Babies: 3 - 6 Months

BF'ing in Public...

Here's the thing Mama's...we all know that if we can, BF'ing is considered best for baby.  I'm not knocking FF.  I know there are a variety of reasons people do so and that's completly OK!  However, I do think one of the reasons some people don't BF is bacause it's hard, awkward and difficult at first.  That being said, I think we all need to take discrimnation of women NIP more seriously.

When I was just starting BF'ing Livy, I struggled.  I'm lucky enough to have ton's of support in my community and by my family for BF'ing, even in public.  If I hadn't, I don't know that I would have been able to pull it off.  There is such an odd stigma attached to feeding one's baby, I just don't understand.  All I'm doing is providing the best possible nurishment to my hungry baby.  Why is that a bad thing?

Livy WON'T nurse with a cover.  So what should I do?  Never leave my house?  Not feed her and have her scream in hunger?

Please enlighten me as to why some Mama's on here are against BF'ing in public?  Why not support other women's choice to BF, which I think we can ALL agree is a tough thing to do!

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Re: BF'ing in Public...

  • I am not against it. I support those who NIP, but I won't. I know it makes some uncomfortable so I'm not comfortable doing it. Lo hates the cover as well, so I BF in the bathroom (which some find gross, but whatever. She doesn't lick the toilet) or in my car. Thats just my personal preference. But like I said, I completely support those who NIP.

     

    Here was my worst experience: I was BFing my baby in a Nordstroms' bathroom. They have a nice sitting area in the back (its where the changing station is, actually). I sat there with my stroller in front of me to block me. A woman came in and sent her daughter to sit back in the room while she went to the bathroom. She was probably about 5. She sat there and stared at me. The mom came back and flipped at me for exposing her daughter to such things. WTF? I was in a women's bathroom...in a back room....trying to be as discrete as possible.

  • image IrishBrideND:

    Here was my worst experience: I was BFing my baby in a Nordstroms' bathroom. They have a nice sitting area in the back (its where the changing station is, actually). I sat there with my stroller in front of me to block me. A woman came in and sent her daughter to sit back in the room while she went to the bathroom. She was probably about 5. She sat there and stared at me. The mom came back and flipped at me for exposing her daughter to such things. WTF? I was in a women's bathroom...in a back room....trying to be as discrete as possible.

    Haha, that's crazy!  The Nordstrom people named it the "Mothers' Room!"  There's a nice TKPS about NIP today, and how it's "rude and gross."  Gah.

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  • Rock on!  I think you should be able to nurse Livy where ever you are without being discriminated for it. 

    Its the same people who discriminate against me for FF Asher that also take issue with nursning in public.  So you want me to nurse, but you want to make it difficult....geeze that makes sense!

    A woman asked me a few weeks ago if my breast milk was spoiled because it looked yellow.  I explained that it was formula in a BPA free bottle...those bottles are sorta yellowish.  And she was like well breast is best.  I told her yeah I agree but he has allergies....and she said... "The only thing wrong with your baby and so many other babies these days is that you're too lazy to nurse him"  Wow wish she had been there when he stopped breathing. 

    Head up mama....it goes both ways.  But I say do what makes you and Livy comfortable!

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  • I would never discriminate against a woman who is confident enough to NIP. I agree with pp. I know it makes others uncomfortable so I choose not too. Now, with that said... I mean public, like a resturant or store. I have fed LO at numerous houses and what not.
  • I've never seen anyone on here not support--or be against--breastfeeding in public. I have seen people on here who don't nurse in public because they are personally uncomfortable with it.

    I haven't nursed in a super public place yet and I'm not sure if I ever will.  If I am at a family/friend party, I'll go into a semi-private or quiet area of the house and nurse using a cover and I don't mind if other people walk by or are in the room too. I have nursed in the "mother's room" at The Gap. And I've nursed sitting in the grass at a park using a cover.  That's the extent of my nursing in public experience.  I'm not sure if I'll get more public than those examples just because I'm slightly uncomfortable with other people's reactions. I often go to my car if I'm at the mall or out to eat.

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  • the last few times i nip, i didn't use the cover.  ds doesn't like it.  i live in florida, it's hot, awkward and uncomfortable.  i'm still discreet and i don't care anymore.  i have been to a few places where it just seemed really impossible.

    i feel like i have the worst of both worlds in public, though.  i haven't had any issues, but since we supplement, i feel like i'm just waiting for someone to say something about me either nip or making a formula bottle.  i feel judged either way.  it's not the most relaxing thing for me to feed ds in public. 

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  • Just from reading your post and the responses, I think the issue is that people should mind their own business. Everyone's got an opinion and they need to force it on you. Why can't people just go about their own lives? Are they so perfect they need to but in on what others do?

    And for the the poor little girl who is going to grow up not knowing what a breast is and its primary function, OMG, what a mother!

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  • image brooksidebride:

    I've never seen anyone on here not support--or be against--breastfeeding in public. I have seen people on here who don't nurse in public because they are personally uncomfortable with it.

    I haven't nursed in a super public place yet and I'm not sure if I ever will.  If I am at a family/friend party, I'll go into a semi-private or quiet area of the house and nurse using a cover and I don't mind if other people walk by or are in the room too. I have nursed in the "mother's room" at The Gap. And I've nursed sitting in the grass at a park using a cover.  That's the extent of my nursing in public experience.  I'm not sure if I'll get more public than those examples just because I'm slightly uncomfortable with other people's reactions. I often go to my car if I'm at the mall or out to eat.

    I just wanted to add that I totally support NIP and wish I didn't get uncomfortable or care what others think. I think it's super annoying and unfair to discriminate or make comments about someone nursing in public.  And I've been known to make a stink when I go to a restaurant and there's no suitable place, other than right at the table, for a mom to nurse her LO. 

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  • I NIP because I could basically give a rats a$$ if it makes others uncomfortable. I'm feeding my baby, get over it. It's July, it's hot, and I'm not going to put more layers on either of us than I have to. If it makes you uncomfortable, STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOB! Smile My baby and I are just fine thank you.
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  • Here's my take on NIP. I'm not against it at all. It's a mother's right to BF in public, cover or no cover. My LO won't nurse if he's covered. For this reason, I personally don't like to BF in public. So I use some of my stored expressed milk when I know I'll be out for a while and I pump in the car while we go from place to place to keep my supply regular. I have NIP before and I just pull up my shirt and let that cover my breast and DS mouth. I feel comfortable NIP that way. I don't give a crap if someone else is uncomfortable when I NIP. I think people who have a problem with it should just look the other direction.

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  • image dib:

    Just from reading your post and the responses, I think the issue is that people should mind their own business. Everyone's got an opinion and they need to force it on you. Why can't people just go about their own lives? Are they so perfect they need to but in on what others do?

    And for the the poor little girl who is going to grow up not knowing what a breast is and its primary function, OMG, what a mother!

    Case in point...my 4 yr old niece was super excited about my baby as we are really close.  So, she's here visiting for the first time and Livy starts to cry.  So, I say the baby's hungry I need to feed her.  My niece asks if she can.  I told her no, that I nurse Livy and I need to feed her.  My niece came with me, watched with big eyes as I began to nurse Livy.  She was sooo confused.  Didn't know what the heck was going on.  She actually thought I was feeding Livy out of my belly button.  So, I explained it all (with my Mom's help too!)  Now, my niece see's it as something very normal and even told me the other day that I needed to nurse Livy cause she was thirsty...and that when she's a Mama she's going to nurse too!

    It's not something we should hide.  Not at all....

  • People need to understand that a breast should not be such a sexual thing. It's first priority is to fees babies. I bf wherever Zaiden needs to eat. I have yet to have anything but people starring. Deep down I'm waiting for someone to say something. I nurse every day in the park by my job..........................Just the other day my nephew (10) walked in on me bf. I was at home and covered with the exception of the top of my breast. I acted normal and he closed his eyes and walked away. I wanted to talk to him about it but ....didn't want to, as he is not my child.
  • dhvieldhviel
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its First Answer
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    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

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  • image Hollysmoffett:

    Rock on!  I think you should be able to nurse Livy where ever you are without being discriminated for it. 

    Its the same people who discriminate against me for FF Asher that also take issue with nursning in public.  So you want me to nurse, but you want to make it difficult....geeze that makes sense!

    A woman asked me a few weeks ago if my breast milk was spoiled because it looked yellow.  I explained that it was formula in a BPA free bottle...those bottles are sorta yellowish.  And she was like well breast is best.  I told her yeah I agree but he has allergies....and she said... "The only thing wrong with your baby and so many other babies these days is that you're too lazy to nurse him"  Wow wish she had been there when he stopped breathing. 

    Head up mama....it goes both ways.  But I say do what makes you and Livy comfortable!

    I totally hear where you are coming from!  It's nobody's buisness either way...and with Asher's problems, that lady was WAY out of line.  When there are issues, I think it makes it even more difficult to deal with people's ignorant comments.  Like when people would tell me I looked too small when I was pregnant with Livy and needed to eat more.  Ugh, like I don't feel bad enough that my baby isn't growing without sh*t like that?!

    I didn't mean to say that FF'ers have it easier or BF'ers have it harder.  I'm just trying to encourage a movement towards accepting and encouraging NIP!  As a BF'ing Mama, it feels so good when people are positive about what I'm tring to do....i.e, I was in the Whole Foods Co-Op.  It was totally packed and we were on a tight schedule.  I NEEDED to get a few things due to my diet and Livy wasn't having it.  She wanted to eat THEN.  We had an appointment.  So, I actually had to walk around the store BF'ing her.  At first I felt really awkward.  Then a lady smiled at me and said, "gotta love snacking on the go!".  It made me so much more comfortable.  That's what I'm looking for....for everyone, not just BF'ers!

  • I think you should feel comfortable NIP. I do. I think the most public it's been was in the picnic area at the zoo. I have also nursed at parks, and will probably nurse at the coffee shop where I am having much tomorrow with friends. My baby need to eat, and it's easier to give him a boob than it is to warm up a bottle. I do use a cover, but it's for me, not other people. I think it's sad about the little girl whose mom freaked. That's what boobs are for. BFing wasn't easy. I was prepared for it to be a challenge, and that helped me to have patience with it, and not get frustrated. I may have been lucky. DS was a pretty good eater. It took us about a day to get the hang of latching, and then a day again to learn it all over again after my milk came in on day 3, but since then we've been pretty golden. He's had his bad days, but I was able to call the LCs at my local hospital any time I had a concern, and above all, I just focused on being patient. I kind of just knew we would be able to work it out after a while.
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  • image dhviel:

     

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    No clue, but she screams when I put it on and starts flailing. She won't latch.

    If I can get her latched and THEN put it on, she normally does ok. But that somewhat defeats the purpose

  • image dhviel:

    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    I'm not sure why Livy refuses the cover..I'll ask her! :-)  Maybe because then she loses the eye contact with me or can't see me?  I'm just not sure.  If I try and use one, she screams and pulls it off and refuses to nurse. 
  • image miaomi:

    Case in point...my 4 yr old niece was super excited about my baby as we are really close.  So, she's here visiting for the first time and Livy starts to cry.  So, I say the baby's hungry I need to feed her.  My niece asks if she can.  I told her no, that I nurse Livy and I need to feed her.  My niece came with me, watched with big eyes as I began to nurse Livy.  She was sooo confused.  Didn't know what the heck was going on.  She actually thought I was feeding Livy out of my belly button.  So, I explained it all (with my Mom's help too!)  Now, my niece see's it as something very normal and even told me the other day that I needed to nurse Livy cause she was thirsty...and that when she's a Mama she's going to nurse too!

    Great story, and love that she said she's going to nurse too! Does that mean you explained to her how some mamas feed their baby this way and others feed a different way (ie, bottle)?  I'm just curious if that came up and how you handled that.

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  • image dhviel:

    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    I don't know about anyone elses baby, but if I cover Eli, he moves the cover away. If I move it back, he stops nursing and moves it away agian. He just doesn't like it. This could be because I didn't try or need to try to cover him until he was a couple of months and he was already used to nursing not covered.
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  • image dhviel:

    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    Mine personally just gets so distracted by the cover and refuses to nurse because he is wondering what the heck is on him.

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  • People have issues. *shrug* Especially when it comes to the human body and exposing skin in public, many people have different comfort levels. Some people don't want to seem immodest (by their own standards) in public. Other people are offended when BFing moms are immodest (by their own standards) and make a big deal out of it. 

    It's not something we "all" will ever agree on -- not on this board, not IRL.

    I personally NIP without a cover, discreetly, and have never had anybody say a word to me about it whether I was on an airplane, at the zoo, etc. Sometimes I'm more comfortable nursing in my car. I have the right to BF wherever I'm allowed to be, and I'll do whatever works for me and DD2 at the time.


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  • dhvieldhviel
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its First Answer
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    image miaomi:
    image dhviel:

    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    I'm not sure why Livy refuses the cover..I'll ask her! :-)  Maybe because then she loses the eye contact with me or can't see me?  I'm just not sure.  If I try and use one, she screams and pulls it off and refuses to nurse. 

    Smile  I guess it may have something to do with location, as I am in Canada, and northern Canada at that, where hot to us is 30 celcius, which is like 80 for you.  And we usually only get that for a week or so during the summer.  Most often it's 20-25.

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  • image aokarma:
    I NIP because I could basically give a rats a$$ if it makes others uncomfortable. I'm feeding my baby, get over it. It's July, it's hot, and I'm not going to put more layers on either of us than I have to. If it makes you uncomfortable, STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOB! Smile My baby and I are just fine thank you.
    ITA with all of this & I'm trying really hard to follow through, but I'm self-conscious & sometimes NIP makes ME uncomfortable. I had to nurse at a crowded airport gate bc the flight was delayed & we were boarding soon. I used a cover bc there was ac, & while I felt a little exposed (I looked for a corner, but nothing was open) no one said anything to me. Experiences like that give me more confidence.
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  • image brooksidebride:
    image miaomi:

    Case in point...my 4 yr old niece was super excited about my baby as we are really close.  So, she's here visiting for the first time and Livy starts to cry.  So, I say the baby's hungry I need to feed her.  My niece asks if she can.  I told her no, that I nurse Livy and I need to feed her.  My niece came with me, watched with big eyes as I began to nurse Livy.  She was sooo confused.  Didn't know what the heck was going on.  She actually thought I was feeding Livy out of my belly button.  So, I explained it all (with my Mom's help too!)  Now, my niece see's it as something very normal and even told me the other day that I needed to nurse Livy cause she was thirsty...and that when she's a Mama she's going to nurse too!

    Yep, I told her some Mama's feed their babies a bottle and some Mama's nurse their babies with their milk.  And that I was giving Livy my milk.  Now, it's come out that Livy has a dairy/gluten intolerence, so it's been really informative to the kids.  They've watched me stop eating ice cream, ect so that Livy doesn't get it.  We also explained that it's like when other animals nurse their Mama's...since they've seen a baby cow on tv nursing off the Mama cow.

    I also nurse in front of my nephew's- 8&10.  They've never said anything.  The 10 yr old gives me a bit more space but the 8 yr old keeps coming up and chatting.  We just handle it very matter of factly.  It's never been an issue.

  • image aokarma:
    I NIP because I could basically give a rats a$$ if it makes others uncomfortable. I'm feeding my baby, get over it. It's July, it's hot, and I'm not going to put more layers on either of us than I have to. If it makes you uncomfortable, STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOB! Smile My baby and I are just fine thank you.

    I wish I felt this confident.  I have gotten better.  With DS1, I never NIP (I would go to the car, find a bathroom, even pump before leaving to go somewhere so I would have a bottle).  But now that I have 2, I'm not able to jump through all those hoops just to feed LO.  

    I am still very sensitive and try to feed right before leaving or in the car, but I have NIP a few times now and the sky didn't fall, so hopefully it will give me more confidence in the future.  I try to find a discrete place and I do use a cover.  

    I wish people would mind their own business, I feel like they stare at me with the cover on like they are hoping it might malfunction so they can be indignant about possibly viewing a breast!

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  • image lite-bright:

    People have issues. *shrug* Especially when it comes to the human body and exposing skin in public, many people have different comfort levels. Some people don't want to seem immodest (by their own standards) in public. Other people are offended when BFing moms are immodest (by their own standards) and make a big deal out of it.




    What I'll never understand is why it is completely acceptable for women to wear low cut shirts (exposing WAY more than I do while nursing) pretty much anywhere, including classy restaurants, but women get flack for NIP at a freaking Johnny Rockets.
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  • image aokarma:
    I NIP because I could basically give a rats a$$ if it makes others uncomfortable. I'm feeding my baby, get over it. It's July, it's hot, and I'm not going to put more layers on either of us than I have to. If it makes you uncomfortable, STOP LOOKING AT MY BOOB! Smile My baby and I are just fine thank you.

    Hear hear! Yes

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  • image dhviel:
    image miaomi:
    image dhviel:

    I nursed in public when I was nursing, but I always did it with a cover.  I know I'm not whipping it out for all to see, but I wad not comfortable exposing even part of my breast, or my stomach/side (I don't do nursing tops well).  I just am very conservative that way.  So I support nursing in public, but won't do it uncovered. 

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    I'm not sure why Livy refuses the cover..I'll ask her! :-)  Maybe because then she loses the eye contact with me or can't see me?  I'm just not sure.  If I try and use one, she screams and pulls it off and refuses to nurse. 

    Smile  I guess it may have something to do with location, as I am in Canada, and northern Canada at that, where hot to us is 30 celcius, which is like 80 for you.  And we usually only get that for a week or so during the summer.  Most often it's 20-25.

    My DD won't nurse with the cover either. She's getting to the age where she wants to look around when she is nursing and she wants to be able to see me as well. When we use the nursing shell, it is REALLY hard to get her to latch on properly and she starts flailing because she hates having anything over her head. Might be because I didn't use a cover with her earlier (harder to get her to latch correctly) but I find no use for it anyway. I feel like it draws more attention to me when I use the cover and most people don't even notice that I'm NIP now that I'm comfortable with it.

    I totally agree Mia, women should be made to feel COMFORTABLE NIP. Not just legally allowed to but encouraged to do so! Boobs are primarily for sustaining our babies, not for entertaining our men! Get over it!

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  • image dhviel:

    I do have a question though, I have been around lots of babies, all breastfed except mine now and a couple others.  Until I was on here I had never heard of babies refusing the cover.  Every single baby I have known has nursed just as well covered as uncovered..... so why do so many babies on here refuse the cover?  And  when I say lots of babies think probably at least 50 if not more, and that is just in the last couple of years.

    DS throws a fit if I try to use a cover. He won't latch and starts to pull it off. For me it makes more of a scene then to nurse without it. He also is into exploring while BF. He loves to explore my face and play with my hands. It is great for them developmentally. If I'm comfortable with it, I'm not going to cover up what DS loves to do, because someone else can't see the top of my boob.

    Plus, if you think about it. You can see more boob on a women with a low cut t-shirt than you can if I'm NIP!

  • I have to use a cover because I use a shield.  So I have to be a bit more exposed there for a couple of minutes than I would ever be comfortable with.  My DS can also be quite the pain sometimes--I would love to be able to discreetly BF with a nursing top or something, but my DS isn't about the discreet.

     I don't have any problem with women nursing in public, but I know that BFing does make pretty much all the men in my life super uncomfortable.  Well not my husband obviously (though he definitely doesn't like me nursing in public), but it bothers my dad and my FIL definitely.  I think my MIL is uncomfortable with me nursing even with the cover in her home when FIL is there (though she nursed all 3 of her kids).  And every restaurant waiter I've come across.  And I somewhat understand---breasts are sexual in our society. 

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