Monday, August 6, 2012

Feeding in Public

I am loving this whole breastfeeding thing now that it's actually working.  I love the contact I get with my baby and the way I don't have to pack up any food when we leave the house... but there is one aspect I'm stressing out about.

Feeding her in front of other people.

I get it, I'm using my body to feed my baby, and that makes people feel uncomfortable... which is why I feel uncomfortable about doing it in front of others. 

The first 3 weeks, whenever she needed to eat, we retreated to another room if there were people around. But it felt so depressing... so wrong. I felt like I was being shunned, even if it was technically myself doing the shunning. After those first weeks I started staying around people, but using a nursing cover to cover both of us completely. And I feel good about that. I get to stay around friends and family, and still feed my baby. 

BUT.

So far I've always done it in my own home, family members homes, or the car... so I don't know what to do when we are really  out someplace. If we're with people I'm not that comfortable with or out someplace where I can't retreat to the car. The issue hasn't come up yet, as the only places we go are friends/family houses, my breastfeeding support group (where we all whip 'em out as needed), and quick trips to the store, but I know I can't avoid it forever. I plan on nursing for the first 6 months AT LEAST, the first year hopefully. That's a long time, and I'm sure we'll end up in plenty of awkward places to nurse. That being said I know I have to pump and bottle feed when she goes to daycare... but I don't want to feed her a bottle when I'm with her, which leads me to my concern.

Other moms who nurse, what did you do when you were around others/in public? Was it an issue? Am I worrying about nothing? 

Advice and stories would be greatly appreciated! 

9 comments:

  1. I completely understand and can relate to this! I am currently bf'ing had to get use to nursing in public. I am a very private person but since I have a two year old as well I had to bite the bullet and bare all! Purchasing a great cover was well worth it and really helps. Good luck!

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  2. Amanda... breast feeding mamas ALL understand your cry. When I nursed my daughter... well it just worked out that I would nurse before we went anywhere.. it was timing. It is unfortunate that ignorant people... have to be ignorant. More of us need to just not be afraid of the ignorant and buy a FABULOUS cover. Here's to nursing {period}. Grace, peace and blessings to you and yours.

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  3. I can completely relate too!
    I nurse my 3 month old daughter. I hardly get out so its not too much of a problem but if I do nurser there then I go to a disabled/changing room. A few times ive had to stand in the ladies restroom lol!!
    But I don't think we should have to hide, at home I walk around with my boobs out or if family are around I dont care.

    www.ohsoamelia.com

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  4. Well, this is my thing...I hand make and design over 30 styles of nursing covers for every type of situation of breastfeeding in public. At least that is my goal. Most moms want to be covered up in public:)

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  5. Courtney on vB has the ABSOLUTE BEST solution to breastfeeding in public AND being fashionable. You should breast feed with PRIDE! It is our birthright!

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  6. Do whatever is best for you and the baby. It is, ackward at first but you'll get the hang of it. Get a great nursing apron and more power to you. I say do it!!! However, if you are around annoying people and you've had enough of them it's a great way to get away from them for a 20 minute mommy break. :)

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  7. i have nursed three kids to the age of 2. 2 of them were twins who at home i would nurse at the same time but not out in public. i figure if people don't want to see it they don't have to look! my thoughts on it are your baby comes first, if that means baby is hungry at the mall and you still have a couple things to get find a comfy spot and nurse. of course as they got older they could wait until we were home or a more private place. but for the first year my solution was to wear a tank top under my shirt, pull tank top down and shirt up so the only skin exposed was that of which my baby could see. when baby was done i'd just move baby and pull top shirt down at the same time, then adjust the rest. i never felt "exposed" that way. for me i guess i just see it that when nursing boobs are food, that's it : )

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  8. I remember feeling the exact same! Honestly, i was so nervous the first time i nursed in public. I was convinced people were going to stare at me and i would see them whisper and point and judge. And i was terrified someone would come and say something to me. I was actually surprised when none of that happened. And even though the threat of a flashing gets greater the older and flailier they get, it's still worth it to not feel caged or isolated. Do it once and all your fears will fly out the window!

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  9. My advice: Don't stress about it and just go with the flow. Trust me, a very hungry baby in a busy restaurant will likely have you throwing caution to the wind. And if you are covered, NO ONE should have a problem with it. If they do, just smile and continue on!

    I had one place suggest I might be more comfortable in the bathroom, but I explained that in our family, we don't eat our food in the bathroom! :-)

    One thing that worked really well for me was a ring sling. I could nurse and use the tail as my cover while I was shopping or in any public place and almost no one would know I was nursing. That is my favourite. Even as an extended breastfeeding mom (20 months and counting - what, How did that happen? Never planned on it, but it did and we love it!) I still use the sling the most. My cover had to change though. I started using the DRIA cover, since my daughter wasn't finding a way out from underneath that one as easily.

    Good luck and rest assured, you are doing what is best for you and your baby!

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