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28.6.12

Breastfeeding in a Toilet {NBW}

I'm normally quite open and confident about breastfeeding in public. I know what I'm doing, I know how to feed discreetly, I know my rights feeding in public.
I'm very much pro-feeding in public. I don't see why we should have to hide away. I don't see why we should be ashamed, should feel like we are doing something wrong.
I try to encourage people to feed in public, I try to help with hints and tips. From what to wear or assist whilst feeding out and about, to knowing your rights.

Yet I have a confession.
On June 14th and June 16th we went out for a meal to celebrate Charles' Third Birthday.
On the 14th we visited Nandos. We went to Norwich on the train, as we sat on the train I started to feed Harry. We were on our own seat, a quiet carriage, I had a hungry baby so I fed him.
I went into my own world, as I normally do. Cooing at Harry trying to make sure he didn't get distracted and expose a boob, and then the female conductor came over and started talking to me about some other loud sweary passengers. It wasn't until she left that I realised we had talked whilst I fed and she didn't bat an eyelid. She definitely knew I was feeding Harry but I was discreet, and within my rights.
This is how it should be. It was perfect and I felt a real skip in my step. 

We then went bowling and I felt a little bit out in the open and hoped that Harry wouldn't need feeding. At one point he did become a bit agitated and I did the best I could to distract him and it worked.
We then went to Nandos. Now the Norwich Nandos is very open and although we could have been sat in a booth we would then have no room for a high chair for Harry so we were sat smack bang in the middle of the room. These were the only options. Not due to it being busy, but due to the seating plan. Other tables and chairs are next to a window, which has chairs and tables outside on the other side of the glass.
We were sat right by the sauces, cutlery and drink dispenser so not in a quiet part of the restaurant, although there is no quiet part.
Then came time for Harry to want some milk. I sat and looked around. Got my scarf ready but just couldn't do it.
I didn't want to face anyone looking at me, anyone making comments or staff mentioning it.
So I went to the toilet. I put the lid down and sat and fed him. It was a quick feed, somewhat faffy. I was glad to have done it whilst hidden, and in control rather than out in the open.

On the Saturday we went for a meal with my dad, his wife and my nan. My nan is extremely proud of me for breastfeeding and we regularly have conversations about how I must get my crazy milk supply from her and how she was told that she was "as bad as a cow" when she was breastfeeding my dad. Therefore I will feed in front of her with no problems, although I am still discreet because I feel it's respectful.
I will feed if my dad is around but I will try and really cover up or turn away if I can. He's not freaked out and is supportive of me too.
We were sat in the middle of the restaurant, again, and near the carvery line, toilets and dessert table.
Everyone was walking past and aware of us.
In any other location I would have sat and breastfed at the table but once again I went to the toilet, popped the lid down and sat and fed.
Again I was glad I did because Harry unlatched himself, exposing my breast for a couple of seconds whilst he babbled then continued the rest of his feed. We were again, very quick.

I also breastfed him in the toilet at the pub in Silverstone. Simply because there were a lot of people coming and going, walking past our table and paying attention to the boys.

I sat and wondered why I should feel ashamed of going to the toilet to feed my baby.
Ok its not the most hygenic of places but I have my rules. If the toilets are clean I will feed in there, I won't feed in toilets which are dirty.

I have to think of Harry when I am feeding, and how breastfeeding isn't simply about him latching on and feeding, its about us working together. I need to feel confident and comfortable and if by hiding away I can do that then so be it.
No, its not ideal. But if it works for us then it's something I have to do.

If I know its going to be a quick feed then I will go to the toilet. For a longer feed or a "he could fall asleep on this" feed I will either eat at the table, ask to sit elsewhere just for that feed,  go to the car or simply feed outside.

I expect to be judged on this action but being honest about it and by saying "hey, yes I do breastfeed in the toilet sometimes" actually makes me feel better about it and less ashamed.