Thanks for hopping over from Monkey and Mouse and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 2 Positive Public Feeding. We have over £700 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies up for grabs including prizes from Snoob with a breastfeeding scarf, a goodie bag from Forever Patricia and a breastfeeding necklace from Booby and the Bead. Full details of the Grand Prize can be found here and all entries are to be completed via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post.
Positive Public Breastfeeding
When I my first son was a newborn, I remember thinking, “What will I do when we go out? How will I feed him? What if people get cross with me? Should I express and take a bottle instead?”
About a fortnight after he was born, we popped to Pizza Express with Ian and my two stepchildren. I did try taking a bottle of expressed milk out with me, but my baby was having none of it. He cried and rooted around looking for a breast. So, with flushed cheeks I breastfed him and prayed that nobody would complain.
No-one said anything to me. Nobody looked. I don’t think anyone even noticed.
I felt slightly more confident but I was still a little shy so I bought a breastfeeding cover. It gave me a bit more confidence but my baby flapped and fussed and that drew attention to me more than breastfeeding itself. So after a week of using it, I decided to breastfeed without it.
And still, no-one said anything to me. Maybe the odd smile from other mums.
I believe that the negative stories we read in the media about breastfeeding in public are rare. That’s why they are written about. “MOTHER FEEDS BABY IN COSTA AND NOBODY CARES” simply wouldn’t sell newspapers or get clicks. Yet that happens day in, day out. Mothers are feeding their babies wherever and whenever and 99.9% of the time the rest of the general public just get on with their business.
My first son was breastfed until 19 months old. He stopped wanted feeds in public when he was around a year old but still, in all that time I did not receive a single comment, look or stare.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. With my second baby, I skipped expressing [apart from for the milk bank] and skipped the breastfeeding covers. I simply feed him when he needs it. I do what suits him and I, armed with the knowledge that nobody actually cares. If anything, maybe I’m showing other mums that it is absolutely fine to breastfeed in public and giving someone else the confidence to breastfeed in public too.
And if a situation was to arise where someone had a problem with it, I know I’m protected by the Equality Act 2010. Babies can be breastfed anywhere in any public area.
Here are my top 5 tips for having a positive public breastfeeding experience:1. Try breastfeeding at home in front of a mirror so you can get an idea of what other people can see. It will surprise you!
2. A breastfeeding cover might help you feel more confident, but don’t feel that you HAVE to use one.
3. Baby groups are a great place to practise breastfeeding in public. You will be with other mums who understand just how you feel, and you might make some fab new friends!
4. Ignore the newspapers. The stories in the media are very much in the minority. It’s highly unlikely that anyone will have anything negative to say to you. If anything, you’ll be offered a drink!
5. Above all else, remember that your right to breastfeed in public is protected by law.