J.S. asks from Pemberton, NJ on September 22, 2006
Any Moms Ever Nurse in Public??
i started out exclusively breast feeding, then as i went out more and more, we started using formula. i am so embarrassed to nurse in public. the few times i nursed while out, i was in a dressing room once, a bathroom, my van...the fact that i am feeding my child does not bother me, it is the fact that i will certainly make other people awkward and embarassed. i think it would ease my anxiety if i knew i wasnt alone and saw other mommies nursing their babies. my daughter is 11 weeks old, and i havent seen another mother nursing her child in public.
i tried one of those inexpensive cover-ups from target, but it mainly gets in the way and makes things more difficult. please tell me there are other moms that do nurse outside of the home, and any other suggestions that would help or aleve my anxiety.
thank you so much:o)
So What Happened?™
thank u all for the outpouring of support! it was great to see so many moms so passionate about breastfeeding. thank u for all your encouragement!
B.E. answers from Philadelphia on October 28, 2008
When my baby was hungry, I fed her. Bottom line. I didn't have too many issues, no one really bothered us. I got a lot of stares, but after a while it didn't notice them. I refused to feed my daughter in the bathroom, especially publuc bathrooms! Its gross! That's where we pee pee and there are no grown people eating in the bathroom!
P.H. answers from San Diego on October 21, 2006
I just used a breast pump while at home so I could still give my son breast milk but had the convienince of a bottle.
T.C. answers from Harrisburg on October 09, 2006
Haha! I can relate! I was mortified even at the thought of breastfeeding my son in public for quite a while... but when it came down to it, my baby was hungry, and I was conveniently carrying two warm bottles of milk with me everywhere we went, so I just got over it! To me, the thought of having the front of my shirt drenched was more embarrasing then feeding my son in public. When I knew I was going to be breastfeeding in public, I would wear a tank top underneath of a t-shirt. When my son got hungry, I could lift the t-shirt and push the tank top to the side. My son was able to enjoy his lunch, and I was still completely covered!
J.A. answers from Washington DC on October 18, 2006
back when i was able to nurse I always nursed in public. I loved to nurse my son in a sling or meitai carrier. that way everything was concealed and most people didnt even notice. I also wore nursing tops that were two layers so i just had to shift the fabric to the side.
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R.P. answers from Philadelphia on December 11, 2006
I nursed my daughter for 15 months (first 6 months were exclusively - she would never take a bottle). I would nurse anywhere - even on a bench in the mall! Every once in a while, I would get a nasty look or a rude comment, but I was always discrete about it, but some people are just ignorant! I would be thinking, would you rather hear my daughter scream because she is hungry?!? It is the most natural thing and that is why God gave us breasts in the first place!!! I don't know what it is about people in this country when it comes to breastfeeding, but in other cultures, it is the norm. I think some women are just jealous that they didn't or couldn't nurse their babies and the rest of the population that has a problem with it are just uninformed and uneducated about it. Some people are funny and you shouldn't let that stop you from doing what is best for your baby and you - studies are showing that nursing reduces breast cancer.
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H.M. answers from Washington DC on September 26, 2006
I know exactly how you feel. All I can say is keep at it, and eventually the insecurity or awkwardness will fade. I learned to concentrate on my baby and not what was around me. I also found a great lightweight blanket to use. It is huge (42" x 42"). I think it is called 1,2,3 Swadle and you can get it at Nordtrom.
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K.B. answers from Reading on September 30, 2006
I breatfed all three of my kids everywhere. I never used a cover up. I think that just announces your breastfeeding. I would just put the baby to my shirt. Then unhook, lift the shirt and put the baby on. Half the time people just thought they were sleeping and not eating.
No one ever mentioned me breastfeeding in public. I actually was waiting for someone to say something but no one ever did. I think people are more used to it.
Give your baby the best there is to give. Keep up the breastfeeding!!!!!
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L. answers from Philadelphia on September 23, 2006
YES!!!! and i encourage everyone i know to nurse exclusively as long as possible, and to get comfortable doing it in public. now, 2 things you must know about me. 1- i am a nursing-rights fanatic. 2- i am NOT the kind of fanatic who thinks you should have unrestrained freedom to hang your boob out there in public. i'm all for modesty, discretion, and respect.
but i'll tell you, with all of that being said- my daughter never had a bottle while we were nursing. and i never retired to a bathroom, empty room, car, etc. to nurse her. we always nursed right where we were- whether that was in a restaurant, a church service, or in the mall.
i'll leave you with an analogy, to challenge your ideas about not offending people by nursing in public.
if you are out to dinner at a nice restaurant, and the man at the table adjacent to you has terrible manners.....chews with his mouth open, eats while he talks, etc., do you march over to his table and reprimand him for the offense? NO. he is eating, and you respect his fundamental right to do so. well, when you are nursing your baby in public, she is EATING- something she has a fundamental right to do. anyone who has a problem with that....well, i have a whole list of things they can go do with themselves ;)
please be encouraged- nursing your baby is the BEST thing you can do for her! doing so with pride and confidence is something good you can do for yourself :)
ps- a tip i was given before my daughter was born that served me AMAZINGLY throughout nursing my daughter: go to target and buy lots of their stretchy camisoles. (http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_5/602-###-#.... then, when you unhook your nursing bra, stretch the top of the cami down under your breast, and nurse away. (they're stretchy enough to make this easy.) this way, while you're nursing and your shirt is up, your belly stays covered by the camisole. this is a good move for 3 reasons. 1- modesty 2- the less skin showing (of any variety) the less likely a stranger will be clued i to the fact that you're nursing (and not just holding a sleeping baby) 3- if you're like me, you're looking for any way possible to keep that baby pooch out of the public eye!!!!! ;)
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H. answers from Pittsburgh on September 25, 2006
It's definitely a personal decision. I nursed my first 13 months and second about 18 months. I'm currently "on break" but am due again in May so I'll be back to it soon enough. I was uncomfortable at first and when it was possible I would find a quiet space to nurse away from lots of activity - it also helps them focus on nursing as they get older to not have too much activity going on around them. But there come times when the baby is hungry and needs to be fed and it just doesn't work to find a completely private space. Most places you can find a semi-quiet location though which may be more comfortable for both you and your child. As the baby became more skilled with nursing, it seemed easier to do more discretely. I had a couple nursing tops or just wore loose shirts. A light blanket can be helpful too if it makes you feel better. Another option is pumping and taking a bottle of breastmilk with you when you go out. Sometimes it's convenient, other times I found it to be just too complicated to keep cool and find a place to warm up. Follow your comfort level.
C.G. answers from Pittsburgh on October 06, 2006
I nursed all 4 of my children. Sometimes you have to do what is best for your child. I was embarrassed at first. I would stop what I was doing and go to the car and nurse. But as I had my next child, I just realized that it shouldn't matter if I feel embarrassed, I am giving my child the best thing for them. I even went to a park when my child was a couple weeks old and I saw a mother just open her shirt and nurse her baby. She wasn't even trying to hide it!! My husband even saw it and said that is how I should be. You know what I did? I sat in the middle of the park and nursed my child.
J.L. answers from Erie on October 30, 2006
I nursed my oldest (now 21) and my twin girls (now 17). At 1st, w/my oldest-it was hard--a little akward. After a few times out, tho',I found people to be very respectful.If they appeared a little too curious or bothered, I would say excuse me-my baby is hungry or this is so much easier than carrying bottles. This is your body and your baby. You have the right to nurse in public w/o feeling odd. I always carried a lg receiving blanket and would sit in the corner of a booth or the anteroom to a restroom w/chairs or a couch. I was glad I did this. My oldest nursed her son w/o blinking an eye b'cuz she had been nearly 4 when my twins were born. She felt it was very natural and knew how good it was for her little one. I was w/her almost all the time then & found people to be very accomodating & respectful. I hope it works out for you. If you are very shy--try pumping & having a reserve, then you can just carry bottles of your milk. J.-Erie PA