Public Breastfeeding

Before baby El came along I was all for breastfeeding everywhere and anywhere. Babies get hungry so feed away – it doesn’t bother me! I was rather looking forward to breastfeeding, I loved the thought of bonding and cuddling my baby as my own body produced everything she needs. (Amazing!) Plus the added bonus of it being free and on tap (literally like a dripping tap sometimes!) I was even getting a bit nervous hoping it would all go well as I know it’s not always easy.

How do people make it look so easy!? I didn’t realise there was so much technique to breastfeeding. You want the baby to get a good latch… with a wide mouth, a tilted head, a straight body but a slight angle, space for them to breath but close body contact – the list goes on. (And I thought you just shoved them on the boob! It does eventually get to that level of ease…after some months…)

First stage of public breastfeeding – hide!

Feeding was so fiddly at first that I would run for cover because I didn’t want people thinking I didn’t know how to feed my own child! The big shops with dedicated feeding rooms were good but my favourite was the back of the car (and I thought the window shades were just to shade the baby!)

Second stage – cover up

To have a life I needed to feed in public, so when entering a cafe I’d pick the seat that looked most hidden away. Then I’d start my military operation of muslin under the boob to catch leaks, a cover up apron to hide baby El feeding and an extra muslin over the shoulder just in case.

Third stage – whip it out

Baby El knows what she wants. You don’t want to see her when she’s hangry! So I simply whip out a boob as fast as possible and shove it in her mouth. Gone are the thoughts of what people may think, it’s all about my ravenous baby now. (OK not gone completely…I’m still having a sneaky look to see if anyone’s watching me). But I’ve got my technique down now! I don’t get my whole boob out for show (lots of mums do – I’ve seen a whole lot of boobage! Not good for my nipple inferiority complex) but I still feel a little riskay…

I’m what some mothers call ‘a one up one down’ I pull one top up and wear a vest to pull down so ultimate coverage is achieved without the faff of an additional covering tool.

Luckily for me El is a guzzler and her meals don’t last more than 5 minutes nowadays so there’s no hanging around. She’s probably just really greedy but I like to think of myself as a lactating machine,

the speed of milk coming out is often enough to make her cough and splutter.

Are you a seasoned streaker or mountain of muslins? Whatever makes you happy and keeps your baby fed!

Ease the public feeding worries with a slice of cake! Not a great cut from the server but this cake was filth! Chocolate & hazelnut shimmer cake at costa. So good… I did make the mistake of asking for chocolate and hazelnut cake only to be looked at like a crazy person because I left out the SHIMMER!!!

2 thoughts on “Public Breastfeeding”

  1. Agreed it gets easier as mum and baby get more practised, tho for us that correlated with increased independence and flat out rejection of any kind of cover (we were firmly in the up/down crew).

    It’s all down to personal choice and confidence – if feeding in car worked for you to get you out and about that’s great, and I applaud you raising it because I wish I’d heard more realistic takes on breastfeeding before having my little girl.

    That said I wouldn’t encourage anyone to “hide”… The more mums out and about breastfeeding the more normal it looks, and hopefully the easier it’ll be for the next mum.


    1. I completely agree. You shouldn’t have to hide, this was just down to my lack of confidence. I am much better at feeding in public now (especially as there’s no cake in the car).

      I hope other new mums in the same position are braver than me and proudly feed wherever they go.


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