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Massively attention seeking BFing problem

(28 Posts)
entropygirl Sun 16-Oct-11 00:37:25

Often I read on here that people have no problem BFing in public but then they also say 'oh I am so discrete - noone even knows what I am doing'

However my 4 mo is a bit of an exhibitionist, we have sit ups, milk bubble blowing, sudden attacks of hey wheres the milk panic crying, and out breaks of singing all while feeding.

I do TRY to keep it decent but at the end of the day the babies head is supposed to cover the nipple which it can't if she has just launched herself over my lap and Im struggling to hold on to her let alone rearrange my clothes!

So should I just stay at home with the curtains drawn? Do the BFing laws extend to covering people with boobs hanging out all over the place? A super large poncho maybe? (This would work a little better now winter is approaching I guess - has been too hot to consider until now).

All advice welcome!

noseybitch Sun 16-Oct-11 01:04:24

I prefer not to b/f in public, DS1 would always suddenly break the latch and milk would squirt several feet, v embarrassing on plane....if I covered up with a muslin he would rip it off and that would draw attention. I always wear a string strap vest with a voluminous shirt over the top and use the shirt as a shield.

entropygirl Sun 16-Oct-11 01:19:46

yes, any use of muslins / clothing as a cover just becomes an instant game of peekaboo / throwing stuff on the floor.

I wish she would actually seem hungry occasionally....even when she is crying beforehand she gets about 30 secs in then gets distracted....

KatieMortician Sun 16-Oct-11 01:23:16

You just need to adjust a bit. Try the following:

Sitting facing towards the wall instead of outward into the room where possible (I don't mean directly facing the wall but at a table for two you'd be on the outside seat facing the wall).

Do the two tops trick (one under that you pull down a bit, the other goes up but sits just above the baby's nose). Reduces boob on show.

Tuck the corner of a muslin under your bra strap. You can then use the end to screen the baby's view or have it fall over your boob when baby moves her head. It may take a bit of practice to get this right.

Failing those get one of those breastfeeding screens (although I think they're horrid).

Don't worry about the law. Even the nosiest of babies is protected.

entropygirl Sun 16-Oct-11 01:29:44

Thanks Katie. I hadnt thought of securing the muslin to my person - that will help with the playing issue although I suspect tucking it in will be insufficient - maybe a safety pin. The rest I already do in some form.

You are protected for the purposes of feeding, although I sometimes think I would have a hard time proving that feeding had occurred. Playing with boobs out might be more the definition....I suppose the amount of milk on face (hers and mine) might constitute evidence of intent at least <sighs>

KatieMortician Sun 16-Oct-11 01:41:09

You may find in a couple of weeks the novelty of having a good look around wears off a bit. Or you stop noticing so much grin

1catherine1 Sun 16-Oct-11 01:42:05

Since my DD has got older and more aware it has become more difficult to BF discreetly. She pulls off when people pass and gives them a big smile - while my boob is hanging out. I've just learnt to cover myself quickly when need be. Otherwise - find a quite corner with minimal distractions.

Thing is though blush... I don't care anymore. When she exposes my nipple to a room full of strangers I'm more concerned that she is playing instead of eating which makes my boobs sore. They are not toys... even if OH and DD disagree hmm

entropygirl Sun 16-Oct-11 12:09:55

1cat - that sounds so familiar! I also couldnt care less if people see my boobs (I think I lost all possible body self-conciousness about 10 minutes into labour). I just worry about other people feeling embarrassed and getting aggressive.

Oh well, hopefully just a phase and I already feel substantially less like Im the only person this is happening to smile

TruthSweet Sun 16-Oct-11 12:12:37

I'm going to suggest a few things that might work for YOUR comfort not because I think you should be 'discreet' or that people will care (because I find they generally don't). If you don't like or want to do them, then don't!

You could also try wearing a shirt/cardigan and unbuttoning from the bottom rather than top down so that when she pulls off it falls down. A voluminous top works in much the same way.

Or you could try holding her with the opposite hand/arm to the side she is feeding off (e.g. supporting her neck with your left had when feeding on the right side). Then you can hold your top hem with your right hand so that if you feel her unlatch you can pull your top down as she comes off.


entropygirl Sun 16-Oct-11 14:46:19

Thanks TruthSweet. Neat idea with the cardigan! Will give that a go (will have to buy a cardigan first smile)

I usually need both hands to keep her on my knee and off the floor. Just tried the reverse hand (while sat on the playmat) and before I knew it she was upside down and off with the toys.

I dont understand why its so hard to persuade her to feed. Once she gets into it she guzzles like crazy and often demands a second boob, so it isnt that she isnt hungry....

organiccarrotcake Sun 16-Oct-11 22:04:37

Sorry entropygirl but I have to grin in a totally supportive way grin.

Absolutely the law protects you.

Erm - I'm also not necessarily discreet. I have to remember to be so, because I do feel that it doesn't help the cause to have people see me boobs out, even though I couldn't give two hoots when I'm trying to juggle a wriggly toddler - I just want to get him fed and crack on with whatever I'm doing. I've just got other things to think about. I certainly don't use a cover/muslin. All for it if people want to, but it's not for me. I just don't have the patience and I don't care about my nips flashing (and let's face it, it's generally only a quick flash - I don't mean I hang them out there!!).

I do what Truthsweet says about holding him with my left arm (say) while he's feeding on the right, and I hold my top with my right hand and whip it down when he pops off to crank his head round and peer round the room. Which he does all the time the little bugger.

organiccarrotcake Sun 16-Oct-11 22:05:01

BTW this is totally normal behaviour at 4 months.

schmee Sun 16-Oct-11 22:10:50

I got mastitis trying to be discreet so now I just do whatever works. Honestly my view has completely changed - I'm not going to end up in hospital on IV antibiotics again because someone thinks seeing a portion of boob is wrong. I do sometimes have the exposed nipple problem which I'd prefer not to. But generally the other option is the baby rolling onto the floor while I try to sort myself out.

I do sometimes try to hide behind the buggy though.

RitaMorgan Sun 16-Oct-11 22:23:23

I made a lot of effort to be discreet in the first few months, but after a while I couldn't be bothered with all the fuss! A lot of people probably did get a view of my boob, but no one ever got embarassed or aggressive.

Secondtimelucky Sun 16-Oct-11 22:27:34

Oh God, four months is a nightmare isn't it? DD2 has started with this. TBH, I couldn't really give a stuff and am only 'discrete' when I remember. With DD1 it passed pretty fast though.

organiccarrotcake Sun 16-Oct-11 22:31:26

Actually, schmee, I'd forgotten that I couldn't be discreet with DS2 to start with because a TT meant that I had to totally expose my boob then use both hands to work on a good latch - on-off a few times - etc. Just wasn't possible to lift top and present boob (which I can now). Your post reminded me of that. I guess that's why I don't worry now - just had to get on with it.

Always been fine and loads of positive comments and smiles.

AntsMarching Sun 16-Oct-11 22:38:07

I had a HV recommend that I get some brightly coloured beads to wear while feeding DD (when she was 4mo). Worked a treat as the beads kept her focus so she wasn't pulling off, looking around, etc.

organiccarrotcake Sun 16-Oct-11 22:42:11

Yeah, I used nursing necklaces too. They're brilliant. Mama Jewels are CE marked as a toy but look like nice necklaces. I've got a few others, too.

TruthSweet Mon 17-Oct-11 10:05:43

I should add that I don't think women should feed discreetly because of others/the public but that if THEY want to then they should be allowed/enabled to feed as they wish.

I hope no-one thought I advocate hiding bfing smile as I certainly don't (says she who has fed a 3y/o the size of a 5y/o in public recently!)

TruthSweet Mon 17-Oct-11 10:10:21

And second the bfing necklace - I got a rainbow one with toy shaped beads (train/teddy/boat/etc) that the children still play with now.

entropygirl Mon 17-Oct-11 11:01:24

Thanks everyone! A lot of really useful ideas and encouragement. Im so glad it isnt just me - and Im starting to believe that the level of discretion is more to do with the babies activities than my own lack of copage. Will just get on with it from now on!

worldgonecrazy Mon 17-Oct-11 11:10:36

I bought one of those vests with a built in support second layer that finishes with an elasticated bit just under the boobs (Sainsbury's used to do them for £3). I turned it inside out, made slits where nipples were and wore it under a shirt. The elasticated bit meant that you could just pop out the nipple bit (so about a square inch at most) no matter how fiddly baby is.

Alternatively just sit facing the wall.

Trillian42 Mon 17-Oct-11 13:29:58

DD was exactly the same and I ended up not feeding her in public after around 13 weeks. I would never dream of telling anybody to do the same, but for me it was the only solution. Part of the problem was that she didn't really feed properly in public anyway - was too distracted by the surroundings to take more than a few swallows. She wouldn't even feed if DH was in the room. The worst part of it was that I felt so confined - I could never be anywhere for longer than a few hours and had to time everything to be home for her feeds.

LaCiccolina Mon 17-Oct-11 17:33:48

Sorry I really don't get it. Where r u going? Malls have feeding rooms. Most shops have changing rooms. I've bf in a car too. Why do u need to sit in a coffee shop?

All above advice great but really if u want her attention u need a quiet place first. Then it works a bit better

RitaMorgan Mon 17-Oct-11 17:41:17

It's a bit miserable sitting in a feeding room on your own to feed.

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