There is so much pressure on women to breast feed, yet when out in public, no matter how discreet it is almost shamed upon when a mother needs to feed her hungry child, getting dirty looks, awful comments, almost as though they should have hidden in a bathroom to feed there baby. Its ridiculous! I don’t understand why it is ok to see celebrities posing in almost naked pictures, posting selfies on the internet almost naked in some cases actually naked, yet a mother who needs to feed her baby and you cant see anything, this isn’t ok?
I have had a bad experience myself. Before I tell you, let me say, I’m a really shy and private person. I only breast feed in front of my partner, if we had family or friends over, I would retreat to my bedroom. I’ve always planned my days around when my child needs feeding so this could be done in the comfort of my home, so I rarely ever went far and for too long.
Ok, so one day I had planned a day out with a friend, we would go to the beach. I had prepared the right amount of bottles for the occasion, I was set, but just incase I packed my nipple shields ready incase of emergency. After the beach we decided to grab some lunch before heading home. My son was peacefully asleep and wasn’t due a feed for another hour or so, I had time… or so I thought!. I ordered my lunch then my son woke up and wasn’t going to settle. I had used the bottles I had planned for, as we were longer then expected I only had the choice to attempt a breast feed. I had never done it in public before, I wasn’t going to be able to get home in time, so I had no choice but to go ahead. I found the most discreet place I could find, upstairs outdoors where there was no one else, I had my son under a muslin, you could only see his little legs hanging out the other side and I was facing a corner. I was only up there for a couple of minutes when an older couple came up. They sat far way on the other side of the room, we made eye contact and smiled, then you could see the realization of what I was doing on there faces, the look was awful! After a bit of muttering between them they got up and left. How much more discreet could I have been, yet I was still made to feel ashamed of my actions. If you have read my previous post on breast feeding, you will understand how difficult it had been for me, and what courage it took for me to actually do this in public. That was the first and last time I breast fed in public. I went back into my old routine of only going out around my feeds.
whenever I see another mother breast feeding her child, I always smile and I feel so proud for her, for one that she can actually breast feed and for 2 she has the courage to do it in public regardless of the criticism she may face. I do understand there are many places who encourage mothers to breast feed and those places are the best!! however there are still so many places which do not and this is just not right. I really hope this issue becomes an issue of the past very soon.
I am currently pregnant with my second child, and I do plan on breast feeding again. I hope I have the courage to do so if out in public this time. I also hope I don’t face the same struggles I did with my son.
xx Life In A Mum Shell xx