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How "visible" is BF round your way?

(60 Posts)
peacelily Tue 09-Sep-08 16:00:57

This is in no way meant as an anti-ff thread, I may well and up ff myself if my bf experienecs are anything like last time (am 5 weeks pg)

However I live in an affluent, slightly "bohemian" area inhabited by all sorts of people and lots of young families but am saddened by the scarcity of public bf.

It's not that I expect to see it everywhere but mpre frequently than i do. There are SO many Mums with babies about and TBH if you can't relax and feel comfortable bf here then I don't know where you could?!

One of my main probs last time was the acute fear someone would say something to me whilst Bfeeding in public, I know it's stupid but I just don't have the confidence to shake those sorts of comments off even though I know they're wrong. I really want to make a go of it this time though.

I would love to see it more normalised then I'm sure me and many of my friends would feel more relaxed about the whole thing. My Dutch friend however bfs with confidence anywhere and I wish I could be like that. I know that's partly to do with her culture.

How visible is it round your way??

hopefully Tue 09-Sep-08 16:03:24

Not at all (west sussex). I've become really aware of looking out for it, as am pregnant with number one, and it's rare enough that I've really noticed it the one or two times I have seen a BF woman.

Wish it was more common, wouldn't feel so scared about BF in public then!

FioFio Tue 09-Sep-08 16:05:21

Message withdrawn

likessleep Tue 09-Sep-08 16:09:51

is it where you go? i used to make a point of feeding in places like starbucks and john lewis. also some mothercare and boots have feeding rooms.
i know that is a bit whimpy of me, but it made me feel more comfortable.
but then, i got less bothered, the further through i got.
with feeding tops, also can't see anything anyhow.
don't worry, i think the thought is worse than the reality x

peacelily Tue 09-Sep-08 16:11:16

Already have dd (2) and did feed in public regularly because I just swallowed my fear and got on with it! Only one coment from another mum with toddlers who told me to "get her on the bottle ASAP" shock

I just think if it was more "mainstream" it wouldn't be noticed in a way because it would just blend in.

A lot of people talk about how every should bf publicly and they have no shame in doing so but where are they all?! I never see them!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 09-Sep-08 16:11:29

Rural Oxfordshire is very boob-friendly

We were all feeding at the village fete and no-one batted an eyelid.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 09-Sep-08 16:11:51

In the area I live in it was mainly friends I saw bf, at baby groups etc, more bottles. Although we do have a nice new cafe down the high street now which seems to have attracted the post-natal crowd, all sitting there proudly bf, so may be changing.

I think with the confidence thing you just have to fake it a bit a first i.e. pretend that you're relaxed and confident, after a while you really will be confident. And if anybody says anything untoward remember that it's their prob, not yours. After all you're just feeding your baby I never had anyone make nasty comments whilst feeding DS, in fact I had quite a few positive comments.

sfxmum Tue 09-Sep-08 16:12:53

very visible boobs galore
West London far more common than FF

ChairmumMiaow Tue 09-Sep-08 16:14:03

I rarely see it when not out with BF friends (can't recall ever seeing it locally, but have at a national trust cafe )

I suspect that before I knew what to notice, I just didn't know people were BF. I think its one of the issues with the emphasis on feeding discreetly - many people either won't do it in public because they're worried about flashing a bit of boob, or they're so discreet nobody notices, so it doesn't become "normal" because people don't see it...

I BF with confidence wherever I go because my baby is hungry, (it did take me a few weeks to feel like this though, I remember one notable occasion where I brough DS back to a friend's house, screaming all the way because I didn't feel comfortable feeding in that particular cafe) and its nobody else's business how I feed him. He's 7 months now and pretty big so I expect the looks and comments to start soon though!

peacelily Tue 09-Sep-08 16:14:38

It's great that feeding rooms are established in a lot of places but it a way i think I'd rather just be in a cafe/on a bench than cooped up in some isolated room (like the one at the Trafford Centre!).

It's just seems strange that from my observations there still seems to be some stgma attached to it.

Sycamoretree Tue 09-Sep-08 16:17:01

Would also concur that West London is boob central. Though I could never manage it - stage fright and a heavy baby - needed me cushion din't I? !

Helgicita Tue 09-Sep-08 16:20:00

North Derbyshire (Buxton area) See it at the toddler groups but not very often out and about. I feed in as many places as I can and have had positive comments so far.

BouncingTurtle Tue 09-Sep-08 16:22:29

Not at all where I live - but the town I live in has very low bfing rates.
I only ever saw it at some of the M&B groups, and some of them I was very much in the minority!

BouncingTurtle Tue 09-Sep-08 16:23:07

Sorry should have mentioned I live near Stockton-on-Tees

FinalFurlong Tue 09-Sep-08 16:25:29

I live in an area where i rarely see others breastfeeding, and i have never seen anyone feeding a baby that looks over 6m.
I try to always feed in public, but when there is a 'feeding' room i will usually feel pressured to use it, as for some reason i feel like it would offend people if i didnt use it and choose to sit at the table when i had another option..when i would actually much rather feed sat having coffee..if you get what i mean.

SazzlesA Tue 09-Sep-08 16:33:26

Message withdrawn

wastingmyeducation Tue 09-Sep-08 18:53:04

Nobody, ever. I saw one woman I suspected was feeding her tiny baby coming out of the lift in Primark, and think she was east european, there was a big family. And one time we were finishing up DS nappy in the baby room at the shopping centre when an asian lady ran in with a big baby, and waited for us to leave. What is it they say about english teeth? grin
I've fed in that baby room once, it stinks of shit and Starbucks is just round the corner, so never again!
Apart from one second time Mum on the postnatal ward, I have seen noone bf at baby clinic or baby massage or anywhere else.
If you see a fat woman breastfeeding in Doncaster, it's me.
I worry sometimes that I'm not a good advert for breastfeeding with my indiscreet backfat and toegazing tits poking out from under my XL clothes, but then I remember, it's not about me, or anyone who might be judging, it's about feeding my baby.


likessleep Tue 09-Sep-08 18:58:33

only reason i prefer the feeding rooms is that my 10 month old is so nosey, he doesn't stay on when there are other people around! oh hazy days, when i could pop him on and he'd stay on (looking wistful!) ...grin

Umlellala Tue 09-Sep-08 19:04:18

Lots of bf mums on show here. But I live in a crunchy, lentil-weavery, boho area (where I found it hard to give my tiny ff baby her bottle blush). Good really, as bfeeding ds now, I am really not very discreet! grin

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Sep-08 19:05:51

In my patch of North London it is de rigeur. In fact, I always felt embarrassed to ffeed (I can remember hoping DD would hold out til I got home after mother and baby yoga due to the "shame" lol grin.

However when I returned to Ireland - both north and south I sadly rarely saw anyone bfing in public. But then, the bf rates are fairly dismal in Ireland (although improving)

Umlellala Tue 09-Sep-08 19:08:48

Ooh where are you TurnipHead? Guessing either Crouch End, Muswell Hill or my 'ends' (Stoke Newington)?

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Sep-08 19:14:44

Spot on Umlelella!!! Crouch End. See that's why we had our shared shame.
I once even thought of trying to claim it was expressed bm (daft - looks different - would have been rumbled in a second! lol)

PeppermintPatty Tue 09-Sep-08 19:21:57

Very very unusual to see someone BFing where I live. BFing rates here one of lowest in England.
It didn't stop me though, and I never got any comments, just the occasional stare....though tbh I was fairly selective about where I went and tried to pick places where I thought it would be more acceptable.

stitch Tue 09-Sep-08 19:40:00

very normal. if anything, the ff are the ones who justify themselves vocally. the bf just get on with it.

Poohbah Tue 09-Sep-08 19:40:45

In west london and mid wales, I think it is fairly slpit between bottles and boobs. I have bf now for nearly 3 years, everywhere, I have had nothing but positive comments.

You do realise that maybe people ARE feeding but with slings etc or sitting at angles.. you might not even have noticed?? I hardly ever notice anyone else bfeeding their babies.

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