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Nervous about breast feeding in front of others

(19 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Fri 10-Jun-11 12:59:26

I'm planning to bf.

I know I'm being really daft but I'm feeling really uncomfortable about feeding in front of inlaws, neices and friends partners. But I don't want to run upstairs everytime baby needs a feed if we have visitors.

Does/has anyone felt like this and does the fear go when baby arrives or do those bf scarves help?

Coppernoddle Fri 10-Jun-11 13:08:04

When you start feeding, you do relax a little bit, especially with other women! But I breastfed all of mine and not once has my dad seen my boob! Even though my sister seems to wopp them out anywhere! Me, I used breast feeding tops and babies blanket! To be honest, with a top you don't see much anyway as you hold babies head there ready before you lift up your top, open the slit in your top. My little girl used to be that impatient she used to latch on over my top, it was hilarious!! Filtered milk!! smile

Mumswang Fri 10-Jun-11 13:08:56

It gets easier and you get more confident. I started out scurrying away, or hiding in corners when out and about. Within a few weeks a had become adept at doing it quickly and discreetly and within a bit longer would do it anywhere and everywhere

What helped me was being with other people also breastfeefing so find out if you have a local support group / surestart centre etc

Dont let your fears put you off, be gentle with yourself and give yourself and your baby time to practice and learn how to BF

Oh and I've never once had as much as a 'look' when BFing in public

Good luck smile

Newmummytobe79 Fri 10-Jun-11 13:22:55

Thanks both - hopefully I'll calm down a bit when baby is here smile

Filtered milk! That made me giggle


princessdave Fri 10-Jun-11 13:35:24

Oh newmummytobe79 me too! I'm planning to give BF a try but was chatting with my husband just yesterday about not wanting to BF in front of others (apart from him of course) and that if we had visitors I'd probably take myself off upstairs. We'll see of course once baby is out but I'd hope that people would understand if I did feel uncomfortable and went off for a little while smile

Good luck! smile Oh and the filtered milk really made me chuckle too, thanks Coppernoddle

expatnow Fri 10-Jun-11 13:38:41

Once you get more confident it will seem like second nature and it is not hard to BF discreetly. If you can try to wait until you feel a tad more confident as the early days are fiddly and so hard in public to relax. I was SO nervous when I first did it in public, but was with my mum and sister in a pub and it was fine. I used to take a pashmina with me everywhere and just flung that over my shoulder- it covered everything up and often people would be speaking to me not even knowing I was feeding my baby. I found people (even strangers) very supportive and didn't need to feel covered up, but I felt I was more comfortable that way- also helped my baby to focus.

Good luck!

Coppernoddle Fri 10-Jun-11 13:58:12


bagelmonkey Fri 10-Jun-11 14:05:27

There's really not much to see if you're discrete. Don't be embarrassed. Feel proud. It's completely natural. I wear a vest I can pull down under boob and a t shirt over so v little on display. I occasionally use a muslin for more discretion in front of certain people. I'll BF anywhere in public, but still feel uncomfortable in front of FIL.

Cyclebump Fri 10-Jun-11 14:11:13

I felt a bit like this. I practised at home first before BFing in front of others or in public.

DS is now nine weeks old and although I'm still a bit nervous if it's someone I don't know very well, I've been told several times by other people how surprised they are by how little is on show. Once you get the hang of it no one need see anything.

Good luck smile

AchtungBaby Fri 10-Jun-11 14:12:33

I felt very much the same, but I did get used to BFing in public, and found it quite easy not to expose myself.

I may or may not choose to BF in different situations though; eg I would in a quiet-ish cafe with DH or some friends, but I wouldn't in my living room with FIL (besides it's sometimes nice to get away for 10mins with DS smile). I try not to worry about it, and just to do whatever I feel happy with. DSis is visiting soon, and I imagine that I won't mind BFing in front of her. One of my male friends insisted to on talking to DS while I BF him, I think he just thought that the whole thing was lovely, and it didn't cross his mind that I might be a little bit embarassed grin.

The other thing that's worth remembering is that the timing of milk feeds will become much more predictable as your baby gets older. DS is 9 months now, and feeds at ~6am, after his am nap (~10:30am), after his pm nap (~2:30pm) and ~6:45pm. As we're usually at home for his naps, it's easiest to feed him at home before going anywhere. Of course, saying that, I don't want to be trapped at home (or pretty close to home!), so sometimes we'll venture (and BF) further afield.

AchtungBaby Fri 10-Jun-11 14:13:44

I should add that FIL is lovely, it's my issue not his smile.

msbuggywinkle Fri 10-Jun-11 15:20:27

My tip is to choose your place for your first bf in public. I was very nervous so chose a local vegan/hippy cafe and everyone there was so full of positive comments that it really boosted my confidence!

EmmieJay Fri 10-Jun-11 15:55:02

Ive been feeling rather paniced myself about bf infront of my mother in law in particular, she is a very strong lady and likes to think that she knows whats best at all times, however, she often has her own ways that worked for her with her children but thats not what my midwife/support groups suggest... Any ideas how i can tell/ask her very very politely to back off slightly?

lynniep Fri 10-Jun-11 15:59:34

I couldnt bring myself to do it in public without a breastfeeding cover with DS1, so thats what I did. Theres no shame in that, nor in any other way you choose to feed your child. If you can't quite pluck up the courage, just cover up. you may find you couldnt care less after a couple of feeds, or you may find you never feel comfortable with it. I used a vest with 'cutouts' for DS2, under whatever top I had on so less coverage than with DS1, but still hid my big old belly. I also lived quite a lot in my H&M bf dress. Godsend!

Meglet Fri 10-Jun-11 16:01:57

Try and keep visitors away for the first week or so. That way you can practise bf in peace. I had too many visitors after DC1 and it helped to mess up bf. I was a stroppy cow when I had DC2 and lolled about the house in pj's for a few weeks so I could recover & bf.

I found nursing vests to be more comfy and easier to use than nursing bra's.

It took me about 2 months to be happy bf in public. It can be quite fiddly at first.

moomin156 Fri 10-Jun-11 16:09:51

i am pretty new to BFing and i use a cover when out in public, my LO tends to mess about a bit so would be hard to be discreet. At home i tend to be more relaxed with female visitors and just excuse ourselves if its someone i dont feel as comfy with. Dont let it worry you. I sometimes also go back to my car if its convenient as it gives me more privacy. Good luck

bagelmonkey Fri 10-Jun-11 16:12:37

Most other people won't notice you at all. I've only ever received friendly smiles from strangers who've caught my eye when feeding in public apart from one old lady who put her hand on my shoulder as she left the cafe and said "well done, dear. Lovely to see it"

choceyes Fri 10-Jun-11 16:21:14

I have a 10 month old DD who I have breastfed everywhere. I wear a vest underneath a top or...even better...I wear one of those control pants that come high up and covers your tummy (I got mine from primark). This means I get a flatter tummy and coverage at the same time without wearing a vest underneath tops (as sometimes a vest is too hot or spoils the look of the top).

In my exprience, no one even cares that you are breastfeeding. If anybodies noticed, nobody have said anything to me.

There was a poster in the Baby Cafe yesterday, promoting bf, which showed a woman bf her LO in a cafe. And it said " The benefits of breastfeeding are obvious. You are not". Which I thought was lovely and to the point.

PrincessJenga Fri 10-Jun-11 16:24:34

There's a cafe near us where EVERYONE breastfeeds. It's almost like you're missing out on some secret club if you don't have a child attached to your boob. I'm planning to try my first 'public' feeding there so that I don't stand out and then build it up from there. Strangely, I think I'll feel more confident feeding in front of complete strangers rather than my family and friends (although, coppernoodle, you do know your dad has seen your boobs don't you? Probably many many times! I know exactly what you mean though, that will feel weird!)

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