With breastfeeding in the news recently yet again as Sam Faiers from TOWIE fame breastfed her 8 month old son Paul live on This Morning, I felt the need to just talk a bit about my experience breastfeeding Lily in public. If you read the papers you would believe that no breastfeeding mother could feed her baby without stares and nasty comments being said. With Sam breastfeeding recently my Facebook timeline was full of articles stating things like: “Sam Faiers divides fans when she breastfeeds LIVE on This Morning” the headline suggests many people were unimpressed with her breastfeeding on TV. I watched it back and in reality you do not see even a hint of bare boob, not that it should be a problem if you did. But anyway a scroll through the comments and all I see is support and praise for Sam. Which leads me to believe that most people are actually fine with mums breastfeeding in public. Or if they’re not they’re not bold enough to say.
I think with all this negative press attention as women come forward who have had comments made to them it could actually be more damaging, and put expectant mothers off breastfeeding. I totally agree the restaurants and cafes that have been rude to nursing mothers should be shamed, so in a way it is good to publicise it, but someone who is anxious about breastfeeding may then change their mind and bottle feed instead. When I was breastfeeding Lily I fed her in all kinds of places: in restaurants, cafes, in the car, at friends houses, in the park, even in a church where a very nice old lady came up and said “well done” to me! In my 18months of breastfeeding I never had anyone say a negative thing to me whilst feeding. No breastfeeding mother I know in fact has had any negative comments that I know of. So if you’re reading this and have been worried about breastfeeding due to having to feed in public I just want to reassure you that I haven’t had any problems. I chose to cover up when I fed Lily, so just a muslin over my shoulder allowed my boobs to be covered whilst she fed. You can also get larger specific breastfeeding covers, and clothing designed for easy and discreet access. The scarf I’m wearing in the photo below is a special breastfeeding scarf, which also made a lovely accessory! But if that doesn’t work for you there is no problem with not covering up either, some babies don’t like being covered up and I don’t blame them, whatever is going to get that baby fed and happy. Lily was a quick eater anyway so the whole thing was over and done with in about 5minutes!
What would be fantastic is if breastfeeding in public became as normal as someone eating a sandwich. After all that’s all the baby is doing, just having its lunch or its dinner and that mother is just feeding her baby, no different to a mother giving a bottle. Both are great and both should be seen in the same light.