Sunday, 2 August 2015

World Breastfeeding Week- Positive Public Feeding

Thanks for hopping over from Milk and Mummy and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 2 Positive Public Feeding we have over £700 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies up for grabs including prizes from Snoob with a breastfeeding scarf, a goodie bag from Forever Patricia and a breastfeeding necklace from Booby and the Bead.  Full details of the Grand Prize can be found here and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

As a blogging breastfeeding collective with a decade of breastfeeding between us we have all fed in public.  When the baby needs feeding the baby needs feeding!

Some of those first experiences were tough, nerves getting the better of us, feeling as though everyone was looking, so we wanted to share with you our most memorable positive moments for all the nervous public feeders out there:

Sarah; "One of my most positive experiences was going out with my NCT friends.  I was one of the first to give birth and many were still pregnant.  We met at a baby group and my girl needed feeding.  I felt under so much pressure to get it right in front of them all but I was fine.  My girl latched on and did it!  All the NCT girls were so supportive and impressed I was out,dressed and feeding.  It made me realise I could do it and so I did.  For another 10 months"

Sadie; "My most memorable feeding experience was at a wedding with my second baby.  As she was my second I was confident and didn't think anything of feeding her then and there at the reception.  Then it dawned in me that in the middle of the wedding speeches at a fancy 5 star hotel might not be the best time.  I didn't know anyone at our table and just froze.  The couple opposite me must have sensed it and smiled before pouring me a glass of water.  No one else at the table had children but afterwards they all said how lovely it was to see me breastfeeding and how happy and well behaved my children were.  It just reinforced that most people would be happy to see a breastfeeding mum to a crying baby.  I wasn't flashing my boobs at a wedding - I was feeding my daughter."

Jenny;  "I've always fed my boys in public, there's never been a point that I was nervous.  I just knew that they were hungry and so I fed them. Of course as they got older I have fed them in more and more places, often for a few minutes at a time when they just want a little comfort feed.  I have one particularly happy memory of feeding my youngest on a lane through the woods, in the rain, whilst using my other hand to play a 'stuck in the muddy puddle' game with my then 2 year old.  I still feed my 18 month old in public and have never had a negative comment."

Sian: "My public breastfeeding experiences have been utterly boring! Nobody has cared either way that I have been breastfeeding and no-one has had anything to say to me, either positive or negative. That's a good thing though, it means that where I live people are seeing it as a perfectly normal thing to do, and that is great."

Laura;  "My most memorable public feeding experience was my first.  We braved going out for lunch when my Father-in-law came to visit the new arrival, I fed the baby before we left but a painful hobble up the restaurant and waiting for food meant that he needed feeding again.  So while everyone else was tucking into burgers I fed the baby milk, I expected people to stare but in reality no one was bothered, not even my (old school) father-in-law who was sat opposite me. This just built my confidence and for the next 11 month I fed wherever and whenever."

Georgina "I have never felt nervous about feeding in public and I've never had any negative experiences. There was one occasion that sticks in my mind as a particularly lovely, positive one:- we were in BHS and my daughter, E, was a few weeks old and I was feeding her. An old man walked towards us and I braced myself, preparing for an onslaught of "you shouldn't be doing that in here" finger shaking. But as he approached he broadened his smile and came close to us - patted my daughter on the head and stuffed a pound coin into my hand, "a charm for the bairn", (giving money to babies is quite customary among older citizens in the North East of England) he didn't bat an eyelid. I have fed my daughter on the Seine in Paris, the Grand Place in Brussels, Costa Brava in Spain and all over Durham, UK where we live and I continue to do so but the need is less as my daughter is older."

Zoe; "I'll be honest all of my public feeding experiences are memorable. I've only been feeding for a short period of time and I was absolutely terrified of when the time came to feed in public alone. However I've now fed in public on numerous occasions as when baby needs feeding, she needs feeding. My most memorable feeding experience so far is my first, it was on a visit to our local town and I went into the local coffee shop. I expected everyone to stare, especially as I was sat near a large window however no-one batted an eyelid and nothing was said by anyone. This gave me more confidence and whilst I still get a little nervous in some places my confidence is growing with each feed."

Another Bun "One of my most positive feeding experiences was when I was at our local NCT group helping some mums with slings, walking around the group feeding my baby. No less than three people said to me 'oh, you're feeding her, I didn't even realise!', and they were stood right next to me. Just proves that people really don't bat an eyelid most of the time. I also had a lovely group of grans walk past me in a big department store where I had parked up on a sofa to feed, cooing over the baby and saying that she looked like she was enjoying it - she was! I'm happy to feed pretty much anywhere, anytime - after all, my babies tummy has no concept of location!

aNoviceMum: "After months of breastfeeding struggles, I increasingly felt confident and comfortable about feeding my baby without worrying much about where we were. One of my most memorable moments was breastfeeding at a park on this lovely day. I had recently been allowing my little man out of the buggy when we were in the open. It's such delight watching him exploring and discovering. 

A while after, I knew he needed a drink. I sat towards the end of the nearest bench ... made myself comfortable by positioning my loose wrap-around top to provide the cover I wanted ... I placed my son on my knees ... we discreetly latched ... and off he drank and ate whilst I tried to keep him as still as possible. I got lost in the wonder of it all, and was mostly oblivious to passersby. 

I have learnt that when my baby / toddler wants to feed, he needs to feed. It doesn't matter who is there or what is around. They will survive however they feel or whatever they think about me breastfeeding; my baby / toddler on the hand will CRY and be needlessly distressed, and I'll be more stressed than if I'd just fed him."

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For more positive feeding in public experiences please hop on over to Dad's Thoughts where you can gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding website. UK residents only.


  1. I found the first latch with my daughter 9.5 years ago relatively easy, but I just couldn't do it after that. I tried expressing but gave up after just 2 weeks so have no experience of feeding in public. Have regretted it ever since and am more determined than ever to get it right with number 2. Due in 10 weeks and hoping to feed until at least 6 months, hopefully a year this time :)

  2. So lovely to hear all of these positive experiences - there are just some moments that stick out in your mind, and mine feeding my daughter at the Dr surgery that I have share in my post today. So much positivity, it is wonderful!

  3. I've been breastfeeding my daughter in public for 4.5 years, and mostly it's been fine. Had an issue at a swimming pool in Bristol, and a couple of comments on the bus about her being too old (when she was 2), but either I am oblivious to negativity, or nobody is bothered!

  4. im pregnant with Twins and so looking forward to breastfeed them. lovely article xx


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