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Thread: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I bought a chest carrier, and for the first couple months before he got so huge, I would just wear a low cut shirt, or one with a stretchy neckline. That way when he was hungry I could just drape a scarf or light blanket over the both of us, pull out my breast and keep on doing whatever it was I was doing. Now I have to lower his carrier too much for it to be comfortable for me to nurse him like that but it was wonderful while it lasted. I actually managed to nurse him several times in close quarters with friends who had no idea I was doing it. Although he did tend to dribble on my shirt but lesser of two evils for sure.
    I think so long as your breast is covered as well as you can manage it is not anyone else's business. It's one of those things you have to be firm in and proud of, otherwise they will ruin this special time for you.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    YOU ROCK.

    And think of what you wrote here:

    "I RARELY ever see another mother nursing in the park"

    Just think of how another new mom would feel to see you nursing!-- she'd think (as I have thought in the past) "oh thank god someone else is nursing here, it must be okay to nurse here for me too!"

    In fact I often go out of my way to nurse an extra time or two in public before going home-- to help do my small part to make the sight of a nursing mom a NORMAL SIGHT!
    You are helping to do just that!
    If someone stares, you have every right to think THEY are rude! Please don't think YOU are doing something wrong.

    If someone has stared at me, I just think it's SO not my problem. I am doing what I need/want for myself and my baby, let the other adult take care of themself! If they dont want to see a boob, they can look the other way, that is their choice.

    p.s. My son is almost 10 months but the side of an 18 month old so I may be getting more stares soon too.. but I won't stop nursing :-)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    11

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I know exactly what you mean! Nobody has ever said a word to me, but I am always waiting for it. My lo is 6 months old, and does NOT like to be covered. Trying to cover her would draw a lot more attention with all the flailing around and screaming, so I dress in a way that makes it easier to NIP, and just hope for the best (I figure an occasional nip slip is going to happen, and anyone who doesn't want to see it shouldn't be looking). I really hope nobody ever says anything to me, because I am very outspoken, and as much as I know a polite response will make more of an impact, I know that my actual response would more than likely have less than polite language involved.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    The Armpit of the Universe
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I don't know how helpful snarkiness is, but you could turn things right back around on those who stare at you in an attempt to make you nervous or because they think NIP is offensive or whatever, and say "didn't your mother teach you that staring is rude?"

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I've gotten weird stares a few times. But what can you do? You are taking care of your child. (Of all places, I was at a dairy farm when an old lady gave me a look and my husband noticed it too so it wasn't just my imagination). But I agree with bottle feeding in public. My daughter needed me to pump for her due to extended nursing strike and milk removal issues and when I bottle fed her my milk in public I would tell her the whole time that mommy pumped her milk and talked to her about her mommy milk in a bottle....

    But anyway, I nursed in public till my daughter was probably 2 and by then she was going longer between nursing anyway and I kind of didn't want to know if anyone would give us a rude stare anyway. Some people will look, some people will smile because they think it's great, and a lot of people just think you're holding your child and are completely clueless. That happened to us at a large art museum. I had my Moby wrap on and she was facing me sitting up, a lady was right next to me, had no idea...I've had people come up to me while I was nursing and wanting to interact with my daughter and then maybe realize what we were doing.

    It's all good and your baby needs to nurse so really it's natural to nurse in public also I think it's good for other people to see it and for young mothers or future mothers to learn how to breastfeed watching other moms.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,597

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    (Of all places, I was at a dairy farm when an old lady gave me a look and my husband noticed it too so it wasn't just my imagination).

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I know what you mean!!!! I live in an area where there are definitely not a lot of mamas who BF and definitely not a lot who NIP. But, after posting for advice on how to do it discretely on another board (I have large breasts, too) and them telling me to start noticing, I have noticed that it is common, but most women do do it so discretely, you just don't notice. And, it sounds like you are nervous about it (having your DH cover you, etc., which is totally something I'd do) that you're looking for THAT picture versus a mom who's doing it quickly/discretely and nobody's paying any attention.

    I will say (and I'm almost embarrassed to admit in on here because the women on here and much better/more secure with their BFing than I am) I end up A LOT in my car nursing or in a restroom nursing. I'm just more comfortable doing it there. DS has had horrible reflux and hurts a lot when he eats, so he pops off A LOT (and now that he's 8 months old is popping off to look around, etc.) and so it's very hard to nurse discretely with that type of baby. I don't think there's anything wrong with women NIP and I applaud those who do, but for me and my comfort level, I just prefer to do it elsewhere. I don't make DS suffer, though, if he's hungry and I can't get somewhere discrete, I have fed him but have been very nervous about it. I will say, though, I'm sooooo much more relaxed about it now versus when he was, say, 9 weeks old!!!!!! ETA: I have even pulled a restaurant chair into restrooms to sit and nurse DS! LOL SOOOO gross, I know!!!! And guess what, ladies who come into the bathroom do one of two things: One set of ladies avoids looking at me and you can tell they're extremely uncomfortable and are doing EVERYTHING they can not to look even at my face (ha!) and the other set of ladies look at me like I'm sitting there pole dancing, doing something dirty! So even if you did go hide in a bathroom like I do (and I know I shouldn't and it's gross), you'd still get looks!

    But, I'm a VERY modest person! Even in labor/delivery, my nurses/DH knew I was not comfortable being out there, so to speak, even in that situation. Everyone said I'd lose my modesty after labor/delivery but after two kiddos, I'm just as modest as ever. And I hate that about myself!!!!

    And, because I never knew anyone IRL to nurse before I had my kids, when I would see a woman NIP pre-kids, I was truly grossed out! Hahahaha! Now I realize how silly/absurd that was!!!!!!!!! But I can remember RIGHT before I found out I was pregnant with DD, we were in Cancun in a nice-ish restaurant and a lady started nursing her DC right at the table. I remember like it was yesterday saying to DH, "We're in a NICE restaurant, you'd think she could do that somewhere else." Now DH and I laugh at how silly I was....as to him, it's always been just biology, no big deal either way. And I'm so sad to say I'm sure I was giving her looks of disgust. I wasn't taught any differently, though!!!!!!

    But as soon as I found out I was pregnant with DD, all that changed!!!!! It's like the maternal instinct kicked in FULL FORCE and I've never looked at BFing the same since.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    I have to agree with the bottle feeders- I am way more embarrassed giving my baby a bottle in public (I don't have a full supply so we supplement). And I know that's all in my head. Maybe hanging out with other breastfeeding mamas would make you more comfortable? I have a walking group that inevitably ends with all seven of us breastfeeding, and me bottle feeding as well. It made it really easy for me to get comfortable in public.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aurora, OH
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in Public: Why is it still so taboo??

    Ive also been on both sides of the NIP issue. I had DS1 when I was only 19, I nursed him for less than a month. DS2 came when I was 21, I never nursed him but did pump for him because he was a preemie. I saw mothers NIP and thought it was inappropriate. I NEVER would have done it, in fact was embarrassed when the nurse tried to help me in the hospital after DS1 was born.

    Fast forward 10 years and DS3 has arrived (he is almost 6 months). He was also a preemie, but somewhere in those 10 years I changed. Maybe it is because this will most likely be my last baby. I struggled for 3 months with breastfeeding and then it finally clicked and we are almost at 6 months of nursing. In fact, DS3 will rarely take a bottle. What a complete 360 from my oldest and middle sons. I have nursed DS3 in public, at the mall, the park, older sons basketball games.....and I am proud to do it. I have gotten a few weird looks at the mall from teenage boys, but I just make eye contact (which tends to shame them to look away). I always think to myself.....yes, I am feeding my child. With my breast. As nature intended.

    Now I am proud to tell people that not only do I breastfeed, but that my son really does ot want to take a bottle. I love when people ask what kind of bottle/formula I use and I can say "I dont!". I have a girlfriend with a baby the same age as mine and she went straight to the bottle and formula. I know people use formula for all different reasons but hers was selfish and I feel bad every time we are out in public and she is shaking a bottle to mix formula.

    Be proud that you breastfeed, make eye contact, and know that you are doing what is best for your baby.

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