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to ignore my DH's views when it comes to breastfeeding in public?

(129 Posts)
SpamMarie Mon 15-Aug-11 14:49:46

I don't have any children yet, but I was discussing the possibility with DH, including the fact that I'd be pretty dead set on breastfeeding.

He is very happy about that - breast is best after all - but we disagreed on one rather important point. Breast feeding in public is, in his view, Not Going To Happen. He says he doesn't have an issue with women who breastfeed in public himself, just that he doesn't want me to do it because it will attract negative attention, there may be perverts about, it's all society's fault etc. He is concerned for me and my safety. He reckons as long as we're organised with our feeding times and outings, there shouldn't be a problem, and I can always just pump in advance and take that out with me.

I don't think DH knows very much about how breastfeeding actually works. Breastfeeding in public was not something I was initially overly keen to do myself (purely because I'm shy), but the more I read about how breastfeeding works, the more I see that it would be a hugely positive thing to embrace unless I wish to remain trapped in the house for 12 months. According to him, I can just pump to solve that issue. Never mind missing out on bonding, the risk of nipple confusion, the general faff and equipment needed, and the fact that I really don't like the idea of pumping unless really medically necessary.

Also, I am not AT ALL bashing women who choose this method of feeding. I just want to know AIBU at my husband's attitude?

freybean Mon 15-Aug-11 14:52:37

ha ha!

remind him of that comment when your out and about with a baby screaming

oh can't speak from experince but you don't show any boob when bf

DoMeDon Mon 15-Aug-11 14:52:57

YANBU to BF in public. Show him some info and explain that while he is entitled to his own view, it is one you do not share.

worraliberty Mon 15-Aug-11 14:53:18

I think you know YANBU

I don't get all this BF in public 'problem'

Most people wouldn't even notice a nursing mother in the same room as them

belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 14:53:57

grin at concerned for your safety!

ZillionChocolate Mon 15-Aug-11 14:54:43

He's entitled to his opinion. He shouldn't breastfeed in public if he's not comfortable with it. You should do what you want.

biddysmama Mon 15-Aug-11 14:55:06

yanbu, once you get the knack you can bf discreetly or even buy a cover if your not that confident, i do it all the time, ive latched the baby on in a sling, you cant tell what hes doing at all grin

sancerrre Mon 15-Aug-11 14:55:34

Can be done subtly, not that I bother with subtle any more, but I was feeding DS in a restaurant shortly after he was born and DH opposite me couldn't even tell I was feeding him.

InfestationofLannisters Mon 15-Aug-11 14:55:52

He is being dense.

And don't pump unless he is responsible for sterilising and washing (properly) bottles, the pump parts, labelling freezer bags etc.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 15-Aug-11 14:57:34

If you're out and about a lot of places have mother and baby rooms you can feed in, if you feel shy doing it. Or draped a pashmina-type scarf across yourself. However, your DH is being ridiculous saying it'll put you in danger or at risk of perverts. Imo it's just an excuse, because he thinks other men are going to look at your breasts, so doesn't want you to feed in public. He needs to get a grip, and you need to just do what you want to do.

holyShmoley Mon 15-Aug-11 14:57:37

are women that bf in public unsafe from him? his opprobium?
He is sadly part of the problem.
Do you have any bf friends that can laugh in his face?

TrillianAstra Mon 15-Aug-11 14:58:14

Oh yes there are loads of perverts around just waiting to see a woman breastfeed.

Poweredbypepsi Mon 15-Aug-11 14:58:39

i have been feeding my daughter for a year and have never managed to pump enough for a feed, I have an electric pump but the milk just drips out it would take me days to get even enoughj for one bottle. Also the few times i did try dd on a bottle she refused totally to even put it in her mouth - until about 11 months now she will drink water.

I havent really fed that much in public to be honest, in the early days i just had no reason to venture too far out and later she was able to go quite long in between feeds, when i have had to geed ot i either sat in a cafe or a feeding room or if i needed to put a blanket over and fed her where i was. No one has ever looked ot said anything at all!

gillybean2 Mon 15-Aug-11 14:59:44

Does he think women are cows? You can't just think that pump and go will work for you or for baby! It certainly didn't for me. A bf baby won' always take a bottle. And sometimes they won't go back to breast after having a bottle so it is something he should't just assume will happen or will work.

And it's not like you're going to whipping them out to display to all and sundry. bf can be done extremely discretely. I always wore a loose t-shirt type top and simply lifted it enough for baby to reach, unclip bf-bra and pull t-short back over baby a little so nothing is actually on view.

Sassybeast Mon 15-Aug-11 14:59:54

Concerned about your safety? What safety issues in particular? Frozen nipples syndrome if it's cold? Sunburned nipples if it's hot?
Point him in this direction and WE can laugh in his (virtual) face.

SpamMarie Mon 15-Aug-11 15:00:25

I would do what is best for the baby (and therefore me) and most likely BF in public. But he acts like this is a non-compromise issue, and if I went against his wishes, this would result in an argument. It pisses me off that on this issue (and this issue alone) he appears to be putting his own feelings ahead of me or any potential children. Especially when quite frankly, I find his opinion to be founded on ignorance. It's disappointing, he is usually extremely very thoughtful and kind, and I was pretty surprised by this reaction.

InstantAtom Mon 15-Aug-11 15:03:17

It's your choice. Your DH has probably walked past breastfeeding women many times and not even noticed.

InfestationofLannisters Mon 15-Aug-11 15:04:14

I tried to "just pump" once in the first few desperate days. I kept on until I had 6 oz because I really wanted to have a long sleep.

I woke up after just three hours in absolute agony because my boobs had "learned" that I had suddenly had many more babies to feed so made just as much milk again quick smart.

Wish my bank account worked that way: The more you take out; the more you get.

OhdearNigel Mon 15-Aug-11 15:05:00

"He's entitled to his opinion. He shouldn't breastfeed in public if he's not comfortable with it. "

That made me snork loudly !

JanMorrow Mon 15-Aug-11 15:06:56

I whip my baps out all the time, but in a discreet manner.. with easy access tops and muslins/blankets, you can do it without causing any "pervs" (oh perlease) or prudes to have any coronaries. I'd say people don't notice most of the time.

alison222 Mon 15-Aug-11 15:10:09

Hopefully he will see sense once the baby is born. FWIW I was very shy about feeding in public to start with but if you are discrete you do not show anything and as most people have said you might as well just be cuddling the baby for all anyone sees. I found it did take a bit of practice to start with which I have never seen anyone on here mention. - there are loads of old threads on what to wear so you don't show too much of your body. I found myself wearing breasfeeding tops that looked like rugby shirts to start with to help with this.

However, he will soon change his mind every time a meal is ruined because of a crying baby, or when he is fed up of pacing around the shops because you have gone to a mother and baby feeding room if you do decide that you need more privacy.

Also I recall that although I did pump milk so that I could leave DD with DH and pop out she utterly refused ever to take a bottle - just spat out the teat and giggled!!!!!!! smile

Squitten Mon 15-Aug-11 15:11:12

Idiot

I was quite shy about doing it in public but I quickly realised that nobody gives a flying monkey about BF. If he has such a problem with it, tell him he can stay indoors.

I can reassure your DH that I have yet to discover any BF perverts lurking in my local coffee shop/ shopping centre...

ShoutyHamster Mon 15-Aug-11 15:11:35

He's being utterly out of order.

It is not his decision.

I wouldn't even argue about this, because it is about as much his business as you deciding that from now on, he will sit down when he pees. Don't even dignify it with a response, much less so if he is parading around declaring that this is a 'non-compromise' issue - WTF?! Oh ha ha ha, how does he want his trial separation - fast or even faster? Seriously, that kind of attitude can have only one response - fuck off, and when you get there, fuck off quite a lot more. He wants an argument? Give him one. His feet wouldn't touch the floor, frankly.

I'm not joking - the idea that he thinks he has any say or sovereignty over your body is deeply worrying.

He's right, there is no compromise. Only it's you that won't be compromising.

I won't even bother to comment on his 'you can just pump' - this is all I need to hear to know that he clearly has no idea of the realities of feeding, so he's a non-contributor to that topic until he gets himself a lot more clued up. I'm another one that couldn't pump more than a few drips. Still feeding DD happily at 18 months, but mine don't do the pump grin. But as I say - that's by the by. Point is, you'll feed as you see fit. He'll support that, or win the prize for Shit Dad. No other options.

TribbleWithoutACause Mon 15-Aug-11 15:12:47

Is he being serious?? I have been breastfeeding in all sorts of places and have NEVER had an issue with it. No one has approached me, no one has said anything to me.

In all honesty, with the old MN trick of vest top and t-shirt (vest top comes down, T-shirt goes up) no one has ever seen a thing. If you're concerned, get a cover or some such like.

Also pumping is SUCH a faff. I've pumped regulary due to one thing or another, but I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have to.

It does sound like he is being a bit ignorant, but until you have a child you don't really know about these kinds of things. Do you have any friends who have breastfed? Or are you going to an antenatel class at all?

If not, point him in our direction and we'll soon sort him out.

evenlessnarkypuffin Mon 15-Aug-11 15:13:34

Are you actually pregnant yet or TTC? If not, I'd let it go for now. There's plenty of time yet for him to realise he's being a dick.

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