Breastfeeding Awareness Week: Breastfeeding – Are You Out?

As a mum to a baby born in March, breastfeeding is a subject that is close to my heart and I can rant and rave with the best of them about this topic that seems to be far more controversial than it should be!All the guidance is that breast is best! As soon as you discover your pregnancy the pressure starts from the midwife to breastfeed, they give you leaflets, advise you and ask you several times how you intend to feed your impending bundle of joy!

You’re given so much information on it that you can feel like a failure if for any reason (which there are many) you can’t do it!

So, why is it that when you make the decision that you’re going to do it, you discover a whole new side to it – the side that many people agree with, the side that will make it much harder, the side where breastfeeding in public is wrong!?

During a discussion about breastfeeding a few years ago a male colleague actually compared the ‘getting your boobs out in public’ with exposing himself, saying that if he did anything similar [to breastfeeding] in public he would be arrested!  I understand that we live in the UK, where we drink tea, have a stiff upper lip and are a little prudish, but do people seriously believe that breastfeeding my baby can be sexualized in any way?

We’ve all heard the stories of breastfeeding women being asked to leave restaurants, this raises the question of why can’t my baby eat in public when we all do, if you had the choice of me feeding her or letting her scream with hunger while you eat your dinner, I think I know which you would pick! Oh and to anyone who thinks it may be appropriate, I would like to add, I won’t feed my daughter in the toilet – you wouldn’t eat in there and neither will she!

Don’t get me wrong I know breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and I understand that there are sometimes medical reasons why mums can’t, but I am lucky and can, so I will! My son did not take to feeding for 30 hours after birth, but once he got it, he really did and my daughter took to it shortly after arriving and is still going strong!

Confession time: I am a breastfeeding mum, the first time I breastfed in public was in a football stadium, I’ve sometimes been unsure about public feeding because of other’s attitudes but have overcome it and I will argue the case for breastfeeding!

I am a breastfeeding mum and I am proud of it, I am proud that I breastfeed in public and if you want to hear why, just try and stop me!

By Kelly Brett

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