Posted in How to ...

…. deal with the faff of breastfeeding in public

breastfeeding
That’s not LG, and that’s not my boob .. #stockimage

Breastfeeding in public is such a pain in the ass. To organise my thoughts, I’m going to answer a few simple questions in this blog that have been raised in my first 6 weeks with LG.

Do people actually care when you breastfeed? Do they stare?
Should I cover up? Is it indecent otherwise?
What’s a worst case scenario with breastfeeding in public?
Can you prepare yourself, to make it easier?
What are some useful tips?
Why would it be considered ‘a faff’?

Okay, so.

Do people actually care when you breastfeed? Do they stare?
In my experience, no, people don’t care. People do look, or rather, glance in your direction – but I guess that’s kind of normal, although breastfeeding is normal and thousands (?) of women across the city do it everyday, you don’t see it everday necessarily. You look when there’s a commotion on the street, you look when someone is put in an ambulance, you look when someone drops a plate in a restaurant, you look when someone’s breastfeeding. No one judges, no one stares. Berlin is pretty liberal, and I’m quite sure no-one would say anything at the risk of a social justice warrior materialising out of thin air and reading them the riot act on #normalisebreastfeeding.

Should I cover up? Is it indecent otherwise?
Tricky question. Every time, it’s a judgement call. I’ve gotten pretty good at lifting up my top and positioning it so that the edge/hem of the t-shirt is touching his lips – in effect, you can’t see breast/skin/nipple, but you can see a latched baby, and the feeding is pretty obvious. This is how I’ve fed LG in parks, at Markt Halle IX, at home in front of family, and other open spaces. I have used a muslin cloth to cover myself in cafes and restaurants – more at Peter’s request that mine, his impression this is something you ‘do’ at proper eating establishments. I would argue that there’s no need to hide your baby under a muslin, but you should do your best to keep things kind of discreet. At the end of the day, 99% of people are probably cool with breastfeeding but still end up feeling uncomfortable at the sight of someone’s boob & nipple out in plain view – this is how I was at least, before I had LG. I never knew where to look! P.s bollocks is it indecent, next question!

What’s a worst case scenario with breastfeeding in public?
You’re trying to juggle a baby on one arm, and position them correctly, whilst at the same time cover yourself with a muslin. Baby latches, then unlatches – wailing everytime they unlatch. You’ve got loads of milk that gets everywhere – all over your baby’s face, your clothes, their clothes … You manage position them correctly but at the cost of hunching your back in a super uncomfortable way. To onlookers you are frazzled stress and not at all at ease.

… this was my second experience! LG was 4 weeks old and we were at Veganz cafe in Bergmannkiez. Nightmare!

Can you prepare yourself, to make it easier?
If possible, get someone to hold your baby whilst you unclip your bra, grab your muslin and gets your arms (or in my case, legs) ready to rest your baby. Otherwise, do all these things before you take the baby out the pram (assuming they’re in a pram…).

What are some useful tips?
First focus on getting that baby latched and in position as quickly as possible, then worry about the tactfully covering up. Don’t try and do both at the same time.

Why would it be considered ‘a faff’?
For all the reasons mentioned above!

Mama M x

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