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...to ask whether people still feel judged breastfeeding in public?

(170 Posts)
Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 17:46:47

What are people's experiences of bf in cafes, shops, etc?

I am taking my newborn out more regularly now. I've noticed there are lots of mums out and about in Starbucks, M&S, local cafes etc, but very few breastfeeding their babies. In fact I am the only one I have seen (normal town centre). It doesn't make me feel awkward but I am curious about why this is. I know around 20% of mums are bf by 6 weeks so I would have expected to see fewer mums feeding their babies this way, but am surprised to see none.

I'm wondering whether people are feeding at home or mixed feeding when they go out? Whether they feel there is still public censure about bf in public?

Please no comments about how people choose to feed other than as relevant to the thread (how it feels to feed in public).

harderandharder2breathe Thu 02-Feb-17 17:49:00

My friend breastfed until her DD had to go onto a lactose free formula on GP advice. She didn't like feeding in public, so scheduled trips out around feeds and fed in the car.

TKRedLemonade Thu 02-Feb-17 17:50:02

I tend to mix feed in public. It's just my own issue really

DrizzleHair Thu 02-Feb-17 17:51:14

I fed DD in public all the time from about 2 weeks until 18 months when we stopped. She was a greedy milk guzzler and was huge so looked bigger than her age at all times.

In all honesty there was only one occasion when I thought possibly a table of 2 people didn't like what I was doing, but I'm not sure - I didn't look up and find out for sure.

But I lived in SE London at the time which is fairly tolerant of most things, and full of bf mums. So not representative of the whole country unfortunately!

formerbabe Thu 02-Feb-17 17:52:00

I couldn't bf in public...I felt too self conscious. Other mums bf doesn't bother me in the slightest...I think it's great that they do. I would bottle feed if we were out and bf at home.

Trifleorbust Thu 02-Feb-17 17:52:15

harderandharder2breathe: I suppose that was what I was wondering really - whether people are staying in rather than getting out and about, or choosing to feed in bathrooms/cars.

PotteringAlong Thu 02-Feb-17 17:53:14

I've fed mine anywhere and everywhere - I got far more looks feeding my toddlers than I ever did my newborns (although no one ever actually said it to my face)

IrregularCommentary Thu 02-Feb-17 17:53:45

I bf in public all the time and never had an issue so far. Dd is 20 weeks. Midlands based.

Aliveinwanderland Thu 02-Feb-17 17:54:36

I feed in public, has never crossed my mind not too. I don't like expressing and DS doesn't like taking a bottle. I am as discreet as possible but don't really think about it. Have never had any negative looks or comments and have had several people approach me to support me when I'm feeding in a cafe.

DoJo Thu 02-Feb-17 17:55:29

I have fed mine everywhere and never encountered any negativity. The only comments I have had have been positive.

Isadora2007 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:56:09

I always fed out and about- even when they were 2 ish etc. I don't know whether it's because I honestly didn't care...but I genuinely didn't notice anyone ever really giving a stuff or a weird reaction etc. I think if you're looking for it or worried about it you might notice more. But I just didn't mind.

Cadenza1818 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:56:25

I did it out n about wherever. That was with twins too. Didn't occur to me to be worried about reaction and never got any.

DaisyQueen Thu 02-Feb-17 17:56:45

I live in the northeast. Very working class area and breastfed dd for 7 month as and when it was needs without hiding in loos or whatever. But I can count on one hand the amount of women I have seen breastfeeding in 6 years. It's more common to see newborns lying in a pram with a bottle propped in their mouth hmm

I'm on holiday at the moment (UK) and there was a lady breastfeeding her baby in the pool. It was lovely that she felt comfortable to do it and no-one around her batted an eyelid, it made me feel more confident to breastfeed in public when I have another DC smile I think attitudes are changing for the better, there will always be dickheads but I think the law giving women the right to breastfeed whenever and wherever they want/need to has helped.

jobrum Thu 02-Feb-17 17:58:53

I came to the conclusion when bfing out that people just don't notice, especially in winter when you can be really quite covered up with a coat or scarf if you want to. The first time I bf my dd in public was also when I was out with her on my own, sat in the corner of a Starbucks. I kept my coat and scarf on, unclipped my bra, pulled down vest, lifted jumper and fed baby. And realised no one noticed! Or indeed cared! You might get unlucky and have someone say something. But those people are twats and everyone knows it.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Thu 02-Feb-17 17:59:28

I was fine with public breastfeeding until they hit about 12 months. After that, I felt really self conscious. Fortunately, by that point it was easier to distract with a sippy cup of water/ juice when we were out for the day.

Trinpy Thu 02-Feb-17 18:00:36

I rarely notice any mums bfing in public, but then I don't see that many more parents bottle feeding either so I guess they time it around trips out? Or maybe I just don't notice them do it.

I've never felt judged but I stopped breastfeeding in public with both my babies after the first few months because there were too many new things first them to look at and they got too distracted - so that could also be a possibility. Also I fed my second in the sling for the first 2-3 months so I could have hands free to look after my eldest, so you wouldn't have realised I was feeding a baby just from looking at me.

jobrum Thu 02-Feb-17 18:01:05

The only time I felt really awkward was out with my mum who once held my scarf up in front of me like a screen. Everybody looked over.

littlewoodentrike Thu 02-Feb-17 18:02:49

I have always breastfed in public and can only once remember being made to feel uncomfortable. That was by two young couples who were obviously disgusted by it. They had a baby with them too!
I have breastfed anywhere and everywhere (discreetly) and would never have mix fed just to avoid breastfeeding in public. My whole family are very comfortable with breastfeeding so I wonder if that helps.

Slothlikesundays Thu 02-Feb-17 18:03:08

I breastfeed anywhere. Most of my friends are breastfeeding and it's not uncommon for four of us to be feeding in a cafe at the same time. Never had any opposition or looks.
Although I have to say in the last few weeks dd (6mo) is more nosey and not latching well in public so we've done more car feeds recently. But that's only so she can focus and feed. Not because I'm bothered. However I totally understand why people would feel awkward. If their baby doesn't latch well etc it can be extra stressful out and about.

WishUponAStar88 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:00

I bf dd but she was on morning/ night and pre nap feeds only from about 9 months so didn't feed out of the house after that. Despite initial nerves I fed everywhere out and about otherwise I would've gone crazy staying in the house. Never had anyone say anything negative, did always use either a bf cover or large muslin but for my own comfort more than anything. I've also noticed how litttle bf you see out and about though.

Ouriana Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:01

Ive breastfed all of mine in public, and I have had some very judgy looks but only one nasty comment as far as I can recall.

Ive had counless positive comments though. I think the nicest was sat on a bench in a theme park feeding while DP took the other children on rides. A woman came up to say how lovely it was to see someone feeding and asked if she could get me a coffee or anything. A very small gesture that really made me feel more confident!

Ive very rarely seen anyone else feeding in public, however there have been many occasions when someone has stuck their head/ hand in the sling to stroke the baby and recoiled when they realised I was feeding so maybe it isnt that obvious.

ItsThatBeverleyMacca Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:22

I fed DS until he was 2.5 all over the place (large city in the north east). I never got a single negative comment or stare. I fed on buses, trains, cafes, beaches, restaurants, walking through TK Maxx once. And one friendly comment - DS unlatched when the lovely lady in M&S Cafe brought over my jacket potato, and she smiled and said 'you've had your lunch, let mummy have hers!' And that was it.

CuppaSarah Thu 02-Feb-17 18:05:25

No, never felt judged. Had a few young male baristas seem surprised it wasn't awkward bringing me my order while I fed! I actually felt more judged formula feeding my second dc in public, purely my own paranoia and guilt breastfeeding didn't work out second time!

Islacornx Thu 02-Feb-17 18:06:23

I'm still BF my nearly 9 month old and honestly I've only ever breastfed her in public about 6 times.. she's quite a difficult and nosy feeder, she likes to pull off and have a look around until she settles down and feeds well and I guess I'm just nervous of her pulling off a bit so tend to do things around feeding or feed her in the car or a BF room if there is one. I've not had anyone say any bad comments to me but I think I'm wary of that. I've only ever seen 2 other people BF though and I think that also contributes to me feeling less confident about it
Need to give myself a kick up the arse and just get on with it though blush

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