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Tips for breastfeeding in a conservative Muslim country?

(12 Posts)
Zara8 Mon 02-Feb-15 13:08:05

Am moving in a few months to Brunei. DD will be about 7 months old. Feeding is going well and I'd like to continue! Just wondering if anyone had experience of the practicalities of feeding in public in a conservative Muslim country. Nursing cover? I don't really like the idea of them and have no issue at all feeding in public here at home (and I'm pretty fast/discreet now, most people have no idea I'm feeding her until they come close up) - but I don't want to be disrespectful. So perhaps some kind of nursing cover or a muslin is a good idea?

I know she'll be feeding less than she is now at 3.5 months (errr hopefully) but I also have toddler DS to run around after so I can't just stay indoors to feed!

Ideas? Wondering what eg mums in the UAE do?

squizita Mon 02-Feb-15 20:32:45

Not been there but have bfed in predominantly Muslim public spaces in the UK. The good news is it is seen as very important to BF so malls etc may well provide comfortable feeding areas. I know several places in the UK that do this.
In terms of modesty I use a large nursing "apron" so none of my skin is exposed. It cost under a tenner off Ebay.

Zara8 Tue 03-Feb-15 07:21:50

Thanks squizita!

I think yes, bf will be seen positively but not exposing a lot of skin. A lightweight nursing cover is probably a good idea! Just hope it's easy to use to feed DD/keep her on while I holler at DS across a playground to not leap off the side of a rope bridge confused

I guess hopefully by 7 months DD might be down to, say, 4-6 feeds in the daytime?

Zara8 Tue 03-Feb-15 07:27:25

Also if you are in a female and child only space (eg a dedicated nursing area), should you still wear a nursing cover?

I have read online that mums often go into the female prayer rooms to feed but I assume this will not be possible as a non-Muslim (esp with toddler DS in tow......)

Selks Tue 03-Feb-15 07:33:59

The best thing would be to ask a Bruneian for advice. My DIL is Bruneian and is there currently, would you like me to message her for her thoughts? Might take a couple of days to get back to you.

Zara8 Tue 03-Feb-15 07:46:29

I would really appreciate that Selks, thank you!

I'd like to think I'm quite culturally sensitive but I do want to check what is the most appropriate way of doing things, out of respect!

Selks Tue 03-Feb-15 08:09:08

Brunei is a wonderful country, but it is indeed very conservative in many respects, and I suspect that there may be various social norms in place about breast feeding. Will get back to you when I find out more.
I have never experienced such lovely people and wonderful hospitality as I experienced out there though!

Scotinoz Sat 07-Feb-15 08:21:42

I stayed in Brunei for a few days last year en route to the UK when DD was about 5.5 months. Rightly or wrongly, I fed her in a couple of cafés, the museum (which was v good btw), in the corner of a mall, the airport and our hotel.

I had discrete feeding sorted by then but shoved a muslin over us to try and be extra discrete, and didn't seem to cos any problems smile

I did the same in Dubai with the same result.

It seemed to be fine - I didn't get arrested or into trouble so I'm assuming it was fine anyway!. Everyone was super friendly and kind and it was a great trip.

Zara8 Sat 07-Feb-15 09:08:04

Thanks Scot! I have a few big lightweight muslins I might try and practice with in advance! DD so big now that feeding quite discreet anyway

Selks Sun 08-Feb-15 13:27:56

Hello OP, I have heard back from my DIL. She says not to worry, breastfeeding is widely accepted in Brunei and feeding in public is not a problem although she says women feed in public only with a feeding cover up of some sort, for modesty. She said that there has been a big health publicity campaign in Brunei to encourage breastfeeding, and it is seen as a positive thing to do privately or publicly, and she's seen women feeding in restaurants and public spaces. She also sends her greetings and says she hopes you enjoy your time in Brunei smile
Hope that helps!

Zara8 Tue 10-Feb-15 10:44:07

Thank you Selks! I really appreciate you finding that out for me, and your DIL is so sweet. Good to know bf is widely accepted there and encouraged. One less thing to worry about when moving countries with two little ones! I'll work on getting DD and I used to a nursing cover before we go! smile

Selks Wed 11-Feb-15 09:11:36


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