New mums are often worried about breastfeeding in public for the first time. Thankfully it is rare for anyone to ask you to cover up, move somewhere else or make any other disapproving comments.
As someone who has lived on the cusp of London for most of my life this doesn’t surprise me: in London people rarely pay attention to those around them, let alone speak to them. Even if they are doing something incredibly annoying like playing their music far too loud on a tube carriage rammed full of commuters we stay quiet. So why would anyone worry about breastfeeding?
If you look at social network sites though you will often come across stories (told first and second hand) of breastfeeding mums who have been asked to be more discreet. This has led to a backlash of comments such as:
- Why should I feed my baby in the toilet, would you eat your dinner in there?
- Would you want to eat under a hot stuffy blanket?
- The mum is feeding the baby because they are hungry and no other reason.
- If you have a problem you should move.
I agree with these statements and I don’t believe anyone should have to cover up or hide to feed their baby (or toddler) when out and about. I think it is important that young people are exposed to breastfeeding to normalise it and I also think we have a very weird view in the UK about nudity and sexualising everything. However when I am breastfeeding in front of most people I know (partner, sisters and mother excluded) or in public I use a nursing cover.
I use a cover because it makes me feel more comfortable, not because of what anyone else might think. I’ve never been happy for other people to see me partially or fully naked. I’m one of those women who use the private changing booths in gyms and swimming pools. When I was younger I would walk out of shop changing rooms without trying anything on if they only had communal areas (whatever happened to those?). I’ve never been comfortable to sunbathe topless on the beach; I managed it once for about 90 seconds, but quickly wimped out. So my issue isn’t with breastfeeding uncovered, it’s about people seeing my body.
I don’t know why I feel this way; my sister has no similar issues so it isn't about how I was brought up. I almost feel a little embarrassed using it in front of other breastfeeding mums, like I'm letting the side down, but on the whole using a cover makes me happy.
If like me you feel more comfortable covered up when breastfeeding I would recommend buying one of the many designs of nursing covers available rather than using muslins or blankets as they make the process easier.
|Me feeding Baby M with the Soft Spots Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover|
My cover is by Bebe au Lait and costs around £30. It stays in place with a strap which goes round my neck, this means I have both my hands to sort out my clothes before and after feeding. The strap also prevents it falling off which is a if a muslin is being used. It has a rigid neckline which means I can look down and see Baby M feeding, and she can see me. This design feature also ensures that she has plenty of air and doesn’t get too hot.
The additional benefit of a cover now Baby M is older and easily distracted is that it blocks out some of the excitement so she can focus on having a decent feed. If she does get distracted and wants a look around I can be confident that I wont feel exposed in the process.
This post is my second for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. If you don't know about it yet check out the website, but basically a lot of great bloggers are sharing their thoughts and wisdom about breastfeeding and by visiting their blogs you can earn points to enter to win the grand prize of over £500 of goodies. Many are also running competitions to win other prizes.
Some of the blogs involved are:
Not only are Softbots one of the great companies who have contributed to the Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize (donating a Takara Nursing Top), they also have Bebe au Lait Nursing covers currently on sale at only £20 (while stocks last) AND they are very kindly providing a Cover for one of you to win.
By leaving a blog comment below and logging your name and email address in Rafflecopter you will be entered into the competition to win the Bebe au Lait Cover and earn points towards the Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize.
Please check out Softbots website where you will find a range of cloth nappies, cloth nappy accessories, natural baby products and lots of other products that will be helpful in the first years of your babies life.