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Breastfeeding while out and about(45 Posts)
I'm currently 38+3 and planning to breastfeed what will be my first baby.
While I've been out in town, restaurants etc I've had a little look around trying to work out how 'breastfeeding friendly' places are and other than one parent and baby room in one shopping centre I've come to the conclusion that I'd just have to take the baby into a toilet to give a feed.
I may have a different mindset once the baby's here and not give a &^%, but at the moment can't see me being confident whacking the boob out in the middle of a busy shop, pub etc.
For all you breastfeeders out there.... any tips?
I got in the habit of wearing two tops, one I lifted up and one I pulled down so could BF discreetly. I breastfed in coffee bars, in family area of a pub, restaurants, in the park. I wouldn't want to sit in toilet as my baby fed for 40 minutes at a time sometimes longer!
I'm interested in this too,as I'm expecting my first!! I'm hoping to be like my sis who was always shy about that sort of thing but has happily breastfed whenever wherever with her dcs. I don't think people are as bothered as you imagine!! I hope not anyway!!
Congratulations on your pregnancy. I breast feed DS all the time while we are out. It took a little while to figure out how to do it in a way I felt comfortable with but now its second nature. I have never feed him in a toilet, and I never will!
Here are a few videos with tips that will hopefully help.
Lift up BF
Oh and I am a right prude but breastfeeding in public was fine, bit nervous first couple of times but then didn't bother me at all.
Just do it in a cafe.
My tip is to find a sofa. Even better, a sofa in a corner or more private area. Get comfy, get a muslin cloth handy and away you go. Noone is looking.
You can't do it in the toilet.
My local Mothercare has a breastfeeding room with comfy chairs.
Costa coffee also tends to have quite a few mums in on weekdays, it's easier to feed around other mums I find.
I've fed in the car in the car park a few times before going shopping.
As you get better at it, most people won't even notice you are feeding.
It is a bit odd at first but you can do it really very discretely. Practising in front of the mirror helped me. It's good to have a vest top to pull down (you can get them with clips in the straps, mine are from h and m) and a normal top to pull up. If you're really worried you can also use a big shawl but that may just draw more curious looks. People do tend to be keen not to look.
Another thing that could help is going with a friend who is also breastfeeding or finding somewhere that lots of mums go to give you some company and solidarity.
You don't need to 'whack' anything out, promise .
Because you hold the baby generally in a cradle position, slip top up and away you go. A muslin chucked over shoulder will hide any bits you feel self conscious about (useful things anyway)
Don't feed in the loos :-( you will feel bored and sad instead of enjoying your summertime maternity leave.
Oh, and you can feed a baby anywhere you like (legally)
I second Huggle's suggestion of 2 tops - I stocked up on a load of spaghetti strap vests from Primark which I hoick down and pull my top up. Has the added bonus of keeping my post pregnancy belly covered up.
I stop and feed in coffee shops, pubs, shopping centres and restaurants. I honestly thought I'd get some negative comments but so far all I've had is a positive reaction.
Thanks for all the support and tips. I haven't felt very encouraged to breastfeed by friends and family who are all pro-bottle (unusual I know), and have all feigned shock at my decision to breastfeed. As a result I haven't really felt too confident about it but have always been sure I wanted to at least try.
Husband is in the forces so I don't have any friends or family close by, and the same will be the case when we move again in September. I think I'm just nervous about being out by myself and doing it, although i'm sure after the first few times it will become second nature.
I think I'll look into local breastfeeding support groups as would feel a lot more confident surrounded by other breastfeeding Mum's, initially at least!
Ditto the two tops method- I had a stack of H&M maternity vests that I just wore every day underneath a normal top. Also waterfall cardis are quite good for draping over the baby (shh don't tell Style &Beauty). Or a scarf/pashmina.
I did feel quite self conscious with DD1 as she was always very on/off when BF and often flailed and cried while getting settled- so I would plan my shopping trips around the cafes I knew had a quiet corner or shops like Boots or Mothercare that had a mother and baby room.
DD2 was a much easier baby to feed (or maybe I was just more confident second time round) and I just fed her anywhere and everywhere- even standing up on the tube! And I also realised that most people either don't notice or just don't care.
John Lewis has a parents room which I found invaluable until I got braver breast feeding while out and about. H & M do a really good nursing top that I'd recommend.
Luckyowl, it is not unusual at all for people to be pro bottle, we live in a bottle feeding culture. One of the reasons a lot of Mums stop is because they don't have much support or encouragement.
There are places you can feed in private if you'd prefer when you are out, Debenhams, John Lewis etc usually have a cubicle or seat in their baby changing areas. Asda also have a curtained off cubicle with a chair in their baby changing mostly. Not ideal, but somewhere private to go.
However, although you might feel a little strange about feeding in public at first, which isn't suprising as BF must feel a bit strange if it's not something you have done before or known anyone to do, you do soon get used to it. I am the most 'brazen' breastfeeding possible, I just get my boob out and feed my DD (who is now 21 months) but even I was a little nervous at first. However, no one pays any attention and places such as Starbucks, Costa etc usually have seating arrranged so that you can find a quite corner to sit and feed with your DH sat obscuring you if needed. Really though, no one pays any attention.
I agree that BF support groups are a good idea and not all are held in childrens centres, so one in a more 'public' place such as Ikea may be helpful to you. Locally to me we also have an NHS peer support scheme where peer supporters are matche dup with new Mums for general support and one of the things they can do is come out with you, possibly with their own baby, to feed in public for the first time. Perhaps you could ask your HV if there is an NHS peer support service in your area?
Places are breastfeeding friendly. Nobody bothers one little bit. I've fed in really nice restaurants, parks, cinema and I've even fed my ds in Next.
If anyone notices what I'm up to I usually get a smile or if its a man he suddenly finds himself busy in another direction
I agree - I have had no hassle breastfeeding in public. I tend not to use the parent and baby rooms because they stink of dirty nappies and I'd rather not spend 20 minutes there. My venue of choice in my local town is Costa. They have sofas, they have a baby change in the toilet, the staff will bring your order over if you have your hands full with a baby, they have highchairs and they also have plenty of other people there with babies. I tend to wear a nursing t-shirt and a loose fitting waterfall style cardigan. I never ever feed in a public toilet on principle.
If you go to baby groups in a children's centre it is totally acceptable to breastfeed there.
If you are in town and need to feed and you aren't in a cafe there are plenty of options. One that I tend to go for is a quiet corner of the local library - in mine there is a sofa in the children's area which is very handy. If desperate, I have used the changing cubicles in clothes shop although I do ask the shop assistant first so they don't wonder what the heck I am doing in there.
In a large shopping centre look for John Lewis or Mothercare - they always have a baby feeding and changing room. But it is a bit boring sitting in there by yourself if you are out with friends or family - I prefer to just get on with it wherever I am. Nobody stares and nobody sees much, if anything.
Just got two lovely genuine comments breastfeeding dc2 in sainsburys. Dc1 was in the trolley and we were negotiating over Easter eggs so it wasn't v discreet. I was just sitting on a chair by the pharmacy. Breastfed dc1 for 18 months- no problems. Good luck xx
Hi. In the early days I used this it really helped as it meant I could get my entire boob out comfortably with noone looking. Later on I realised it became a hindrance and now BFing is so easy I can do it and you can't see anything!
People really don't bat an eyelid and I've only been approached once by a random stranger who offered to get me a drink
Good luck with it and persevere!
The best logic I heard was "how many people do you see breastfeeding in public? " I don't think I ever had seen anyone until I'd had DS, but I know how common it is - people don't generally pay that much attention to each other so you don't notice even though you feel really conspicuous when you are first trying to do it!
You will be fine, just practice in front of a mirror a few times first
lucky I had a stupidly hungry dd (she fed up to 20 times a day). So very quickly got used to bf anywhere - in a cafe, in a queue at the supermarket with dh packing the bags.
I'm fortunate in that I didn't give a rats ass what people thought. I actually looked forward to someone challenging me re bf but no one ever did . People either don't notice you are bf, don't care or think aww how sweet.
Best of luck with your little one.
I still wear vest tops under everything and I stopped bf DS during the day about a year ago!
I've never been all that self conscious, but after my labour when every man and his dog (or so it seemed) saw me in all my glory I was even less worried about folk seeing an odd flash of boob.
Folk honestly don't look. And I have giant boobs so hiding them is difficult.
Primark vest tops are my favourites. Going to stock up on more before DC2 arrives.
I used to be secretly embarrassed when my cousin or my neighbour whipped their boobs out to breastfeed. When I was pg I bought a Mamascarf in preparation. To my surprise I found I never used it and even BF my baby in the office when I went back to visit. Before I Gsve birth, the idea of having my boob out in the office would have been mortifying, yet somehow it no longer mattered. I've BF everywhere, just used the vest with top over technique and most people don't even realise you're doing it. Good luck x
PS I think Breastvest is a very good garment, google it x
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