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extended bfers: When, if ever, did you feel uncomfortable feeding in public?

(79 Posts)
kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 08:23:30

Hellosmile
Ds3 is 21 months and still very much a boob boy. He would feed all day if he could, infact he is happily talking to my boobs as I type!

I am happy to feed him as long as he wants to feed, although not as frequently as he wantshmm

Because he is my youngest and I don't know whether I'll ever have another,( although I'd dearly like to.) I don't want to stop feeding.
I guess I still think of him as my little baby.
So for me it's perfectly fine to bf him, yet I notice, in public that I get some sideways glances now.

Obviously he is not a baby to anyone else watching. It's making me a little self conscious, only a little.

I wondered whether any other ex bfers don't feed in public, don't care what looks they get. Do you wait until you get home?

Thanks smile

SamJamsmum Sun 11-Jan-09 08:29:52

I'm not proud of this but I did wait until I got home when my son was more than about 18 months. (He self-weaned at 4)
It wasn't because of any negative reactions but just because I fell into the habit. In part it was because he started to feed only before sleeping or just upon waking but I'm not sure I would have done it even if he had wanted to feed at other times.
As I say - not proud of it.
The only exception was during travel and on airplanes and at those times I never had a negative reaction.
I think it's great that you are still doing it. Every time you do it you are chipping away at prejudices and making it easier for someone else in the future. Or even making it easier for someone to feed a younger baby in public.
My daughter is now 13 months and I will feed her in public for some time yet.

kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 08:45:59

Thanks Sam, I hadn't thought about it i that way.
Right, I shall feed with pride!

StealthPo09IsHere Sun 11-Jan-09 08:49:13

ds is 20 months and I do feel awkward, but I do it anyway.
What is getting very embarrassing though is when he asks me to feed his toys in front of other people blush. I have in the past fed a giraffe and a gorilla, but as you can imagine I like to do that in the privacy of my own home

Stefka Sun 11-Jan-09 08:56:34

That is so cute Stealth!

I am ashamed to admit that I already feel awkward when I am out and about and DS is only 15 months. He hasn't asked in public for ages but he has asked when I've been at other people's houses and I have been too scared to do it and made him wait

StealthPo09IsHere Sun 11-Jan-09 08:58:27

Yes, I tend only to do it in other people's houses as if we're out doing stuff he tends not to ask. Apart from a couple of supermarket trips where he's had a meltdown!

LeninGrad Sun 11-Jan-09 08:59:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fondant4000 Sun 11-Jan-09 09:00:39

About the same as SamJam - 18 months. Once dd1 and dd2 could understand waiting and could be distracted by activity, food or water.

I found that dd often went for the boobs when she was thirsty - so used to doing it.But actually was quite happy to be offered water in sports bottle when out and about.

Now (2) I tell her she has to wait till we get home - and she more or less accepts that.

Exceptions are travel, and when she is really tired. Also when I have to meet her outside of home after work.I'll take her somewhere quiet, even the toilet blush

I work 3-4 days a week, so she is used to going without milk all day when I'm working. She very rarely asks when we are out and about.

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 11-Jan-09 09:33:21

I've prob felt a bit uncomfortable since 18months-2years, depending on where the public place is. Now (2.11) she only gets fed at home or friends houses and in more public places only if she's hurt or I need to calm down a meltdown.

Now I'm back to feeding her baby brother all over the place instead.

kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 11:48:53

It's a same that we feel uncomfortable though isn't it? We're not doing anything wrongsad

kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 11:54:02

shame not same!

catweazle Sun 11-Jan-09 11:57:48

Hi kitty!

I am still feeding DD in public. Perhaps not as often as she'd like but when it's necessary. She has taken to pulling at my tshirt while we are going around Sainsburys, saying num-nums, num-nums, but that I do say no to. (can you imagine the tutting- and the acrobatics grin grin )

Jennylee Sun 11-Jan-09 14:33:16

I have a little 5 month old and I don't like going out for more than 2 hours as I don't want to feed in public even though I did bf my son for almost a year and didn't care, I was younger then. I see no one breastfeeding when I am out and about absolutely no one and so I don't want to as it will be so unusual and I don't want to be tutted at or made to feel bad for it. I have a nine year age gap I guess my confidence has decreased with age, I want to breastfeed for ages but I hate doing it in front of anyone but my cousin and her kids and my dh and my son and my mum but apart from my dh and son everyone else, they get uncomfortable or are amazed by the frequency of feeding and start to advise me on how to wean and how she is feeding too much, which I hate as I would never tell anyone anything like that - its not my place to tell people what to do yet they can tell me for some reason.

StealthPo09IsHere Sun 11-Jan-09 14:43:24

Jenny. did you have any negative reactions last time? i have to say i never have

MadameOvary Sun 11-Jan-09 14:46:48

Jennylee sad
Are there any local BF groups in your area?
You know that you are perfectly entitled to feed your LO anywhere you like - you dont need validation from anyone else and your family should be supportive, ESP as your LO is only 5 months! shock
However I do get where you are coming from - it def helps your confidence to see other BF mums.

Jennylee Sun 11-Jan-09 15:38:30

when i breastfed ds I knew lots of people that did at a bf group and they became my friends so I was mostly with them, but yes there were a few times when I got negative reaction and 'fer f*cks sake' from an old lady when I had to do it on a bus when he was screaming for it. Men staring right at me when I was doing it.And I lived in a city then.

Now the place to go is a local shopping mall. the bf group here I have to try and go as now is getting to nearly six months the voices of wean and formula are getting louder and i think would help, it actually took me posting on this to realise am a bit down about it, and don't want to stay in for the next 2 years and hide. thanks for the replies

MadameOvary Sun 11-Jan-09 15:43:12

There are some fab ripostes to that old "Oh are you STILL bf?" chestnut.

My fave one is (said with a dismissive wave of the hand and an airy voice)
"Oh I'm sure he/she will stop by the time they get to Uni"

grin

kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 16:19:52

Jenny I'm sad for you, makes me want to catty on even more then, to help people like you see other women feed in public.

I was talking about this thread to dp today. He couldn't work out why anyone would be offended by a woman breast feeding anywhere. He was honestly amazed that women have negative reactions.
I guess it is because where I am (brighton) it is pretty relaxed and 'right on', so I have never had a negative comment. But also I have never fed over 15 months before.

Hi catweazle, they are funny aren't they? Ds 3 calls it hum and shouts very loudly "hum all gone" when he wants a feed (again) but I say no! And 'bye bye hum' when he's finished and pulls my top back down. and "other side" when he wants a change over!
Dp reckons that a child that can say other side is maybe too old to be feeding!

MadameOvary that's funny!
He also likes to hold the other nipple between his fingers whilst feeding! I do wonder what he'll do to future girlfriendswink

kittywise Sun 11-Jan-09 16:20:31

catty onhmm? well yes very apt but not here! Meant carry on!

Clarissimo Sun 11-Jan-09 16:25:19

He's only 9 months but I now find I don't much feel comfortable feeding inpublic unless dh is there to stare out any nay-sayers (he's of the opinion that anyone who wants to stop his ds4 getting a good start should answer to him LOL)

It idd take a big jump of bravery for me to BF in public at all though which is probably why i think. I was OK until my best mate asked me the old are you still feeding him thang- sill from her as ds4 was 5 months and she fed until 6 months hmm- odd!

Jennylee Sun 11-Jan-09 17:18:04

thats really nice kittywise, I fed my fisrt in edinburgh lol and that was easier now we live near livingston and the only place to do it there is a small smelly changing room in mothercare.

llareggub Sun 11-Jan-09 17:26:06

My DS is 2.2 and never feeds unless we're at home. He has never done a poo outside the house either, so maybe he is just a bit shy.

He asks for boats when he wants a feed, and when he is finished he says "shut door please" and pulls down my top.

I did see a woman feeding her 3 year old in a restaurant in Mallorca, and I was a relatively new mother then. She gave me the encouragement to carry on feeding for as long as DS wants. I'm now pregnant with number 2 and intending to confound the PILS by tandem feeding!

catweazle Sun 11-Jan-09 19:45:07

jennylee I had a 15.5 year gap so I know what you mean. I'd BF 4 babies anywhere and everywhere but the first time I needed to feed DD2 outside (on Hythe seafront) I was a bit worried about people tutting, until DH told me not to be so stupid.

mawbroon Sun 11-Jan-09 21:56:54

I still feed 3.2yo ds in public whenever he asks. He is very very much in love with breastfeeding, and saying no would draw more attention than actually feeding him.

Jennylee, I lived in W Lothian when ds was born until he was 20 months (we moved in 2006). I just fed anywhere in the centre etc but must say I never ever saw anyone else doing it. We were visiting Livvy today and we fed in Tumblezone shock

The breastfeeding law here actually states that it covers up to age 2, so in theory, I could be asked to leave or stop feeding ds or whatever and I would have no leg to stand on. Nobody has ever challenged me though, and I would call their bluff re the law. grin

whomovedmychocolate Sun 11-Jan-09 22:10:09

I'm feeding a 2.3 year old and a six month old and I stopped feeding DD in public when she was 20 months old - simply because it was too difficult when I was eight months pregnant with megaboobs to discreetly feed her (There was a 'falling off lap into coffee table in Starbucks' incident I remember which sort of put me off).

I actually find it quite hard to feed DS in public now too because of the unseasonably large norks. I have very good upholstery (thank you Ms Royce for inventing such supportive bras for my 32K bosom) and my norks have a tendency to unfurl meaning they have to come 'up and over' to escape the nursing cup hmm. This means it's not just a case of popping the t shirt up and nursing cup down, but also holding my boob so it's at the right height. hmm. I still do but I think it does draw a lot of attention of the wrong sort.

DD and I still have to negotiate when she is yelling 'booby, booby, booby' in the supermarket (when she's tired generally).

People are incredibly freaked out by tandem feeding and I'd never do that in public because I'd have to get both norks out and basically be topless and some twat would get his/her cameraphone out at the spectacle angry.

It is bloody annoying it's so frowned upon though. Part of me just wants to feed both of them whenever and wherever and sod everyone else. But part of me also doesn't want the world staring goggle eyed at my tits while I'm trying to have a cup of tea in a cafe too!

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