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Can I BF if I’m self conscious?

(22 Posts)
AndWhat Fri 09-Feb-18 11:37:41

Not a TAAT but inspired by one.
I’m hoping to BF my new arrival as wasn’t able to with DS1. However I am very self conscious and am worrying about BF in public or in front of certain relatives (my dad mostly).
I’m just wondering if this has caused anyone any issues at all. I know this should be a non issue I suppose I’m just nervous.

spugzbunny Fri 09-Feb-18 11:51:22

Hi! I think it's totally normal to worry about breastfeeding in front of others. Im not particularly self conscious but I don't want my dad, my OH's Dad or any of the men in my life seeing my tits!

My plan is to leave the room to feed when they are here. Many of my friends who have had kids will do this when they come to visit us. They just ask if there is a room they can go to. I hope that in the future I will have developed some mad ninja tit skills and with the help of a nice throw I can feed without a boob slipping out!

Snowydaysarehere Fri 09-Feb-18 11:52:58

With my first dc I did go upstairs at my uncle's house until I was confident I wasn't flashing any boobs!! (nearly 30 years ago!) then it was fine!! Another uncle declared I was never to bf in his company a she would be mortified. Dd was months old and I told him too late mate!! So def no flashing then obviously!! Not that bf is to be hidden but for a shy dm it was my one personal preference to he discreet!

tealandteal Fri 09-Feb-18 15:50:23

I go upstairs at the in-laws but that is mainly due to four dogs being too distracting for DS! I pull one top up and one down do that only a small amount is exposed, and you can always put a scarf or muslin over just in case. If you wish to you can usually find somewhere in most towns to feed, our John Lewis and Mothercare both have rooms for this, with bottle warmers as well.

GummyGoddess Fri 09-Feb-18 16:01:27

I just didn't feed in front of family but otherwise didn't care. You could get one of those long bib/apron things that have a sort of rigid semi circle at the top so you can look down and see baby but nobody else can? I'm not sure what they're called but there's a huge Muslim population where I live and they all seem to have hundreds of them each to coordinate with their outfits. If I was self conscious I would have several of them too.

Ven83 Fri 09-Feb-18 16:09:56

I agree I think this is normal, especially before you even know what to expect. As PPs said, there are many options for privacy you can have if this is important to you. In my own experience many of my hang ups and awkward feelings about my body and feeding in front of other people simply went away once the baby arrived. I started seeing my breasts in a completely different way.

Even so, the thought of nursing my baby in front of my dad and brother was quite awkward at first. But they just shrugged it off and carried on like nothing is happening, and that helped a lot. If your family is supportive, it can mean so much for your confidence. And if they're not, there are always ways around it.

BushyTailedPony Fri 09-Feb-18 16:16:45

Yes. I was self conscious and BF - a large scarf is useful to drape around and I did used to leave the room if my father in law was around.

I picked seating (cafes or such like) where I had my back to the room or I could hide a bit more. Also wear a vest under a top - it covers your tummy when you lift your top up so no fat rolls flesh in view grin

It's also gets easier with practice when you realise people aren't that interested in watching your boob. My dad used to determinedly stare anywhere but my direction if he was in the room.

By my second baby I also was less bothered. 20+ people had viewed/felt/stitched up my fanny during two childbirths and I cared less when it was just a boob on show.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 09-Feb-18 16:23:01

I used to just avoid it tbh- didn’t go out much early on then go straight after a feed as they got bigger, or go somewhere I knew there were good facilities or with supportive friends. At family’s I would ask if I could sit somewhere else- used the excuse of baby getting distracted otherwise. Neither of them was good at staying latched on as they were too nosey, so it just worked best that way as I didn’t want to flash people blush

AndWhat Fri 09-Feb-18 18:02:51

Thanks for the replies, I know it will be a learning curve and may feel completely different once we’ve established feeding (fingers crossed).
When I’ve noticed women bf in public they always look so confident with it as I get closer to d day panic is setting in.
I only know a few others who are mothers and none of them chose to BF so not got anyone to ask in RL

Lemonicelolly1 Fri 09-Feb-18 18:56:49

I'm quite self conscious but dd is exclusively breast fed. I try to feed her just before we leave the house if going out, and if going shopping I try to go somewhere that has decent facilities. Luckily a shopping centre near me has a breastfeeding area, and big department stores like debenhams usually have decent baby change areas with a seat for feeding. I do wish I was confident enough to feed in a cafe etc but I'm not - surprisingly though we do manage to get out and about a bit more often now than I thought, but we do tend to stick to areas I know I can feed privately! At home if we have visitors I tend to go upstairs, if going to visit anyone I generally feed before we go.
Good luck smile

keeppassingtheopenwindows1 Fri 09-Feb-18 19:43:28

I was worried about this- I bought some brilliant feeding dresses from jojo Maman Bebe- you just lift the dress up slightly to feed and nothing is on show- they made me feel much more comfortable and confident feeding when I was out and about. I just couldn't handle wrapping scarfs and cover all around me - I'm too clumsy!

GummyGoddess Fri 09-Feb-18 21:57:14

I started feeding in public (other than the Mothercare baby room!) because one day I went to get something to eat in a cafe, and DC started getting fussy and hungry. I didn't really have much of a choice but after the initial flustering and being self conscious, I realised nobody was looking. The ones who do look tend to be the ones who approve and want to tell you well done!

I've only ever had two bad comments. One was when I was feeding DC in the Mothercare room at 6mo and a lady with a newborn said he was far too old to be feeding, despite breastfeeding her own child.

The other time I had worked out how to feed in a sling at last and was wandering around the supermarket feeding DC. Nothing was on show and you couldn't see any flesh but it was obvious what he was doing. An elderly man looked entirely disgusted at me and said I was putting him off his dinner. By that point I no longer cared what people thought so didn't give him any acknowledgement.

Bluebelltulip Sat 10-Feb-18 08:24:18

I'm normally self conscious but I found that when I was feeding DD it didn't bother me as I was focused on feeding her. It changed my association.

user1493413286 Sat 10-Feb-18 08:30:14

I had a very good cheap cover from eBay which was almost like an apron with a bit to put round my head but loose enough that I could peek down to see her latch on which made me feel comfortable in public.
I always covered up around my fil and bil but around female relatives and friends I just stopped caring as I was feeding so much. I’d sometimes just throw a muslin over my shoulder

Creatureofthenight Sat 10-Feb-18 08:31:01

My FIL always leaves the room when I’m breastfeeding, bless him, doesn’t bother me but he chooses to.
When feeding public for the first time, it does feel like a faff but the vast majority of people will give you no more than a passing glance. I’ve never had any negative comments, a few positive ones and smiles from older women smile

Queenofthedrivensnow Sat 10-Feb-18 08:34:09

It's baby steps op. I didn't want to feed in front of most people but the baby's needs take over. You get braver and stop caring and if you don't you work around it. Think about when the baby is due and what you can buy - winter it's huge scarfs - summer you need giant muslins and loose cardigans that kind of thing.
My mum raised eyebrows I fed in the cafe in Sainsbury's ones right next to the queue. No one looked at me and that was a milestone for me.
Lastly looking back I have only been openly stared at once in the cafe of m and s. My mum pointed out this bloke openly staring - at which point dd2 stop feeding and puked gallons all over the floor at his feet. It was hilarious!

AndWhat Sat 10-Feb-18 18:19:39

I’m so glad I started this thread as I was starting to get a bit worried. Everyone I’ve seen seems so confident in feeding.
I’m just hopeful BF all goes to plan, but won’t get down if it doesn’t. I just know I’d regret not giving it a go this time round.

auntysara Sat 10-Feb-18 19:15:58

Maybe see if there is a local NCT bumps and babies meet up. Lots of them are likely to be BF and being on a group could give support/a bit more confidence?
Good luck.

wineusuallyhelps Sat 10-Feb-18 19:25:15

Good advice about a baby group being a good place to get comfortable with feeding in public.

In cafes/shops/restaurants etc. it can be a bit nerve-wracking at first (done this with 3 babies).

Best thing for minimal boob exposure is vest top underneath a loose top. Pull vest down, unclip bra cup, lift outer top, latch baby on and the outer top drapes down to baby's nose/cheek. Also handy to have some sort of lightweight scarf in your bag in case you need to drape over any unexpectedly exposed flesh!

Most people are too self-absorbed to notice what you're doing, anyway!

Good luck!

Lunalovepud Sun 11-Feb-18 15:03:26

Yes, absolutely.

I thought I would be really self conscious but 6 months in and i'm just getting them out everywhere without a care in the world!

To start with I had a cover because in the beginning you are both getting to grips with it but once we had learned what we are doing I stopped bothering with that as DC doesn't like it and I can;t be arsed to carry it around with me all the time. I wear a vest under my top and put the vest down and top up so you would only see a second flash of nipple if you were looking for it - all you can really see is the back of my baby's head.

I have fed at parties, in pubs, in front of my own family and MIL, PIL and every other IL around, In a churchyard at a funeral, in cafes, restaurants and picnic areas, museums and at a political meeting. No-one cares, and if they do, they keep it to themselves.

Oddly enough, the only place my husband noticed someone looking at me funny was a young woman staring when I was feeding in a doctor's waiting room of all places... I didn't even notice and cared even less when he mentioned it to me afterwards.

Good luck with everything.

wilts09 Sun 11-Feb-18 17:29:30

I used to be worried about it but now my tits are out all the time grin although I do confess my in front of my brothers or dad- don't think I'll ever be comfortable doing this so I just nip into another room!

Redfin Sun 11-Feb-18 17:44:54

My bil left the room to make me a cup of tea the first time I tried bf in front of him so we were sorted by the time he came back.
My fil pretends nothing's happening and looks the other way
I found a few cafes I felt comfortable in at the start and now I'll bf pretty much anywhere. I was even bf sitting down in boots one day while DH was printing photos and he asked me a question. I got up and walked over to him still bf baby, didn't even realize!
Oh and the one time I tried to protect my modesty with a well-placed scarf I was so busy trying to drape the scarf I forgot to make sure baby actually had my nipple in his mouth. He didn't so I flashed everyone grin

My baby is 4 months old now.

Honestly, you'll get so good so (relatively) quickly that it would be a shame not to bf out of self consciousness. You might feel just as self conscious if you bottle feed and baby is crying while you for with a bottle . With bf you can pop a boob in baby's mouth before anyone even notices!

The (male) relations I felt most awkward about feeding in front of felt just as awkward so ignored us til baby was latched. Now none of us bat an eyelid!

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