Why we NEED To Breastfeed Our Babies In Public

I can remember feeling nervous about breastfeeding Iyla in public for the first time. We were going for a meal with Dad2BabyInsomniac’s family and I knew at some point I would need to feed her. I was worried because it was still new to me and I hadn’t built up the confidence to answer back should anyone say anything and knew I would probably cry instead.

Luckily it was totally fine, well better than fine as the waiter actually came over and told me he would heat my dinner up when I had finished.  Then like anything, once you have done it  the first time it becomes far less scary so I continued to feed Iyla as and when she needed me to, no matter where we were.

I am now breastfeeding for the second time and have never come across any negativity for doing so in public.

I know not everyone can say the same thing and had I received a negative comment from someone the first time I breastfed in public then although it wouldn’t have made me stop, it would have made me a lot more nervous and uncomfortable.

Same goes for if I had seen a certain member of the ‘Loose Women’ talking about how it should be done in a toilet, if you didn’t know about this then you can read my post on it here – Why I Will Never Breastfeed My Baby In A Toilet – it makes me mad!

The thing is though that people making negative comments is rare and we can’t let it put us off breastfeeding in public because otherwise these people will win. I always thought that I would give anyone who said anything to me a piece of my mind but I just don’t think I would now because they are so ignorant that I don’t think anything you say to them will change their minds on how they view it.

I accept now that some people will never understand breastfeeding, they will never think it’s necessary in public or even in private. That can’t be changed but what can be is giving women who want to do it the support and confidence to not care what these people think.

This is why we NEED to breastfeed our babies in public. If the people who don’t like seeing it don’t like it then they should stay home or go and drink their drinks in a toilet. They need to feel like they don’t have the right to say anything. They need to be the minority.

One of my friends has a little girl four weeks younger than Jobey and yesterday we were both in a busy park breastfeeding our babies. It would have been perfect timing for someone to say something to us because we had power in numbers.

Last year I attended a breastfeeding protest in Bristol, a mum had been asked to move when breastfeeding her baby, she was then followed by someone who hurled abuse at her. She put word out about it on Facebook and before you know it, there were dozens of women all showing their support and agreeing to turn up at the protest. It was a brilliant, positive day and although the cafe might prefer women not to breastfeed in their cafe, they now have a sticker saying breastfeeding mums are welcome.

Breastfeeding Protest Bristol

The law covers us to breastfeed anywhere we like and that is all that matters.

I would also like to suggest this post by The Motherhood Journeys to you – Positive Breastfeeding in Public Stories – she asked mums on Twitter to share the times people have been positive about them breastfeeding in public and it is so lovely to read.

And if you enjoying these breastfeeding posts then you can read more on any of these bloggers sites as they are also taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt:

In The Playroom

Simply Hayley

Life, Love and Living with Boys

Sorry About The Mess

Diary Of A First Child

And to enter the giveaway to win lots of prizes including one from Breastvest, all you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below:

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Comments

  1. Sarah Queenan says

    I accidentally answered the door to the postman with a boob half hanging out having just beed feeding my son, that was pretty mortifying! Luckily it was a temp postie, not our regular!

  2. says

    Our first public feeding happened in an Apple Store, at this point I didn’t have a shawl and i felt very self conscious. I had to whip my boob out and everyone around me was staring.

  3. sofia ramos says

    The signs that my LO used to give for breastfeeding time (with his head back and forward) reminded be of an woodpecker and that always made me laugh

  4. Gilly says

    My 4mth old seems to know when people are watching as hes feeding, he’ll make a big pop noise as he lets go and gives them an eye full, he’ll smile and go back on! Ive learned to laugh at it now too…

  5. Theresa says

    No funny stories. I think I felt more nervous feeding in front of male friends and relatives of mine and hubby’s than I did out in public. Never had a negative comment though which is good.

  6. Danielle Cox says

    Im off on holiday very soon and have been flapping about feeling with my maxi dresses, promise to try forget about my confidence issues and get on with it.

  7. Janie says

    First time I ever breastfed in public I was so scared but all was going fine the restaurant was wonderful but my baby decided he wanted to be nosey and came off quickly mid feed spraying milk all over his face. The poor young waiter didn’t know where to look my cousin couldn’t stop laughing I was exposed for all to see and my poor tiny baby had milk in his eyes.

  8. Lucy says

    I remember this protest and agree, we need to make breast feeding in public just normal, nothing special or out of the ordinary, just what mums do.

  9. Lecky Beach says

    I was so nervous when I had to breastfeed in public with little guy for the first time, I was trying to cover him up with a scarf which he didn’t like and I think this attracted more attention.
    Very quickly I realised no one was bothered which was lucky as he liked to feed every 2 hours and I was going stir crazy in the house!

  10. Donna McP says

    What a lovely post, that was a great waiter!
    when my daughter was about 6 months old I was attending a close family members funeral. She had been really good through the service, sitting with Grandma and Grandad as I did my reading up front, but by the time we were graveside she was definitely hungry…. I knew if anyone was going to be able to hear what was happening I’d have to feed her…..I apologised to the vicar and he said “the needs of the living far outweigh those of the deceased, you carry on”.

  11. says

    This is such a great post, lady! I really think you should look again into training as a breastfeeding peer supporter too, with the ABM maybe. The idea that breastfeeding should be kept private is very much bound up with the outdated belief in scheduled feeding (ie you can go out because your baby only needs to be fed every 3 hours) which has been disproved by the research and is linked to supply issues and early weaning.

    My funny breastfeeding story is that I was at a freezing cold festival with 4-week-old Talitha and I desperately wanted her to feed while we were in a pub between acts because I didn’t want to take her out of the sling outside and I didn’t know how to feed in the sling yet. But she was fast asleep! So I was literally brushing my nipple across my sleeping baby’s face as discreetly as I could manage with my humongous breasts. Across the room an old man was laughing at us and gave me a friendly nod. Of course, she woke up as soon as we went outside!

  12. sc2987 says

    It’s easier to nurse in public in a sling so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing and sit down. Also as they’re upright it can reduce reflux. Visit a local sling meet/library for advice.

  13. Hanneke says

    I fed my DD in the waiting area of a garage a few days ago whilst waiting for my car to be fixed, 3 mechanics were standing right in front of me behind the counter. i don’t think any of them noticed :)

  14. leonie says

    I feel so very very proud breast feeding in public and have never had a problem. I eat my meals in cafes so does my baby.

  15. Tracy Hudson says

    I was feeding on a bench when an older couple sat next to us. Was being discreet and then didn’t really notice until littlun took herself pff and did the hugest burp.

  16. Bonnie Navarra says

    In the early days of feeding my first I once answered the door with breast shells on both boobs! The poor teenage pizza guy didn’t know where to look!

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