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Please share your best and worst experiences of... Public Breastfeeding

(50 Posts)
mrsjskelton Thu 17-Mar-16 11:43:02

I'm a new mum with a 7 week old DD. She's EBF and on occasions I've felt the need to express and take a bottle (probably three times since she was born). I do this on these seldom occasions because I fear public breastfeeding although I do BF in some public places if I know it well. Please could MNers share their best and worst experiences of public BF? Have people ever said anything to you? Good or bad. I'm curious about the kind of reception BFing mum's experience.

SpeakNoWords Thu 17-Mar-16 11:46:17

I fed out and about anywhere I happened to be, baby was bf till about 16 months, although didn't tend to feed when out and about much from 12 months as he usually fed morning and evening at that point. I never had a single negative comment or look, so I have no "worst" experience to tell you about! Plenty of times where people were helpful, or smiled when they saw me feeding.

Peanutbutternutter419 Thu 17-Mar-16 11:58:17

Congratulations on your LO!
I also fed out and about from about 5 weeks. I found it hard to do before then as we were still getting to grips with it but I never had a negative experience and often found people, especially cafe owners etc to be helpful by asking if I wanted a new drink/ cake bringing over!
I did tend to stick to places that I knew were BF friendly and not too crowded though (fussy baby who liked quiet to feed!)
I found that going out with friends I met at Baby Brasserie who were also BF also boosted my confidence threefold!

sianihedgehog Thu 17-Mar-16 12:02:26

I had my first trip out when LO was 10 days old, and have fed out in public every time we've been out since - he's 7 months today. I've never had a single negative experience. The worst thing that has happened is that baby was sick down my top. I've had lots of lovely chats with other breastfeeding mums, and compliments from staff in restaurants, pubs, and cafes though.

RumAppleGinger Thu 17-Mar-16 12:05:52

Two days before christmas 2014 I went to asda in the evening to do the big christmas shop. DS2 was still EBF at that time so I took him with me in a sling and he slept for most of it. Was just putting the final few items in my very full trolley when he woke up screaming wanted fed. I found a member of staff and ask if there was somewhere I could leave my trolly whilst I fed DS.

She asked if I was happy sitting on the benches provided or if I would like to go somewhere more private, she then asked if I had finished my shopping which I had so whilst I fed DS she scanned and bagged all my shopping put it back in my trolley. She was lovely and I sent a letter to the manager to say how much I appreciated her help and

albertcampionscat Thu 17-Mar-16 12:10:00

People were consistently lovely. Don't worry about it. Oh - and vest under top. Pull down vest, pull up top and it's as discreet as can be.

Blueredballoon Thu 17-Mar-16 12:11:30

I have fed both DC out and about- currently feeding a bottle refusing 7 month old so I have to feed him everywhere and anywhere smile

I have never had one negative comment so far, or even noticed any looks or anything. I really don't think people care. I can't say I ever notice anyone else beastfeeding either!

I've had lots of nice experiences where people have offered to find me quieter (distracted baby!)/ comfier places to do it if I have asked though!

Spindelina Thu 17-Mar-16 12:13:11

Once she was a bit older (16 weeks ish), I could feed DD in a sling. So I walked into my bank with her latched on and conducted my business, but she un-latched when I bent over and I had to have a bit of a fiddle to get her back on. Bank clerk was slightly bemused but very friendly and patient! I was chuffed at my ability to multitask.

GlitteryShoes Thu 17-Mar-16 12:14:34

My children are 21 and 15 and I only had 2 negative responses - once when I won a bingo game while feeding at the seaside, and the bingo caller said, into his microphone. "Oh my god I can see your tits' - he was embarrassed rather than disgusted I think and then very apologetic. The other time was some pensioners when I was in a cafe, who tutted. I had a couple of embarrassing moments when I squirted milk as I had a strong let down reflex.

If I see a woman feeding, I'll usually offer to get her a glass of water or entertain her toddler if appropriate. A lot of mums out in cafes on their own can be glad of some conversation ( I sound like some mad woman I know!!!). I think you will be fine smile

Elledouble Thu 17-Mar-16 12:15:41

I've never had a bad experience BFing in public. I've occasionally even had nice comments, stuff along the lines of "you're doing a great job!". I hang out with other BFing mums quite a lot so maybe there's safety in numbers! Practice the 'one up one down' technique or if you can't get the hang of it get some nursing tops (Vertbaudet ones are quite cheap) - I know not everyone likes them but I've found them helpful.

I feed my son in the koala hug position rather than the cradle, so to a casual observer he might just be sitting on my knee having a cuddle. Good luck!

katienana Thu 17-Mar-16 12:18:17

No one has ever said anything to me and I've fed in all sorts of places: shops, cafés, beaches, by the swimming pool, church.

Gobbolino6 Thu 17-Mar-16 12:20:36

I wasn't a keen public breast feeder. Some nice memories of feeding on the beach and on a boat.

Only one negative experience. DS3 was a month old and I was feeding him while we waited for a paeds appt on the children's ward. It was NYE and v quiet..only myself and DS there. The hospital cleaner came in and tutted, shook her head and basically made her disapproval very clear. I complained. It was a children's ward FFS.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Thu 17-Mar-16 12:21:39

I had a lady come over and say what a great thing it was to see me breastfeeding in public the other week. No-one has said anything negative. DS is 6mo.

purplepopple Thu 17-Mar-16 12:34:59

I never had any negative comments feeding dd, I did quickly suss out where the nicest feeding / changing rooms in town were tho as it was easier to feed her in the quiet - she was an easily distracted baby!

mrsjskelton Thu 17-Mar-16 15:23:19

This is really reassuring! Thanks everyone. I keep thinking each time I go out that it's only going to be so long before I get some remark. It sounds like the majority of women aren't being attacked by Joe Public. I've seen a lot of negative press on social media but then I think the women who've had a hard time are the most vocal about it!

poocatcherchampion Thu 17-Mar-16 15:25:42

The other day I was in the services with my screaming baby and starving toddler. Costa staff served us some food to our table and member of the public spread butter and chopped it for the toddler. All while smiling kindly at my apoplectic baby and waving breast that he was too upset to actually suckle on.

Was such a fun time grin

Pinkheart5915 Thu 17-Mar-16 15:32:40

congratulations on your dd.

I always try to not breast feed my ds in public, I don't really know why. but when I have mostly no body has taken any notice, been in a few coffee shop places and they have even brought another hot drink over.
only ever had one bad experience in a m&s café when ds was 7 weeks old (2nd time breast feeding in public) an older lady felt the need to tell me it shouldn't be done in public.

Icklepickle101 Thu 17-Mar-16 15:33:25

DS is nearly 9 weeks and I've fed in public since he was 4 days old. It can be a bit tricky as I have a fast let down and over supply so we end up in a butt of a mess sometimes so I'm always quite anxious but I've never had a bad word said about it and had 3 people tell me "yore doing such a fantastic thing for your baby, well done" "it's so lovely to see a baby being breastfed these days" and one time when I was close to tears because I was getting in a mess and ds was stressed and I felt like everyone was looking an elder lady came over and asked me what she could do to help and to take no notice of anyone else, it was the most natural thing in the world then I did start crying

Have you got a breastfeeding cover you can use u till you are more confident? You are doing amazingly, well done!

squizita Thu 17-Mar-16 15:34:22

I'm in London, no one bats an eyelid. I've fed loads of places. Invisible!

I did have a sniffy lady say " why do you cover, you shouldn't be ashamed" once, i.e. I was shamed for not feeding obviously enough. I was like "I have a disgusting postpartum rash, and I'm feeding her TO BLOODY SLEEP innit!!".

One time I had to run into Primark with my coat on in the blazing heat for a new top because I fed from drippy boob when spray everywhere boob's pad had slipped. Soggy.

Spudlet Thu 17-Mar-16 16:42:40

Mostly people have been lovely or ignored it. I've had people smiling, saying 'good for you' and so on.

Only had one slightly off experience - was in a garden centre cafe with my mum, feeding DS under a cardi and chatting. There were two older women a couple of tables away (I mention their ages as they were clearly of a generation for whom feeding in public was not something you did, in fact probably breastfeeding at all was not the done thing) and one looked over then said to her friend (in a scandalised voice which was not half as discreet as she thought), 'That woman... Is BREASTFEEDING!'

Her friend of course immediately turned to look and made eye contact with me, so I gave her my biggest smile... She turned away sharpish, and they left shortly afterwards... grin

But generally, people are positive - if they notice at all smile

Mrscog Thu 17-Mar-16 17:21:24

I've been breastfeeding for over 2.5 years now (in total - there was a gap in between!) and I have to say I've never had so much as a 'look' and I've fed everywhere and not always that discreetly (on occasion I've had to flop a boob over the top of a top rather than one up one down).

LBOCS2 Thu 17-Mar-16 17:27:29

The only comment I've ever had from anyone was when I was feeding 9mo DD to sleep in a bar on holiday and an older woman came over to me and said "well done, you're doing a fab job". Literally no other comments other than that smile

Primaryteach87 Thu 17-Mar-16 17:33:00

I went to a hen night while be and had to express on a last train about midnight from London. It was packed and I was a bit terrified (some drunk bloke making comments). Had no problems whatsoever. Was able to discreetly express (thanks to the train noise covering up the noise and a big coat and scarf). So just wanted to say expressing is possible to!

Nan0second Thu 17-Mar-16 17:38:26

Had a long slow feeder who wanted feeding 2 hourly for the first 6 months so I fed literally everywhere. Never had a negative comment, ever. Had a few positive comments (which made me really embarrassed!)

HelenaJustina Thu 17-Mar-16 17:46:39

I've bfed all 4 of mine to over a year each. Have always been bloody desperate for someone to say something negative so that I could let them have it with both hormone laden barrells.

Unfortunately they never did and people were only ever kind or supportive... Gah!

Have fed everywhere, church, steam railways, in the snow on benches, cafés, in the queue at supermarkets.

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