My Views On Breastfeeding In Public
Ah, this topic is one that never fails to get a good chinwag going!
Now, as a breastfeeding mum myself, I can tell you that when my baby is hungry, you can bet your bottom I will feed her.
I will not just whip my tit out and feed her for all to see.
Not because I disagree with boobing in public, but because I am a relatively private person and growing up I was taught that my hoohah and my boobies are ‘private-parts’. I therefore just keep my private parts – private.
It’s as simple as that in my case.
Just to clarify: when I say ‘in public’, I mean completely uncovered, nipple and all!
My Experiences With Breastfeeding In Public
I had to publicly breastfeed twice.
Both make me cringe thinking about them now.
My First Public Breastfeed
The first time: slap bang in the middle of Johannesburg CBD.
Right there in the front seat of my car in broad daylight; and I shit you not, not one person did a double take.
It was ME.
I felt uncomfortable.
Nobody shamed me or stared or covered their little one’s eyes (at least as far as I could tell – I won’t lie, my eyes were squeezed shut for most of this experience!).
The uncomfortableness (yes, I know that’s not a real word) was honestly all me.
My Second (And Last) Public Breastfeed
Fast forward a couple of weeks; I was sitting in my car (these incidents always seem to happen in the car) in backseat this time, in an unlit parking lot, at about 19h30 waiting for Daddydaims to get some dinner (Mum, I swear it wasn’t pizza again!).
Arabella was upset about something or other, so I popped her on the boob.
Every now and then, I am truly overwhelmed by the sheer wonderfulness that is my life and get all soppy and emotional.
Looking down at my precious daughter, suckling away so happily, watching her clever little hands knead my boob to make her milk flow faster, I had one of those moments.
I was bonding HARD with my girl.
And then, a man happens to walk past who apparently didn’t find the moment as tender and freaking beautiful as I did.
Now, instead of being a decent human being and keeping his disgust to himself by walking on, he made the decision to call what I was doing ‘disgusting’ and politely told me to ‘put my tit away’.
Let me reiterate; I was sitting in MY car.
In the dark.
In an unlit parking lot.
Feeding MY kid.
And this (insert swear word of choice) thought it was okay to ‘tjoon me kak’.
Of course, now I have a million and one comebacks that would have really shown him but at the time all I could do was stare at him (more like squint, BECAUSE IT WAS SO FREAKING DARK!) but that’s life.
Naturally, my people-pleasing self yanked Arabella off the boob and hastily pulled my shirt up.
When Daddydaims got back to the car, he had two crying girls.
One small, knee-jerk reaction to something someone saw that they didn’t like made me cry all the way home.
Something that he probably forgot about by the time he got back to his car, still to this day, makes me really sad.
So, those are my two experiences with breastfeeding in ‘public’ and I must just say again, these are my personal experiences and opinions (and issues!)
I salute the mummies who can whip the girls out anywhere, anytime!
When I asked Daddydaims what his opinion was on breastfeeding in public, his answer surprised me.
He said he feels uncomfortable seeing anyone other than me breastfeeding. I asked him why, expecting some ‘ew, other peoples’ saggy boobs’ response.
But instead, he told me that it feels wrong to witness that bonding between mother and baby. It is between them and nobody else.
I find it is usually a tug-of-war between hogging the joy of the ever-growing bond between my little one and I, and sharing it with anyone else – be it Daddydaims or a complete stranger.
Sometimes I just want to share the amazingness that is Arabella Jane, but that’s just this momma’s favourite hobby these days.
It’s all about finding the small pleasures in this new adventure!