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Thread: nursing around family/extended family

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default nursing around family/extended family

    i didn't know if i should title this "nursing in public" or not...because it's not really that...

    i'm a first time mom. my son will be 4 weeks on tuesday (yeah!) and we have a great nursing relationship. I am EBF him - not pumping (i am a wahm) -- and i have a lot of flexibility around the house w/ him and my business.

    anyhow, when i nurse him, sometimes he'll feed quickly and be done, but most of the time, i'll nurse him and he'll just want to take his time and fall asleep...sometimes he'll be nursing and sleep and it'll be 45 minutes w/ him on the boppy in my lap (while i'm at my desk in front of my laptop!) etc....i see no need to rush or to take him off --i mean, i'm not uncomfortable, and he and i both find it relaxing.

    now, when i'm around family (my family -- i.e. grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc. -- or my DH's family) -- it's a little trickier.

    everyone wants to see him and hold him etc....

    if they visit us at my house, i will excuse myself, go into my bedroom or office, nurse etc. and then come out when i'm ready.

    but if i'm at my in law's house or another relative, i don't feel comfortable nursing in front of them (usually it's at least 10-15 family members getting together for weekly sunday dinners -- not just my in laws)....so i excuse myself and go to another room. but then i'll always feel like i have to rush him or not give him enough time - and he gets a little cranky and i feel anxious and rushed.

    am i the only one who is in this situation? what do you guys do?

    should i just have the attitude of hey, this is my baby, he's hungry, i'm going to give him all the time he wants and if you have to wait to hold him for 45 minutes, so be it? or do i need to kind of watch the clock, feed him, pull him off after 10-15 min. and then hand him over to impatient relatives?

    i love my family and my husbands -- and no one is knocking on the door saying "are you done yet?" - but it's more of me feeling i need to rush...

    please - someone tell me it's just all in my head and that i can just take my time!!

    also, is it weird that i don't feel comfortable nursing in front of all of them? when it's just me and my sister or niece or etc...i'm cool. but when it's like 10 people.....lots of teenagers, kids, and adults etc...i don't know, it's overwhelming for me to breastfeed in front of them..and i'm not comfortable enough w/ those shawl/wraps to cover him....maybe soon, but not now.

    i just feel like they think i'm a prude or something.

    ok, sorry for the long post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    I don't nurse in front of family. It is my own personal choice & I will spare you the boring details . I will go into the other room & I always take my time. Everyone is used to it by now. I used to feel like I had to rush, but then DD would just get mad. She too takes 45 minutes to nurse. I say take your time. Your lo will be a lot more fun if he has a chance to eat. And no, I don't think you are a prude. We all have to do what is right for us.

    Congrats on the new baby!

    Loving my Beautiful High Needs Baby Girl born 12/28/06

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    My dd is only a little under 4 weeks, so we have not nursed in public yet, but this is something that concerns me, also. I can also see this exact situation happening to me with my husband's family. If it were me, I would let my dd take her time and eat what she wants. IMO, she is number 1, and her wellbeing is the most important in the world, so everything else can wait. This might mean being a little assertive to others, but I think everyone would probably agree that taking care of the baby is the number 1 priority.

    I have a great sling that I can nurse in, which I hope to use when we do start getting out more. Also, I plan on buying a nursing cover up for times when I don't want people seeing my boobs. I plan on practicing being discreet at home before we go live with it, but I'm sure it will be awkward for a while. It's funny because I feel I can nurse freely around my friends and a lot of relatives, but I just don't know about the grandpas and father-in-law people, and I totally admire others who nurse without reservation -- it's totally natural after all and it's other's problems if they don't like it -- but sometimes I feel more reserved. Maybe you can attend a nursing mothers support group or a LLL meeting to see how others nurse in public.

    Anyway, I understand your concern. IMO, feed the LO should be the priority. Hope everything works out for you!

    Jen, momma to Charlotte Rae born 9/25/07

    Still breastfeeding !

    and !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    Hi, I would put the baby´s needs first, he must have his needs fully met, and familiy CAN wait...

    I´ve actually been kinda selfish with my DS, as he was a preemie I would not let anybody hold him if they had´nt washed their hands and face....It caused me trouble at first....regarding BF, I can do it with my mom or my MIL, in a separate room, with the condition that they dont bother my DS while he´s nursing...(cause they used to talk to him, grab his feet...it was too overwhelming!!) I TAKE ALL THE TIME HE NEEDS...usually up to an hour, plus babies need to sleep and overstimulation really stresses them....

    I can also nurse in front of my dad, brother.......But FIL, BIL, I can´t....don´t feel comfortable enough..

    Just put your baby first, he is the most important tiny person and his needs must be respected.....I don´t think he´s going to like a "half" o a feeding....
    Karina, Neonatal Nurse, mother to Martin, born at 33 weeks 02/11/2007...
    I love ...... .....my baby loves it

    I relactated....IT CAN BE DONE!!!

    I also love
    Tried to

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    Hi, I'm also a first-time mom who feels a little shy about nursing in front of family. My baby is 7 weeks old, and we are still a little uncoordinated. I can relate to feeling like I need to 'hurry up' to get the baby back out to visitors, too! I had a lot of visitors her first few weeks, and I started to resent them, actually, because in my own house, I sequestered myself to the nursery because I didn't feel comfortable nursing where everyone else was. I am trying to be less inhibited though, because you really miss out on the fun. I ordered a bebe au lait cover, which hopefully will make things easier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    I agree with everyone else you have to do what is best for the baby and half a meal would be torture for any one of us. Just imagine your enjoying your cheeseburger and it gets taken away when your in the middle of a bite. I alternate with pumping and BF. I pump when we are going out to shopping or to gatherings(friends). The very thing your talking about happened to me this weekend. I pumped enough for one serving, however we ended up staying longer at a friends baby shower than we had expected. I had to ask to use the mommy-to-be's bedroom. It was fine for 10 mins until people kept coming in and out of the room to get their purses. I was so embarassed that every time someone rushed in the room I'd throw the babies blanket on us. Mind you I live in California and this weekend was hot!!! I must have lost 5 pounds by the end of his 50 min eating session. By the time we were done everyone had gone home 'Oh well' I told myself my baby comes first Next time i'll be sure to bring a litlle extra.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    I nurse infront of my mom! But when I go to my aunts I go into her room upstairs just because there are 3 9 year old triplet girls, and they are loud haha. He gets easily distracted so I need to be somewhere quiet with him! They know I breastfed and it's so cute cause the one of them was saying "He'll get what we are eating later through the breast milk, right?" What an awesome thing to say!

    But I felt rushed in the past about it as well, and still do sometimes. But we both need to realize that we need to feed our babies and if they want to take their own sweet time eating then so be it! The baby won't be happy if he doesn't have a nice full tummy, and wouldn't it be a much more enjoyable visit with relatives if he was a happy full baby?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    I am in your boat! I didn't read the other responses, so I apologize if I'm repeating another response.

    My in-laws are obsessed with our new baby daughter, who is 5 1/2 weeks old. They can't get enough of holding her, talking to her, touching her, and just plain being around her. THIS IS GREAT! However, MY problem lies in how I go about getting her out of their arms when I know she's hungry, so I can feed her. We have a language barrier between us, and I sometimes find it difficult to convey to them what I know she needs. And they are a VERY opinionated bunch...they scoff at binkies, breastfeeding beyond a few months of age, thumb or finger sucking, cosleeping, babywearing, etc. To them, it's all unnecessary spoiling. Those things are not a part of their culture. I don't want to come across as being impolite or disrespectful, but sometimes I feel like I have to be aggressive when it comes to parenting my own child around them.

    However, my husband (their son) and I don't share their beliefs, and they know it. When it's time for our baby to eat, I politely excuse myself to the room they indicated from the beginning to use for nursing. My male in-laws I know are uncomfortable seeing the nursing, but they know it's best for the baby and no one rushes us. Luckily, Reagan is a very quick, efficient eater and is done within 10 minutes time. She has been known to take longer, though, and that's okay! If she wants to dawdle and hang out at my breast, so be it.

    I say don't worry about how long it takes! And there are lots of women who are uncomfortable nursing around others. No problem. Do what's right for you and your baby...not anyone else!

    Wife to the wonderful Joe Tran
    Stay-At-Home-Mom since 12/07
    First born son Noah, born 3/23/97, 8 lbs 1 oz, 20 1/4"
    New baby girl, born 9/13/07, 8 lbs 7 oz, 20"

    Blissfully breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, and cloth-diapering mama.
    "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    Wow, your large in-law family sounds like mine. I too have struggled with the hurry up and nurse so everyone and their brother can hold the baby thing. They even wanted me to wake her up so they could "see" her!
    You and your baby will be the ones who pay for it if you rush through feedings to try and please others and you will find yourself resenting them. Don't give in, keep telling yourself that her needs come first. The buck stops with Mommy and it's your decision. Also, get your husband on board, mine didn't really understand until I told him that I wanted his verbal support so family wouldn't jokingly give me a hard time about 'feeding the baby again? she just ate... ect. ect."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Swartz Creek, MI

    Default Re: nursing around family/extended family

    Quote Originally Posted by la_baby01 View Post

    am i the only one who is in this situation? what do you guys do?

    should i just have the attitude of hey, this is my baby, he's hungry, i'm going to give him all the time he wants and if you have to wait to hold him for 45 minutes, so be it?
    Exactly.... give you lo all the time that you both need... family will be be understanding, if they aren't, they will learn to be understanding...mine did and still is...

    Sometimes it's a struggle when they didn't bf, so they don't totally understand...but just educated them if any ? arise...

    Glad to hear that your experience is going great!
    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

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