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how do you feed in public?

(40 Posts)
CurlsLDN Mon 19-May-14 18:26:39

I have a 12 day old ds. Breastfeeding is going well, but I can't figure out the mechanics of feeding in public! I've tried twice, once in an empty cafe and once in our garden, so both places I felt comfortable and confident.

I'm trying to feed under a muslin, I have big boobs and they seem to be everywhere! I can't get my bra unclipped and my giant boobs out while holding the baby in the other hand. I can't get baby to latch on as I can't see him under the muslin. He gets tetchy and wriggly and everything is harder. I try to peek under the muslin and the boobs come out!

What's the trick? Can you recommend any tips or are there videos to look up?

Nunyabiz Mon 19-May-14 18:37:39

Would you consider something hands free like a baby au lait?
I feel for you! It's very frustrating.
My DD had latch issues as well as colic so I had to use a nipple guard... They are so fiddly and she would fuss so much, sometimes I ended up going to the loo to get her latched on and arrange myself with the muslin, then I would walk back out and resume with her attached.
Probably not the easiest answer. I hope it becomes second nature for you soon

Nunyabiz Mon 19-May-14 18:38:42

Oh and congratulations! grin

midnight1983 Mon 19-May-14 18:38:48

Hi op, congrats on your newborn! My biggest tip is get a big muslin or scarf and when you want to latch on put scarf over your head too then put scarf down when you're confident it's going well. Also, when exposing boob it's good to wear a layer that's high on your waist (skirt etc) and one that you can pull up or a top with a best underneath that can be pulled below nipple and the top above nipple therefore only exposing nipple if your lo pulls off quickly. Good luck and don't worry if you expose boob, I've done it. Oops. grin

Sunflower1985 Mon 19-May-14 18:44:57

Practise at your local baby cafe or bf support group. Health visitor should know where. Everyone is feeding there so you don't need to worry about exposure and you can see how other people do it.
The other option is to not give a damn. Was out at lunch today with my 9mo. I was switching over and didn't realise the other boob was hanging out until the room got an eyeful. Hey ho. grin

Misty9 Mon 19-May-14 18:46:30

To be honest, I just turn away from people as much as possible while I'm latching my 4 wk old on. If people see my boob that's their concern. I have no dignity left after giving birth twice! I do sometimes then drape a muslin over her head. Depends what I'm wearing, and how fussy she's being. I'm prepared for her pulling off at let down as I can jet across the room. Now that would be a sight grin


ClariceBeanthatsme Mon 19-May-14 18:56:07

Congratulations smile

I know its hot at the moment but vests under everything then just pull your top up and your vest down that way hardly anything is on show.
When dc were tiny babies I used to tuck a muslin cloth under my bra strap too until I found my confidence.

NorahBone Mon 19-May-14 19:07:14

I wear the New Look belly bands I had while pregnant to keep my tummy warm (and cover my muffin top blush) and just lift my top up. For what it's worth, I was chatting with a friend today and we found out we both thought the other person feeds really descretely whilst we were making a proper exhibition of ourselves! I find the more modest I try to be the more of a faff I make it and baby ends up with a mouthful of cardi and everyone within 3 yards gets sprayed with milk...

Alixion Mon 19-May-14 20:10:20

I have massive boobs and am also a shy public feeder!
I found that instead of trying to cover DS with a muslin I just slung it over my shoulder before picking him up - as if protecting from an over-the-shoulder burp. This way I could undo bra clip and it fell over most of boob and then it hung down when DS was latched on, sort of covering but not in the way. It limits the number of seconds you feel exposed. Also handy for when you take them off as I always feel more blush if there's milk all over the boob too ;)

Gadgettherobot Mon 19-May-14 20:47:17

I used breastvests (google it) under any normal top. It stays up under your boob, then you can just lift your top t shirt up to just over you nipple - not that much boob showing. As people have said above, just turn away while you latch on, get the baby laid on your lap first, use the other hand to unclip bra clasp, lift up t shirt (bra cup still over boob), pull down bra cup as you lift the baby up, use hand to cover some of boob and stuff the nipple in (using correct technique of course grin!). Not much on show.

Then pull down the tshirt to right above the baby and there's virtually nothing to see. If you want to use a muslin, get latched on first then cover up.

No one is looking anyway, and it's illegal to stop you unless they have some wonderful specific spot designated for breast feeding mothers (can't be a loo or cupboard!) so just have confidence and do want you want to!

Good luck

TheScience Mon 19-May-14 20:49:13

I tend to wear tops with buttons or wrap front dresses. I unclip and get my boob out under my clothes, then get the baby in position, then whip my boob out and get the baby latched on, then once he's on I drape a muslin or scarf or tuck something under my bra strap to cover the top bit of my breast (if I'm feeling shy grin)

I can't do with trying to get the baby on under a scarf or muslin, or poking a little bit of nipple out between clothes - I need to get the whole thing out and see what I'm doing to get a good latch. I find no one looks anyway, and I'm too busy looking at boob/baby to see if anyone is watching so who cares?

CurlsLDN Mon 19-May-14 21:38:25

Thanks for all the replies! I'll look up the products you've recommended, and try out your tips. Perhaps I'm just expecting too much of myself too soon

RiverTam Mon 19-May-14 21:45:57

peephole bra (so just the nipple and a bit around it is exposed, not your whole breast - I had Hot Milk ones), stretchy vest down, top up - very little exposure and none at all once the baby is latched (and I had big boobs and a small baby).

But it's very early days yet - I'm impressed you've tried twice already - go you!

Romily Tue 20-May-14 11:06:22

My DS faffed endlessly when latching on and if I had waited until I could feed discretely I would never have left the house! I just tried to find somewhere quiet or turned the feeding side away from people and got on with it. For me keeping calm was more important as I figured if I looked serene others wouldn't notice where as if I was getting a state people would stare.

Jellybellymummyofsix Tue 20-May-14 17:28:12

Well done for trying so quickly.

My dd is 14 weeks now. I hate feeding her outside & rarely do. She hates a muslin or scarf over her, she gets stressed & starts flapping her arms & legs. Possibly if i had done it from the beginning, she'd be better.

It's not a massive issue but an inconvenience, I don't know any other mums of babies so I don't tend to go out that much. I have older dc so lots school runs etc.

Good luck.

CurlsLDN Tue 20-May-14 17:36:39

Rivertam that's interesting about the hot milk bras, I've had my eye on them but bought some standard m&s ones (cheaper!) I didn't realise the hot milk ones had peephole type things, Is that behind the flappy bit? I think that could really help me!

I've also got the pump and bottles in the steriliser right now. I think knowing I have an 'emergency' bottle of breastmilk ready when we go out will really help me feel less anxious, as I can then choose to try bf if I want, but if it's too tricky there's a back up

Baiocca Tue 20-May-14 19:51:17

Palm and pond breastfeeding covers are good as you can peep through the top. I lay the baby down on my lap, get everything out behind the cover and then latch him on. A bit tricky at the beginning but you soon get the hang of it.

Imeg Wed 21-May-14 08:54:31

I still find this a bit tricky as have a fussy feeder who tends to pull off but I find a voluminous but thin scarf works for me as I can just about see through it.
NB Don't be disheartened if it takes a while to get the hang of the pump - don't expect a whole bottle straight away. I struggled with it at first nut it works really well now.

TheABC Wed 21-May-14 09:02:15

Muslin cardigans were a lifesaver for me last year, as were my slings (went topless at Bluewater shopping centre whilst little one ate and no one could see anything because I wore a stretchy wrap.)

I second the breastfeeding cafe - plus it gives you a group of like minded people to bitch about the 2am feed.

RiverTam Wed 21-May-14 09:16:26

yes, it's behind the flap that clips on - basically behind that is a piece of material with a hole in it, through which appears your nipple plus a bit extra!

I bought some cheaper but far more revealing bras to begin with but so pleased I switched - the Hot Milk ones are very pretty as well as being, in my mind, far more practical!

TheScience Wed 21-May-14 09:20:54

Not all Hot Milk are peephole ones though - I have 3 different kinds and all are just normal flap down ones.

mindalina Wed 21-May-14 09:26:00

that breastvest looks good, but if your budget is a bit tight £1.99 vest tops from new look do pretty much the same thing. congrats, i had barely left the house at 12 days! ds will get much more efficient at latching on quickly and that will make it much easier for you too.

RiverTam Wed 21-May-14 16:52:41

oh really, TheScience? Mine are from 4 years ago so maybe they've changed, but both of mine were.

meggy22 Wed 21-May-14 21:01:01

Congrats, I found it awkward at first too. I wear a vest under my tops so can pull vest down, top up if you know what I mean. My son hates being covered. He won't bf in public now at 6 months cause he's too nosey wants to look around him! Breastfeeding is an amazing journey, enjoy every minute with your new baby xx

xfilefan Wed 21-May-14 21:08:34

I wear a nursing vest top underneath a tshirty top and pull the vest down and the tshirt up, or wear a nursing top (with an accessible booby area-eg
I never tried a muslin as seemed like more to faff around with and the tshirt or nursing top gives good privacy.

Dont worry its early days, youl find it easier and easier and can practice doing it discreetly at home ready for when your out.
I found it hard at first, then got super used to it, and now have no worries about getting my boobs out in most places!

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