In some areas of society, breastfeeding is still very much a taboo subject but, although the subject itself is taboo, the act of breastfeeding isn’t. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, it is important that you know your rights. In the UK, we are incredibly lucky. The Equality Act (2010) made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport and, as a result, there’s absolutely no reason why the issue should be taboo. Despite this, some women do still feel slightly uneasy. Here’s how you can make breastfeeding in public as simple as possible:
Making Yourself Feel Comfortable
Whether you choose to breastfeed in public or not, the choice should be entirely yours. If you choose to do it then it could mean that you’re breastfeeding in front of a relative or friend. Most brand new mothers only breastfeed in their own home to begin with but the whole process seems much less scary as soon as you begin and after a few weeks, you’re likely to feel more confident about breastfeeding in front of other people. To aid this process, you need to make yourself as comfortable as possible. So, what can you do? Here are just a few ideas.
Clothing: What you wear when you breastfeed is completely up to you. Some women prefer to wear something baggy and have the baby up their top, whereas others would much rather wear specific baby feeding tops and maternity dresses (these can be found in places like BibeeDresses.co.uk). A soft, non-wired bra can easily be moved up and down when needed and some women choose to wear no bra at all. You have to be comfortable, so just wear what suits you.
Take a Friend: Breastfeeding in public can seem scary, so take a friend the first few times. This person can be anyone from your mum to your partner but it could well be worth finding someone with an older baby who knows some good breastfeeding friendly spots.
Avoid Toilets: Try not to be scared and retreat to the toilets. You wouldn’t eat in there, so don’t feel that your baby should. You have a right to breastfeed outside.
To conclude, the discussion of breastfeeding may be taboo, but the process definitely isn’t and you have a right to do it. So, if this is an option that you like, make sure you pursue it.