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So my family expect me to breastfeed but totally in private

(21 Posts)
chequersandchess Wed 15-Oct-08 11:52:03

I guess I'm lucky in some ways as all the women in my family breastfed and are supportive of it.

Visited for the weekend with dd, 9 weeks and they all expected me to sod off to another room on my own to feed her, or to do it in the toilets when we're out.

FFS, why do they expect to have it both ways? DD is still feeding all the time, was such hard work sad

ruddynorah Wed 15-Oct-08 11:56:56

what do they man handle you out of the room? if not just sit there and crack on with it. you must be up and down, up and down...

i remember with dd i used to go up to our bedroom when we had visitors. mainly as i was still learning etc and didn't want to squirt and spill all over the place. i soon stopped that when i could hear them all discussing my birth downstairs and asking dh how many stitches i'd had. from then on i stayed put.

maretta Wed 15-Oct-08 11:58:04

I think that is unreasonable. It get's very lonely being stuck on your own all the time. Personally I think eating in the toilets is disgusting.

Did you visit them or they visit you?

maretta Wed 15-Oct-08 11:59:07

Sorry gets, don't know where that apostrophe came from.

chequersandchess Wed 15-Oct-08 12:00:47

I visited them. It's a pain in the arse.

I have a real love/hate relationship with b/feeding (mostly hate) and this just makes it even worse. People expect you to do it but they don't want to see it.

No, they don't manhandle, they just say things like "oh she needs feeding why don't you go next door and do it."

Gets right on my tits, pardon the pun.

scorpio1 Wed 15-Oct-08 12:02:13

I would just say 'I'm comfy here, Thankyou' and just get on with it. You must have been on your own alot!

Bucharest Wed 15-Oct-08 12:03:39

They are not being supportive if they are making you do this though, are they?
I'd refuse to visit them and make them come to me. Then I'd sit there with my tits out all the time they were in the room. Let them leave if they feel uncomfortable.

Bubbaluv Wed 15-Oct-08 12:11:07

A pashmina tucked into your bra strap can make most bf bashful people feel much more comfortable. Are these women much older than you? It's very silly, but are they doing it because they think bf should not be seen, or because they think you might be uncomfortable with an audience?
Either way, I'm with Scorpio - just smile and carry on.

Deaby Wed 15-Oct-08 12:11:51

I had the same problem! When my LO was born, we had loads of visitors and I was made to feel embarrassed by bf in front of them. In the end, Id spend alot of weekends up in my room breastfeeding while everyone was downstairs waiting for me to finish so they could play with the baby. Was very lonely up there in my room. And stressful as it was like being in a prison. Now we have no visitors any more, so I can feed in any room I like!

chequersandchess Wed 15-Oct-08 12:21:55

Oh they can't see a thing, I have the whole two layer thing down to perfecrion. My Dad even brought me a cup of tea twice and didn't know I was feeding her.

It's more their expectations that annoy me than the logistics.

Ready4anotherCoffee Wed 15-Oct-08 12:24:48

agree, stay put and let them leave the room.

if they have asked you to visit, and know you are bf, then they shouldn't then be asking you to move.

As scorpio says, "I'm comfy here, but wouldn't mind another glass of wine cup of tea smile

Ineedsomesleep Wed 15-Oct-08 13:50:30

Totally sympathise as my Auntie, who I am very close too, is like this too.

I've never moved to please someone else. My baby is the most important thing to me and if they don't agree with that then who cares if they get upset?

Just feed where you are. They wouldn't expect you to go into the toilets if you were giving your baby artifical breast milk and they wouldn't eat in the toilets themselves.

BTW my Auntie hasn't once asked me to move once I've started feeding, she has just made it very clear beforehand which room she thinks I should disappear into.

theSuburbanDryad Wed 15-Oct-08 13:55:33

Insist they come to your house instead - and then when they are served with a cup of tea/biscuit (either by yourself or your dh) just say, "Oh - you'll need to pop next door to eat/drink that." Might make them see how ridiculous they're being!!

BabiesEverywhere Wed 15-Oct-08 14:30:47

It can be very difficult when friends or family are giving you mixed messages.

Thinking back to my DD, I use to take on board all the 'hints' about where and how I should feed. My father use to leave the room whilst I nursed etc. Also sat on my own in a spare room nursing my daughter, at the inlaws bored silly.

With DS I am far more confident and happy to stand my ground more. The last two visits to the inlaws, I have been asked if I would be more comfortable in a bedroom...I said thanks but I am comfortable here in the living room, though I end up sitting on my own there

Sadly my DH said he felt I should feed elsewhere to avoid anyone else feeling uncomfortable. It makes me sad to think my DH (who is usually so supportive), feels that it is me being unreasonable, when all I am doing is feeding my child.

I am nursing my son so frequently that I see no need to visit people who can't accept my nursing. If my in laws try to force the issue, I'll stop visiting them until my son can go 4/5 hours without a feed, life is too short to change yourself for every narrow minded person you meet.

verylittlecarrot Wed 15-Oct-08 17:07:38

Chequers, are you brave enough to try them with the truth?

"You know, I'd really appreciate it if you all tried to see my feeding dd as something utterly normal, no big deal, and as unspectacular as if she was bottle fed. You don't have to watch, although I don't care if you do. It's pretty miserable being asked to go and hide somewhere as if this is an embarrassing or shameful act. It's not any more embarrassing than having a cup of tea. I don't want to be treated any differently from anyone else. It makes me extremely uncomfortable and rather upset to have the suggestion put to me that I'm not welcome to feed the baby here. I enjoy the company of others and it's miserable to have to sit in a room on my own. Nobody else here would like to be asked to leave the room, so I do wish you'd treat me the way you'd like to be treated yourselves.

I will never, never feed my baby in a toilet. What a disgraceful and disgusting idea that would be.

I think it's awful and sad that some of you were treated this way when you were breastfeeding, so I hope you can see that making less of a big song and dance about this is a change for the better.

My dd is going to need feeding regularly, day in day out, wherever I am. I hope you can all do the adult thing and get used to the idea and be supportive of me, since I know you love me, and her.

If not, I have no idea how we can possibly manage to spend time in each other's company until she weans."

When my dd was tiny, an uncle of mine descibed me as rude because I fed her at the dinner table. He expected me to make myself scarce as we were all sitting down to eat. The only reason I didn't challenge him were because of the exceptional circumstances, bereavement in the family, and we were in his house. I didn't move though. I love him dearly, and we get on well, but I won't return to visit until dd is weaned. Either accept us or miss us! Could be a year or two...

chandellina Wed 15-Oct-08 18:14:59

is it possible they think it's YOU who would be more comfortable in the other room??
frankly i am happy to leave the room when with my in-laws (or have them leave).
i find it stressful feeding with an audience, since DS has reflux and can be a little piglet at the trough, also can thrash around.

moondog Wed 15-Oct-08 19:44:45

How awful for you.
B;oody hell, women can really do without this crap. angry

TinkerBellesMum Wed 15-Oct-08 19:53:17

I went to my stepsons birthday party with 6 week old Tink. His grandmother asked me if I wanted to go next door. Around the same time her daughter (TBD's ex) pulled her breast out of the neck of her top and fell asleep like that for about the next hour with baby asleep in her arms.

BTW I did say "No thanks, I'm quite comfortable here" and I was the one wearing a nursing top.

You have to wonder about people sometimes.

Maveta Wed 15-Oct-08 20:01:32

I agree you should stand your ground and feed where you are most comfortable. Although I remember having the exact opposite situation the first time I visited the inlaws with ds when he was only a week or so old. bfing was still really hard and i was very cack handed at it. At one point i´d slipped away to the other end of the house to get on with it (having previously briefed dh that i´d like privacy in this situation if he could help deflect interest) when bit by bit they ALL trickled through to see me/ds. Within minutes I was sat there with 2 sils, bils, nieces and nephews and elderly relatives all just watching me hmm

Lovely that they were all so genuinely supportive but i was mortified.

(I did later develop the confidence to feed out and about with no embarrassment whatsoever but those early weeks are another matter!)

So I guess, maybe I´m trying to say they might genuinely think you´ll be more comfortable in private?

Katflowers Wed 15-Oct-08 20:45:20

Yes - been there done that - only at my brother's sister and brother-in-law's house. He would be really embarrassed (he's 50). It's awful being relegated to a room on your own with the baby or just left in the lounge if you refuse to move. Other people should just grow up!

katiepotatie Wed 15-Oct-08 20:51:38

my pil were always asking if i would like to go upstairs. WTF! I stopped saying I was going to feed and just did it...they got used to it in the end

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