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Nursing in public as baby gets older

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Post by kaygeebee on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:16 pm

I've been out and about the last couple of days, and as a result feeding in cafes etc. For the first time, I've started to feel a bit uncomfortable about nursing in public - and I'm wondering if it's because I'm not nursing a 'newborn' any more. Owen is more prone to pulling back, unlatching hmself and exposing me these days, but I don't think it's that that's making me uncomfortable as I can pretty much whip a muslin in place or hold him so as I don't get exposed - I'm noticing other people's reactions aren't the same any more.

On Saturday I fed hm in the local M&S cafe. I chose a seat where I had my back to most of the cafe, and as I sat down the old guy at the next table was cooing over how cute Owen was. When hubby got back with the coffees and I started to feed, and this old guy started giving filthy looks to hubby! (Hubby was dying to laugh and tell him to get over himself) They then left very abruptly. This was the first time I'd had any kind of negative reaction to feeding in public - when he was smaller people would always just smile.

Today I took my car to get serviced, and had a courtesy car - but was hanging around all day. I fed in Starbucks this morning, and noticed people staring then looking the other way. This afternoon I fed in the (very swanky and nice) coffee area of the car dealership, and one other lady waiting for her car looked at me and said 'well done!' which I found a bit odd, then one of the members of staff came over to say that there was a private room I could use if I wanted to (I told her I was fine thanks and carried on!) She then started stroking Owen's head and saying 'oh I shouldn't distract him from his lunch' Errrr no ..... and if you were trying to put me at ease I now feel really awkward!!

It's just got me thinking ..... I'm so used to feeding in public, but I'm starting to feel awkward - I guess that will only get worse as he gets older! So, does anyine else nurse older babies, or even toddlers in public? What kind of reactions do you get - and have people's atttudes changed with the age of your child?

kaygeebee

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Post by kay on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:27 pm

I breastfed Corey in public until he was well over a year old, and only really stopped because he cut down his feeding when out and about as he was too distracted. If he wanted it, however, i gave it him!

Ive never had any problems locally actually - M&S is one of my favourite places! The women in the cafe are really friendly - but you do get some stuffy old bids in there, i just never come across them fortunately!

Personally, I dont see Owen as old, or big! he is still a little dot to me! I dont think people would view you feeding him now any different to a newborn, because he is still a 'babe in arms' so to say.
Maybe you are becoming more aware of him getting bigger because of what he does now, so its making you a bit more conscious? (I remember when Corey started messing about - I had boobs on show for all, and when he used to sing on there or blow raspberries, the whole place could hear, but i couldnt help laugh!!)

Hubby sounds supportive - which is half the battle won - you'd be suprised how many are not supportive of their wives feeding in public!

just wait til he starts pulling your top down in a cafe and shouting 'BOOBIES!' at the top of his voice....

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Post by Squiglet on Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:23 am

I very rarely fed lil miss in public after she was 4 months. For one she went through a difficult stage where she would pull off, pull down my shawl, have a good nosey around, talk or play with the nipple and latch back on. Also it took an AGE to feed her. So I just stopped going out.

People in Spain are so much more stuck up about it and there are no protection laws concerning feeding in public places so owners of bars/cafes are well within their rights to ask you to leave.

Now I never feed in public and very rarely feed in front of visitors in my own home. But its more personal preference because they don't understand extended breastfeeding and lil miss is still silly on the booby.

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Post by piesmummy2006 on Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:35 pm

i think niamh was about 18ths when i stopped feeding in public but it want often glad hubby sounds supportive!! xxxxx

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Post by Natasha on Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:02 pm

I am fine feeding out with Lottie, although she does pull away which can be a bit embarrising.

I do however think the positive response you recieved is fantastic, yes it made you feel a uncomfortable but I would really embrase it as it doesn't happen a lot.

I have had more filthy looks than smiles, which makes me sad but I can also put that down to the age I am, I look youbg so maybe I get jugdged for that too?

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Post by kaygeebee on Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:08 am

Lol Kay - I can't imagine him yellng 'boobies' at me I'll have to start calling them something more discreet...

Yes, he is still just a little dot .... not yet 6 months and on exclusive bm. Hubby is very supportve - as is mum. She fed me until I was 18 months, and had me pulling her shirt up on the bus etc. I guess I will stop looking at other people.... then I won't notice ther reactions. x

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Post by piesmummy2006 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:47 pm

my daughter yelled boobies during the speeches at my best friends wedding lol xxx

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Post by kay on Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 pm

piesmummy2006 wrote:my daughter yelled boobies during the speeches at my best friends wedding lol xxx

thats fab!

But yes Karen - just dont look.
I have to confess I did look, I was always on the look out for an arguement - I had all my one-liners ready! Unfortunately I never got to use them (which is a good thing really lol!)

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Post by Squiglet on Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:03 pm

Lil miss frequently chants.. "Nena want boobies" on the way home from nursery while screaming in the push chair...while in supermarkets, while in hospitals, while in the park...while (insert anywhere)

I'm lucky because most people round here only speak Spanish

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Post by piesmummy2006 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:15 pm

awww bless her!! kay it was not fab at the time ha ha ha ha xxx

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Post by gem1981 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:22 pm

Someone once said to me that she felt she had to feed in public to kind of prove the point that it is ok to do it, and that has always stayed with me.

having said that, Daisy is 22 months old now and I am now wary of feeding in public. yesterday she was in the trolley in b and q leaning forward shouting "BOB-BOO!!" (boobie) but at least now I can say to wait a while.

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