Breast Feeding In Public
Babies that are breast fed are very portable and easy to comfort no matter where your schedule has you going. Many women however, worry about breast feeding in public. The worry of nursing in a public place is normally worse than the actual experience and often times the only people who notice you feeding are the other mothers who are doing the same thing. Many women find ways to breast feed discreetly. You can ask your partner or even a friend to stand in front of you while you lift your shirt from the waist. When you breast feed, the baby's body will cover most of your upper body and you can pull your shirt down to her face to cover the tops of your breast. Some mothers prefer to put a light blanket over their shoulders as a type of cover.
When you are visiting someone else's home, you may feel more comfortable either leaving the room or turning away from people when you first put the baby to your breast. If you would like more privacy, breast feed in an empty room, car, or public restroom. A lot of restrooms are becoming more baby friendly and they even have a seperate are with a changing table and a chair. Several shopping malls now offer special mother's rooms where the mom can breast feed her baby in privacy, which will help sensitive babies who are too distracted by feeding to nurse well in public. It won't take long at all though, before your baby will learn to breast feed without any fuss at all. An alternative way is expressing or pumping your milk at home and then offer it in a bottle while in public.
Keep in mind, offering bottles with artificial nipples in the first few weeks can and probably will interfere with breast feeding. When breast feeding in public, you should always use what works best for you. During the first few weeks, it will take some getting used to, as it will be as new for you as it is for the baby. With some time, you'll have no problems at all. If you don't feel comfortable breast feeding in a certain location, then you shouldn't. You should feel a certain level of comfort when you feed, as the baby can tell when you aren't comfortable doing something. If you show your baby that you aren't nervous - you and your baby will be just fine.
Image from MorgueFile public domain.
I would be uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. If I were at a store and needed to feed my baby, I would go to a bathroom stall. Some women are not like this and will pull their breast out for feeding time even if they are in a store. Earlier this year I was at the dentists office. There were nearly thirty people in the waiting room when I saw a strange look on a guy's face. I was curious so I looked to the side and saw a woman breast feeding in the waiting room. I would understand if she had a blanket or even her shirt covering the breast, but her breast was in plain sight. Her nipple was not even covered. Though you need to feed your baby, women should respect those around them and keep it covered.
Sahara, are you a mother? Your response is quite interesting. I am a mother and breastfed all my children. Here in Spain is not an issue like in the United States, it seems like over there people seem to have the wrong kind of thinking with regards to this topic, it's sad. Why would you feel uncomfortable? You're feeding your child, he/she is hungry and that's his/her food. About the woman at the doctor's office and the man, probably he was staring too much as every person who is uncomfortable around women who are breastfeeding.
Well the woman had her whole breast hanging out as her shirt was up. Her nipple was showing to the whole room of people. I wouldn't see anything wrong with it if she had a shirt or blanket draped over her breast.
I was saying that I personally wouldn't want to breast feed in a public place. Breast feeding is an intimate thing, and I wouldn't want extra attention drawn to my breasts during this time.
I hae no problem with those that want to breast feed in public. As Americans we are too wrapped up in our sexuality to understand that women should be allowed to bare their breasts to allow their children to feed. After traveling a lot in my younger days I found that in many places women could walk around topless and not have to worry about getting ogled or groped. Here in the US we still do not have that mindset. I think if we did breast feeding would not be such a big issue.
Kntoran I wanted to give you a charm point but I don't have enough posts but what a great post. I think American moms use too much formula instead of providing the best for their kids not to mention some seem to be too worried about what others think. Thanks for the dose of reality. :)
This is an interesting topic, one that I havent ever even thought about. I do think however that people really do not have a problem with the 'act'. People's mindset has changed towards this natural part of life. Maybe the culture varies in different countries.
Yes it is the culture of a area or a country that decides how one acts and breast feeding is the same. Here in the US many women feel that they should not have to cover up while breast feeding their child but many in the US would rather not see them breast feeding and would like them to cover up. This is what makes many clashes happen and you hear the latest of a breast feed in because someone made a comment to a lady who was breast feeding. I hope that as time goes on more and more people will learn to accept this and allow women to be more expressive with their actions and looks and no think of it as an invitation for them to ogle or grope.