If you have chosen to breastfeed, you are without a doubt, going to face the task of feeding your baby in public. It seems these days this is a hot topic, with women taking a stand and posting pictures of themselves feeding their babies in public. This is not what this article is about. I just want to discuss the pros and cons of breastfeeding in public. Although the cons are more like difficulties you will face rather than actual cons, so keep that in mind!
Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding in Public
With breastfeeding you will never run out of supply. You can’t leave your milk at home (that would entail leaving your boobs at home, and while sometimes you might wish that were the case, sadly it’s not an option). So when your baby is hungry, you are ready to feed him. And that means in public too.
You do not have to worry about forgetting bottles, or worry about leaving one in your diaper bag (I have done that, it is not pretty, just toss it). Your diaper bag will truly be your diaper bag. You don’t have to worry about spilling the formula in the process of making your hungry baby a bottle. Can you tell I have recently done this? I lost about 15 bottles worth of formula, all over the ground (you might still be able to hear my sniffles). While this is definitely a big plus in the pros and cons of breastfeeding in public, there are downsides as well.
You will most definitely deal with stares or comments even (people are ruthless) when you feed your child in public. For some reason, even though this is something that has gone on for centuries, people still have issues with women ‘exposing’ themselves, rather than looking at it as a child eating.
I read something one time that has stuck with me. A woman was told to cover up, or take her child to the restroom to feed her. Her response was to ask if that person put a blanket over their head when they ate or took their food to the bathroom to eat. Brilliant! Me, personally, I would (and have) used a cover up but it was more for myself than for the general public.
Because society has chosen to still think breastfeeding is a taboo act for the public, there are limited (if any at all!) places for a woman to comfortably feed her child in public (short of going to the restroom, and that is just not comfortable). A friend of mine just had a baby and is going on vacation. She asked a bunch of us if we knew if the places she was going would have a spot for women to breastfeed. To my shock, they do advertise a comfortable area for breastfeeding women!
Breastfeeding is not an easy task in itself and it really is a shame that it is not made more easy for a woman to comfortably feed her baby while in public.
What is your experience the pros and cons of breastfeeding in public ? Did you find it easy to do? If you were out for a long period of time, were you able to find a place to sit and feed your child? Share your experiences with with us in the comments below!