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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.

Carole803 Thu 22-Aug-13 09:40:12

There is also a Public Health campaign to make public venues "breastfeeding welcome". The idea is to get public places from hotels to cafes to say to us mums "yes, you are more than welcome to bf here, and if you need, we can help you find somewhere more private" it also says to those who judge "yes, we welcome bf here, so if you have a problem with that, keep it to yourself of move on"

It is more about breaking down the stigma with people who do have a problem.

As a first time mum and newbie to it all, assuming I have no problems with BF, I will personally be feeding when and where I need to. Of course I will practice at home first smile I have enough boobage to share and don't want to "lose control" in public (lol). I don't think people around me would welcome that smile

Another one who's never had anyone bat an eyelid. I found latching on in front of the mirror a good confidence boost - it made it quite clear that you couldn't see anything at all...

PurplePidjin Thu 22-Aug-13 09:02:05

My 9mo is still bf, i do so in public and have never had a comment! My mum tried to lend me a scarf the first time we went out, saw how stressed the extra faff made me and how little could be seen, and is now itching for someone to say something so she can bite back grin

whyno Thu 22-Aug-13 08:48:46

Like others bf for 9 months and never once got a comment or look. Cover up with a big muslin to feel confident.

I probably wouldn't put a pic online though.

There are a lot of weirdos who like to get into arguments and say controversial things on YouTube so please don't think that is representative of the general population.

From my experience, most people really don't pay any attention to you when you're bf. There will be a few people who have a problem with it (but who cares?) and a very small percentage of them might make a comment. On the whole, most people are more concerned with their own lives to bother you.

To be honest, I think men make crude comments like that more to make you uncomfortable than because they are actually aroused.

If you are most concerned about being exposed in public then you can get a cover so that no one could have a chance of seeing anything.

PinkPepper Wed 21-Aug-13 23:58:08

No negative comments here in 13 months. I feed him everywhere. And I just get my boob out and go. Too much faff using a cover and baby hides it all usually

syl1985 Wed 21-Aug-13 23:50:44

Thanks ladies for sharing all your stories.

I didn't know that while I was pregnant I could already go to a breast feeding club. There's one in my area. I thought to wait until the baby is born. But I'll contact them and tell them I'd love to breastfeed my baby. But I'm nerves, not feeling ok with doing it in public.
And I don't want to lock myself up in the house for the next coming months.... so HELP!

Stripedmum Wed 21-Aug-13 23:14:00

Fed two in very public places at times (not intentionally, just if hungry). Never anyone showing slightest bit of interest. I just make sure I wear a loosish top and it just looks like I'm cuddling the baby.

TruJay Wed 21-Aug-13 19:11:02

I fed my son until just before his first birthday and have never had any nasty comments. I've had a few stares but I don't think it was because I was feeding, I think they were just looking at my son as he was so tiny then once they realise they're attached to ur boob its funny to watch them get all flustered, I had a woman apologise for staring as she didn't realise I was feeding, I was like god don't worry about it!
My only off experience of feeding in public was in Ikea, they have a big fat comfy chair behind a screen in the restaurant area for breastfeeding so I was just there minding my own business when I heard my mum shouting, she's not one for mincing her words or being discreet lol there was a creepy older guy peering over the screen watching me and I just hadn't noticed, I think once my mum had finished and the whole restaurant was staring at him until he scurried away so don't think he will be doing it again!
I'm planning on breastfeeding again this time too and have no worries about it with a lovely experience last time.
princesscupcake I'm due same day as u!

princesscupcakemummyb Wed 21-Aug-13 15:07:51

hello syl1985 i never had issues breastfeeding in public never had any neg comments if i fed in a public place i used a blanket or a breastfeeding cover for my own sake i worked out where i could feed when i was in town for example many stores have breastfeeding areas for your privacy only thing is i wouldnt ever feed infront of visitors for example my husbands family i felt that was a no go area for me so if we where expecting visitors for a long visit i would express some milk especially ive breastfed 2 children still breastfeeding my younguest shes 2 in november and im planning on breastfeeding this baby due november 2nd

MyNameIsAnAnagram Wed 21-Aug-13 14:15:46

Only ever had positive and lovely comments from people, and I fed ds1 till 18m and 14 weeks onto feeding ds2. People either don't notice, ignore you or smile and occasionally say something nice.

Lion5711 Wed 21-Aug-13 14:02:42

Never had a bad word only encouragement. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable feeding a bottle so why I'm earth not the most natural tools in the world if I feel comfortable!! Or it can be a good excuse to get some quiet time away from annoying intrusive relatives saying your going to feed in a quiet room!!

ShoeWhore Wed 21-Aug-13 10:31:45

I was really nervous about this too OP - not so much that I was expecting negative comments but I just felt shy about getting my enormous boobs out in public.

But it was fine. I second the idea of practising in front of a mirror so you can reassure yourself that actually you aren't flashing acres of boob!

Ds was difficult to latch on when he was tiny so in the early days I found I preferred to find a quiet bench somewhere or sit in the front of the car but as I grew in confidence I fed my dcs everywhere and anywhere.

I only ever had one negative comment in over 3 years of public breastfeeding and that was from some stuck up middle aged woman who didn't even have the nerve to say it to my face, she just muttered under her breath as she walked off. Luckily for her I was too laden down with small children to run after her!

Good luck with it all!

CrispyFB Wed 21-Aug-13 10:23:36

I've been breastfeeding children for almost 7 years now, aside from a 4 month break during one pregnancy when I had to wean to protect my pregnancy with DD2 (incompetent cervix).

My youngest is 2. I don't tend to feed them in public past 18 months (and rarely past 12 months) but then they don't ask when we're out at that age anyway.

Regardless, I've never once had a negative comment with any of my three. I've fed them everywhere - parks, malls, restaurants, coffee shops, hospital beds, in the street, in the sling whilst shopping, trains, buses, mountains, Paralympic Games metres from Oscar Pistorious who gave me a smile (I don't think he knew what I was doing, mind!!) and even.. in front my FIL!

In the beginning I used to use a cover as I didn't feel confident, but I actually found out I drew far less attention if I just stick them up under my top. I am quite shy and always make sure there is nothing on display. Once you've got used to it, it is surprisingly easy to be discreet, and if you're confident I'm sure that deters a lot of the commenters. Most people are either completely fine with it or not brave enough to say anything. The sort of tosser who says something is the sort who would find something negative to say about anyone and can be treated with contempt.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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

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.

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!

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.

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)

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.

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