What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
How do you feed your LOs in public?(31 Posts)
6 days to go until my EDD and this is something that has been playing in my mind.
I'm not sure if I have the confidence to BF in public- i'm quite shy and body conscious so I don't think its for me.
How do other people manage? Do you express/use formula? Or do you just suck it up and BF?
I don't mean to cause any controversy here- but i'm just "worried" about it.
I'm not breast feeding (although I did try very hard!) but if I was bf I would probably just do that in public, I don't think I would bother with the faff of expressing and bottles etc if I didn't need to. Plus using formula can be detrimental to your milk supply.
I'm sure someone will come along with more helpful and relevant advice!
Just bf, you will be fine. nobody will notice really. Wear a stretchy vest under your top. Top up, vest down, everything stays covered.
Congratulations drunkenduck. Probably best just to take it gradually. I found bf very difficult and painful at first, and only fed at home (didn't go out much). Once it got easier and stopped being painful, it just became a natural part of whatever I was doing at the time (have now fed for nearly 5 years across 3 children)
Have you got an NCT group? My first long outings outside the house were mostly NCT meet-ups, and most of us were bf, so it didn't feel at all awkward - we annexed the corner of a large cafe.
Until I got used to bf-ing out and about, I'd usually choose a place that wasn't too exposed (facing away from the centre of the room or on a park bench where it wasn't busy etc. etc.)
But once you've got the hang of it, no-one sees much, if anything at all. Wear a strappy vest under a baggy-ish top in similar colours, and you're just pulling one up a bit and the other down a bit, no flesh shows. It gets easier and easier as the baby grows, because you don't have to latch them on, just stick their head in the general direction and they latch on themselves.
IME the overwhelming majority of the population don't notice and/or don't care about you bf-ing. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, but my advice is just to take things gently and let things work themselves out.
Second indith's advice. I have a drawer full of stretchy vest tops and wear one under everything. Add a large muslin or scarf over shoulder and baby's head if you want extra coverage but the vest top method is really discreet.
First couple if times is a bit nerve wracking but after that it'll become second nature. (Also if you only feed at home you'll be a bit trapped!)
I agree with the stretchy vest method. Try it in front of a mirror at home and you'll see that everything is covered.
Expressing is a real faff. I do know one friend who didn't feed in public but she swapped to formula quite early on.
I practised in front of a mirror before venturing out and was surprised to see just how little I could see when baby was feeding. I second the top up vest down technique. I wear a cardy over the top to pull around the side of my boob for a bit more coverage. Good luck!
Why bother with expressing, storing, sterilizing, carrying it all with you, worrying if you have enough, worrying if it keeps cold and then where you can warm it etc etc, if you have the same stuff readily available, right temperature, fresh from the source?
As others have said, vest tops are excellent, you can't really see anything. And start when you're out with a friend, or NTC group or similar. I have fed everywhere, never had any negative comments, staring or ogling.
I only bf for a couple of weeks due to illness.
However friends who found it fairly easy to bf just built heir confidence and got on with it. One of my friends who found it harder bf at home but expressed for when they were out. It was more work but she was just organised about it and it did t stop her doing anything.
Good luck with everything and you'll find the way that is best for you.
i expressed in the early days as it was too hard to fanny around getting him latched on and I wouldn't have been relaxed so he wouldn't have been. Later on when we were more confident, I just fed him wherever I was and it was much easier. But I had to build up to that.
We are all different and have to do what works.
And go with a bebe au lait cover up. I love it - very private
I bf in public if DS2 needs feeding when we're out.
It may help you to build confidence about bf in public if you start off by going to something like baby cafe's - there's a few of these run by sure start groups near me, they're aimed at bf mothers and have bf advisors hosting them. Or NCT baby groups.
I used strappy tops under all my clothes, mainly cos I hate my stomach. Don't really care who glimpses a sight of boob, but stomach... give it a go... you read stories of people making comments, but I've never had anything. people are generally too busy with their own lives!
Some department stores and mothercare have designated cosy private rooms for breastfeeding, I used these when I first started feeding my baby and slowing you will get more confident and not fussed about feeding baby anywhere, I was really adamant I wouldn't have the confidence to feed in front of people but I quickly realised I hated shutting myself away in another room.
Lots of vests, and floaty scarves are a must too.
I always bf when out and about. Neither DC would take a bottle so no other option. And expressing (for me) is so much needless work and takes time I don't have with 2 kids to be looking after.
I also do the top up/top down thing and add a muslin over the top to stay covered if DD pulls off. I have a breastfeeding cover but found it a bit of a faff and DD seemed to hate it so I gave up - using a muslin is much easier ime.
You can also get these things that have a wire hoop in the material so you are covered from view but can see what the baby is doing. I found that helpful at the start and then just did baggy tops
Perhaps I don't get out much, but I generally don't have to feed in public - DS is 6 months old, and we've done it maybe 20 times? Certainly by now, if we're out he's far too interested in what's going on around him to get hungry (I just get yelled at when we get back to the car - does feeding in the car count as in public?)
I too do the two tops thing - I can't imagine trying to drape something over me too - I think I'd get in such a mess and panic that I'd end up dropping the baby!
2 vests or a vest underneath a top, as others have said. You can tuck a muslin under your bra strap which works as well. An practice in front of a mirror.
Also a great tip I got on here as my boobs are huge, changing bag or a blanket rolled up on your knee for support when holding them.
I used a breastfeeding cover - I have been judged on here for using it before, but for me I found it difficult at first and could only ever feed DD holding her like a rugby ball so being large I always felt exposed and a muslin simply didn't cover me. I bf for 7 months and will be using my cover again this time if necessary. Mine had a wired rim so you could see down what baby was doing.
I was very nervous the first time I breastfed in public. I picked the corner of a quiet lunch spot with my mum, and used a very light scarf which I tucked into my bra on one side and draped over the baby. Gradually I gained in confidence and will happily bf her wherever she needs it, although I still use the scarf! I've never had a negative comment or experience and very few people appear to even notice.
Good luck OP, I hope all goes smoothly and you are able to get the hang of breastfeeding quickly.
I just fed in public, it is unlikely that he would have taken a bottle from me anyway. I bought a few breastfeeding t-shirts from h&m and JoJo maman bebe and wore one of those with a waterfall style cardigan, so nobody could really see anything at all. I live in an area with low bf rates but i never got one single negative comment.
I find bf in public quite hard- I think it's because I have big boobs! It depends where I'm going and who I'm with- restaurant with all of my family I bottle feed him but for baby clubs and stuff with other Mums I just feed him. I know Mothercare and M&S have nursing rooms-so do shopping centres that make it easy if you're near one.
I found it really hard at first, for the reasons you mention in your OP. Took me a while to get used to it but it became really easy after a difficult start. I had a few nursing dresses from Jomamanbebe and Mamas and Papas where you can just pull the material aside and slip your boob through the hole - everything is all covered up by the baby's head, no one sees anything and you aren't exposing any other flesh. It's a weird feeling at first but once you are used to getting the baby latched on, it's fine.
I couldn't operate feeding covers - they stressed me out and my baby hated having his head covered up whilst he fed. They might work for you though.
Loads of women bf in public. You don't notice because they are so discreet. No one will notice you doing it either and your self consciousness will dissipate. Good luck!
Places I have breastfed:
A park bench, a train, a student union, a bookshop, a pub, a cafe, a restaurant, the steps to a library, a leisure centre, a concert hall. Always using the vest down/top up system. No-one ever minded. A few people smiled and went 'aaah'. Most people didn't notice.
Join the discussion
Please login first.