I’ve been breastfeeding Archer for almost 7 weeks now. He’s exclusively breastfed, meaning he’s had no formula..just Mummy’s magic milk. For the record, I don’t have anything against formula. I combination fed Henry until he was 9 weeks old and then he went onto formula full time until he was a year. I call it magic milk because I find it incredible that I can make the stuff that’s keeping my son alive! I’m so pleased I’ve managed to power through this time, it’s a huge achievement.
However, I still get nervous about being out and about with Archer when he needs feeding. Leaving the house is like a military operation, making sure both boys are changed and that Archer has a feed so I can get in and out before he’s hungry again. I find it ridiculous that I feel this way. If my baby needs feeding, I should be able to feed him without fear of people’s comments or stares. I get enough stares and whispers when I’ve got him in the wrap! I wasn’t afraid of going outside when Henry was small, I didn’t think twice about bottle feeding. So why is it different when I’m feeding my son the “natural way”?
I have fed occasionally outside. I fed in the zoo when he was a week old, in the library, a coffee shop and walking across a hospital waiting room! But all those times, I had someone with me. I’m terrified of feeding when I’m out alone and someone says something. I hate confrontation and there wouldn’t be anyone to back me up! I remember having a conversation with a family member where they said they don’t like to see breastfeeding in public and there should be a ‘corner’ or room where women can go. When I mentioned that I’d be breastfeeding, they still stuck by that comment but said if someone else said something to me, they’d stick up for me. Double standards?
It also doesn’t make sense to me that boobs can be used to sell things or as a fashion statement but the second they’re used for their actual purpose, people lose their minds and get offended. Why is that allowed? And don’t get me started on the people who compare breastfeeding with weeing. “If breastfeeding is natural and you’re allowed to do it in public, why can’t I pee in the street?”. This comment really grates on me. The people who have this view are narrow minded and quite unintelligent in my opinion. Guess what? If you don’t like breastfeeding, look away! I don’t really want you staring while I’m feeding anyway, it’s creepy. Boobs do not look the same when feeding a child and it’s definitely not sexual!
As time goes on, I’m starting to get braver but I think it’ll be a while before I feed anywhere without worry. I need to arm myself mentally with responses to negative comments..otherwise I know I’ll probably end up apologising out of embarrassment!