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I’ve had a relatively easy run when it comes to breastfeeding but to be honest, I was dreading it!

I was terrified of having to expose my uh, relatively large lady lumps in public, assuming that it was expected of me in order to be what is deemed a ‘natural’ mother. I’d struggled with the smell of anything dairy during my morning sickness as well, and the thought of smelling like that for the duration I chose to feed gave me another reason to consider formula and bottle feeding. And plus, wouldn’t it hurt?

I’d seen women feeding before and there was rarely a glimpse of skin, let alone nipple. And doing it discreetly is near impossible, there’s usually side boob and nipple flying all over the place!

I had no idea how I was ever going to be comfortable trying to cover myself up and have the baby positioned in a way she’d be comfortable to feed properly. It was stressful just thinking about the next feed.

I must have been lucky as it didn’t seem to hurt me though. I’d heard stories of babies who didn’t get the right suction, they seemed to be hungry all the time, mum might have had blocked milk ducts or one of the many other challenges a breastfeeding mum might face that could result in something like really sore, cracked or bleeding nipples.

It was only when two little teeth popped through that I got really nervous. We had a few near misses and she learnt not to bite me, but there’s only two. We have the rest of the mouth to go yet!

And as for the smell, I think my heighted senses during pregnancy had me overreacting a little. As long as I was washing my bra’s and nursing tops regularly they seemed to cope, though I will be disposing of them afterwards and buying new attire for baby number two. And combined with a twice daily shower I didn’t really feel like I could smell myself, though I was often conscious if it had been a while since my last shower and I’d fed a few times.

But I’m also someone who likes to be really clean, so perhaps I worried about it too much. Who knows?!

So covering up was my main issue. I’d seen nursing covers and researched them online, but I hadn’t purchased one as I felt like a bit of an outsider for even thinking about it. It made me feel really alone and like I was trying to shy away from what is meant to be one of the most natural things in the world. In the privacy of my own home, and in front of my husband I had no concerns whatsoever and it was, in fact, one of those beautiful moments in life.

Feeding her was such an intimate time between two of us and we’d just stare at eachother, me in awe of her.

It was anytime I needed to feed in public I’d just panic. In the end, I gave in and ordered a cover.

It turned up a few days later and changed my breastfeeding world!

Full props go to mummies who are comfortable doing their thing anywhere they please. I’m glad you do as it saddens me when I hear stories of women who have been criticized for feeding in public. But for me, having my nursing cover allowed me freedom to venture out and enjoy learning to be a mum, taking care of my baby out in the world, while maintaining my modesty.

Even though I was now comfortable to feed, I still had that feeling of being an outsider and it was out of sheer guilt. I’d end up using the excuse that my baby girl was too distracted and needed to focus in order to feed, when really I just felt bad that I was covering myself up. And you know what? All of this was in my head. I hadn’t had even one negative comment about choosing to use a nursing cover which caused me to feel that much angst. I think it was just a case of ‘that’s what you’re supposed to do’ syndrome.

As she grew she really did get distracted, so it was great that I had the cover when I needed her to concentrate! But I still feel a little guilty, even today, for using it.

  • breastfeeding doesn’t have to make you feel alone and don’t be discouraged by it

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  • i loved breastfeeding. i believe that you should cover up but if you don’t, that is your choice

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  • so sad

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  • I ended up stopping breast feeding very early on for various reasons, and to be honest, I would not have breastfed in public – that’s just me.

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  • I LOVE breastfeeding but completely get where you are coming from. As another lady with larger boobs I found it very difficult to feed in public. I also felt quite uncomfortable about feeding around any friends and spent quite a large portion of the newborn stage hidden in separate rooms so I could feed. Once I bought a cover I was much more comfortable and luckily it allowed me to feed on several plane journeys. I do wish I had the confidence to just go with it but, especially now when my little one gets so distracted, I just feel I need the privacy!

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  • I loved breast feeding I have 4 children and breastfed them all my 4th child the longest 2 yrs 9 months and loved every second of it.
    I was never worried about what people said if I had to feed out and about I was always covered up and if anyone did say anything I would just say “if your hungry or thirsty you eat well my child is hungry so he’s eating” lol

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  • I wasn’t shy about getting my boobs out in public but I found I needed to be sitting in a comfy chair so more often than not if I was out and about I would find the nearest parents room which generally have comfy chairs in the feeding cubicles.

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  • No guilt – you should just do whatever you need to do for you and baby.

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  • I didn’t like breastfeeding in public as I never could get myself or bubs in a comfortable & discreet position so I’d feed in parents rooms or the car.

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  • Great Job!!! I breastfed where I wanted and never had a problem. People smiled and gave me confidence to keep doing it. I did with all my kids. The world is changing and we are more accepting these days… give it a go and get past being too shy. Cover or not that’s up to you.

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  • My children are adults now but when they were babies and I was breast feeding I would go to nursing rooms when out, I also was a slight bit boob shy. Love mums that are confident in breast feeding when out in public, as I feel it is natural and a beautiful thing. All the very best to you and you family.

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  • Whether a woman chooses to breast-feed or not, the decision is up to her and her alone. A little discretion about how & where you breast-feed can often go a long way in decreasing the likelihood of negative comments too.

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  • Well done! I have been going for almost 5 months now and it has been a tough road and still is. Great read.

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  • No not really, but when I went to the bottle WOW weren’t we judged. I have two very happy and healthy children who were both bottle fed.

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  • Well done Heather for persevering. It doesn’t matter what you need to do to get to that result if that is what you want.
    Cover or no cover, feed at home or out.
    You stuck with breast feeding so feel proud of yourself!!

    Reply

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