June 2013 Moms

Question on breast-feeding etiquette.

On Christmas day we had my brother-in-law, his wife, their 6-week old, my mother-in-law, and husband's aunt over for dinner. This was the first time BIL and SIL have been to our house, and only the 3rd time we've ever met SIL. After they'd been there about 5 minutes, she started nursing the baby with no cover or anything, and kept doing it all the way through dinner. Even after the baby was clearly done eating, she kept it latched on and used her breast like a pacifier. 

 

Now, I'm all for breastfeeding your child wherever you need to - be it in public, in the car (so long as you're not driving), wherever. But if it were me, I'd use a cover or a blanket or something, especially if I was at someone's house, and especially at the dining room table. What are your guys' thoughts on it? And I know this can be something of a hot-button topic. I'm not intending to start a slappy-fight with it. I'm just wondering if anyone else out there would be uncomfortable with a relative stranger's breast at the dinner table.

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Re: Question on breast-feeding etiquette.

  • Meh. I generally used a cover or went to a quiet room when I needed to nurse. DS got so distracted, I'd be flashing everyone. 

    Im not uncomfortable at all with BFing, wherever it is. I mean, if the baby was nursing, all you saw was the top of her breast right? 

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  • I think a mother should be able to feed her baby anywhere without being judged.

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  • No, she was wearing a t-shirt and had the whole breast exposed.
  • How did you know the baby was clearly done eating and she was using her breast as a pacifier? I have nursed and unless I was really staring or looking well at someone else I wouldn't know. Sometimes babies eat loudly and sometimes they don't.

    I would rather use a cover and I am more comfortable if someone else does but that's my issue. I would not say anything if family breastfed at my house even if they weren't covered. 

  • I don't think that's a big deal at all. I am not a fan of covers and found that wearing a nursing tank underneath a regular top provided more than enough coverage to still remain modest (my bathing suit reveals more skin than pulling my top up and pulling one side of my nursing tank down while baby latches on). If I was in a situation where I felt more coverage was needed, I just held a burp cloth above baby's head/over the top part of my breast, but that was really all that needed to be done to fully cover up. I am just not a fan of covering baby's face up with a huge blanket or whatever.

    Also, so what if the baby was using the breast as a pacifier? Letting my daughter fall asleep while nursing and keeping her latched on was the only way we got through most meals in the early days! 

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  • image Luthien1015:
    No, she was wearing a t-shirt and had the whole breast exposed.

    Her baby is 6 weeks old. It takes awhile to get the hang of breastfeeding and sometimes a blanket or cover makes things worse. Stop judging her for feeding her kid and if it makes you uncomfortable, then don't watch.


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  • How do you know the baby was done eating and 'using her nipple as a pacifier'? Young babies can eat for a long time. They generally fall asleep or pull away when they're done.

    Regardless of the above, if she was comfortable with it, I absolutely wouldn't judge. She's feeding her child. I, personally, was never comfortable NIP, but I was admittedly on the extreme side of modest. But that's me; my personal feelings. If she isn't modest and is cool doing it in front of family, good for her.

    You'll do what you're comfortable with. In the meantime, let other mamas feed their babies how they see fit.
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  • I would never and will never use a nursing cover. If I was at someone's home and they asked me to cover it up or go in another room I'd leave, and I wouldn't go back. That's my personal comfort level. 

    I know you have had issues with them in the past, or your hubby has, so maybe this contributes to your feelings of unease.

    I nurse anywhere my baby needs to eat. I'm not flashing or giving a titty show, I'm feeding my kid. And using the nipple as a pacifier for a needy baby is part of that.  

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  • image Luthien1015:
    No, she was wearing a t-shirt and had the whole breast exposed.

    Her baby is 6 weeks old. It takes awhile to get the hang of breastfeeding and sometimes a blanket or cover makes things worse. Stop judging her for feeding her kid and if it makes you uncomfortable, then don't watch.


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  • At the risk of being in the minority, it kind of weirds me out, but I'm pretty private about bodily functions in general.  I don't mind someone BFing while I'm in the room, but I prefer if they have a cover, and I'll do the same if I'm able to BF.  That said, I would never say anything to them - just think it to myself.
  • image angieandjames:
    At the risk of being in the minority, it kind of weirds me out, but I'm pretty private about bodily functions in general.  I don't mind someone BFing while I'm in the room, but I prefer if they have a cover, and I'll do the same if I'm able to BF.  That said, I would never say anything to them - just think it to myself.

    I mean, if you can use a cover, cool, but there are a lot of babies that hate them and you may not be able to use it. Just a thought.

     

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  • Although I don't agree with it, it is your house and its the only place you are allowed to ask someone to cover up. Just be mindful that that conversation might not go the way you imagine. 
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  • I notice my close friends or cousins won't nurse at the dinner table at all. I did, we were really good at it right from the start and I would be uncomfortable without a cover of some sort. On the other hand, one of my best friends nursed her 2 month old, without any cover, at a nice restaurant, well past the feeding was over. So, each to their own, I feel. Not my thing, but not my place to judge either. About 10 yrs ago I had a client meeting with a professor who breast fed her 3 year old several times over the course of 90 minutes, no cover. At the time, I was very uncomfortable but I'm glad I didn't react since I feel now that would've been out of line on my part.
  • image SouthSideDrea:

    I know you have had issues with them in the past, or your hubby has, so maybe this contributes to your feelings of unease.  

     

    I think this might be a bigger part of it than anything. The dinner, while civil, was still awkward.  

  • Hmm

    She can't control when her baby needs to nurse. I hated using a cover and think it is pretty awesome that she felt comfortable enough in your home and with family that she could nurse in front of you. Too bad she was judged for doing so.

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  • image Luthien1015:
    image SouthSideDrea:

    I know you have had issues with them in the past, or your hubby has, so maybe this contributes to your feelings of unease.  

     

    I think this might be a bigger part of it than anything. The dinner, while civil, was still awkward.  

    Did you offer to wait until she was done nursing before serving dinner? I'm not really sure what she should have done if dinner was being served and she was still nursing.

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  • I know I may get a lot of comments about this, but, IMO:

    If you are at someone elses house, its disrespectful to not cover-up if you know that they are "uncomfortable" or what not.

    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

    I think this goes along the lines of kids misbehaving in friends' homes. If you think it's rude that a friends kid is running all hay-wire around your house and say something, how is that ok, but not ok when it comes to BFing?

    NOW, if they are in public, in their own home (insert eye roll, it bothers me when people are upset that they are nursing in their own home, i want to smack anyone in the face for that) my response for that: GET OVER IT! 

    So yeah. That's my opinion. I will NIP, but if I'm in someone elses home, I'll be covering up at least a little out of respect for them. I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    Edit: Clarified a confusing written paragraph.

    Me and Zech



  • image Luthien1015:
    image SouthSideDrea:

    I know you have had issues with them in the past, or your hubby has, so maybe this contributes to your feelings of unease.  

     

    I think this might be a bigger part of it than anything. The dinner, while civil, was still awkward.  

    In the future, it would be kind to ask her if she would like you to hold off on serving until she's done.


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  • If there was no full and blatant exposure, I don't see an issue. 
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  • image QueSyrah:

    image Luthien1015:
    No, she was wearing a t-shirt and had the whole breast exposed.

    Her baby is 6 weeks old. It takes awhile to get the hang of breastfeeding and sometimes a blanket or cover makes things worse.



    Yep. My DD hated covers and we would both end up a sweaty, milk sprayed, unhappy mess when we tried. I'm going to free boob it with this baby. Kidding. Sort of.
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  • I wouldn't nurse uncovered around people I barely knew if I was as exposed as you say she was. But in general I don't cover, I wear a tank under my shirt usually or ask if there's a room I can use.
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  • image singahappysong:

    I know I may get a lot of comments about this, but, IMO:

    If you are at someone elses house, its disrespectful to not cover-up if you know that they are "uncomfortable" or what not.

    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

    I think this goes along the lines of kids misbehaving in friends' homes. If you think it's rude that the kid is running all hay-wire and say something, whats so different about nursing. 

    NOW, if they are in public, in their own home (insert eye roll, it bothers me when people are upset that they are nursing in their own home, i want to smack anyone in the face for that) my response for that: GET OVER IT! 

    So yeah. That's my opinion. I will NIP, but if I'm in someone elses home, I'll be covering up at least a little out of respect for them. I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    Well, I hope you have a baby who enjoys eating their meals stuffed under a hot blanket. Mine certainly didn't and ripped it off every chance he could.

    Also, you just contradicted yourself.


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  • image JaimeCH:
    Time
    She can't control when her baby needs to nurse. I hated using a cover and think it is pretty awesome that she felt comfortable enough in your home and with family that she could nurse in front of you. Too bad she was judged for doing so.


    This. I hope you say something to her so she knows to avoid you guys.
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  • image QueSyrah:
    image singahappysong:

    I know I may get a lot of comments about this, but, IMO:

    If you are at someone elses house, its disrespectful to not cover-up if you know that they are "uncomfortable" or what not.

    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

    I think this goes along the lines of kids misbehaving in friends' homes. If you think it's rude that the kid is running all hay-wire and say something, whats so different about nursing. 

    NOW, if they are in public, in their own home (insert eye roll, it bothers me when people are upset that they are nursing in their own home, i want to smack anyone in the face for that) my response for that: GET OVER IT! 

    So yeah. That's my opinion. I will NIP, but if I'm in someone elses home, I'll be covering up at least a little out of respect for them. I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    Well, I hope you have a baby who enjoys eating their meals stuffed under a hot blanket. Mine certainly didn't and ripped it off every chance he could.

    Also, you just contradicted yourself.

    Not all babies hate covers, and there are many different options than a hot thick blank for covering up.

    I don't know what you are referring to where I contradicted myself, so I think you may have misread or I wasn't clear enough.

    Me and Zech



  • image singahappysong:
    image QueSyrah:
    image singahappysong:

    I know I may get a lot of comments about this, but, IMO:

    If you are at someone elses house, its disrespectful to not cover-up if you know that they are "uncomfortable" or what not.

    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

    I think this goes along the lines of kids misbehaving in friends' homes. If you think it's rude that the kid is running all hay-wire and say something, whats so different about nursing. 

    NOW, if they are in public, in their own home (insert eye roll, it bothers me when people are upset that they are nursing in their own home, i want to smack anyone in the face for that) my response for that: GET OVER IT! 

    So yeah. That's my opinion. I will NIP, but if I'm in someone elses home, I'll be covering up at least a little out of respect for them. I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    Well, I hope you have a baby who enjoys eating their meals stuffed under a hot blanket. Mine certainly didn't and ripped it off every chance he could.

    Also, you just contradicted yourself.

    Not all babies hate covers, and there are many different options than a hot thick blank for covering up.

    I don't know what you are referring to where I contradicted myself, so I think you may have misread or I wasn't clear enough.

    EDIT: I think I know where you think I contradicted myself. By NIP I mean, I will nurse where I have to, covered up in some form of way.

    Me and Zech



  • For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

      I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    How is asking people to cover up or leave the room different than shoving your opinions on people?

    It is okay for YOU to not be comfortable nursing without a cover and to choose to cover YOURself up. It is not okay to tell another woman how to feed her child. 


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  • I think judging how, when, or where a mother breastfeeds just screams ignorance.
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  • This post is making me stabby.
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  • image QueSyrah:

    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out their boob (i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boob-age) and my DH was there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or go into the other room.

      I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.

    How is asking people to cover up or leave the room different than shoving your opinions on people?

    It is okay for YOU to not be comfortable nursing without a cover and to choose to cover YOURself up. It is not okay to tell another woman how to feed her child. 

    Ok let me rephrase: I have no place (when I'm in someone elses home as a guest) to say "I feel like I should not have to cover up to BF because it's a natural way to feed my kid and I don't care if you like it or not because I'm going to do it anyways and if you don't like it I'll leave and never come back".

    That's what I mean, but not necessarily that mean lol thats just the only way I can explain what I'm saying without going on forever and ever.

    Me and Zech



  • image QueSyrah:
    For example: If someone was at my house and they decided to whip out
    their boob i'm not just talking about lifting up their shirt and you
    not really seeing anything, I'm talking full on boobage and my DH was
    there, I'd be completely offended and ask that they either cover up or
    go into the other room.nbsp; I don't need to shove my opinions on the subject to every person I know.How is asking people to cover up or leave the room different than shoving your opinions on people?It is okay for YOU to not be comfortable nursing without a cover and to choose to cover YOURself up. It is not okay to tell another woman how to feed her child.nbsp;
    agreed. Also I HATE when people say "whip out boob" when referring to breastfeeding, it makes me think that a woman is trying to show off her breast not feed her child. Guess that could have been my pet peeve for that post the other day.
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