I can remember feeling nervous about breastfeeding Cherry in public for the first time. We were going for a meal with Mr C’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 Cherry 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.
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 Tiger 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.
The law covers us to breastfeed anywhere we like and that is all that matters.