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Topic: breastfeeding in public
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Viv

7/17/2018 8:26:53 PM
Member since:
Jun 2012
Total posts:470
breastfeeding in public

The manners in restaurant thread had me right worked up (no I didn’t comment in that thread).  
 
At first I wanted to yell, then I got upset and wanted to cry.  
You know what I didn’t know before I became a first time mom? How hard breastfeeding is. The baby does not just “know” how to latch and it’s not this miracle thing that just happens, it’s a lot of work. Cracked, bleeding nipples for months and a lot of pain when you first start off. Being attached to your baby what feels like 24/7. Having your independent life go upside down and learn how to manage this new (awesome) sleep deprived life.  
I had a c section and I don’t think I got to leave the house to go to a restaurant for months. But of course when I did I took my baby, and my baby got hungry, and I had to feed my baby. Because even though babies “should” go 3ish hours between feedings, when you are out in public is naturally when they cause a fuss and need to be fed immediately or scream bloody murder. So you want to calm them immediately instead of disrupting others and you stick a boob in their mouth.  
Now 90% of the time when I’m in public breastfeeding I wear a cover, more so because other people get “weirded out” that I’m feeding my child.... (I will never understand why that’s weird). However, when your child gets older they rip that cover off so easily.  
You say, use a bottle when out in public. Have you ever pumped breastmilk for feedings? That s$!t is liquid gold. I have perfectly good milk available in seconds but instead I have to bring along the exact amount of pumped milk, get the restaurant to warm in safely for me all while my baby is losing it because heaven forbid I “whip a boob out”. And then I have to go home and pump for 30 minutes to replace that milk and because my boobs feel like they might explode at any minute.  
Logical thing to do then - stay home until your baby/child can go out in public, not cause a scene, not need to eat, etc to please all of these keyboard warriors on eBrandon. Why should you, as a hardworking mother who never gets any time to herself, be allowed to eat in public where others are because your baby might need fed. Where is your decency?!  
 
Posts like what I was reading make me incredibly sad. I felt shut out by family and friends who were too uncomfortable to be around me while I was feeding my baby (while wearing a cover). I got told to go into other rooms, gross bathrooms to nurse or had to sit in my vehicle before entering stores or restaurants because of all the dirty looks or comments you receive from others. People judge you if you don’t breastfeed because “breast is best” yet I’m still breastfeeding because the doctors recommend you do it until your child is over a year old (my child is 10 months). Now all the comments I get are, “when are you going to wean? How long do you plan to do this? It’s gross when a kid walks up at four years old and asks for the boob” (not what my situation is but ok).  
Can we just stop judging these moms? As long as you are feeding your child and they are healthy and happy aren’t you doing it right? If you see a woman breastfeeding in public, whether she’s wearing a cover or not, just look the other way. You have no idea how her day has gone, or maybe her child is cranky or won’t take a bottle. Maybe she’s been up all night and she forgot to pack a cover. Maybe it just doesn’t matter her reason for breastfeeding in public, just walk on by and enjoy your life and cut her some slack. Being a mom is really difficult, don’t make her feel worse than she already feels in that moment.

SZ

7/17/2018 8:47:55 PM
Member since:
Jun 2009
Total posts:640
THIS

I love it. Thank you and I 100% after with everything you said

Trevor B

7/17/2018 8:51:28 PM
Member since:
Apr 2005
Total posts:7917
Funny

how breastfeeding has been occurring for thousands of years and without hiding. It was just part of life, but now it's taboo to be seen doing it. Can't let kids see that even though for the early parts of their lives they were latched on doing the same thing, or it's deemed sexual, indecent exposure because you might show a part of a breast. Or whatever other stupid excuse that people come up with. It's really just another case of society dictating how people need to live their lives or be outcasts, looked down on, or ridiculed.  
 
I have no problem with public breastfeeding.

comeonsummer

7/17/2018 8:52:53 PM
Member since:
Feb 2017
Total posts:73
.

I’m only responding to the breastfeeding comment. Breastfeeding is what women are created to do to feed their babies. It is far more natural than eating in a restaurant and should never be looked down upon. Shame on anyone who tries to make mothers feel bad for taking care of their children the way nature intended.

myhandleistrain

7/17/2018 8:58:48 PM
Member since:
Mar 2016
Total posts:242
As a man and a father

I say, "go for it, women"! It's creating and nuturing life! I'm sure as women, as I would if I was, I'd do it respectfully and proudly. For those who don't agree, to bad. Grow up. New life is a precious thing.

don brown

7/17/2018 9:22:27 PM
Member since:
Aug 2010
Total posts:4615
And I say ya

axana596

7/17/2018 9:31:39 PM
Member since:
Jul 2010
Total posts:687
YES

AMEN SISTER.  
 
I have never had anyone actually come up and say anything to me while breastfeeding in public, but I have still...  
- breastfed in a bathroom stall  
- let my child scream in hunger until I got to a place that displayed a sign that breastfeeding was acceptable there  
- sat half-naked in my car in -40 weather to feed baby  
 
Why? Not because anyone has said anything directly to me, but because there is that social stigma.

SimplyTheBest

7/17/2018 9:32:02 PM
Member since:
May 2012
Total posts:131
Thank you!!!

When I had my first child, I think this was the absolute hardest thing for me!  
 
I wanted to breastfeed, because I felt that was what was best for my baby, but felt so ashamed to do it anywhere but the privacy of my home. At times, I even felt ashamed in my home because relatives or friends that were uncomfortable with it preferred that I go to another room. To keep the peace, I did.  
 
My kids never took a bottle, even though I tried, so until they were weaned, I hated leaving my house for any length of time because I was scared that I would have to nurse and not have somewhere to go. It was a terrible feeling. Now I know I shouldn't have felt that way; however, as a new mom, there were a million changes to my life and hormones and everything that I didn't know left from right and didn't want to rock any boats that weren't necessary.  
 
Unless what they are doing is physically, emotionally or mentally hurting their child, please support moms and their choices. You don't know what kind of day or night they've had and being a mom is just plain hard, especially when you're just learning how to do it. We don't need your accusation tone or scowling look at us to make us feel worse than we already do when something isn't going right. Maybe you see a tad more than a mom intended because a baby won't latch or pulls a cover off - big deal! That mom is trying her best. If you don't like that someone is breastfeeding in public, just look away - no one is forcing you to watch.

Trevor B

7/17/2018 9:37:09 PM
Member since:
Apr 2005
Total posts:7917
It's

also pretty crazy how squeamish people get over the sight of a female breast.

Flutterby

7/17/2018 9:40:30 PM
Member since:
Sep 2007
Total posts:1171

I too, did some of these (& it can get VERY hot/cold in vehicles depending on the season).  
 
I needed privacy most times, because from early on, my babies disliked being covered. I bet that gets hot for them too...and they like to see everything surrounding them anyway, just like the adults! Still, I preferred to be discreet anyway.  
 
I talked to a manager and wrote the head office of one store to make sure that all workers knew that women were allowed to breastfeed in the changerooms if they wanted privacy...if the rooms weren''''t in big demand. I knew that I could do this and had written the head office and yet one worker who was probably never told, got mad at me and wanted to argue when I requested using one (at not a not busy time). I was able to get it straightened out after finding a manager and briefly explaining the situation. This store is Wal-Mart, by the way. You do NOT have to feed in the family restroom there despite what someone there may say...ever. If you have opposition somewhere, politely write the head office to create change.  
 
I also requested of them to lower the super high change table after they first installed it. Whew! Much better!  
 
I breastfed my many children until an average of 2 years. Muslims, as I understand it from one muslim friend, are required to do this, but I chose it because it was what was best for my babies.  
 
Viv, if you are still breastfeeding, continue on, knowing that others have gone through the same from others. Enjoy your baby time. All too soon, the good baby times will pass.  
 
Edited by Flutterby, 2018-07-17 21:41:40

DadOf2

7/17/2018 9:47:42 PM
Member since:
Jul 2009
Total posts:201
I wish...

Adam could add a ''thumbs up'' feature, because the OP deserves a BIG THUMBS UP.  
Never mind - there is a Thumbs Up, I never noticed.  
 
Edited by DadOf2, 2018-07-17 21:54:00

Donnel

7/17/2018 10:46:37 PM
Member since:
Jan 2018
Total posts:64
Are we still free

The only ones who can dictate and bring a person down is the person who receives it and accepts it. In this day and age of people with the attention spans of a tweety bird and eating tide pods. It’s good to see women still accepting and choosing to breastfeed. It’s time we take the social worker out of everyone and start living our own damn lives. Maybe we can start right the wrongs of this strawberry generation from dictating what others should or shouldn’t do.

Ms.Daisy

7/17/2018 10:55:33 PM
Member since:
Jan 2018
Total posts:256
Really?

  
Trevor B said "how breastfeeding has been occurring for thousands of years and without hiding. It was just part of life, but now it's taboo to be seen doing it. Can't let kids see that even though for the early parts of their lives they were latched on doing the same thing, or it's deemed sexual, indecent exposure because you might show a part of a breast. Or whatever other stupid excuse that people come up with. It's really just another case of society dictating how people need to live their lives or be outcasts, looked down on, or ridiculed.  
 
I have no problem with public breastfeeding. "

No offense Trevor but its not 1970 anymore.  
 
If some woman pulled her boob out to feed she'd be all over Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook you name it. It's a different World out there. And don't even get me started on how many more creeps there are out there now a days.  
 
It's not hard for a woman to feed in public and be a little classy and discrete about it. I did it and I see Mom's all the time doing the same.  
 
P.S. I wasn't calling you a creep personally  
 
Edited by Ms.Daisy, 2018-07-17 22:57:17

Trevor B

7/17/2018 11:05:01 PM
Member since:
Apr 2005
Total posts:7917
The problem

is with the older generations, the younger generations are more open and accepting of change. But at least we are slowly getting past the Victorian era social norms and rules.  
 
You could of left the Tide Pods out of your post though since people from all generations do stupid things.

D+D

7/17/2018 11:49:26 PM
Member since:
Nov 2012
Total posts:145
Different experience

I was very concerned about nursing in public, before I did it. I don't doubt I may have had an accidental exposure a few times, but overall I think I did fairly well at maintaining my own sense of propriety while nursing everywhere. Some of my proud nursing in public moments i:ncluded:  
 
Nursing in Wal-Mart while shopping, with baby in a ring sling, using the sling tail or a nursing cover for privacy. The setup alone was worth being proud of.  
 
Nursing at AgDays during presentations. (A very kind hutterite gentleman stopped and commended me for nursing, he was also very proud of his wife for nursing their children. I don't know how he knew I needed encouragement just then, or if was just luck, but I appreciated it.)  
 
At scientific and industry meetings.  
 
Many, many restaurants.  
 
I also nursed in my vehicle many times, before going into a store. But I don't think I nursed in a bathroom once, in 14 months. I would go into a quiet bedroom during some family gatherings to give baby enough quiet to concentrate on what she was supposed to be doing, but otherwise I just did what I was doing, and nursed when baby needed to.  
 
I was fortunate, and I have to acknowledge that.

Adam

7/18/2018 7:43:19 AM
Member since:
Mar 2005
Total posts:15171
Topic

Pretty simple topic to me. Can’t envision a happy, well-adjusted person taking issue with something so natural that doesn’t effect them. Best you can do is hope the rare person with an issue finds their way to happy some day. Do your thing moms and know that the silent overwhelming majority (and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) very much has your back!

Tirilita

7/18/2018 8:20:24 AM
Member since:
Aug 2017
Total posts:13
It really made me happy to read this!

Thanks for this thread OP and thank you Adam for your post!  
Whether or not to cover is a mother’s personal decision, but regardless of her choice, she should be able to breastfeed in public with confidence, knowing that she is doing the best thing she possibly can for her baby.  
Happy moms make for happier babies!

Someonesomewhere

7/18/2018 10:52:56 AM
Member since:
Dec 2011
Total posts:11
Classy and Discrete

Nursing mothers shouldn’t have to worry about being ‘classy and discrete’. Just because something works for one nursing mother doesn’t mean it will work for another. The important thing is that baby is being fed and nurtured (what breasts are designed to do).  
 
The classy thing is looking away if it bothers you. I really have never understood what the issue is. We’ve all seen breasts. Most of the time baby is suckling and you wouldn’t see anything more than what you would if a woman was in a bikini top in the quick glance that anyone should be taking anyways. I also wonder why parents are so quick to hide it from children which may be the problem in today’s society. Children should grow up understanding what a woman’s breasts are designed to do so they don’t become the adults who think it’s gross or wrong.  
 
Nurse away Mommas however YOU want to nurse!

pinkflamingos

7/18/2018 12:45:37 PM
Member since:
Jul 2017
Total posts:161
.

I have always felt that it should not be a shameful thing to breastfeed in public, but I'm not sure if I'd personally be comfortable doing it myself. But I don't know why I feel that way? It's a normal thing and it's not offensive. I think perhaps it is a symptom of a bigger societal problem with oversexualization of women's breasts. Men shouldn't feel the need to creep and women shouldn't feel the need to call other women out.  
 
Like come on folks, just politely avert your eyes. We're all civilized here, or at least we pretend to be. I feel very sad for any woman who feels she needs to breastfeed in a restroom or even cover the poor baby for the duration when it's this hot out.

curlysister

7/18/2018 11:17:06 PM
Member since:
Sep 2009
Total posts:2261
hmmm

In my opinion, a woman should breastfeed her child anywhere and anytime it is needed. The amount of her breast and child that she covers (or does not cover) should be determined only by her. She knows her body and what is best for her child. There is nothing 'unclassy' about exposing a breast to breastfeed a child. And there is no reason to be 'discreet' in order to make someone else feel more comfortable with it.

TheQuietOne

7/19/2018 7:10:33 AM
Member since:
Feb 2008
Total posts:578
:)

I just have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of positive responses this thread has received so far!  
Maybe its a sign that society is finally starting to change and accept public breastfeeding more?  
 
I'll admit that (even as a woman) I personally am uncomfortable with women breastfeeding in public- particularly when they're not covered up. However! I know that my discomfort is my OWN issue to deal with and I fully support women breastfeeding in public (even uncovered if that's what baby prefers- new mothers have enough on their plate without having to deal with trying to get a fussy baby to feed under a cover).  
 
A few people have commented that they dont understand how people would be uncomfortable with it. I myself don't fully understand why it weirds me out, but since I've never been around it much, and have no plans to have my own children, its fascinating to me how breastfeeding works, but obviously I don't want to be rude and stare (even if my staring would only come from a place of interest and not of disgust or creepiness lol. So I find myself consciously trying to avoid looking even in the slightest. I really hope that my awkwardness never makes a mom feel uncomfortable!

mycomment

7/19/2018 5:06:09 PM
Member since:
Mar 2017
Total posts:2
breastfeeding

The "classy and discreet" comment irked me greatly. Breastmilk is the best food for a baby, yet comments such as "classy and discreet", "modesty", "cover it up", "consider others", etc. are subtle jabs designed to put down moms who breast feed. As has been mentioned before, if you don't like it, don't look. There are truly sights that one sees out in public that are not classy nor discreet, but someone breastfeeding a baby is not in the category.

Someonesomewhere

7/19/2018 6:53:24 PM
Member since:
Dec 2011
Total posts:11
Mycomment

  
mycomment said "The "classy and discreet" comment irked me greatly. Breastmilk is the best food for a baby, yet comments such as "classy and discreet", "modesty", "cover it up", "consider others", etc. are subtle jabs designed to put down moms who breast feed. As has been mentioned before, if you don't like it, don't look. There are truly sights that one sees out in public that are not classy nor discreet, but someone breastfeeding a baby is not in the category. "

Well said!

Rideon

7/19/2018 9:00:59 PM
Member since:
Feb 2018
Total posts:17
Don't worry about what others think

You go right ahead and feed your child. Funny story.. We were on a flight and my husband was sitting by a lady with her baby. She started breast feeding all the while we were all talking. We got off the flight and my husband was commenting on how quiet the baby was. I said cause she was feeding him. My husband had no idea that had happened. So feel free to feed your child, it's such a natural thing it shouldn't bother anyone.

Abbysmum

7/19/2018 9:14:10 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3176
yep

  
Rideon said "You go right ahead and feed your child. Funny story.. We were on a flight and my husband was sitting by a lady with her baby. She started breast feeding all the while we were all talking. We got off the flight and my husband was commenting on how quiet the baby was. I said cause she was feeding him. My husband had no idea that had happened. So feel free to feed your child, it's such a natural thing it shouldn't bother anyone. "

I love stories like this.  
 
I have always breastfed my kids in public (although I try to be discreet), but struggled with it.  
 
When my second child was a newborn, I was breastfeeding her at the back of the gym where we had church while the main church was being renovated. And then church ended... ha ha ha... the entire congregation paraded past me while I was struggling to "discreetly" nurse my fussy baby.  
 
An older woman came up to me and told me that she was so glad that young women were nursing their babies again. She mentioned she nursed all her babies at a time when it was unfashionable to do so. She then leaned over and kissed my daughter on the head, while I was nursing her. That certainly boosted my confidence as a mom.  
 
The thing that really made me fearless, however, was the next summer. I was taking pledges at a family event for La Leche League walkathon or something, and my husband's grandfather asked what I was collecting money for. He was a sort of stern, old-school kind of guy that I was slightly nervous around still. I explained what La Leche League was, and he shook his head and said,  
 
"Why do we need an organization like that?? Isn't nursing babies something natural??  
 
I explained to him that organizations like LLL were important because there was a break in knowledge - especially here in North America where there was essentially a whole generation or two that didn't breastfeed (he's originally from Europe and his oldest children were born there, and there very much was still a culture of breastfeeding, midwifery, homebirthing etc there at the time). He nodded sagely and gave me $20.  
 
I sure didn't worry about nursing our babies in front of him anymore!!

Abbysmum

7/19/2018 9:16:35 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3176
Just Ask!

  
TheQuietOne said "I just have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of positive responses this thread has received so far!  
Maybe its a sign that society is finally starting to change and accept public breastfeeding more?  
 
I'll admit that (even as a woman) I personally am uncomfortable with women breastfeeding in public- particularly when they're not covered up. However! I know that my discomfort is my OWN issue to deal with and I fully support women breastfeeding in public (even uncovered if that's what baby prefers- new mothers have enough on their plate without having to deal with trying to get a fussy baby to feed under a cover).  
 
A few people have commented that they dont understand how people would be uncomfortable with it. I myself don't fully understand why it weirds me out, but since I've never been around it much, and have no plans to have my own children, its fascinating to me how breastfeeding works, but obviously I don't want to be rude and stare (even if my staring would only come from a place of interest and not of disgust or creepiness lol. So I find myself consciously trying to avoid looking even in the slightest. I really hope that my awkwardness never makes a mom feel uncomfortable! "

I've answered many questions over the years from adults and children alike about breastfeeding. Most moms would be happy to answer questions etc or let you sit nearby if you simply ask.

eph2-8

7/20/2018 10:09:51 AM
Member since:
Dec 2009
Total posts:125
Amazed this is an issue or that anyone would have even made a comment

This speaks more of the person making a negative comment than it does to the mom who is taking care of their childs needs. There are lots of stupid people in the world which describes the comments you received. In north america we build such a stupid attitude over things. Went to a swimming pool in Germany... one change room shared by both genders. Full nudity, only two who felt awkward was my wife and me...beachs in italy greece france and germany all the same..no one pays attention to it. And this is so much more the norm. Really this speaks to a few idiots only!

 
 
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