Baby Showers

guest breastfeeding during the shower?

My sister called yesterday to ask permission to bring her new baby (4 months old) to my shower.  Of course, I said yes.  In fact, I have several friends who will probably bring babies or very young children.  No problem. 

My sister is very comfortable breastfeeding in public, but she isn't very discreet, and I think that there will be other guests who might be uncomfortable if she were to breastfeed in the middle of the party. We'll be in a restaurant - in a private room, but still in a restaurant.  There will be people of all ages, and there will be some men there as well, both young and old. So I just asked my sister if she could refrain from breastfeeding inside the party.  She has options: She could plan to breastfeed before and after the party, she could move to a different room to breastfeed during the party, or she could bring a bottle to feed him at any time.

 Now my sister is offended.  Am I wrong?

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Re: guest breastfeeding during the shower?

  • Yep, you are wrong. First if the child is 100% breastfed, bottle feeding is not an option. Second, you can not time when a baby is hungry for your convenience.

    Breastfeeding is a NORMAL thing that our bodies are supposed to do. It is the people who are offended by a mother feeding her baby that are wrong. 


     

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  • Are you wrong...yes.

    do you leave the room to eat? do you plan on taking your child out of the room every time they have to eat?

     

    Your sister needs to feed her baby. You could have (tactfully) said something along the lines of her being a little more discreet when she nurses, but asking her not to feed during the shower or to leave the room - out of line.

    for the record, I'm very pro-formula/bottles. I have no interes t in bf'ing at all - I did not and will not try it, it's not for me. I knew that before I had DD1 and I know that now.

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  • image krissyh21:

    Breastfeeding is a NORMAL thing that our bodies are supposed to do.

    So is taking a dump.  Doesn't etiquette come into play at some point?  That's mainly my concern.  I'm not interested in judging people's opinions on breastfeeding.  I'm only interested in the comfort of my guests.  Is my sister's comfort and convenience more important than the other 30 people who will be there?

  • I think just asking her to cover up and be more discreet would've been sufficient.
  • Sorry, I think you're out of line... you wouldn't ask her to leave to give baby a bottle. Same thing IMO.
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  • image aluminium:
    image krissyh21:

    Breastfeeding is a NORMAL thing that our bodies are supposed to do.

    So is taking a dump.  Doesn't etiquette come into play at some point?  That's mainly my concern.  I'm not interested in judging people's opinions on breastfeeding.  I'm only interested in the comfort of my guests.  Is my sister's comfort and convenience more important than the other 30 people who will be there?

    I hope none of the babies or very young children at you shower are still in diapers. Some of your guests may not be comfortable by the smell should they "take a dump"

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  • image aluminium:
    image krissyh21:

    Breastfeeding is a NORMAL thing that our bodies are supposed to do.

    So is taking a dump.  Doesn't etiquette come into play at some point?  That's mainly my concern.  I'm not interested in judging people's opinions on breastfeeding.  I'm only interested in the comfort of my guests.  Is my sister's comfort and convenience more important than the other 30 people who will be there?

    She is not taking her top off and strutting around naked. Nursing tops make it very easy to do it so that all that shows is enough for the baby to get at the nipple.

    I 100% formula fed since day one - but you equating breast feeding to taking a dump is really troublesome to me.

    I can not wait until you have a baby so you can see how easy it is to feed on your schedule :::eye roll::: 

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  • I agree that it would have been much more tactful to ask her to be as discrete as possible.  I support the argument that BFing in public should 100% be OK, but I don't know what you mean when you say she isn't very discrete.  If you mean she just doesn't use a cover over everything, you can be discrete without building a small tent...if you mean she whips up the shirt, lets loose the girls and then works on positioning the baby with it all hanging out, that's a different story (not very many women actually are like this at all, most get the baby positioned and latched as quickly as possible and stay as covered as possible without necessarily using a blanket, but I have seen a couple).  It's true that if you don't want to see, you don't have to look, but in a private party where she might be sitting right next to someone it makes uncomfortable, and if she is one of those women who make no effort whatsoever to limit how much exposure she gets, it can be awkward.

    I would apologize to her for asking her to leave, but ask if she could be a little discrete.


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  • Thank you all for your opinions.  I do plan to breastfeed, and I know that feeding my baby will be more important than my convenience.  My sister is not discreet at all when she breastfeeds. Most recently, I was at a restaurant with her when she had her breast hanging out of her shirt for several minutes, nipple exposed, because the baby was only eating off and on. I am not opposed to breastfeeding in public. I just think there are different norms for home vs. public behavior.

  • You were not out of line at ALL.  What she chooses to do in her own home is her business, but in a restaurant at an event it's a completely different story.  You hardly asked her to stand outside in a puddle in the cold.

  • image mysticporter:

    I agree that it would have been much more tactful to ask her to be as discrete as possible.  I support the argument that BFing in public should 100% be OK, but I don't know what you mean when you say she isn't very discrete.  If you mean she just doesn't use a cover over everything, you can be discrete without building a small tent...if you mean she whips up the shirt, lets loose the girls and then works on positioning the baby with it all hanging out, that's a different story (not very many women actually are like this at all, most get the baby positioned and latched as quickly as possible and stay as covered as possible without necessarily using a blanket, but I have seen a couple).  It's true that if you don't want to see, you don't have to look, but in a private party where she might be sitting right next to someone it makes uncomfortable, and if she is one of those women who make no effort whatsoever to limit how much exposure she gets, it can be awkward.

    I would apologize to her for asking her to leave, but ask if she could be a little discrete.

     

    this was perfectly said.

  • If she is letting her boob hang out for everyone to see I totally understand asking her to bring an extra blanket to cover herself up.  When I go out in public I don't want to see that.  If she is descreet about it (already using a blanket) then she should be allowed to breastfeed inside the party.  I am all for breastfeeding, but cover up please.
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  • Yes, you were wrong.  Breast feeding is a very natural thing, and expecting her to compromise the way she feeds her child would be like asking a mother who bottle feeds not to do that in case her child poops during the shower (as formula poops tend to be a little stinkier).

    I would re-approach your sister and apologize for your lack of the ability to phrase your request appropriately.  I would then convey that, while you are 100% for her breast feeding her child, you're not sure every guests will understand the process and how common it is these days.  I would tell her she's welcome to breast feed as often as she'd like during the shower and at any place, but ask that she cover her breasts, for the comfort of all guests.

    While this request is still invading a very natural thing, it is a compromise on both parts and seems fair enough.

  • image DaniLovesPink:

    Yes, you were wrong.  Breast feeding is a very natural thing, and expecting her to compromise the way she feeds her child

    She wasn't "expecting" that at all.  She was simply asking her not to be in the room during the shower when she BFs - an entirely reasonable request.  She was not asking her to stop breastfeeding completely, simply to tempoarily locate herself elsewhere.
  • image mysticporter:

    I agree that it would have been much more tactful to ask her to be as discrete as possible.  I support the argument that BFing in public should 100% be OK, but I don't know what you mean when you say she isn't very discrete.  If you mean she just doesn't use a cover over everything, you can be discrete without building a small tent...if you mean she whips up the shirt, lets loose the girls and then works on positioning the baby with it all hanging out, that's a different story (not very many women actually are like this at all, most get the baby positioned and latched as quickly as possible and stay as covered as possible without necessarily using a blanket, but I have seen a couple).  It's true that if you don't want to see, you don't have to look, but in a private party where she might be sitting right next to someone it makes uncomfortable, and if she is one of those women who make no effort whatsoever to limit how much exposure she gets, it can be awkward.

    I would apologize to her for asking her to leave, but ask if she could be a little discrete.

    I was at a shower when the stranger sitting next to me did exactly that.

    I would ask her to just cover herself but not necessarily leave the room.

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  • I actually understand where you are coming from.  I do think it was wrong of you to ask her to feed in a different room, for it would have been more appropriate to ask her to use a nursing wrap or blanket while feeding to be more discreet.  I breastfed, and I had several family members that freaked when I would try to feed my son while in the same room as them and I always used a nursing wrap/cover.  I would just apologize to her and rephrase what you were trying to say and request that she use a blanket to be discreet.
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  • Asking her to leave the room is ridiculous.  Asking her to cover up or be discreet is understandable. 
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  • Get her this...http://www.bebeaulait.com/

    It's a hootie hider.  My SIL uses this whenever she has guests over.  she doesn't think my husband or I or our MIL need to see her breasts!

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  • Agreeing with everyone who is saying your approach was wrong, but the intent of your request was not. I would have simply asked her to be more discreet by covering up better. Not leave the room, schedule feedings (which may be unavoidable) or give a bottle.
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  • I wouldn't think anything of it, especially since it's a baby shower!  If your sister is comfortable with it, then who cares?
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  • image ValAndRyan:
    I think just asking her to cover up and be more discreet would've been sufficient.

    this.

    asking her to go somewhere else or to bottle feed was inappropriate on your part.  if you are concerned she'll flash the guests, first of all, it's a baby shower, so baby-related things shouldn't bother any of the guests.  if they do, they shouldn't be a the shower.  second, if you are really that concerned with her flashing people, you could tactfully have said, hey, there may be some people there who may be uncomfortable if you let it "all hang out."  Could you maybe bring a feeding cloth to cover up while you are feeding your little one?  

    if i were your sister, i'd be pissed too.

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  • image mysticporter:

    I agree that it would have been much more tactful to ask her to be as discrete as possible.  I support the argument that BFing in public should 100% be OK, but I don't know what you mean when you say she isn't very discrete.  If you mean she just doesn't use a cover over everything, you can be discrete without building a small tent...if you mean she whips up the shirt, lets loose the girls and then works on positioning the baby with it all hanging out, that's a different story (not very many women actually are like this at all, most get the baby positioned and latched as quickly as possible and stay as covered as possible without necessarily using a blanket, but I have seen a couple).  It's true that if you don't want to see, you don't have to look, but in a private party where she might be sitting right next to someone it makes uncomfortable, and if she is one of those women who make no effort whatsoever to limit how much exposure she gets, it can be awkward.

    I would apologize to her for asking her to leave, but ask if she could be a little discrete.

    I agree with all of this. Apologize and then explain to her that there are going to be some guests there that will feel really uncomfortable if she just whips it all out. Asking her to be mindfull of other people's comfort is not too much to ask. Especially because it would be really awkward for someone who is weirded out to get up and leave.

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  • So your sister is supposed to miss out on the party because the baby is hungry? Relocating to another room while the baby eats (20-25 minutes, more or less) would really suck to miss everything. If she is comfortable nursing in public, more power to her! Sure, ask her to be discreet, that is fine..but the more people who nurse in public the less taboo it is.

    I exclusively breast feed my son and am not comfortable nursing in public - but I don't have any problems with anyone feeding their child...bottle, boob - its all milk!

  • buy her a hootie hider or ask her to use a blanket to cover up.  i am all for breastfeeding i do it myself.  but i cover up--no one needs to see my boobies except the dr., my husband and myself.  however in my own home i don't cover up when my parents are here--just more comfy with them.

    seriously a hootie hider is a god send.  buy your sister one

  • image aluminium:
    image krissyh21:

    Breastfeeding is a NORMAL thing that our bodies are supposed to do.

    So is taking a dump. 

     I'm sorry but BFing and taking a crap in public are the same to you? Super Angry

    Wow! I nurse in public and use a cover 100% of the time but seriously that is the most ignorant statement! I don't blame your sister for being offended but I'm sure if you were to have asked her to cover up and not to leave like her and her baby are not welcome then she would have said yes!

     

  • Seems like I'm in the rare here ... but ... I think breastfeeding is a private thing.  I think your 'taking a dump' example was great!  They're both completely natural ... but in my opinion, private!  I'm going to breastfeed but I will not do it in public .. at least not out in the open.

    However, to each their own ... and if she's comfortable doing it in the middle of your party ... then so be it.  It's her boob, not yours!  ;)

  • First of all...yes this is America.  When have boobs been taboo?  You see them EVERYWHERE (TV, billboards, magazines, etc).  Unfortunately, the way you don't see them (or rarely) is what they were made for (feeding a baby).  Besides...more and more women are breastfeeding...not sure of the numbers but almost ALL of the women I know with babies do.

    2nd...where is the "h" is she supposed to GO to feed the baby?  The bathroom maybe?  Do you think the restaurant is going to provide her with a room to herself?

    3rd..breastfeeding an infant is NOTHING like taking a dump.  For one thing...a persons arse is exposed when taking a dump...not the case with breastfeeding...plus it stinks!  Just thought of something...those that think it is the same as taking a dump...guess you would suggest she nurse the baby in the bathroom.

    4th...I would call and apologize and explain that there will be some men there that will be made very uncomfortable with her breastfeeding at all...but if she could be very discreet...use a blaniket, etc. then she should be fine.  If her baby is 4 months old he/she should be able to empty a breast within 5 minutes (maybe less) and have no problem with latching.

    5th...I just have to laugh at those that plan to breastfeed but "would certainly not do it in public".  Just wait.  That's all I can say to that.

  • image hopefulmom:

    5th...I just have to laugh at those that plan to breastfeed but "would certainly not do it in public".  Just wait.  That's all I can say to that.

    Say it all you want.  I have a 2 month + baby and have kinda nursed in public once.  It was before her photo was getting taken, but the photog left us in the studio alone so I don't even really consider that in public.  When I take her to shop I know several places that have either nursing rooms or nice lounges, and that's where I go.  I have never sat in a restaurant or on a part bench and BF. 

    Some LO's just aren't down with that.  If my baby nursed quietly and still, I'd think about it.  But she kicks her legs and arms and pulls at either a blanket or Hooter Hider.  

    I agree with a lot of the rest of what you said but there's no need to be so righteous with the "just you wait" attitude.  

  • I probably wouldn't have said anything to her along those lines. If someone at your shower is uncomfortable with it, then they can leave!
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  • Yes, you were wrong IMO. If her breastfeeding makes others uncomfortable it is should be their choice to leave the room or look away, I know you were well intentioned but it's not really your place to say anything.
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