Avoiding Breastfeeding Discussion — The Bump

Avoiding Breastfeeding Discussion

I am still scared about breastfeeding (planning on taking a class) and have a lot of skin sensitivities and don't feel comfortable with the idea of even breastfeeding in another room while someone is over. I am a bit shy and really hate even using the restroom in public. So the topic of breastfeeding makes me very uncomfortable. At this point, I am intending on trying breastfeeding and if it's not for me, then I will formula feed or pump. My mom keeps bringing up the topic of breastfeeding, and while most people would feel comfortable with discussing that topic with their mom, I personally don't. She discloses a lot of information to my step-dad and I frankly don't want him to even think about the idea of my breasts, even in a completely natural circumstance as breastfeeding. I have tried to tell my mom in various ways that I will decide what is best for me and I don't feel comfortable discussing the topic of breastfeeding and she gets defensive and tries to argue the benefits of it. I understand the benefits and I don't need her input; because. I just don't feel it's anyone else's business if I breastfeed. Has anyone else had this issue? Am I completely off base to feel uncomfortable or exposed for someone to know I am/will be breastfeeding? How can I stop the conversations all together without starting an even bigger discussion? What can I do in the future if I do breastfeed and my mom or stepdad are over (they don't have a filter or respect my privacy/personal space)? 

Re: Avoiding Breastfeeding Discussion

  • I'd suggest finding and starting to work with a lactation consultant now. I think that would be helpful in getting a support system in place. Perhaps when your mom brings it up again, you can tell her that you are working with a lactation consultant and that will shut down arguments?  In my experience, I didn't start at the same level as discomfort as you, but I got much more comfortable with breast feeding the longer I've been at it. The early days are really hard and feeding times ate unpredictable--you will need to be prepared to limit visitors if you don't feel comfortable feeding when you have visitors. 
  • Thanks! I think that will definitely help. I am going to take a breast feeding class here soon, I'm hoping that will help with the fears and managing my comfort level. My husband has been a good support system with most things; but, he seemed to side with my mom when she brought it up last and he knows exactly how I feel about the topic. I'm planning on at least pumping so that I can bottle feed when I have visitors, but I'm sure that will take some time. 
  • Loading the player...
  • NickiochNickioch
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    edited March 2016
    Very true, do your research and the more you know the better you'll feel, but so much of it is about that bond with your baby. I was a little modest and squeamish about it all before giving birth, but nursing my son are the very best moments of my day and I love it. It'll all change and come into perspective when your baby is here! And with nursing with people in your house, you'll probably find that all you care about is getting your baby fed and happy, and honestly it's nice to steal away those quiet moments together amongst the new flurry of visitors and things to do etc. so just excuse yourself with the baby, shut the door get comfy and nourish that sweet child. It's as much about them needing that closeness and mama time too. As far as not discussing it, I'm with you there. It's like suddenly your body and parenting and breasts are all open for discussion--family, friends, at work--it's silly. I still struggle with finding a polite way to end this, mainly at work where I don't think it's anyone's business (fam and friends I don't mind and enjoy the conversation). I find that one word answers and a "that's all" smile and change of subject send the message. "You're still breastfeeding...?" "Yes. I'm getting a coffee want one?" And Walk away haha. Or just be honest and upfront and say, actually that's kind of personal and private. You'll only have to explain that once and hopefully people will respect that! Good luck you'll be fine and definitely reach out to an LC and find a Le Leche League near you!!!
  • Oh and re: feeding/pumping around visitors, and an LC will tell you this too, careful not to skip nursing times to cater to visitors. It's all about supply and demand. Plus your body is getting on a schedule with the baby's, so be prepared to spring a leak when baby is hungry! maybe hold off on visitors until your routine and supply are more settled? 
  • Thank you! That is very helpful and comforting. I think you worded it perfectly, my body and breasts shouldn't be a topic of discussion. And up until now it was a "taboo" topic of discussion. Makes me feel a lot better that I don't feel comfortable with the topic. I will do my best to limit visitors, I'm hoping they will be respectful enough to not be offended when we tell them we need some privacy or alone time for a bit. 
  • Like pp said, you may grow more comfortable the longer you do it. In the hospital and the first few weeks I made my mother leave the room or I did to nurse or pump. Now DD is 13 weeks and I'm totally comfortable around her. I nursed in public under a cover for the first time this week. 
    Once you have the hang of it and it doesn't feel so hard you do develop more confidence in front of others. 
  • klirwin82klirwin82
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer First Anniversary
    edited March 2016
    I felt really awkward thinking about it and initially thought I'd formula feed. But in the hospital I was so loaded on painkillers I had no problems with basically everyone seeing my boobs out, and seeing me pumping, and the LC's putting their hands on me, that by the time we left 3 days later I was all set for breastfeeding. Still nursing 8 months PP! Hopefully you'll get used to it and your anxiety about it will go away. If not, plenty of people formula feed, don't stress too much about it. 

    ETA I use a cover in public and it took 3 months before I had to courage to nurse in public, prior to that I'd bring a bottle of pumped milk. Do what you're comfortable with, ease into it, it's about you and your baby and no one else's convenience or feelings.
  • This might be a good opportunity to enforce boundaries with your mom/Step-dad.  I assume from you saying they don't respect your space/privacy that you think they would follow you to another room to feed, or comment while you are feeding etc etc? So perhaps think of strategies to shut that kind of behaviour down. 

    I agree with pp that all privacy goes out the window with childbirth, but also wanted to say that learning to breastfeed means a of breast exposure. learning to latch well can mean latching and re-latching baby multiple times so they get it right. It can also be easier to have your breast fully exposed so that you can see what you're doing and help baby onto the breast.

    I tell you that so that if you find you want to breastfeed but find the exposure difficult, then know that it gets easier and easier as baby learns and grows. Once you have things up and going and are both skilled at latching, then you can latch in moments and keep things all very private even without a cover. So it is worth pushing through the early difficulties if it becomes important to  you.

    Best wishes.
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • edited March 2016
    Thank you for all the feed back! This really helps me feel more comfortable with the situation. And hopefully some of the tips will help me shut the awkward conversation right down. :) I have one month and counting, soon the awkwardness of it all will be out the window. Just need to make it until then.

    tarheelgirl8  - I think you have a really good point. I didn't think about the conversations yet to come of "not trying for long enough". I've tried in similar words to tell my mom that I will do what I feel is best, but, I don't think I've put it that clearly. I always feel put on the spot when she asks and I'm not good at thinking/speaking on my toes. And yea, the word "breast" does add to the embarrassment, I'll definitely be using other terms! :) 

    klirwin82 - I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I do plan on pumping to at least have some spare milk on hand for those times when we are in public - at least until I get used to using a cover. And possibly pumping before we have guests over so I can just bottle feed during that time. I'm worried it might spark a conversation about breastfeeding if they think I'm using formula in the bottle though. But, we will see. 

    KateLouise - You are absolutely right! My mom would follow me and I guarantee you they would make comments about it. My stepdad already has made snide remarks like "she wouldn't breastfeed, would you?" - which already started a very very uncomfortable conversation a few months back. Thanks for the feed back. It's crazy how much goes into this natural process, I'm hoping it doesn't take me too long to get used to it, but, I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable enough to not have a cover. But that is great advice in case I do, at least at home. 

    delujm0 - Haha! I wish I was as fearless as you. I definitely respect that. Who knows, maybe I will be. I know pre-pregnancy I had an issue being out in public with even a thin bra that showed my nips poking out; but now, I really don't care. They are big and sore and my padded bras don't fit as comfortably!  ;) 

  •  See if there's a La Leche League group in your area where you can meet other breastfeeding moms. I went to one but wish I kept going. I only breastfed a little over 4 months and occasionally I still lurk on this board. I was shy about nursing in front of people and my husband made things worse because when people would come visit I would nurse with a blanket covering me he would get upset. Yet he was upset when I said I was going to switch to formula. He was like "don't do that in front of people" "it makes people uncomfortable " blah blah. He was the person with the hang up not other people. Even a friend of his who was uncomfortable the 1st time got over it and I could nurse and carry on a conversation in my living room with no problem. I wish I had been braver about doing it in public, I would pack bottles which screwed up my supply a little.  I really got screwed up after being back at work for a while which is why I stopped. Anyway my original point is when I was at the meeting seeing other moms openly BFing it made it seem less foreign to me. Good luck!
  • You are absolutely right! My mom would follow me and I guarantee you they would make comments about it. My stepdad already has made snide remarks like "she wouldn't breastfeed, would you?" - which already started a very very uncomfortable conversation a few months back. Thanks for the feed back. It's crazy how much goes into this natural process, I'm hoping it doesn't take me too long to get used to it, but, I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable enough to not have a cover. But that is great advice in case I do, at least at home. 

    And that's cool if you choose to use a cover, whatever works best for you. I just remember in the early days/weeks thinking, "I will never be able to leave the house" because baby was on my boobs all day, and being on my boobs meant everything hanging out. But now that I'm on baby 3 I know that nothing lasts forever and that those early difficulties really do pass.

    Your Mum/step Dad sound annoying. I hope you can find a good resolution with them. 
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • BoonhildeBoonhilde
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    edited March 2016

    BFing is totally no one else's business! 

    When I started out I would go into another room, away from people, but by the end I was nursing wherever. I wouldn't feel comfortable without a cover though, but it's kind of like getting your period; for years it's totally embarrassing but after a few years you don't care who sees you buying tampons. 

    When DS was 5 months old instead of nursing comfortably during church my MIL told me to nurse elsewhere so I went in search of a chair somewhere in the rest of the building and couldn't find one, lugging a hungry and crying DS, diaper bag, etc all over the giant church! Next time I nurse I'm not letting anyone dictate where I do it! 

    One word of caution: if you go into BFing knowing "if it's not for you you'll quit" USUALLY means you'll quit within two weeks. So know that the first two weeks are the absolute hardest. If you get through them you'll have an easier time with it. If you can make it 3 months then you're in the clear! Take some advice that kept me going, never quit on a bad day. 

    Good luck!
    BabyFetus Ticker

  • 4N6s4N6s
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    This is what works for me - my baby is a month old and I haven't breastfed in public or in front of anyone but my husband. If we are to go out, I grab a bottle from the fridge (that I previously pumped). I love it because I don't miss out on anything, she eats way faster and other people love to feed the baby. Haha 
  • @laceyh13, I agree.  That was my suggestion, but I meant only if it made her more comfortable that way.  I'd never recommend that just to make other people more comfortable!  
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards