Tag Archives: public breastfeeding

Tips on Overcoming Fears of Breastfeeding in Public

Many expecting mothers really look forward to breastfeeding their baby. However, for many mothers this expectancy is tinged by a fear of breastfeeding in public. The following tips will help show you how best to nurse in public and help build your confidence.

Breastfeeding is a right every mother has but sometimes you would think this was not the case. What was once an every day occurrence and which was celebrated has, in recent years past, become a bit of a taboo; breastfeeding your child in public. Breastfeeding is now being actively promoted by the health profession and just about everybody now accepts that breast is best. However, there does seem to be a paradox when it comes to breastfeeding. On the one hand you are told to breastfeed but, on the other, you are not exactly encouraged to breastfeed when and wherever you want. Things are changing, slowly. It is up to mothers to continue this change in attitude.

If you have reservations about nursing in public then your first step is to become comfortable breastfeeding your baby in the privacy of your home. You want to have the skills of ‘latching on’ down pat before you brave the public. Also, you can practice discreet feeding at home. You can practise discreet breastfeeding in front of family members. If they have a problem with you breastfeeding your child in front of them, then you must explain that breastfeeding is something natural – it’s not a disease or some socially unacceptable habit. If they still feel uncomfortable, then ask them to leave the room whilst you breastfeed. It is important that they leave and not you – you need to be assertive about your right to breastfeed. Once, you and baby are at ease with breastfeeding you can now venture outdoors.

In may sound obvious but before venturing out you should wear suitable clothing. Wear a top that is loose and is easy for you to open (or easily allows baby access to your breast). If you wear a very loose top you can even slip baby underneath so that no unbuttoning is necessary and your breasts remain covered up during feeding. Slings are another good idea. They free up both your hands and you can place baby in such a way that no one would know that you’re breastfeeding.

Feed your baby as soon as you know he wants to be feed. It’s important to stay in tune with your baby’s wants when outside your home. When your baby gets hungry he will do everything he can to get your attention; the longer you ignore him the more he going to try and get that attention. You don’t want a screaming baby when you’re trying to breastfeeding in public.

There are public places and there are public places. When first venturing outdoors, find somewhere where there aren’t too many people. Go to a park – or somewhere else where it’s fairly quiet and relaxed – and find place away from people. Feeding when there’s no one around is a good start. Bring your partner of friend with you. They can provide support and by talking to them as you breastfeeding you’ll even forget that your in public.

A breastfeeding mother can be made to feel very uncomfortable when she notices someone staring at her. The trick is to return their gaze; don’t back down. They’ll always look away and move on. More upsetting than being stared at, is when someone will openly let you know that they disagree with mothers breastfeeding in public. Just ignore them; these people are not worth making yourself or your baby agitated.

They say practice makes perfect, and after a few feeds you’ll soon be confident enough to breastfeed just about anywhere. Remember breastfeeding is your right and, more importantly, your baby’s.

Robin O’Brien is the founder of a site where you can learn to overcome your fears of breastfeeding in public and where you can read articles about such things as, breastfeeding and alcohol and fenugreek and breast milk.


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Old Country Buffet puts the family in “family restaurant”, NOT!

Breast-feeding mother says Maplewood restaurant told her to cover up

But a spokeswoman for Old Country Buffet’s parent company said the family was asked to leave after the dad became “verbally aggressive,” which the couple disputes.

Bethany Morton, a stay-at-home mom was breastfeeding her six-month old…

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Bethany Morton, 24, was breast-feeding 6 1/2-month-old Dawson in a booth at Old Country Buffet in Maplewood on Sunday when, she said, a server and then a manager, told her she’d have to cover up.

When she and her fiancé objected, they were told to leave and police were called.

Though state law says Morton was within her rights, a company spokeswoman says it wasn’t the breast-feeding but the commotion that caused the manager to tell the family to leave.

Minnesota law says, “A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.”

Morton said she had a baby blanket with her, but Dawson “just won’t keep it on.”

“I decided why fight with him,” she said. “I knew my rights, so I removed the blanket and let him eat.”

She wasn’t wearing a nursing top, Morton said, but she was trying to be as discreet as possible. A man at the next table told her he didn’t know she was breast-feeding, she said.

Diana Postemsky of Kekst and Co., a New York-based public relations firm that works with Buffets Inc., the Eagan-based parent company of Old Country Buffet, said the company is “absolutely aware” of a mother’s legal right to breast-feed.

“Just to clarify,” she said, “the couple in question was asked to leave the restaurant because the fiancé became verbally aggressive, not because his fiancée was breast-feeding. The gentleman’s volume and use of profanity was disturbing the other guests.”

Morton, who was at the restaurant for Easter dinner with her fiancé, Joe Santos, and their 3-year-old, Joe Jr., called foul when told of Postemsky’s comments.

“Since when is standing up for your rights being verbally aggressive?” she asked. “He [Santos] was not aggressive at all. He didn’t even raise his voice. He’s just a loud man. He grew up in a family of six kids; obviously he has to be a little loud to be heard.”

When she called corporate headquarters, Morton said, “they sided with the store. They said it’s a ‘family establishment’ and ‘we do have the right to ask you to cover up.’

“They didn’t even offer an apology,” she said. “That’s what gets me.”

The couple were driving away when they were pulled over by a Maplewood squad. The officers, too, apparently were ignorant of the law, Morton said, and told her the statute applies to public parks, not restaurants.

Deputy Chief Dave Kvam said the 911 dispatcher’s notes say, “Old Country Buffet manager told worker to call … white female yelling at staff … white female was breast-feeding and flashing the customers.”

Kvam said if the officers were mistaken, “it’s not unreasonable to believe they might not know [the law] off the top of their head,” Kvam said. “It’s not something we deal with with any regularity.”

By PAT PHEIFER, Star Tribune

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How Breastfeeding “Friendly” is YOUR State?

Breastfeeding is constantly in the news with everyone from Facebook to our local communities on attack. Although breastfeeding rates are up nationally, it sometimes seems that ‘you’re darned if you do’ and ‘darned if you don’t’.

Antiquated laws on the books across the country can make it hard for a well meaning mom to do what she feels is best for her baby. How does your state stack up in supporting nursing mothers?

Get the scoop on your state here…

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