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I think i might actually bf in my own living room a bit more this time...(28 Posts)
I got into the habit of
hiding sitting in a bedroom to feed DS when we had visitiors round, except maybe my friend who was quite interested and didn't make me feel nervous.
I had never bf before and we had a bit of a shaky start with tongue tie and me feeling a bit wiped out after an unexpected CS.
Looking back I don't like how it really seemed it was something to hide and want to be a bit more confident. All being well I should be happily bfing DC2 in 3 and a bit months time...
Just looking for tips and positive stories about chilling out a bit infront of people you know. I was actually ok feeding out and about once I got the hang of it, I only got nervous around my parents/PIL etc. If Dh and I were out for a meal, I would just feed DS at the table, but if anyone else was there I would scuttle into a corner which seems a bit nuts as no one could see anything.
I expect my MIL will still suggest I go to another room at their house, but that's totally up to her I guess so I am not too worried about it.
I'd like to claim the comfy couch back a bit this time!
Thanks in advance.
If visitors are upset, then they can go into another room in your house, can't they?
Or else they should just grow up and accept it. I'd suggest that to your MIL as well.....
That's great that you feel a bit more confident. I think if you seem confident and act normally then your guests are likely to follow suit.
You could use a muslin to hide a bit while your baby is latching on if you are worried about flashing. Some mothers who are nervous about BF in front of other people find it helpful to practice in front of a mirror so they can see what other people are seeing (usually nothing!)
The first time my dad came to visit after DD1 was born, he left the room and went in the kitchen to studiously read everything on our pinboard I just shouted out that he'd be spending an awful lot of time in there if he left every time DD1 wanted feeding. I think he assumed that I wanted privacy.
Perhaps that's what your MiL thinks?
When DS was aout 8mo I was brave and fed him in my Mum and Dad's living room, I think my Dad found something important to do too! My Mum just commented on how big he looked feeding - she fed me till about 8mo in the lase seventies so i was just on the boundary of her bfing comfort zone at that point.
I'm not sure if they know he was 2 when I inadvertently encouraged him to wean - I dropped his biggest feed as i was impatient to be pg!
I have another thread about bfing and confidence stored up in my head, so i may be back with that in a bit. Pg is not doing a lot for my work motivation so i am on here way too much
My MIL doesn't really get bfing at all, hopefully if she sees us all comfy in the living room she'l get the idea that it's ok.
Good for you OP. I always loudly announce my intention to feed if we have company, so they can avert their eyes/leave the room/not be shocked by a quick flash of boob. Luckily its only BIL & FIL who are remotely bothered, everyone else seems capable of just not looking me directly in the boob!
I wouldn't announce that you are about to feed - I just get on with it, and often people don't notice that I'm feeding, if it all happens in the midst of conversation.
If you announce feeding, it gives people time to wonder and worry about it, especially as they might not know what feeding involves - ie, will you be stripping off with boobs for all to see?
When people do notice i'm feeding, I often get comments about how discreet it all is.
Oh, I have to announce it if BIL or FIL are here, because I know they would rather die than see me breastfeeding. This is their issue not mine, but I have no problem with them leaving the room if that makes them more comfortable. And however discreet I was about it, they would notice me rummaging around in my top to free a boob, especially if I hadn't dressed in the easiest-access clothing that day.
Good on you. It'll be fine. If I'm at home or in public I just get on with it. If I'm in someone elses home, the first time I say 'is it ok if I feed baby?' in here and no one has ever said anything. The second time I'm there I don't bother asking though I might if I thought someone might be uncomfortable. My friend said her dad always sprung up to make a cup of tea which would be handy! Mine is used to it now. My FIL has passed away but I'm sure he would have been chilled. I haven't fed in front of my BIL yet but he will be fine I'm sure. I'm lucky to have very supportive family, in laws and friends. I wish we all did.
I found that i just kind of got over it although I do feel nervous still around ppl I don't really know and now and again if I'm out but that's only if there's a lot of men around. I loved my seat on the couch!
For the first few days, maybe up to 2 weeks, with dd1 I was fine around the females in my family but nervous around the males (dad, stepdad, uncles, FIL, granddad) but look back now and none of them had any issues at all (v supportive family) it was me being paranoid that I was getting my boob out!
I think the first time i fed with my stepdad visiting, I asked HIM to make a brew and he accepted the hint and made us all one.
When aunt and uncle visited, my uncle knew baby was hungry and discreetly went for a smoke outside. His daughter bf'ed so he wasn't embarrassed, but didn't want me to be so thought that was nice.
Once I got the hang of it I'd just fed without even saying anything/hinting to anyone; like an earlier post said, I got pro at being very discreet, half the time no one knew what I was doing.
In your own house you should feel comfortable and your DH should support you too, perhaps he could hint to others so you aren't the one moving to a different room? If you don't feel comfortable when visitors are there, OTHERS should disappear into a different room not the other way around- it's your house/your rules. In other people's houses, I'd more or less know if people might be embarrassed (ie nan and granddad I went in their bedroom) but MIL and FIL place, just stopped where i was.
I always (still do) think it's easier to bf in public than in front of family- don't know why as haven't had negative experiences.
All the best with dd2
You'll be most surprised by how either people just don't notice/take much notice or just smile at you in a really nice encouraging way. My FIL always looked happy, relaxed and rather proud of his family when I sat and fed. He'd say 'look at her toes curling up, she's really loving that' It wasn't as odd as it sounds, he was just totally chuffed to see happy baby, mum and family.
Friends tended to ask questions like ' ooooo is that what breastfeeding is? Coool I thought you had to take your clothes off and lie down'
I found it all fairly empowering.
Oh and a few old ladies put £1 in the pushchair when I was out and about. I think it's tradition around these parts - they usually shared their own story 'fed all 9 of mine luv, good girl'
That sort of thing.
I've always just got the dc's into position then started feeding. It helps if your clothes are easy access but what helped me most was feeling confident to feed in front of others so maybe you need to work on some simple one-liners to show friends/MIL that you are feeding there and staying there.
My BIL once jokily said 'there is a bedroom upstairs' when I fed dd2. I replied 'Oh are you tired?' Knowing you are in the right and comfortable on the sofa will help you to stand up to them. And really what would MIL do, physically move you or shout at you whilst you feed?
and well done for feeding ds for so long and good luck with this one
I remember my bloke mates from uni coming to see DS when he was tiny. I was soo worried about it all. DS waas feeding all the time and I was imagining myself trapped in a room the whole time. They got here though and just put me at ease, they were a lot more mature about it all then me! People can suprise you and if they have a prob with bf just write them off as ignorant tosspots
When I started breastfeeding DD, I used to leave the room too.
Eventually I stopped this and would just whip my boob out on my couch and when visiting, I'd do the same on theirs.
Looking back, I think I was never ever comfortable doing it in front of people, even at a breastfeeding class I'd get all hot and sweaty trying to position nipple shield, then attach DD.
If I ever have another, I think I'd probably still get all panicky over it.
If only breastfeeding was viewed as normal then I think I'd feel better whipping my boob out. Unfortunately there is still that generation if people who think it isn't.
If you feel embarassed, how about trying a bf cover? Or a large scarf? I have a bebe au lait for wearing wrap dresses, and it's quite a bit easier to use then a large scarf. Also, they are easier to use for newborns, when they aren't interested in pulling everything while feeding.
Also, I'm not sure how long you bf last time. It's very discreet once your baby can latch on well, and using a vest/boob tube under a normal top. You unhook your bra, and pull the vest down, then move your baby's head into position, before you lift the top up.
Feed in front of a mirror and see how much you can see and if you are happy about it.
But if a bf cover can help you bf in front of others, I'd say it's worth its money. One of the best things about bf is you can go anywhere without thinking of bottles. I've gone out for a whole day when DD was very little. I can't imagine the faff if I have to think about bottles!
Oh forgot to say some of the going out all day is visiting relatives. So they are definitely someone I know!
I did this with dd, but like you felt so much more confident when ds arrived, and I fed him where ever we were when he needed feeding
I think what also helped, was that actually very few people are really that bothered by a mum feeding her baby, and if I did encounter any comments I felt confident enough to put them in their place (er, no thank you
nosey kind Mothercare assistant, I'm fine here in your cafe feeding my baby thank you, no need to tell me where the toilets are )
Keep a large muslin or thin blanket handy, make sure you've always got a quickly un-clippable nursing bra on and you'll be sorted before anyone even notices ime!
I used to be a bit shy for the first few weeks, but after a while I just got used to it. My Dad and FIL just avert their eyes whilst DS latches on.
In your own house you shouldn't have to go anywhere!
Practice makes perfect and soon you won't know what you were worried about.
Good for you OP!
I think that the best tactic is to start as you mean to go on. I think most new mums are shy breastfeeding initially. I decided from the beginning that if I was going to stick with breastfeeding I would have to be able to feed in front of others and out and about. For the first couple of days I went into my bedroom if anyone was visiting. I quickly realised that this wouldnt work because my DD fed for 2 hours at a time so no one got to see us! I then just started feeding in front of everyone, and did not make reference to it at all. If my DD needed fed, she was fed. I think after the first or second time, male relatives realised that they couldnt see anything, that it was all perfectly normal and that they could actually relax!
Go for it, its so much easier than sitting yourself for hours at a time!
that's where i went wrong really. i remember people coming round to meet DS and they probably saw a lot less of us due to my hiding habit!
hopefully everyone will get used to it quickly!
Thought I might come back with a positive update.
DS2 is now a lovely wee 6 week old and I have bf in front of, parents, PIL, Uncles and Aunts, friends from work and down the road and about 1000 people in my local shopping centre after inadvertently taking him out on a growth spurty day where we stopped at every bench
I have to say my MIL has coped well, although she initially looked at the wall while talking to me! She has maybe realised you can't actually see anything and sat beside me feeding him today.
Feel so much better to have got rid of my hiding habit.
Although I was in my bedroom lying down for the first week, due to an uncomfortable undercarriage vs forceps situation. I cold have added my BIL and SIL to the list too.
Thanks for the encouragement guys.
Yay! Glad to hear you're feeling more confident!
When I first started bf, my breasts were GINORMOUS, I didn't really know how to dress so I could do it discretely and I was using nipple shields which meant that I used to have to wap out an enourmous boob then sit there for about two minutes trying to get the bloody shield on before I actually got DD latched on. Nobody ever dared comment, but FIL and GFIL used to walk out of the room. I think to be honest that they were scared I would punch them if they said anything! I think the best think to do is look formidable when you bf lol, and have a rant prepared for anyone who dares challenge you :p
That's awesome, jaggy, well done and congrats on your DS2!
i do feel pretty good.
MIL is a confirmed Daily Mail reader so if i've done anything to normalise it for her I'll be v happy.
also 2 of the friends mentioned above were v pregnant and a bit unsure about bf so wanted to do my bit to make it seem normal and
hand out the Kellymom site address try to answer their questions.
one now has a week baby and they seem to be doing well.
i do like to try my best to make bf not seem like an odd activity...
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