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Infant feeding

Breast Feeding in Public

39 replies

AlicePettitt · 19/04/2017 12:02

I have heard a lot in the media recently about women breastfeeding in public and there seems to be a lot of negative reactions from the public?! Sad

I would really love to find out everybody's experiences with breastfeeding in public - positive stories and negative stories, things people have said to you, what you have felt at the time, any discrimination - from different genders or age groups etc. as this seems to be becoming a topic which is being spoken about amongst other people more and more!

OP posts:
AssassinatedBeauty · 19/04/2017 12:05

Why do you want to know? Are you pregnant or breastfeeding yourself?

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers · 19/04/2017 12:07

I think you're supposed to ask MNHQ for a thread in media requests if you want to start a thread to write an article.

AlicePettitt · 19/04/2017 13:44

I am not writing an article, I'm just curious! I came across another video on fb about this and just thought I would get other people's opinions Smile. I am currently pregnant and am planning on breastfeeding and people seem very open and willing to share their experiences on this site!

OP posts:
BIWI · 19/04/2017 13:45

If you search Mumsnet you'll find eleventy million posts about this already that you can use for your research

DonkeyOaty · 19/04/2017 13:47


AlicePettitt · 19/04/2017 13:51

Evidently people aren't as open as i had assumed, silly me. Thank you I will look elsewhere Confused

OP posts:
AssassinatedBeauty · 19/04/2017 13:53

Well, the way you're asking means you want a lot of personal detail from others without investing much in the conversation yourself. Are you nervous about feeding in public? Do you have any issues that might make it more stressful for you?

Bringmesunshite · 19/04/2017 13:55

Why be so snippy with this poster?

ScarlettFreestone · 19/04/2017 13:59

Ok I'll bite, just in case you are genuine (although the PP are right your OP sounds like this is research).

I exclusively breastfed twins for nearly 18 months. I fed them everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, parks, museums, shops, friends and families' homes - even in church.

As I had two babies I'd be sitting feeding for a long time.

I never, ever had any negative comments. From anyone.

Several supportive comments from elderly ladies and lots of smiles from other parents.

APetite · 19/04/2017 14:01

Thank you Smile

Yes i am nervous about breastfeeding in public because ive seen such negative responses to it. There are a lot of posts online (like i said, on fb) which can be very negative towards the idea and so i am a little worried about whether this is a true representation of what it is like. I don't know many people who have had children or breastfed (especially in public) and so i dont have many points of reference. Also, as many people know, you cannot trust everything you see in the media so i really don't know much about whether it is frowned upon or widely accepted.
I thought having some other peoples stories on the issue would give me a bit of clarity and maybe stop me worrying a little.

I will look on other threads and find out from there Smile

FamilySpartan · 19/04/2017 14:16

I've seen a lot of videos and posts shared on social media detailing women experiencing negative reactions when breastfeeding in public. I have to admit, most of them seem contrived or staged. I'm due in Summer and I'm hoping to breastfeed and I plan on breastfeeding discreetly wherever I need to. Anyone who feels the need to comment negatively will receive a polite 'fuck off, please' from me.

If you trounce around a restaurant with your boobs out you may get some comments. I think it's all about how you go about it.

ScarlettFreestone · 19/04/2017 14:16

Most of my friends breastfed in public too and none of us ever had any problems. None of us used a cover either.

Don't worry about feeding in public from the off. Get feeding established at home and at friend's/family's homes first and then you'll feel more confident.

To be honest most people won't even notice that you are breastfeeding- it's really not that obvious.

An effective method to help you not feel too exposed is the vest/tshirt combo. Lift your tshirt up (covering the top part of your breast) and pull the vest (and your bra) down. Your baby's head covers the actual breast and your midriff is still covered (which is warmer anyway!)

You'll get really quick with practice.

ScarlettFreestone · 19/04/2017 14:18

Family I have never, ever seen anyone "trounce around with their boobs out" while feeding their child.

I'm unconvinced that it ever happens.

AssassinatedBeauty · 19/04/2017 14:19

I've not seen any videos on fb about this either. I've also never had a single negative comment having fed in a variety of places.

APetite · 19/04/2017 14:30

That is very true, i have never really noticed women breastfeeding in public but they must do it all the time so it cant be that obvious if i dont see it often! I am just worried that if i do get a negative comment, as much as i would to think i would tell them to leave me alone, its more likely i would get upset Blush. I guess it is one of those things you get used to!

ScarlettFreestone · 19/04/2017 14:42

Assuming you live in the U.K., most people are far too British to say anything. Grin

The law is clear on breastfeeding.

If anyone says anything just smile and politely "please leave me alone".

But honestly I'd be stunned if anyone did comment.

Please stop worrying about this, there's really no need.

FamilySpartan · 19/04/2017 14:45

Scarlett, I haven't either! I'm just as entirely unconvinced that the social media videos ever happened in real life either. The point I was making is that if you don't make a big show of things, no one really notices or cares.

silkpyjamasallday · 19/04/2017 15:00

I've never had a negative experience when feeding DD in public, I think some people might feel a little uncomfortable (such as a man I was sitting opposite on a train while bf dd he was trying so hard to avoid looking it was comical) but they tend to keep their mouths shut. It is easy to feed discretely as long as you are wearing suitable clothes, no need for a cover up for everyday. I have just got a huge silk scarf as a cover as we are going to a wedding and the family are pretty conservative so I don't want to risk offending anyone or anything kicking of and spoiling the day so I will use a cover although it isn't my preference.

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut · 19/04/2017 15:22

In almost 10 months of feeding my daughter I've never had a single comment, positive or negative. For the most part people just don't care what other folk are doing.

Instasista · 19/04/2017 15:23

I only ever had positive looks or comments (and it was very rare anyone took notice or commented)

MrPoppersPenguins · 19/04/2017 15:33

I fed DS1 for 2 years. Never once had a bad comment. Had a few nice comments though, generally from older ladies. Fed DS2 when he was 3 days old in a cafe, and since everywhere I've needed to including the school playground. I'd 2nd the top up and vest down technique. Only time I've worn a cover was at a wedding where the dress I wore made me feel a bit exposed while feeding.

LumelaMme · 19/04/2017 15:36

I breastfed everywhere, for months and months, two decades ago. Never a problem except with one uptight friend. On the other hand, there were a lot of complicit smiles and positive comments.

MieMoosMummy · 19/04/2017 15:50

I'm still breastfeeding my 22 month old anywhere and everywhere. I was worried as she got older that people would start saying things, but honestly nothing has ever happened.
The only person who ever said something to me was an old family friend while at my parents house when dd was maybe 14 months old? It went along the lines of 'dear god, are you still doing that?!' once I had pointed out that dd wasn't ready to stop she completely changed tact and agreed.

APetite · 19/04/2017 16:07

Thank you all so much for your responses! It seems that in most cases negative experiences really are rare. I shall try not to worry so much and try and actually enjoy the experience!

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