Thanks for hopping over from My Thoughts On Things 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 to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
MAM Baby UK and MulitMam are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2015 with my readers and I today, and supporting my Keep Britain Scavenger Hunt Day 2 post with the following fab giveaways and discounts: MAM Breastfeeding Pads | a MultiMam New Mum Pack and Loyon | 50% discount on a MultiMam New Mum Pack and MultiMam balm with the code ‘aNoviceMum’ from August 1 – 31
Breastfeed in public?
I wish I could write that our first latch was an indicator of how our breastfeeding journey would proceed. I wish I could say that the breastfeeding honeymoon that it was, lasted. Fancy being in this wonderful place with the first fruit of your womb … the nurse helping you when needed … your husband and a few other professionals in the background … enraptured in your first breastfeed … without a care in the world.
IMAGINE if this set up was the usual: getting support when you needed it, feeding without any concern whenever your baby needed it.
Unfortunately, our first latch turned out to be the breastfeeding calm before the breastfeeding storm. As I tried to make sense of the unexpected shock to my pre-child-post-new-mum psyche, I breastfed without concern in female company. Breastfeeding in public though, was simply out of the question in those early weeks.
Beyond the maternity ward, hospital, and health visitors’ clinic, church was probably the first place I fed outside the house. I can’t remember much of it now but I know it was such a fanfare getting sorted.
In the early weeks at home, I thought I had to sit in a particular way, position my baby in a set direction, situate certain cushions to support us in certain ways etc, to make each feed work. Thankfully, I had my husband to get me water, the remote control, that book, or this cushion … as I needed it.
So, feeding outside the house meant that I had to go through my breastfeeding preparation, sometimes without my husband, and with the added complication of getting my clothes out of the way. My clothes were not in the way at home; you see, I kept them to the minimum. However, feeding in public, whether in a designated place or not, gave me the added worry about what to wear considering the weather and my privacy.
Thankfully, as we learnt to walk in step in our breastfeeding dance, I learnt to relax and disregard the ‘how-to-do-its’. I realised that the cushions didn’t have to be in a set way for me to be comfortable, and I didn’t have to stick to particular feeding positions to make it work.
I started noticing other women feeding their children in my breastfeeding group, in designated rooms, and in the open. I found myself paying particular attention to how they did it too.
I noticed those who used specialised feeding covers, a scarf or muslin square as a ‘shield’, and those who fed without cover. I observed different ways that generic covers could be used; tucking one section under a bra strap for example. I noticed women who were discreet and those who were not. I noticed different types of nursing bras and clothes that made it easier to access the breast.
I saw women breastfeeding around me and it was liberating.
I remember seeing a mum feeding at the surgery during this time. She wasn’t wearing a specialised outfit and she looked so relaxed. Her muslin square, partially held by her bra strap, was draped across her chest in a way I hadn’t seen before. I ended up walking to her to tell her how inspired I was with her cover, and her feeding so openly. We ended up chatting as if we had met before.
That’s mother-to-mother support right there; no training required, just be mum.
And so before I knew it, feeding my child in public or company (male or female) stopped feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Seeing so many mothers breastfeeding their children (babies and toddlers [more within mum groups]) made me feel normal about feeding mine whenever and wherever.
I no longer worry about breastfeeding when I’m out and about, just like I don’t worry about other vital bodily needs. I just rise to the needs that pop up.
O yes, I’d had some hiccups along the way but I’ve made it through. There is nothing strange about finding a comfortable space to feed Precious Sparkle when he wants; may that be in a park, on the bus, at church, in the bank, at the restaurant, in the station, or else where. I no longer ask for permission or care about who might be around; though I state my intended action if I see a need to.
What matters is that my baby / toddler and I, and our family are okay about where and how I feed.
So, I say, FEED ON!
Breastfeed your baby / todder / child when it’s needed,
wherever you are if it suits you, however you want,
without worrying about how others will react provided you’re safe.
Remember that mum knows best; even if you feel you don’t.
Do you worry about breastfeeding in public?
For more positive feeding in public experiences please hop on over to Milk and Mummy where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw.
Remember you need to earn 50 points to be eligible, full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Site.
Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding website. UK residents only.
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