Despite reading plenty of news articles about women being asked to feed their baby in a train toilet or not to feed in the swimming pool, I can honestly say that in my 5 years of breastfeeding I’ve never had a negative experience of breastfeeding in public (well expect perhaps the time I was feeding Chloe in my car in a supermarket car park and overheard someone announce “Urgh, she’s feeding her effing baby in the effing car!” Quite what was wrong with that I don’t know!)
Anyway. I do think that this is, in part, down to confidence. If you feed confidently people aren’t going to say anything to you. It’s not that I sit there with an aggressive “Go on, come and say something” look on my face, but rather that I just get on with it in a “It’s nobody else’s business” fashion.
I’ve fed in the staffroom of the primary school I used to work in, standing in church as a very good friend of mine walked down the aisle, on the floor in the Trafford Centre, at York Races, in restaurants, bars and the Doctor’s Surgery. You name it, I’ve had my boobs out. I’ve always worked on the basis that people would rather see a bit of boob than hear my hungry baby screaming – and actually I don’t really care if they’re offended as my priority will always be my hungry baby.
I’m not really one for covering up – I’m not saying a gratuitously flash my nawks at every opportunity but more that I don’t want to cover my baby’s head while I’m feeding them just to please someone else. (And in fact my Dad has just told me he thinks I’m pretty good at feeding discreetly and that people probably just don’t really notice anyway which was nice of him!)
Rather than having people comment negatively about my choice to breastfeed my baby in public I’ve actually found the opposite – people smiling kindly in an approving fashion or even on one occasion a little old lady telling me what a lovely thing it is to see.
Be confident and remember nobody has the right to ask you to move. You are legally allowed to breastfeed your baby anywhere you like (or at least anywhere you’d allowed to be normally!!)