Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
breastfeeding in public(26 Posts)
When I'd go out of the door I tried to think up front when I'd have to give the baby breast milk and where I could do it.
Or to be back home before the baby needed to have his next dinner.
I barely fed him in public and thank goodness when I did everything went well.
But I read in a local paper that a lady was feeding her baby as discreet as she could be in a Mark and Spencers cafe.
Another lady over there started to make rude comments and shout at her.
How awful and how terrible if you just try to give your baby breast milk and some crazy woman starts shouting at you.
That it's disgusting. She should feed the baby in the toilet. Give it a bottle etc.
This lady was sitting with her back towards the cafe. So what was this crazy woman able to see?
The staff were doing their best. The crazy woman left, but the mother and her baby were both in tears and so very upset.
I think that I'd be in tears too.
It happened once to me that I was feeding my baby and someone made a stupid comment.
From all places this was in the hospital!!!
It was with my first child and breast feeding didn't went that very well. Finally he was drinking, but I wasn't holding him according to the guidelines. I thought like: He drinks. I'm supporting his head and the rest of his body. It works so I forget about the guidelines.
Some stupid nurse came in and in a rude way and loud voice asked me:
What are you doing? How are you feeding him?
I was shocked and my baby was that too. And he stopped drinking.
op sorry you've had such a.bad experience with bf. I'm hoping to bf my dc1 and have resigned to becoming a bit more hardy incase anyone makes a comment. its the most natural thing in the world and even if people do think its 'disgusting' (what do they think cows milk is?) the should keep their opinion to themselves!!
The fact that the mad woman made the paper tells you that it's not an everyday occurrence! I've never had a negative comment when I was breastfeeding, and neither have any of the other mums I know (although one got bitchy comments for giving her son a bottle so I don't think you can win either way).
As roo said, sorry to hear you've had thistrouble. I'm nervous about BF in public when DD is born, as I know I have every right to, but don't know how I'd respond to someone shouting at me. I like to think I'd get angry and give some back, but in all honesty, I think I'd just cry too.
I find it really difficult not to stare at women BFing in public, but only because I want to see how they get around it and what works for them, IYKWIM.? It's really embarrassing that I just look at people. At least now I'm showing it's not so bad.
Rockchick You are sooo right...you'll never win whichever way you do it. Someone always has to give their opinion to you.
I've never had a negative comment about BFing. I was feeding my baby in the airport last week and an old man and his wife were chatting to us, when she said it was lovely that breastfeeding was starting to come back in fashion her dear half did a bit of a double take but then got to talking about their four kids and the BFing stories they had. It was lovely.
Crazy people are just that. If the BFing lady hadn't been there, no doubt the crazy woman would have been ranting about something else.
She was in the wrong. Plain as.
So sorry to hear about your bad experience.
It's a big worry of mine- bf in public. While it is the most natural thing in the world- literally how every mammal nourishes their offspring, there is an unfortunate "taboo" in our culture.
I can't help thinking that it is partly because of the "sex sells" industry that has taken over, and how breasts are purely seen as erotic/ sexual things. So some (maybe more women?) are uncomfortable seeing breasts in public, in the same way they may feel uncomfortable looking at a topless model, and some (maybe men, with no children) feel uncomfortable seeing a breast used for a non- sexual purpose.
Whatever the cause, is it a truly sad fact that many women feel, or indeed are victimised for what is simply feeding their child!
Wow. What a crazy world we live in when doing something so natural and so good for baby is met with anything but positive responses.
Do they complain on principle or because they can see flesh? Id been banking on those swathe tops being enough to make it ok, but maybe I underestimated...
My little girl is 10 weeks and so far I have never had any negative comments. I end up feeding all over the place as she often only goes 30mins-hour between feeds. I have has some 'looks' though but no one has said anything.
One lady he other day in tk max commented how confident I looked feeding (while sitting in the shoe section) and said how great it was what I was doing... We then went on to talk about her experiences with her children who are now grown up.
I was chatting with my friend the other day and she was asked to stop feeding her child in a hospital waiting room!! The receptionist told her to use the disabled toilet, so my friend asked her if she would eat her lunch in there
My experience is completely different - I BF (to toddler age) all over the country and Europe and in every situation - planes, trains, automobiles, pubs, museums, restaurants, beaches, my MD's office, churches, shops, family homes, parties, in front of strangers - never had one negative comment, only positive ones and kindness (fetching of tea / cake / water, compliments, cushions) so please be happy that this is one random loon.
I agree it's insane that some people react so badly to a woman breast feeding in public but if you're nervous about it not on the high street (www.notonthehighstreet.com) sell breast feeding covers - best way to describe it is a cape that goes round your neck covering your front, and has a gap at the top so you can see the baby but no one else can. Can't link as on my phone but they'll come up if you search breast feeding. If your nervous that's better than sitting in some disgusting public toilet if you have to feed in public.
Sorry to hear you felt uncomfortable op. I honestly can say that nobody so much as looked at me funny when I breastfed my DD in public. Like you all I was really nervous about doing it ...and then it just became second nature. I live in Ireland where breastfeeding rates are seriously low but even there it's becoming more normal. Usually in coffee shops the waiters were extra good about keeping my water topped up. It was nice. Best advice I have is to go out as soon as possible after dc is born and feed in public. Usually by about 2 weeks latching on feels less perilous! Good luck.
As Tondelayo says - she was a random loon - I've never had any issues at all in shops, restaurants, pubs, or anywhere else. Only nice smiles or occasional quick withdrawals as someone bends in to look at the baby and then realises what's going on and pulls back
Oh, and I definitely don't hold a baby in the 'correct' manner - I'm generally a kind of rugby hold due to enormous norkage. As long as the milk's going in, who cares.
Don't let idiots like that put you off, as someone already said the reason it is in the news is because it is so rare. I've been bf for the last 3.6 years with only a few months off between dcs and have never had any comments or stares when out and about
I've only had positive comments from people saying how nice it is to see. It's a shame there are a few ignorant types about.
I have stepped in to defend a complete stranger when some nut job had a go at her for breast feeding in a cafe. She was also told she should have gone into the toilet to do it.
The nutter didn't like me telling to take her damn coffee and drink it in the toilet if she didn't like it.
Tbh I had been sat opposite her and hadn't realised she was feeding, I.just thought she was cuddling her sleeping baby.
However these occurrences are very rare, most people either ignore it or comment on how nice it is that women feel comfortable and confident enough to do it.
So far, I've fed mine on the bus, the train, in cafes, on streatham common and in the supermarket. No one has said a thing - the worst was a look of disgust from an old lady, but I'm not sure that was aimed at me, she looked as though life disgusted her.
There are loons who will comment on anything. I wasn't able to breastfeed, unfortunately, and not long after she was born I got a comment about giving my baby 'poison' when I was bottle feeding her in a cafe. I'm sad to say I said something extremely rude to her.
Gosh that's awful OP. We had a similar story in a cafe in Brighton with rude ignorant people who can't understand that breasts are also for feeding babies.
I fed anywhere and everywhere because I was pretty confident. I wish all women were but I know its not so easy. Hardly anyone bothered me and I fed four children.
Once a woman in a swimming pool told me I should do it somewhere else and I was very forthright with her refusing completely. Thinking back I must have looked pretty militant as I sat on the side of the pool (not very busy) legs dangling in the water feeding my baby.
Don't let these fools get to you. Calmly educate them on why they're WRONG.
I fed both my children in public, until they were well over 3 years old, in locations as diverse as the Passport Office, National Portrait Gallery and the cheese aisle in Tesco. I never, ever had any bad reactions. I feel strongly that the more we breast feed our children in public the more 'normal' it will be.
Good post Mirth.
One reason I love going to festivals is that there are women walking around with toddlers hanging on their boobs and no-one bats an eyelid.
So sorry to hear that...it amazes me that in this day and age that people can be so cruel. There are so many benefits for both mother and baby breast milk is best.
Here is a link to an article on that same subject
I was asked to leave bhs for bf dd1 but that was in 1988! ! Can't believe it still happens. Dd2 was feeding dgd in Costa and an older lady kept looking at her (she's 22 but looks 16! !) Dd eventually asked her if she had a problem (she can be quite outspoken) the lady apologised and said No she had been a bf counsellor ( (now rretired) and was just so happy to see such a young mum proudly bf.
Oh and saw a lady bf on a sofa in ikea the other day. Couldn't help but give her a big smile and rub my bump
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.