I’m a Breastfeeder! My views
Does this mean I have to plan my outings so that I feed my baby only at home? Easier said than done when feeding on demand! That I can only sit and have a coffee if a corner table is available incase my baby needs feeding whilst I’m there? That I should go to the trouble of expressing milk should she need feeding whilst I am out to save the embarrassment of others? That I should only ever feed her in private like going to the toilet?!
If you read the comments on a well know newspaper today and the last week or so as breastfeeding has hit the headlines. You will see that these are the opinions of members of the public. I’m wondering if these are common views or the minority?
A bit about me and why I breastfeed.
I chose to breastfeed, mainly because of a strong family history of cows milk protein allergy. I gave up breastfeeding my first, mainly due to embarrassment of feeding in public. He was very ill on normal formula until he went on to a hypoallergenic one. I wanted to prevent this from happening again. I am pro breastfeeding as a la leche league trained peer counsellor. However I am also pro a happy mum. I would never say to anyone breast is best, or look down my nose at mums that formula feed. I did it too! At the end of the day babies need a happy mum who is able to look after them.
I’m VERY discreet when I feed. I’ve never had any comments. If I’m going out I make sure I am wearing something that will keep me covered. At the moment as it’s cold I wear a double layer so one top up and one down and also sometimes wear a scarf to help cover up. I will head to a feeding room if there is one available or try and find somewhere to sit that is out of the way. I don’t want anyone seeing anything! I’m getting increasingly annoyed with people saying that breastfeeding mums are exhibitionists. I would be mortified if someone saw my nipples!
I understand that some mums don’t feel this way and even as a breastfeeder I’m not sure how I would feel if I was sitting opposite someone who wasn’t feeding discretely. I have to say though, I have never seen this! Most of the times I’ve seen mums breastfeeding when out and about I only know they are doing it because I do it that way too.
The whole media storm at the moment has really made me paranoid about feeding in public.
If this was my first baby again it would definitely have encouraged me to give up. I think more needs to be done to promote and normalise breastfeeding. Not all the sensationalised stuff that makes the headlines. Most breastfeeding mums are discreet and just trying to feed their hungry babies. Why should they have to wait till they get home? We don’t wait if we are hungry or thirsty!
I would love to know your views.