Breastfeeding in public often happens when a mum needs to feed their baby. Most of the time, mothers breastfeed in public places while with their partners or loved ones. You possibly encountered fellow nursing mums feeding their infants in places like restaurants or shopping centres.
Some people show support for women who breastfeed in public. They believe that the more breastfeeding is done in public areas, the more normal it will become.
Despite this notion, there are still mothers who feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public places. Most surveys claim that 1 out of 10 mums choose not to nurse their baby or toddler at home. Several women take steps to hide it in public as they are embarrassed and uncomfortable doing so.
On the other hand, mums who don’t mind nursing in public usually face criticism from people around them. They either get called out or shamed for breastfeeding even if the mum hides her boob well. This happened to a mum on Reddit who wanted to breastfeed her child at a restaurant.
A Mum Was Shamed for Breastfeeding Her Child in Public
A mum of a 2-year-old child shares how people shamed her for breastfeeding in public. The incident happened when she was out for lunch with her two kids.
According to the woman, her son recently just turned two and is very small for his age. Even though her son was already two years old, she was still breastfeeding him. It isn’t a rare case because doctors recommend breastfeeding babies for up to 2 years.
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On that day, they were out for lunch, but her 2-year-old child was fussing and wanted her to feed him. She attempted to calm him down with a pacifier, but it didn’t work. She was left with her last option of breastfeeding her toddler on the spot.
“I knew he’d calm instantly,” the mum said.
During that time, the woman said that the restaurant where they had their lunch was reasonably full. She also added that the people seated at the table next to them kept staring and talking about her.
Another diner at the restaurant loudly exclaimed their discomfort over the mum’s breastfeeding. This further drove the mum on the verge of tears. No one talked to her directly; she couldn’t explain why she had to do it.
Is It Now Only Acceptable to Feed a Newborn?
She was aware that the people around her were as uncomfortable as she was during that time, trying to breastfeed her child. The woman was already embarrassed for nursing his child in public, but others made the situation worse by shaming her.
According to the woman, “The other table made a remark and stated that he was far too old and that I was putting them off their dinner as they felt sick.”
The person who said that did not say it directly to the breastfeeding mum. Instead, the person says it loud enough for the woman to hear it clearly.
“I was absolutely mortified,” the breastfeeding mum explained. “I am extremely discreet when I feed him.”
According to her, she breastfeeds her 2-year-old child in a way that people cannot see any boob or her child’s mouth. She had no choice because she was alone with her two children. The mother could not leave the table because she could not leave her other child alone to eat her food.
“I was holding back tears,” she said. “Is it now only acceptable to feed a newborn?”
After sharing her experience, the woman felt relieved as soon as she read comments of people who understood her situation. Other people sympathise with her, while others cheer her up.
How Do You Feel About Breastfeeding in Public?
If you catch a mum breastfeeding in public, you need to understand their reason for doing so. In truth, many women feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding their infant in front of other people besides their partner.
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It is embarrassing and uncomfortable for some women to nurse a child while a relative or friend is around, even in their own home. Even more so in areas away from home, like cafes or shopping centres.
Breastfeeding in public could be embarrassing at first. However, they say you can also be confident doing it once you get used to it.
Mums who choose to breastfeed in public often do it because they’re left with no choice. Additionally, it’s one of the best ways to calm their infants or toddlers. Here are a few tips for breastfeeding mums to avoid public nursing:
You should never be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. It is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding mum to leave a public place, like a cafe, shop, or public transport. In Singapore, breastfeeding mums are free to nurse in public areas.
According to the Singapore Police Force, “It is not an offence to breastfeed in public if a woman is decently clad and she does not expose her breast more than is necessary to breastfeed her child.”
Plan Ahead and Wear the Clothes You Need
Before going out, think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding when your child gets hungry.
Moreover, we suggest you wear clothes catered for breastfeeding mums. Some mums like to wear loose tops that can be lifted. Aside from that, they also tend to a soft and non-underwired bra. You can also use baby slings, scarves, and clothes while breastfeeding your child.
Do not feel that you should sit in a public toilet to breastfeed. You would not eat in there, so do not feel that your baby should be fed there. Instead, stay near areas with specialised breastfeeding stations.