit random.

Sleepthief Wed 21-Aug-13 07:30:41

I breastfed all three for up to two years whenever and wherever they needed it. I have never so much as had a sideways glance, let alone a negative comment or open staring. Tbh I don't think most people would have noticed what I was doing. There has certainly never been any obvious breast on show. You do sound very stressed by it, though, and probably need to try not to overthink it so much smile

NumberTwoDue Wed 21-Aug-13 07:41:37

I bf DD up to 15 months, so she was quite big and almost toddler-y in the end and never had a negative comment or look. Actually a few times people (normally older men and women) commented about how lovely it was to see a baby being bf.

I was nervous at first too, but made sure I was in groups at first (although actually only two of my immediate circle were bf-ers too but I felt safer) and in what I considered bf friendly places. By the end I just did it wherever: parks, buses, planes, benches, a cathedral....

I have never had a negative comment. I've fed DS everywhere! In the bank, round supermarkets, park, cafes, restaurants, in the shopping centre, walking down the road... I had a little old lady who looked to be in her 80's ask if she could watch as it reminded her of he children being tiny. Also a man say he'd never seen such a tiny one (ds was 4 days old, feeding him at a coffee stall with chairs after having his birth registered) and bought me cake. Those were the only comments I've ever had. Now DS is nearly 14 months people look sometimes, but I tend to feed hem only if he's been upset by something if we're out now, so that's what I care about, not anyone looking. When he was tiny blokes would sometimes look, but you could see no more of my breasts than if I was wearing a low necked top, so I just thought fuck them.

FadBook Wed 21-Aug-13 07:52:46

Strongly recommend you go to a breast feeding support group in your area whilst pregnant. There will be peer supporters there who can talk to you and boost your confidence.

I'm feeding my dd who is 24 months. I intended to stop at 6 months grin but that's a different story. I've not had one negative comment in public only in private by family sticking their noses in

Positive comments from so many people, and I've tried to make it educational as in, I'm young and breastfeeding and don't fit in to the typical stereotype of a 'hippy mum' who breastfeeds older children. I'm a busy working parent and think breast milk is beneficial and good for my child.

My best tips: practice feeding in front of a mirror first; your first feed out in public, take someone with you who will 'have your back' if there are any negative comments.

PastaBeeandCheese Wed 21-Aug-13 08:15:28

Well I never had a negative comment in 12 months of feeding. unless you count my nan asking when I was going to stop with this nonsense

A couple of incidents with men stick out in my mind......

The British Gas man fixing the boiler when DD was tiny and me desperately trying to give her a bottle and her screaming. I felt a bit odd in the house on my own with him. I commented that she didn't like bottles and he laughed and said 'draught is always better, just feed her. My wife fed all 3 herself and if anyone says anything they are the ones with the problem.' Who knew British Gas espoused the virtues of breastfeeding?!

In a pub when DD was 5 weeks an older couple were looking at me and I thought 'here we go' and they came over and said thank god times had changed and that the woman had to use the toilets or car when their children were little which was totally wrong.

That said if you feel self conscious you can buy a baby-a-lait cover thing or use the back of your car. I fed DD in the car a few times.

CheeseFondueRocks Wed 21-Aug-13 09:09:00

But you won't actually be nude in public when breastfeeding. In fact, nobody will see anything and mostly people won't be able to tell the difference between a woman feeding or simply cuddling her baby...

fwiw, DD is 19 months almost and still breastfeeds (not in public though because it's only a bedtime thing now) and we have never had a single bad look or comment. I have literally fed her everywhere. I do remember my first public feed though, she was 3 weeks and was very nervoes. a lovely shop assistant in Next let me use their disabled changing room. After that I just pretended to be confident and never looked back.

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