As a mum who is currently breastfeeding her fourth baby, I have been wondering… are there any places which would be deemed inappropriate places to breastfeed?
When Bunny was a baby, I only breastfed for 5 weeks, and whilst I did breastfeed in public, I generally confined myself to a discreet corner and felt quite self conscious about it. Breastfeeding the twins was different because I mostly tandem fed and the easiest way to tandem feed was at home, where I could prop my arms up with pillows and get comfy, with a twin under each arm in a rugby hold. Any time I went out, I generally had to feed them separately, so I tried to mostly time going out as a between-feeds activity.
Since Baby Bear was born, I’ve probably been out and about more than I’ve been at home. As his birth coincided with the school summer holidays, we literally haven’t stopped. Times have changed since Bunny was little, there is less stigma around breastfeeding in public and many people stand up for the rights of nursing mothers, against those who shun public feeding. I am on my fourth baby, I know what I’m doing with this breastfeeding malarkey now. If I can tandem breastfeed twins, feeding a singleton should be a doddle. I’ve also become more confident about my body as I’ve got older, so breastfeeding in public with Baby Bear really doesn’t phase me. Do I sit discreetly in a corner? Do I heck?! Sometimes I even walk round nursing. I don’t bother with covers or slings either and I’ve been whipping my tits out all over the shop.
Here are some of the places I have nursed Baby Bear in the first 5 weeks of his life:
In NUMEROUS pubs, cafes and restaurants
At soft play
At a blogger event
At friends houses
At a BBQ
At a fairground
At a farm park
In the car (parked up obviously)
On the beach
The list goes on.
I’ve not felt self conscious anywhere, but I did question… are there any places which are considered inappropriate places to breastfeed? As I was sitting in church with a boob out, trying to fit a nipple shield (I had nipple thrush) and attach my baby with minimal screaming, I did ponder whether or not I should have left the church. Is it really okay to get your lady lumps out in church? I looked around me and nobody seemed bothered. The vicar was making a speech about how all buildings are “God’s houses” not just churches and how ALL are welcome in church. How children shouldn’t be silenced and people shouldn’t be hushed from speaking. At that point I realised that churches are much more liberal these days than they were back in the dark ages and that it was probably okay, seeing as I was getting my breasticles out to feed an infant, rather than to flash a hottie in the front row.
After the service, a few older people came over to admire Baby Bear. They peered over at his face, with no distaste for the fact he was latched on at the time. One lady even kissed his head and I must say, that’s probably the closest a stranger has ever gotten to my funbags without my permission. Nevertheless, it didn’t bother her and it didn’t bother me. So clearly it’s NOT inappropriate to breastfeed in church after all.
That got me thinking about when I left a shop the other day to go and find somewhere to nurse. Could I in fact have fed him in that shop? Would anybody have said anything as I walked round looking at clothes with a baby latched onto my chest? What about supermarkets? Is it okay to have my own melons out in the fruit and veg aisle of Tesco?
Next week we are going on holiday – Baby Bear is too young to be allowed in the swimming pool (he’s not had his vaccinations yet), so if I had to get out of the swimming pool to feed him, would it be acceptable to have titty-time at the side of the pool?
What kinds of places would be considered as inappropriate places to breastfeed?