Breastfeeding Bites #6. Feeding in Public with Beta Mummy

Ah yes, the time has to come at some point where you leave the security of your post-partum bedroom hibernation and take your baby and your boobs OUT. Not out-out, that would be irresponsible surely, but just out – a cafe maybe; a lunch somewhere; a shopping expedition; the doctors perhaps; or, in the case of my first ever public feed, a cricket game…

I’ve never experienced direct negativity when I’ve been feeding either of my children ‘in public’. Well, possibly I have but didn’t notice because it’s unfathomable to me as to why anyone would find it odd. But also possibly because I look so ridiculously uncomfortable doing it. I’m going to say this now – I DON’T LIKE BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I will assert my legal right to feed my baby anywhere but that doesn’t actually mean I want to feed her anywhere. I don’t want to feed her on the side of a cricket pitch. I could live without feeding her walking off the 12.22 train at London Victoria. I don’t really want to feed her in the staff room of a primary school halfway round an open day visit. I’d rather not feed her in the car in a layby, A bus? No thanks. A church? Do I have to? A crematorium?? Needs must but, again, not ideal. Waiting rooms, libraries, museums, pubs, cafes, random benches – nope, nope nope. But, of course, yes yes yes…

And so I probably get more sympathy than anything else. Like the time I wrestled my baby onto my breast under a wavering canopy of scarves and muslins only to emerge to a crowd of cafe onlookers… ‘he’s on!’ I rather flusterdly declared to one and all, and was met with kindly congratulations.

In a bid to truly convey what I mean I turned to the talented and insightful Beth from The Adventures of Beta Mummy. You see maybe, just maybe, I’d enjoy it all if I was just a bit more Alpha Mummy about the whole thing…maybe if my experiences were just a bit more like THIS:

'Alpha' mummy doodle at table with friend

Rather than so very THIS:

Beta mummy breastfeeding. All going wrong.

What about you? Have you mastered the art of nonchalant, seamless public breastfeeding!?

Do take heart though if you’re struggling – it does get easier and won’t last forever. Just keep your eye on the prize – huge, ginormous cake! For a feeling of added support when planning where to go out you can also check out this website for venues that have signed up to the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ Scheme

And, of course, please do visit The Adventures of Beta Mummy for more relatable and humorous Alpha/Beta Mummy scenarios. Thank you Beth for being part of this post.

Pink Pear Bear

 

Two Tiny Hands
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16 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Bites #6. Feeding in Public with Beta Mummy

  1. Ah I love it! What a fabulous combo you two make. I think I have been a bit of both in my time… and I should probably be ashamed to say the main public place I have fed him in are pubs 😂 Well, pubs and restaurants. It can be tricky to get the hang of it but like you I’ve never had any negative comments. It’s nice now to be able to wear clothes without the main requirement being boob access though! Xx

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  2. I’ve had a couple of situations where I’ve been on the receiving end of some disapproving looks but I’ve never actually been challenged. I feed my bub basically everywhere – like you I don’t particularly enjoy it, mainly because bub likes to throw himself off the boob at random moments giving everyone a bit of an eyeful which is disconcerting. But I’m a staunch believer in everyone’s right to boobfeed in public and get really, really agitated when I read comments about how boobfeeding mothers are to be tolerated but only if they don’t FLAUNT it (people, we are focused on feeding our child. That’s it). So, in a way, when I have to do it I remind myself that I’m helping to normalise it in our society, just a little bit.

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  3. Brilliant post! With my first I was too embarrassed to feed in public until she was 8 months old, but by the time I had my second I’d realised that nobody actually makes a big deal out of it so feed him pretty much anywhere. But yeah, I still feel flustered and self-conscious about it. I particularly recognise all the sicky muslins in the beta mummy picture!

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  4. I also felt uncomfortable when feeding Master X. I felt to make up for it I was over the top… I would overtly lift my blouse, and obviously cusp my breast so that he could latch (damn inverted nipples). Because I had to tend the relationship so early with my first, I am really looking forward to breastfeeding my next baby in marvellous public discomfort!

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  5. haha those pictures are fab!! I’m not bothered about breastfeeding in public. It felt a little strange to start with, but no problem now. Having said that, I’ve never experienced any negativity and I know many women have. #BigPinkLink

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  6. Aaah, brilliantly summed up in the pictures!! I’m the same, I absolutely hated breastfeeding in public, and ultimately, it was the reason I stopped with my second baby (I know, gasps of shock all round!!) Nothing ever happened, nobody said anything, but I’m intensely self conscious and private about my body, and the whole process just left me almost physically sick and anxious. Staying in all the time was also having the same affect, so for everyone’s happiness, that was the decision I made. Well done for keeping going, I know how you feel and don’t envy you at all!!
    #bigpinklink

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  7. Fab post! I really panicked about breastfeeding in public, mainly because I was convinced that I would be stared at or that people would be horrified by my post pregnancy boobs!! I hope that this helps someone who is feeling nervous, I loved it! #bigpinklink

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  8. “Like the time I wrestled my baby onto my breast under a wavering canopy of scarves and muslins only to emerge to a crowd of cafe onlookers… ‘he’s on!’ ” Oh just no! But I just love this collaboration. Beta Mummy never fails to make me laugh until the tears are streaming – how does she do that? Just brilliant! Such a great post my lovely #FamilyFun

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  9. LOVE THIS. I never quite mastered breastfeeding in public. The Popple was always really fussy, and then as she got older she got too distracted and would keep unlatching to look around. A quiet, dark room was idea – not that there were many of those when we were out and about. #FamilyFun

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  10. This is bloody brilliantly but then it is two of my favs in one post. I found He while feeding thing in public or not very traumatic. Way too many people saw my boobs for my liking! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx

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  11. Love the drawings and agree that feeding in public can be uncomfortable at times. I managed to find some reasonably priced fabulous breastfeeding tops which made it much easier to be discreet. We had a period of time when Jessica would only feed with a nipple shield though which made it a lot harder to feed discreetly, particularly as she got older and had a delightful habit of grabbing the shield after she was done and waving it triumphantly in the air! Sophie liked to shout “wan’ booby!” loudly when it was quiet – during the prayers at church was a favourite moment. It’s funny looking back though 🙂

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  12. I’ve never really worried about it. Just do it. I’m a bit more self conscious now he’s 18 months, walking and pulling at my top declaring bee boo bee boo at me!! Now I’ve taught him please it’s bee boo bee boo peees! Least he’s polite but is noticeable!
    It does get easier and they do get quicker too. Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

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  13. This made me chuckle! I remember this awkward first few months feeding in public, it did get easier and at one point I was an expert but now little one is getting older its back to awkward again, lots of people have detonate ideas about when babies should be weaned from the breast but unfortunately my 16 month old doesn’t give a damn about those ideas. Plus he’s taken to stopping half was through and jiggling my boob untill I say “wobbly booby” and only then will he resume 🙈

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