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Thread: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canada
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    37

    Default Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    So I promised my DDthat we would pick up DH from the airport. So off we go on public transit to go meet him. Hubby decided he wanted to eat at the airport before we went home, so we went to Whitespot. The lady went to bring us to our table but I wanted something kind of off in the corner because I knew DS would be hungry soon. I intentionally brought only one bottle because I couldn't pump before leaving I wanted him to nurse while we were out. Now I am already uncomfortable and uneasy as is with BFing in public for myself. When our food came it was a guy not our waitress and he kept looking my way, then went putting down my food tried making eye contact with me. Our waitress comes over 2 minutes later and when she realizes what I am doing I swear she said "Oh jesus murphy's law". At this point I am so uncomfortable I just wanted DS to hurry up and finish. I don't think it was intentional at all to make me feel uncomfortable, but I could of crawled under a rock. How can I get over feeling so embarrassed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    You just get over it.

    Seriously, I know it's really hard, particularly when someone directs a nasty look or comment your way, but confidence is a nursing mom's best friend. Forget that- confidence is a woman's best friend! You win when you don't give a hoot what people think of what you do or say, not when what they think can't hurt you. Confidence is what makes Hillary Clintons and Angelina Jolies and Marie Curies and Ellen Johnson Sirleafs.

    ETA: Whenever someone has tried to make me uncomfortable about public nursing, or implied that I should be uncomfortable, it has just made me feel like nursing longer, and MORE publicly. An in-your-face approach.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    The more I did it, the more comfortable I became with nursing in public. Partly because I got faster and more skilled at the logistics of positioning baby & clothing in the most discreet way possible, but mostly because it just felt more normal and less of a big deal the more often I did it.

    In the beginning, I had to make a conscious effort to give myself *positive self-talk* about nursing in public. Namely: My baby is hungry. I need to meet his needs by feeding him. If I were bottle feeding him, would I feel embarrassed about doing it here? No? Then I am not going to feel embarrassed to breastfeed him.

    Try to let the haters roll off you. The only opinions that should factor into your nursing relationship are yours and your baby's ... not the opinions of strangers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    540

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    Practice. Know anyone else that's nursing or has before? Go out together with them. Or attend a local breastfeeding group. My first experience in public was at a coffee shop during my LLL meeting. If I'd gotten a reaction like that I would have asked if they'd never seen a pair of breasts before? You have nothing to be embarrassed about. They should be embarrassed for being rude/creepy. Not necessarily their faulty given our society but it's not going to change if we let then push us into a closet our worse bathroom. One thing I would check if you haven't already is your states bf ing laws if you haven't already. Just in case someone actually tells you to stop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    That's awful that both waiters/waitress said that! It can feel really uncomfortable when someone makes a direct comment like that while you're in the middle of feeding.

    Yes, practicing definitely helps...even look in a mirror. Hopefully that will bring some confidence when you realize just how little (or how much) is showing. Then you can practice showing only what you want to show. Once I was walking around the park nursing and talking to a friend who didn't even realize that's what I was doing. Normally I would have felt awkward but I knew I was well covered with baby and my shirt.
    and Mama to two little girls

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    practice practice practice. And knowing that sometimes when people say things or seem to stare it is because they are uncertain/curious/uncomfortable/clueless with/about something they are not familiar with, not because they are judging. Maybe they are even trying to encourage you! I learned this when I was turning around to hide because I thought one of my husbands’ new bosses (a grandfather) was staring at me nursing my first baby at a company picnic. But then he said "look at those happy feet" (all he could really see)-“that is a contented baby."

    Have you seen this advertisement? Your story made me think of it!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgmbJso-2-o

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canada
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    37

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    The funny thing is I was completely covered. You couldn't even see his feet! To me pumping and nursing is so personal and intimate to me as I'm sure it is to a lot of other mother's as well. Not to mention I am a shy person also. I felt so guilty feeling so embarrassed, but it was my first time in public ever. I never even did it with my first one. I think I will try that mirror idea though. I need to find a mantra and just say it to myself over and over when I do it, lol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    Don't feel guilty for feeling embarrassed! How you feel is how you feel. And what matters is that you did break through and nurse in public. Just imagine- maybe there was an even shyer mama sitting at the next table over, thinking "Wow, she's so brave and confident! I want to be like her!"
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Dealing with being uncomfortable BFing in public

    Practice nursing in semi-public first, e.g. at a supportive friend's house, preferably someone who also breastfeeds.

    go somewhere everyone is nursing, e.g. LLLI meeting.

    I don't think the waitress meant to be critical, she just meant "oops, bad timing". Although it isn't really bad timing unless you have to eat a tricky sandwich or something. The waiter usually does make eye contact when putting down food, right? He might not have even realized you were nursing. Sometimes people aren't sure how to act around nursing mums. That's why it's great to build your confidence first by nursing in front of people who are used to it and don't react at all.

    You needn't feel bad about being embarassed. You are doing the right thing by nursing your baby in public, but you may be in the minority where you live so it's natural to feel shy about it for a time, until you get used to it.

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