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Thread: BF in public

  1. #1

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    Thumbs down BF in public

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but I had to get it out there- it made me so cranky.
    I refuse to BF in the parents room at my shopping centre- the chairs are plastic backed and narrow with wooden arms that bubs bumps his head on, it's cold and boring and it STINKS because they don't empty the nappy bins very often. So I feed him on one of the big comfy lounge chairs they've got set up around the place. I've never had anyone comment, only a few people women give me warm smiles and men steadfastly avoiding looking at me!
    Until today.
    The first lady came and covered me up with the cloth I had sitting next to me... she wasn't being nasty, just reminded me that 'there are a few sickos out there'. She went on to tell me how she breastfed the whole premmie unit at the hospital when her bubs was born (obviously an older woman- that is so not allowed anymore). So that was ok.
    But then, a younger mum with a pram walked by and commented to her friend in a voice that was obviously meant to be loud enough for me to hear that it was 'disgusting- the parents room are only a few metres away'. Coincedentally, she had a bottle strapped to the handle of her pram. I just ignored her and pretended I hadn't heard.
    Why are people like this, when we all know breast is best, and if you can you should? Has anyone else had any problems BF in public?


  2. #2

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    Because people are narrow minded and only think of breasts as sexual objects...

    Olivia needed feeding while I was in Harvey Norman the other day so I found a comfy couch and sat in it I got some funny looks from the staff too..

    good on you for feeding in public.. I was so nervous with my first I would either take formula when we went out or I went and sat in the hot car..

  3. #3

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    Thanks Nic At first, I'd express and take a bottle with me everywhere i went.. I got sick of that pretty quickly. And I figured, why not take advantage of it being so easy to feed him whenever, wherever? Advantages of breastfeeding- boobs don't need a microwave to warm them up!!

  4. #4
    MUMMY4LIFE is offline .: ~ Don't regret anything that ever made you smile ~ :.

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    I know what you mean about the 'Parent's Rooms' at shopping centres....most I had to visit were terrible, not very inviting, dirty, stinky & nowhere near big enough to breast feed comfortably.

    I will never understand peoples rude comments and looks when a mum to BF'ing....it is so frustrating that people can be like that, disgusting that in this day and age narrow mindedness about BF'ing is still alive and well. Why can't they just get over it!!!!

  5. #5

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    Good on you for BF in public! I refuse to feed in parents rooms also, mainly because I have a 5yr old as well and I would rather sit and give him something to eat and relax then having him boucing off the awals in the parents rooms. We have gotten a few looks now that Ari is walking but I prefer to see us as walking advocacy posters. The more mums who see us out BF in public hopeflly the more there will be who feel the same and will follow suit.

    My advice smile sweetly and show then how at peace and relaxed those BF hormones make you when you are doing what comes naturally!

  6. #6

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    Yeah, you feed your bub where and when it's suitable for you. Eff 'em, I say! If I'm BFing and I hear of a local place that discourages it, I go there and BF (while staring dagger into the establishment or crowd) to prove a point! We don't need that crap. We are just doing what we need to for our bubbies!

  7. #7

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    it's sad isn't it. I haven't experienced it myself, I've had the odd look now & then, but nothing for me to feel awkward about.

    Perhaps just keep in mind that people that react like that probably have their own baggage and seeing public breastfeeding hits a raw nerve. I think it's sad to hear of other young(ish) mums being like this. I guess I can kind of excuse it from older generations coz they're a bit more prudish that way.. but from other mums... they must just be bitter & twisted to let someone breastfeeding their baby upset them.

    You're doing the best thing for your baby, and for breastfeeding itself. It is so normal to feed a baby!

    wow at that woman feeding all the prems! What a fantastic thing to do. It's a shame that sort of thing isn't done these days.. breastmilk is the best thing for those immature little tums. There was no way I was letting my DD have formula when she was prem.

    Chin up, and remember you're doing nothing wrong, and it's other people that have the problem.

  8. #8

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    I'd definitely keep doing it too - in fact, I'd time my shopping so I HAD to feed while I was out!! I was pretty lucky when I was bfing my DD and got only encouraging looks and smiles. Good on you for doing what is normal and natural.

    We formula feeding mamas cop a fair bit of flack too for different reasons. Its a shame people can't just look at a child being fed and see how lovely it is, however its done, rather than find a way to be offended.

  9. #9
    morgan78 Guest

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    It does make you grind your teeth a little, but then again its their problem and like Liz said they possibly have baggage about the whole BF issue...good on you tho for feeling comfortable enough to BF in public, i walked out of the dr's office today with little miss on the boob into a full waiting room and unfortunately a couple of women looked at little put out by it but hey at least DD wasn't screaming the surgery down.
    IMO i think the more we are able to be comfortable with public BF the less people while get so offended by it as there as been such a large generational gap between BF being seen as "normal" thanks to the marketing of large formula companies (and FF people out there please dont take that the wrong way i have to comp feed and have no problem with people that FF)

  10. #10

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    I don't have a prob with FF parents either as I understand that there are many reasons, however, in public, I have only ever had criticisms when I was BFing, not feeding from a bottle. Funny, some peoples attitudes, eh?

  11. #11

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    I am all for feeding in public when you are comfortable with it - I've done it plenty of times with Emily, (#3) and never received any attention for it. But is there something that can be done about the mother's rooms? I know that when I had my first and was learning to bf, I needed/wanted privacy because I was kind of nervous about the whole thing, and needed to be much more exposed to latch her on properly, etc, so to have a nice clean private room available was great! (BTW - I find the nursing rooms around here are fine - quiet, well-lit room, nice padded rocking chairs, clean baby changing area, magazines to look at.) For new mums, the nursing room is a great option to have available, so perhaps a little more pressure could be put on to have those rooms improved? Some letter writing maybe?

  12. #12

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    People like that really make me mad!
    I hate the parents rooms, they are gross and sitting behind a curtain makes me feel like i have to be hidden away - no way am i going in there to sit in a tiny cubicle.

    I sit in those nice comfy couches too - much nicer and better than staring at a curtain. Good on you!

    Luckily no-one has said anything to me, i was so suprised that people smiled at me when i fed Molly in public for the first time, i was a bit nervous, but Mum was there too so i just sat there and chatted with her...

    Honestly i would love someone to come up and have a problem with me feeding - they would get such an earful - i think that there are only a small minority of people that actually have a problem...

    So sad that people cant just keep their comments to themselves - what ever happened to 'if you cant say anything nice, dont say anything at all'???

  13. #13
    FluffyLaRue Guest

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    People with that kind of attitude are why we need to just keep at it - We need to normalise breastfeeding.

    Boobs are for feeding. Shame on anyone who thinks it's wrong and openly expresses that to a breastfeeding mother in public.

    There was a child joyfully digging around for treasure up his nose then popping said treasures into his mouth at the local plaza when last I was there.
    there were teenagers swearing and commiting crimes against fashion. Yet another was showcasing a whole lotta buttcrack while tucking into his takeaway.
    Was I tempted to ask these folks to do their business elsewhere? To remove themselves from my sight? You bet! Did I have any right to? Would I dare be so rude?

    Hell NO!

    It is discouraging, but don't let it stop you

  14. #14

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    Good on you for keeping it up.

    I remember an episode of Oprah a while back where they had two people on - one pro-breastfeeding, the other anti. The one who was anti said something along the lines of "I have nothing against breastfeeding, but it just makes me sick to see people doing it where I can see them when I am eating lunch."

    I felt like jumping through the TV and replying "I have nothing against ugly people, but it just makes me sick when they can be seen while I am eating lunch. Why don't you go and take your lunch to the toilet, and eat it in a cubicle, where nobody has to see you?"

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmickers View Post
    I felt like jumping through the TV and replying "I have nothing against ugly people, but it just makes me sick when they can be seen while I am eating lunch. Why don't you go and take your lunch to the toilet, and eat it in a cubicle, where nobody has to see you?"


  16. #16

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    BIg hugs LR. That is so awful. But don't feel bad, you are doing the right thing, not them. I too often fed in the middle of the shopping centre - and there was nothing wrong with the parents' rooms but sometimes I wasn't near one and it was easier to stop where I was. I have often fed on the floor in the supermarket or at Big W etc. Luckily for them, no-ones ever said anything to me LOL!! But one of my favourite bfing moments was sitting on the floor in a supermarket and a staff member brought me a chair! How thoughtful was that!

    Hang in there with bfing in public. The more people do it, the more "normal" it will become and the more those narrow minded people will have to pull their heads in.

  17. #17

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    PMSL Michael. Good on you huni.

    For me personally I think there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a baby at it's mothers breast. I am the one who gives these mum's a warm and knowing smile. I am also the one who is sitting in food court eating my lunch with my baby on the boob. I am nourishing us both at the same time, only Abbey's lunch is much healthier. LOL. I have walked around the shops with a boob in my babies mouth. The only skin showing was my fat waist, not a nipple to be seen, of course not, she was feeding from it. At the end of the day I'd rahter have my boob out and my baby happy and content than to have her screaming the shops down. Bet you'd get more looks when that happened.

    LorriRae, one of the best things about breastfeeding is the ease and convieniece of it. Far too much work expressing to make up a bottle before you go out. Plus you run the risk of nipple confusion or breast rejection as the bottle is easier. Stick to your guns hun and be glad you did have a big mouth like me with you who is always quick with a smart remark back

    Huge hugs huni, and if you cop it again tell em where to go. I'm not as kind as Liz

  18. #18

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    Hi, LoriRae,
    Sadly, we live in a bottlefeeding society. You have done us all a great service by breastfeeding your baby. It's unfortunate that you were made to feel uncomfortable. I have a little experiment I'd like to try. Breastfeeding mums, esp when they are new at it, can fee accutely self-conscious. But I know that bottle feeding mums also feel judged about the way they are feeding their child. How about, everytime we see a mother out feeding her child, give her a wave and a smile - say "good on you" Babies are so important to us - and their mothers even more so - regardless of how they are fed.
    Regards
    Barb

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