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breastfeeding an older baby in public

(16 Posts)
jasper Sun 08-Jun-03 00:48:55

My baby is 15m old.
Today at a friend's party in the afternoon he got fractious and was clearly wanting to feed. It occurred to me I had not fed in public for a very long time and was frankly embarrassed.

On top of this I was annoyed with myself for being embarrassed! I fed him and of course noone batted an eyelid but it got me thinking. Why should I be feeling like this now my baby is older?

Anyone understand or sympathise?

pupuce Sun 08-Jun-03 08:25:54

I understand and sympathise... my toddler fed mornings and evenings and for that reason I managed ot avoid the situation but when I was asked "you've stopped bf haven't you?" I was quick to add in a bit of a shamed voice "Oh I only feed AM and PM".... still I got negative comments but I could deal with those.... I was glad I didn't have to feed in public a toddler - however I totally support those who do I am a chicken that's all.... and not proud of it

tilba Sun 08-Jun-03 08:56:59

I thought I was going to be reading about a 4 year old wanting to b/f.....my g/f is thinking of weaning her 5yr old twins.....

Hardly think 15m is an old baby! It didn't even occur to me that anyone would. I didn't even feel slightly weird still feeding at 22m .

Do you think it's more an attitude in England. I was b/f my "older"babies on OZ and only got really positive reinforcement from all ages and walks of life.

Try and get past feeling embarrassed etc as he really is still a baby and you are doing so well b/f him still.

mears Sun 08-Jun-03 10:28:13

Tilba - I would say that on the whole women are not supported in the UK when they breast feed a baby that walks!
It is absolutely dreadful and many mums feel they need to hide away. Hopefully as B/F rates increase and more mothers feed in public, the stigms will go. But that won't happen next week. Just put your baby's needs first Jasper and continue doing a wonderful job. Quote the WHO that recommends babies are fed till 2 years AT LEAST. You are a star

mmm Sun 08-Jun-03 12:40:07

My cousin had twins and fed them until they were 2 and a half - she said they went in to one of those Little Thief (I mean Chef) places on the motorway and the girls got up on her knee and each took out a breast and that she got lots of very strange looks from the other punters. I fed dd1 for 19 months everywhere and she just loved sucking! I'm so sorry you're feeling embarrassed it's such a lovely thing to do and when it's gone, that's it. I don't know how you can stop your feelings though, just tell yourself it's lovely and it's ok, because it is. Good luck.

XAusted Sun 08-Jun-03 13:09:52

mmm, Little Thief, hee hee!

jasper, you are indeed a star and doing a big favour to babies everywhere by advertising bf -ing.

aloha Sun 08-Jun-03 15:20:03

I would have felt embarrassed too... but that doesn't mean I think I SHOULD have felt embarrassed. I gave up b/f at 14months because just about everyone I knew gave up much earlier. It's hard to do something 'unusual' whatever it is. But 15months is still very much a baby, even if he is walking and you are doing a good thing.

Demented Sun 08-Jun-03 16:42:42

Jasper I know exactly where you are coming from in fact I was going to post a similar thing myself. I fed my DS2 (now 12 months) in public a couple of weeks ago for the first time in ages and it was daunting, I felt like everyone was looking, in the last twelve months I have only seen two other mothers b/feeding in my town so it's an unusual sight. Since then I have got over my nervousness and we are feeding out and about good style once more, park benches, pedestrian precincts, cafes etc! I think it may just take a couple of out and about feeds and you will feel more relaxed about things. All the best!

On a separate note I assume your DS is back feeding quite happily after your absence. Hope you had a nice time!

Bobsmum Mon 09-Jun-03 13:25:08

What a timely thread! Ds is 9 months but is frequently mistaken for 18months plus.
mmm- what a great mantra "it's lovely and it's ok, it's lovely and it's ok" - thank you!
My mum phones me from time to time saying "are you *still* feeding that boy???" (I was bottle fed from birth)
I keep reminding myself that I'm now getting the benefits - reduced osteoporosis/lower chances of breast cancer etc etc/very contented huge boy.
I do feel in the minority though - not so much when I'm out - I'll defend my reasons if anyone ever said anything (no one has). I mainly feel "got at" by other mums who think i'm clearly barking for feeding past 3 months and have implied as much in conversation.

54321 Mon 09-Jun-03 13:33:44

I once breastfed ds at a woman who had invited me in for coffee, ds needed a feed and the woman was making coffee and as it was the first time I had been invited for coffee, I wanted to wait until she returned and just say, but couldn't cope with ds who was getting desparate so went ahead. Although I can feed discretly you could tell that when tried to take the cup without making a fuss, she wasn't pleased you could easily tell from her face. Result: she hasn't spoken to me since unless I start the conversation and even then it's very clipped, short responses. However, I have fed in public when necessary and never had any problems as I can do it without baring all!

54321 Mon 09-Jun-03 13:34:44

Bobsmum - I meant to say I used to feel the same way too and my mother was always asking and suggesting I should stop now - ahhhhhhh!!!!!

Bobsmum Mon 09-Jun-03 13:37:11

54321 - what a nasty experience! You can come round to mine for coffee and feed ds anytime!
I do wonder what has to happed, in the UK certainly, before people accept bf in public the way they seem to do in other more progressive countries.

suedonim Mon 09-Jun-03 13:45:50

You know you're doing the best thing for your baby, Jasper, and also making things a bit eaiser for other mums, by showing that it's *ok* to feed an older baby. Well done you for setting a good example!

Mo2 Mon 09-Jun-03 13:50:12

Jasper - you're a top mum for still bf - I wish I hadn't stopped feeding DS2 (now 10 months) and still had those wonderful nuzzley times....
Wish I could just switch them back on again...

jasper Mon 09-Jun-03 14:38:44

Thanks everyone for your kind comments.
I was quite taken aback at my own reaction ( feeling momentarily embarrassed). I think it may be something to do with the fact he is now walking ( and running!)and doesn't look like a baby anymore. I have no qualms at all about still bf him at this age ( no plans yet to stop). My sil obviously sensed my reluctance and said to me " go on, have courage of your convictions - feed him!". As I said noone batted an eyelid, and in fact one of the husbands started discussing bf and his own kids and the fact his wife bf them all well past their first birthday.
Demented, I did have a lovely holiday and resumed bf without a problem.

Khani Sat 12-Jul-03 06:36:40

I fed my first son till he was 2 and it was very hard with peoples comments, and I got some rippers!!! I was aked by a friend if I was still breastfeeding, you sl*t!!!! I couldn't beleive my ears, and I was only doing one night time feed!!!!! No one ever saw that! It can be difficult in particular situations, so I tend to leave the party and find a quite spot. Because I feel my let downs won't happen if I am stressed. I am feeding son 2. and he is 4 months old and I plan to feed him till he is ready to stop. Its a wonderful thing to be able to breast feed so don't let people make you feel uncomfortable about it, if they say something or are looking at you strangely, make them look the fool and jump in with a comment first!!! Puts them in their place immediately!!!!:0

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