Monday, 23 June 2014

My First Nursing in Public Situation




I’m a pretty confident person.  I don’t get embarrassed very easily, especially after giving birth in a US hospital with about ten strangers in the room in addition to my husband, mother and midwife.  However, having a baby is life changing and all of  a sudden I had this whole other person completely dependent on me for his safety and nourishment.
My most memorable nursing in public experience happened in a very public place when William was very little.  It was one of the first times I had to feed in public and I was on my own outside of the house for the first time.  My brother was visiting during my 12 weeks maternity leave in the States and I was picking him up from the Baltimore Washington International Airport.  I’d been there a million times, knew the best place to park and where I could sit and exactly how long ot would take him to get through customs.  I still managed to get there early as in the past I usually had to rush from work but  this time I’d had all day to get ready (it takes that long).  William was in his sling but I’d had a horrible episiotomy and I couldn’t stand for too long.  I wanted my Brother to find me easily so I sat down in front of the automatic doors that poured arrivals out into the terminal so that we could welcome him as soon as he came through the door.
The other people in the terminal waiting for their relatives to arrive loved seeing baby William and he was a very happy and cute baby.  That is until he got hungry.  I’ve never had a baby that does all those feeding cues that are talked about.  I’ve seen them on other babies, taught parents how to recognise them even.  William only had one cue, crying.  As soon as he started to cry everyone around me had an opinion, and everyone told me that my baby was hungry and that I should feed him.
So, I was alone, a little vulnerable as a first time mum, just given birth with a painful tear (I felt like everything would fall out every time I stood up) and I had never fed in public on my own before.  We also had huge latch issues and William hadn’t gone near my breast for the first few weeks of life after being suctioned at birth so we were still learning and it took some effort to get a good latch.
I hadn’t practised, I hadn’t done anything that I had been advising for years to do in such a circumstance.  I wasn’t prepared, I had barely managed to shower that morning in preparation of our trip out.  I panicked, I went bright red in the face and tried to calm William which didn’t work.  I did have a blanket with me so I thought that I could use it as a cover, so I tucked it under my bra strap.  William hated it.  I spent 5 minutes wrestling with him before abandoning the blanket and yes, I showed a bit more skin than I wanted to but we had a successful feed and everyone was happy that the crying had stopped.  It was at that moment that the doors opened and 200 people arrived in the terminal and the first thing they saw was my boob.
I overcame my fear of breastfeeding in public pretty quickly, we didn’t look back and we fed everywhere – on the plane, at the zoo, at my American citizen swearing in ceremony, at the supermarket, in the mall, in front of my family, at the beach, in the pool!  Practise makes perfect.



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21 comments:

  1. No amusing stories but I've found that I've had to overcome all my awkwardness about feeding in public as my daughter really doesn't like the cover I used at first. She'd fiddle with it so much I ended up worried she'd expose me even more than if the cover weren't there.

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  2. Not a bad story but does give me a little giggle ... I recently fed my newborn son in a very busy public park, whilst my eldest played, and a little girl, roughly 4 or 5 in age, come over and was chatting to me about my newborn son who was craddled in my arms whilst feeding. She asked lots of questions about him, then just come out with ...'he's enjoying his magic milk - bye'
    Love it :-)

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  3. Like everything it just takes practice- was so nervous at first but babies needs win out in the end, unless you just want to stay at home. We even fed on top of the Eiffel tower! Never had a negative experience

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  4. just pretend noone is there your bubba needs to feed

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  5. Unfortunately I didn't breastfeed x

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  6. i couldnt breast feed with my first as he was premature :(

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  7. I've breastfed in the car going round Longleat safari park and on the little train there too. Also, the pub, church, restaurants, the park, the office, the beach....

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  8. Know your rights and repeat them to anyone trying to stop you nursing.

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  9. Practice in places you know are not too busy like the local cafe or park or even your garden before going to busier places

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  10. i dont have any experience yet (baby due in sept) but ive got a nursing scarf to give me more confidence!

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  11. I had someone lean over to look at baby whilst nursing, thus distracted her, she unlatched and pulled away and they got sprayed with milk. Ooops!

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  12. Unfortunately I didn't breastfeed, but my friend will be once she has her baby

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  13. Answering the door with a boobie out! The postman is always super lovely now :)

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  14. Relax make sure your comfortable.

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  15. breastfeeding whilst i answer the door and invite my girlfriends into the house. Use a nursing cover if that makes you feel more comfortable. I got one from an NCT nearly new sale for about £3!

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  16. I'm really shy and wasn't keen on the idea of nursing in public, but now I find it easy, I wear nursing tops and nursing bras to make things easier, I don't tend to use scarves/covers as I find them cumbersome and bring more attention onto myself.

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  17. Feed however you feel comfortable - you'll be able to relax and find it much easier.

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  18. A Nursing Shawl is great to discreetly breastfeed in public

    Lynsey Buchanan

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  19. Some people seem to think that when you're pregnant you have to look dowdy and not show off your bump, but flaunting the happy news in breastfeeding clothes is so lovely to see. I always prefer breastfeeding blouses over dresses. My best discovery for clothes has been the European company My Tummy which have tops that double up for breastfeeding so you don't need to buy two sets of clothes for after pregnancy.

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