Breastfeeding: Would you do it in public?

4 Nov

I’ve never been one for formula because a) breast milk is very good for babies, b) formula is expensive and I’m…well…cheap, and c) formula seems to require way too much effort for my liking.  Sterilise bottles, mix the formula, heat it up, wash all the bottles. Sigh.

So what happens when a fully breastfed baby is taken out for the day?  Sure, you could express some milk and bottle feed that to the baby.  But some babies, like mine, won’t take a bottle.  To them, a bottle is just an icky plastic thing that someone is trying to shove in their mouths instead of the warm nice booby where they can snuggle up with mommy while having their meal.  A bottle in the mouth induces a wild flapping attack complete with screaming.  Anyone looking on would think the baby is being cruelly tortured.

What do we do?  The baby has to be fed.

Well, I’ll tell you:  I just whip the girls out wherever I am.  Sure if there is a mothers room, I’ll go there to feed Daniel.  They are much easier.  They have nice plush chairs to sit on, a little play area for Hannah, and best of all, they are out of the public eye.  Of course not all places have these awesome mother’s rooms, so often I have no choice.

Like the other week, when The Jess and I took the kids to the city (and by the city, I mean Sydney) to visit Aaron at work for lunch.  Sydney is about an hours train ride from where we live.  We could drive, but driving in the city is a bit scary, and finding parking is virtually impossible and ridiculously expensive. So, train it was.  We got there alright, but by the time we started for home, Daniel was hungry.

No worries, I just fed him on the train.  Everyone else looked very uncomfortable.  No one would sit next to me, opting instead to stand up.

“That’s disgusting.”  I heard one teenager tell her friend.  Well how do you think you got your nutrients when you were a baby?  It didn’t bother me any, my baby was hungry, and no one could even see anything.  Except for the back of a baby.  A baby head was in front of my boob, obscuring it from view, a baby body was in front of my bare stomach (it had to be bare, you gotta pull your shirt up to let the boob out.  Unless you’re wearing a very low top and have floppy boobs (I have neither).  Then you can go over your shirt.) hiding it as well.  I put Daniel’s head in front of me before pulling my breastfeeding bra down, so there is no nipple to be seen the entire time.  Ok fine, except when he decides to pull off and smile at me, but I can’t really control that.  Plus it’s adorable.  But even then, only someone sitting beside me would be able to see it.

Tuesday, Jess, the kids, and I, had to pick up some stuff Aaron bought GraysOnline  .  They have this big area with lounges where you wait while they get your stuff and call your number.  Daniel was hungry.  I sat down and fed him.  He wasn’t finished when they called my number.  I stood up and went to the counter, still feeding Daniel as I walked.  Boy did I get some strange looks.  My stomach was hanging out that time.  Can’t really hide it when standing….

Then we went to Costco where I saw a lady walking around breastfeeding while shopping.  I wanted to hug her.  I thought it was great.  The baby was hungry, she fed it.  Why do people think that’s so weird?  It’s not like there’s anywhere to sit and feed a baby at Costco.  I suppose you could sit on one of their demo outdoor furniture settings (I may have contemplated such a thing…), but I don’t think they would have appreciated that too much.

So would you breastfeed in public?  Why or why not?

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12 Responses to “Breastfeeding: Would you do it in public?”

  1. puddinggirl November 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    My kids were “mix-fed”…. breastfeeding whenever and wherever they are with me and bottle feed when I am at work. Breastfeeding in public?… YES!.. been there , done that… its no big deal actually. besides fashion has improved that they have clothes designed with easy access for breastfeeding. 🙂

  2. Brandi November 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I always fed my little girl in public. Although I hate my stomach haning out so I would always wear a belly band to hide my stomach or a BFing tank under my shirt so my stomach wasn’t exposed. I also liked using my moby wrap or other carrier so I still had use of both hands while feeling.

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) November 5, 2011 at 1:35 am #

      Yeah, I hate that too, but it gets way too hot here to wear an extra layer. Plus it’s really hard to find breastfeeding tank tops small enough to fit me. I did find some that fit my stomach, but they are way too small for my boobs. Sigh

  3. Kay - Her Baby Stuff November 5, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Here in British Columbia breast feeding is considered a HUMAN RIGHT. Babies have the right to nutrition which is a basic human right. Advocacy groups will assist in taking legal action against any person, business,, or corporation who attempt to restrict breastfeeding.

    I personally don’t breastfeed in public without covering myself – by choice. and it should be a choice. …

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) November 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

      I’ve tried the modesty covering method but I suck at it and always end up showing way more then without it. Weird, I know but I’m just special like that…

  4. veryVERYbusymom November 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I definitely breast fed in public, but because I’m pretty modest, I didn’t really just whip it out. I carried my babies in a sling, so it was really easy. I could shop or run errands and if the little guy or gal got hungry they could just latch on. I had one incident where some older lady pulled open the sling & asked “Do you have a baby in there?” She totally exposed the whole boob. She was way more embarrassed than I was and probably never did that again.

  5. idiosyncratic eye November 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    it seems crazy that with all the fashions that people insist on wearing and all the nudity in the media that breastfeeding is still perceived as obscene. Crazy! Go for it, although I think sometimes a modesty shawl, blanket or one of those muslin cloths that babies never seem to be without is a good idea. Cosier, warmer and a little bit of privacy from all the idiots who apparently never knew that that is why women come with breasts! 😉

  6. Seattle Appraiser December 8, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Good for you for not being afraid to breastfeed in public! Both of my daughters were solely breastfed– not bottles– each for an entire year. It’s convenient and cheap!!

  7. Mumof2 February 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    I was so proud of myself the day I managed to breastfeed my daughter without having anything showing (for my own comfort). Newborn latched on right? Check. Singlet covering post partum stomach? Check. Tshirt covering remaing bulging boob from the top? High five myself.

    How anyone could complain about that I don’t know.

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