The first time I breast fed in public was at the register office when we went to register Jake at 12 days old. I was a bit nervous, but I got over it very quickly.
I’ve always been a bit nervous about someone coming up to me and asking me to stop feeding, or telling me it’s inappropriate, but luckily it has never happened. And if it did, I’m pretty sure I would tear strips off them, and if I didn’t, my hubby would. In fact, the only time someone has ever commented on my breastfeeding was when Jake was tiny and I was sat on a bench outside a shopping centre feeding him and a lady came up to me and said “Well done!” and carried on her way.
It can be quite daunting feeding in public for the first time, but don’t let it put you off. It does get easier.
- If you feel nervous, make sure you have someone with you for the first time.
- Choose clothing appropriately. I tend to prefer loose tops that I can lift up, then I pull it down to his face so that no breast is exposed but I can still see him and he can see me. On the odd occasion that I have a top that I need to pull down, I have a muslin or scarf handy to make me feel less exposed. Some women like to wear a vest top under a loose fitting top.
- Don’t feel like you need to hide away in a toilet. You wouldn’t want to eat in a public loo, so neither would your baby.
- Don’t be made to feel uncomfortable feeding in public. The Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport.
- Remember, breastfeeding is completely natural and there is nothing inappropriate about it. If someone has a problem with it, that is exactly what it is – their problem. Smile, nod and carry on.
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