I’ve done my fair share of public breastfeeding and now I have pretty much stopped breastfeeding during the day it has given me chance to reflect on the fact that I became a pretty dab hand at it.
To begin with it was the most stressful thing for me and often put me off going out. I used to have visions of being in the middle of ASDA with a screaming newborn and having to abandon my trolly full of food (heaven forbid) in order to find a secluded spot (often in my car) in order to feed him. So I shopped online.
There were 2 issues for me with breastfeeding in public:
1. a) Breastfeeding a newborn is tricky because they often want it RIGHT NOW. There’s no time to fanny around and the more you do the more baby screams and the more baby screams the more you flap. Horrid cycle.
1. b) Now imagine, if you will, adding nipple shields to that hideous cycle and you’ve got a whole lot of attention grabbing flapping/nipple waving/screaming.
2. There was always the fear that someone would tell you off or give you evils for getting your tits out in their cafe.
So, at first I used a BabaSling to feed him.
Here we are in Alnwick Gardens enjoying some public breastfeeding when Reuben was 3 weeks old.
I grew in confidence when I discovered the joys of the Marks and Spencer’s ‘Firm Control body suit’ (which is perfect for both controlling those post-baby wobbly bits and for breastfeeding because it pulls to the side without having to unclip anything so you can quickly cover yourself up again when baby pulls off unexpectedly reviling a whole lot of boob).
I also discovered that we are now protected by law to breastfeed in most public places. It’s incredible to think that this is even necessary but some people have serious issues with seeing those bumpy things on the front of a woman that were made to feed children… *shudder*
But woe betide the place that tries to prevent a woman from public breastfeeding – a cafe in Bristol certainly made a tit of itself (see what I did there?) when a waitress told a woman to never breastfeeding in their cafe again…a few days later the cafe was flash mobbed by hundreds of breasting mothers! Power to the ‘mother suckers’!
So, armed with the knowledge that I could get my boobs out quickly (and more importantly put them away quickly!) and that I was protected by law to feed publicly, I soon braved the cafes and restaurants of the North East minus the sling and discovered no one minds anyway! This has made me wonder whether the North East is just particularly laid back about it because I have done a bit of feeding elsewhere in the UK, most notably in wagamama in Milton Keane’s when the waiters eyes nearly popped out of his head, and I felt a little bit more self conscious…
Has anyone else out there got any public breastfeeding stories?! Good or bad very welcome!!
I have now stopped breastfeeding – if you’re worried about how you will feel, please do read this post and hopefully it will shed some light and make you feel less guilty all at the same time!