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I think I am becoming scared/embarassed to bf in public...

(14 Posts)
littlelamb Thu 25-Jun-09 21:35:53

Whenever I used to see mums with an obviously hungry baby try and distract them, as they were obviously embarassed about feeding. I just used to wonder why. I realised yesterday that I have become one of those mums Ds is 12 months but is very very long and so looks older. He is very squirmy and loud and demanding and it's very very difficult to bf him discreetly- he is very much of the 'pull off and leave mums boob out while I gaze around' school of feeding wink We were on a train yesterday, he was cranky, tired and needed a feed. There was a couple sat opposite us who were looking at us, and I just couldn't do it. I had to put up with him being unhappy for a full 20 minutes before we got off and I could feed him. Today, we were at a coffee shop and it was the same thing. I used to be so bloody unselfconscious about it, but now he is bigger and, to be frank, too bloody wriggly, I just don't feel comfortable doing it. Tell me I am being silly. I fed dd for 10 months and never reached this stage, so it's a bit shoicking for me really

tassisssss Thu 25-Jun-09 21:41:26

i know how you feel! my other 2 were down to morning and night BFs only from about 10 months so hardly anyone saw me. dd2 has just turned 1 and still quite likes to BF in the afternoon (and I like to do it!) but she's a wriggly, nosey wee thing and it's not as discrete as it was. we should just go for it and ignore those around us. Hang in there!

tummytickler Thu 25-Jun-09 21:49:12

My 22 month old is like this - i am trying to keep it to mornings and evenings for this very reaason - i am also aware that many people think it is to old to bf a 22 mo old so i am paranoid about that too.
I am trying to distract him (and hoping to have stopped by September as dh and i are going away for 3 days alone!!!) and eventually stop. A few days are fine and then he wants to feed all day!

At 12 mpnths i say carry on and sod them all - but i know how you feel!
No advice i am afraid! but you are not alone!

littlelamb Thu 25-Jun-09 21:49:51

Thank you
I am trying tojust keep going. It doesn't help that my family have been going on and on since about 6 months that I am still feeding him hmm Luckily I don't see much of them as they live so far away, but the little comments from all corners are starting to creep in, from the health visitor, the GP, friends... I just feel sad that I'm being made to feel I'm doing somehting I shouldn't be iyswim

PeppermintPatty Thu 25-Jun-09 22:26:52

I was still feeding DD until 11 months, but I don't remember feeding her in public at this age. I was only feeding her a few times a day though, mainly morning and evening times.

If your DS is hungry/thirsty and you are somewhere where you feel uncomfortable breastfeeding, could you not give him some finger food or drink from a cup? I think this is what I used to do. If he is just wanting to feed for comfort, then that's a different matter though, and I don't know what to suggest.

littlelamb Thu 25-Jun-09 22:34:48

It's definately a comfort thing, which is the problem I suppose. I always have a drink and a snack in case of emergencies but he seems to need just a few minutes of feeding to settle down. I have tried making different things into things he associates with sleep, with my dd it was a muslin cloth, I have tried that, toys, everything, it's milk he wants. I don't mind it, I actually feel really lucky to still be feeding him but I am just too conscious of the 'voyeur' aspect of it now- I am far more conscious than I used to be of other people looking at me

booyhoo Thu 25-Jun-09 23:16:37

just a suggestion but could you carry a muslin out with you and when he feed tuck one corner under your bra strap and let it cover your boob or would your ds just pull it away? i never bf for this long either so i didnt have to think this one through.

littlelamb Thu 25-Jun-09 23:18:49

booy, I do the muslin trick, and it's no good. It seems to make him more agitated. I think I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and carry on

Lusi Fri 26-Jun-09 00:29:19

You are not alone - I bf DD2 upto 2 yo and in the last year tried to avoid doing it public for the very same reason. In our society lots of people do still think it is abnormal to bf toddlers - so you are aware that you are being judged and that is why you now feel uncomfortable ... It is their problem but then you would have to be very very confident not to feel self conscious. Don't feel bad about it.
I was bfing DD1 (with masses of curly hair) in a baby care room and a woman asked me how old she was -when I told her 7 mo - she said 'oh that's ok - she looks a lot older' - not that it was any of her businessangry.
My DM used to nag me about still bf over 6 months and when I had to take some medicine even my GP (a woman with DCs)showed surprise when I asked if it was safe while bfing.
The last time I bf DD2 in public I was on a plane when she was about 20 months old - very discreet I think only one person noticed - but I did think the whole plane wouldn't have minded how indiscreet I was as long as it stopped her whingeing...
All I can suggest is try and feed him discreetly at home (sling, blanket etc) so he gets used to it - and practise in front of a mirror - I used a sling and it really looked like she was snuggling in for a nap rather than a feed (unless they were close enough to hear the slurping wink).

Know the train thing is a bit tricky - I fed DD1 at about 6 months in the loo - something I thought I'd never do - I was in a booked seat and couldn't move..next to a vicar and opposite two youngish men - and she kept throwing the blanket off and looking around blush.
Hopefully as more people bf smaller babies in public, bf older children will also become more acceptable.

snowgum Fri 26-Jun-09 13:08:52

I feed my 13mo anywhere and everywhere and even though I am proud of it I am also starting to feel a bit self conscious about being judged.

So ... if I'm going somewhere a bit hostile, I wear a tank top underneath a t-shirt. Then when I feed I pull
the t-shirt up and the tank-top down. This way not much more than nipple is exposed and when dd looks around
I just pull top shirt down a touch and up again when she turns back.
Works with any 2-shirt combo!

bambipie Fri 26-Jun-09 13:30:01

I guess the main thing is that you know, 100%, that you are doing a 'Good Thing'. It's not that often we can be so sure that we are doing the right thing, try to use that as an inner strength.

When I read this an image popped into my head of a starving African woman (don't know why she'd be on the train though) in which case comments/looks might be more along the line of 'look at that poor woman valliantly trying to feed her baby'. Doesn't help at all, but it is very odd how weird our society is.

bethdivine Fri 26-Jun-09 14:21:26

I've got some fab summer tops from per una, they've got elastic straight under the boobs, then flare out a bit so that when I'm feeding DD, if she wriggles off, I can drop the top immediately, as it's easy to bunch it up just above her face whilst she feeds. - She's only 10wks, but def a wriggler, and I remember DS was like this so wanted to be prepared.

this is one of them

and another

also, when I was feeding DS and he got to around 4months, he was such a wriggler he wouldn't stay on for long, so I tried a jingle boobs necklace, which they play with whilst feeding, I know you've got a different situation, but it might help I don't know:
jingle boobs necklace (this is just one link, if you fancy giving it a go, google as there are a number of suppliers).

MiniMarmite Fri 26-Jun-09 19:31:47

I spend a lot of time at home for this reason sad.

DS has always been a squirmy feeder and always got upset if we were in a less than quiet environment. Now he is 10 months and I would have zero chance of feeding him in public.

I don't really mind but I think I worry a bit that next time around I will feel embarrased from the start and won't even try.

littlelamb Fri 26-Jun-09 20:21:30

I have done the vest and t shirt thing from day one. I have a stomach that would scare small children wink I think if I had a nice placcid baby it wouldn't be an issue. As it is, ds has today realised he can escape the straps of his pushchair, turn himself around and climb out shock I had to put him back about 5 times this afternoon. And all this at 12 months old. I guess some would call it 'spirited' grin But he will not wait for a feed, he won't be distracted so I guess there's no point in really trying unless I'm willing to make a real effort to wean him off the boob in the daytime. I am sat here absolutely dreading the comments my nan will come out with at dd's party tomorrow, as I know I won't be able to manage the whole day without a bf

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