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Breastfeeding in public(59 Posts)
soon(ish) to be first time mum hoping to breastfeed. I was wondering more so in the UK do people really care about nursing in public as in strangers making comments or being asked to use the bathroom in a restaurant. Does this really happen nowadays?
You're protected in the uk by law so breastfeed in public away! No need to cover up either. Anyone expresses their disapproval, glare at them or tell them to ODFOD! I get so utterly fed up of people moaning about women breastfeeding - they're boobs ffs and the women are FEEDING their child! Phew, rant over
Unfortunately ithe does happen, doesn't mean it will happen to you though. I stopped breastfeeding at 9 weeks with my daughter because I was scared of breastfeeding whilst out. Due in just over 4 weeks and I'm not going to let it stop me this time
I didn't have any problems breastfeeding in public.I would do it whenever and wherever-even walked around a supermarket feeding.if anyone had approached me I wouldn't have cared, no way I would feed my baby in a stinky toilet.
I exclusively breast fed twins for more than a year. I fed everywhere - in shopping centres, cafes, restaurants, my local church, IKEA, parks, friends and family's homes and I NEVER had any comments from anyone.
As you can imagine feeding two babies I was often there for a while too!
Occasionally people look, but only because it's interesting or because they haven't seen it before.
Often people chat to you for a bit before they realise what you are doing.
I was a great fan of the vest top down, tshirt up school of feeding as you don't feel cold or exposed. A wee Cardigan can help too.
Go for it, it's a bit nerve wracking the first couple of times but you soon do it without thinking about it at all.
I fed both of my babies in public and never had anything but positive reaction.
Ds is 1 week old & I've breast fed everywhere I've been. I bought a couple of 'breast vest' tops which are basically vest tops but they sit under your nursing bra. It doesn't cover your boobs but it means you can wear your normal tops & just lift them up but your tummy is not exposed which I want to hide more than my boobs!
My dd is now 5 but I bf her til she was 3, ds is now 2 and is still bf (although only for naps and not so much out and about). I fed them both in public from a few days old till now and so will have easily fed in public over 1000 times.
No one has EVER said anything negative or derogatory, I have never been asked to stop, never suffered any harassment or abuse. And I fed them everywhere (in cafes, in parks, on trains and planes, in the Olympic stadium, in London and small villages).
I found bf covers really faffy and thought they brought more attention to what I was doing so ditched them in favour of nursing tops with discreet nipple access. It looks more like I'm cuddling rather than feeding as the head covers the boob.
The reason it hits the headlines every now and then when someone is asked to stop bf is just because it is so rare. But because it occasionally features in the news in a negative way new mums can perceive it as a big problem.
I have breastfed all 3 dc in public and I don't think ive ever had even an odd look. There always seems to be a story in the press about someone being confronted about 'public' breastfeeding, which I think makes BFing mums more defensive about doing it. It is only a very small minority who do not approve, so I'd just go for it!
As others have said breast feeding in public is perfectly acceptable in the UK but I would argue with others who say you should make a point by not covering up. If you want others to show you respect while you breast feed you should show them respect by being discreet.
I say this as a pregnant woman. Just as you don't want people staring at you or getting huffy while you breast feed others don't necessarily want to be treated to full view while they eat their lunch.
I know many people who swear by using a sling to breast feed as it creates a protective cocoon for you to enjoy the mother baby bond in while also being very discreet so as not to cause anyone else discomfort.
I think if everyone, breast feeders and the public agreed to show mutual respect and consideration the matter of breast feeding would be a non topic.
Good luck with breast feeding. I hope it goes well and you have an enjoyable experience
This is a really interesting topic. I'm about to be a first time mum too and yesterday was at a breastfeeding workshop run by the NHS. The midwife talked about breastfeeding in public and how the law is on our side but I felt she emphasised "being discrete". She could tell by my face I wasn't impressed so asked my view in front of the group. I said I felt that women shouldn't have to deal with other people's issues when feeding and I didn't think women needed to feel they had to be discrete. She said we should respect other people's views
I feel it's part of her role to promote breastfeeding. Was I wrong to challenge the discretion thing? Surly everyone in that room thinks about this issue and need to be empowered and supported rather then told to buy a nice scarf. Thoughts?
DS in 5.5 months and I've had zero comments. Not good, not bad, just none.
Don't worry about feeding out and about. I did it all over the place with not so much as a second glance. The papers like to make a big deal about lactating women wandering about half naked but I've never noticed it anywhere, and I've seen breastfeeding mum's all the time. I liked the vest top and jumper technique- vest top pulled down, jumper up then at least your tummy is covered up
Six months in and never had a problem here. I also think the discreet thing is nonsense, the more you try and cover up the more obvious it seems to make it, most of the time people don't even notice I'm doing anything other than cuddling my baby.
And anyone who is caused discomfort by seeing someone feed their child needs to get a hobby.
I agree with you ammature. Don't like it? Stop looking at my breasts then! It's easier for an adult to turn their head than it is for a baby to latch onto a boob while their mum is fiddling about under an apron!
ds2 is 6 weeks and I've repeatedly nursed in public and had no issues at all, I guess one double take from a woman in blue water but it was surprise rather than negative
Personally I think the discretion thing should be up to the mother.... My focus is on feeding my son not making a statement, I personally feel more comfortable feeding in a sling (tiny tip.... A 3 pound large grey scarf from primary is my godsend and they are more like 15 in mothercare), just as I believe that woman should be able to breastfeed in public without a cover if that's what makes them comfortable, I also think I should be left alone for choosing to use a cover
All a out personal choice from my perspective.....but as I say I've had no negative responses at all when people realise I'm breastfeeding
You always hear about the crazy people (thank you, Daily Mail) who've shouted at mums bf-ing in public but you never hear about the zillions of people who just feed their kids very day without anyone batting an eyelid or being put off their lunch. (Although why seeing a baby being fed would be offensive to anyone is a mystery to me.)
Honestly, OP - I very much doubt you'll encounter any hostility, or even anyone really noticing, particularly once you get the hang of it. I was a bit self-conscious to begin with as my son had a TT and a terrible latch, so was always bloody sliding off, but we were still going strong at 19 months and I never got any negative comments. Although my dad could barely stay in the same room as me to begin with, literally.
* If you want others to show you respect while you breast feed you should show them respect by being discreet.
I say this as a pregnant woman. Just as you don't want people staring at you or getting huffy while you breast feed others don't necessarily want to be treated to full view while they eat their lunch.*
With the greatest of respect, Runner05, I think this is ridiculous. You're making huge assumptions implying that most people would find it disrespectful to happen upon someone feeding indiscreetly (although I've never really understood what constitutes indiscreet in this context...I'll ask Nigel Farage and Claridges to confirm...)
Any why on earth would anyone be "treated to a ful view while they eat their lunch" - a full view of what?! Of a baby...eating its lunch?...if onlookers believe there to be too much breast on display then surely the sensible thing to do is to look in a different direction, or possibly just pull themselves together.
I'm planning on breastfeeding but very worried about doing it in public (I'm not a fan of getting my boobs out normally) which is silly to be worried as I have never looked at a BF mum and thought anything about it or seen anyone who has been BF and had someone say anything
Sepa please please don't worry! Whether you're a fan of getting your boobs out or not is irrelevant - I'd advise that you stop thinking of it in those terms and start thinking of it as just feeding your baby
I've seen this a few times on bf threads recently - "whapped her baps out", "whipped her boobs out", "flashed her boobs" etc - the sooner everyone, bf mums included, stops looking at it in those terms, the easier it'll be for everyone, surely?!
DS2 is 2yrs 3 months and still breastfeeding.
I have breastfed him in numerous public places, and have never had any negative reactions from anyone.
I tend to use the vest under top approach - pull up top, then pull down vest and unclip nursing bra - to keep my tummy warm and minimise the amount of my wobbly tummy on display.
ammature - I agree with you that the focus shouldn't be on telling women to be discreet. It's very easy for most people to look somewhere else if they don't like the sight of breastfeeding. If a woman wants to use a bf cover, that's fine, but no-one should be made to feel that it's compulsory.
I still feed my 2 year old wherever we are at the time. Sometimes that is at home, sometimes out, sometimes walking around the supermarket etc. I have had one funny look from a teenage girl in the time I have been feeding her, and that's all. No comments at all.
Dd2 is now almost two and never had an issue with feeding her or dd1 in public. It did take me a while with dd1 to realise that most people don't even notice. You might want to try a baby cafe or breastfeeding group in your early days. Good practice for getting out and feeding in public without feeling like the world is watching you (it's not but may take a while to realise that).
Vest under top then nothing is on show. I have breastfed two dc and have only ever had a positive reaction. You can use a shawl as a cover but then as a friend pointed out it made her more obvious to everyone where I just looked like I was cuddling my dc.
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