Picture of pumpkinella baby after breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in public is disgusting!

The title of this post is thankfully not my view-point but those of many people around me during the first 6 months of my daughter’s life after I exercised my right to breastfeed my child in public.

I had read up on what to do, how to be discreet, where I could go feed my baby, why it was good for my baby and why I should be proud to do so. While I was struggling with it initially, I sought the help of breastfeeding counsellors who discovered my daughter liked sleep more than feeding so helped us on the right path. It took me about a month to get to grips with it. Once I finally got it down I was then nervous to leave my house in case I had to do it in public.

When I finally decided to brave it, responses from strangers were mixed. Many people looked at me as though I was doing something wrong, they would comment under their breath then and walk off. My daughter, over a period also grew nervous of any attention while feeding. This left me sitting inside my car in car parks, or in toilet cubicles that were smelly and icky,  hiding away from the world when my exclusively breastfed daughter was peckish. Breastfeeding is a vision of motherhood I thought everyone had come to terms with and supported. My husband told me of a story he heard where someone complained while in Starbucks that a woman was breastfeeding her child in the shop. The attendant told the person if he didn’t like it then he should leave. It’s also well promoted by healthcare workers that I thought our society was used to it and would celebrate it.

Even a few members of my own family found it unpleasant a thought. We still seem to have a long way to go as a society. I am proud that I did it for the first six months and my only regret is that I had to stop when I went back to work. I stopped for a number of reasons, one of which was guilt. I’ll write a post about that sometime.

Of course I shouldn’t forget to thank the people who smiled and understood, who looked away in respect when was in danger of being over-exposed. Finally to those who took it in their stride and made my daughter feel comfortable enough to feed in public on a few occasions, you are awesome and I thank you!

Breastfeeding is a gift I was able to share with my daughter. It’s not possible for everyone and I certainly don’t believe a mother that does not breastfeed has done her child any harm. I’m just proud to have been able to have that precious bond with my daughter, one which I still miss a year on.

A word for mothers struggling with the idea of breastfeeding and whom may hide away; you have nothing to be afraid of, you are perfectly suited and built to nurture. If you choose to breastfeed and your body is able to produce enough to meet your child’s needs, celebrate this and ignore the haters. You are awesome, be you and be happy with you.

Contented baby after a feed
Contented baby after a feed
Blissful baby after a feed
Blissful after a feed

 

9 Comments

  • Reply Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks 30th April 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Both times I’ve been lucky that my babies are easy feeders but I have struggled in public, the bits that helped me were feeding until nearly one and a bright red screaming baby who caused more attention screaming than feeding….. #brilliantblogposts
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks recently posted…May Bucket ListMy Profile

    • patfola
      Reply patfola 30th April 2015 at 7:24 PM

      Lol! Excellent! Nothing like a screaming baby to get people’s attention, my daughters only screamed for me, reserved it for when we were at home. Not anymore though. I will breastfeed again if I am lucky enough to have more kids but this time round I won’t be so down on myself and I certainly won’t care what people think! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply HonestMum 30th April 2015 at 11:59 PM

    Breastfeeding needs to be naturalised, it makes me so sad that people can be so rude to breastfeeding parents. There needs to be a cultural shift. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts and how gorgeous is your baby x
    HonestMum recently posted…Win A Designer Nova Harley Bag Worth £139My Profile

  • Reply Apparently Awkward 1st May 2015 at 9:09 PM

    Thanks for this #brilliantblogpost! I was so nervous when I first had my son at the thought of having to breastfeed in public – it was so frustrating to feel that way as well when I knew that what I was doing was natural and just an everyday thing! Why so much fuss about it?! I would get so worked up about being out in public that we always chose places to go that were scouted out before hand – big corner booths or somewhere tucked away in a corner. 4 months on I am feeling more confident but it’s taken a long time to feel like I have the right to feed my son the way I choose.
    Apparently Awkward recently posted…There’s a word for that: Dictionary for ParentsMy Profile

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 25th May 2015 at 8:11 PM

      Great to hear you’re a little more comfortable with it. I bet you’re doinh an amazing job!

  • Reply Dana Alley 2nd May 2015 at 2:47 AM

    I too had issues with getting the whole BFing down, especially out in public. I was fortunate to have never received a sideways glance or negative comment! I actually had quite a few positive comments. It’s so sad that people still bash breastfeeding in public. You are doing such a good thing for your baby. #brilliantblogpost!
    Dana Alley recently posted…Don’t Die At Your Desk – 30 Days With My FitDeskMy Profile

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 3rd May 2015 at 10:49 PM

      Thank you! Not everyone can so I feel privileged to have been able to and If I wasn’t working full time u would still have continued!

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 6th May 2015 at 9:43 PM

      thank you!

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 25th May 2015 at 8:10 PM

      Thank you! We’ll see how we go with baby no.2 (when we get round to it). I never expected any negativity but just goes to show. Glad there are folks like us challenging any negativity.

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