Post # 1
So I can breastfeed without any shame in public and around DH’s family, though do prefer to use a cover, but just the idea of doing it in front of friends or my own family is so weird for me. The worst part (and reason I decided to use a throwaway account) is that I’m the most uncomfortable doing it around female friends/family, especially my own mother.
I’m not worried about being judged or anything, I just really don’t like the thought of “whipping one out” and baring all in front of women. Obviously I don’t want my male family looking either, I’m just more uncomfy with women for whatever reason.
I don’t even want my mom knowing I breastfeed, and whenever she’s around, I use bottles with pre-pumped milk (plus side is she can help out with feeding). I feel so strange saying that, like there’s something wrong with me. I don’t have a bad relationship with her, I’ve just never been feminine and BFing just feels so womanly and all. It’d be awkward to have her see me like that, and to a lesser extent, the rest of my family. It doesn’t have negative affect on anything, I just feel like an alien or something.
I’ve looked all over and have never seen anyone with the same feelings, what do other Bees think? Am I a weirdo for this?
Post # 2
Well, I’m not even a mom yet, but while I don’t have a problem talking about my wishes of TTC to strangers, I haven’t told my mom or anyone I know about it haha. I had a long stance of considering myself childfree, and was quite tomboyish growing up, nor have I ever really been around babies, so I think talking about ‘womanly/motherly’ things to people who know me as the complete opposite, is definitely awkward to me.
So I have no advice, but in my own way I can relate, so I hope you don’t feel so alone!
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017
That’s okay, you can just say ‘I’m going to put the baby to sleep’ and go to another room and nurse her. Babies often fall asleep nursing anyway, so it’s not a lie 🙂
Did your mum bf you? Anyway I thought it’d be awkward in front of my parents (especially my dad) but it ended up not being at all. They just want their grandchild fed and happy 🙂
Post # 4
You don’t have to do anything you are uncomfortable with OP. Just excuse yourself to another room or your car to nurse. Do whatever makes you comfortable. Do you feel okay with a cover on? Also, if your a new mom this all may get a lot easier over time. I used to be somewhat self conscious about nursing in certain situations but as time went on I grew more and more comfortable. Hopefully the same happens for you, breastfeeding is beautiful !
Post # 5
Has your mum expressed any feelings that make you afraid/ashamed to feed in front of her?
If your mum isnt suportive of your feeding then Id try and talk to her about how you’re feeling. If breastfeeding is important to you then she should respect that and support you.
Post # 6
Yikes- you are doing what you think is best for your baby.
You are TOTALLY entitled to do WHATEVER you are comfortable with.
It does NOT make you a better or worse mom because you choose feeding time to be totally your and your baby’s experience OR if you choose to make a video and show it on FB.
Remain true to your own feelings and do exactly as you choose!
Post # 7
You should do whatever you’re comfortable with. I breastfed my daughter to 14 months and never bared a boob except in front of my husband or mother. I never breastfed in public or in front of friends or family. I fully support women who do, but it wasn’t for me. And you should do what works for you without shame.
Post # 8
Do what’s comfortable for you. Around the grandparents I would always go to a bedroom and nurse there – then I could lay baby on the bed (surrounded by pillows) when he was done. They were very vocal in their opinions that babies shouldn’t be nursed – just get them on rice cereal in the first few weeks (something that actually was the norm back in the 1940’s and 50’s).
The funny thing about nursing is that you really don’t see anything. The baby’s mouth is over the nipple, and head usually covers the whole breast area. I always wore oversized t-shirts which I pulled down to baby’s face – so nothing on top showed.
I have a gay male friend who was weirded out when I had a baby and wanted nothing to do with ‘it’. He came to stay with us for a week’s vacation, but didn’t have anything to do with baby. One afternoon he woke up (he’s a late night partyer) and walked into my bedroom where I was nursing baby. My friend talked for about 10 min, and in that time nursing ended so I pulled baby off and pulled down my t-shirt. My friend was all “whoa! What’s going on there! I thought you were just holding a sleeping baby! Were you nursing???!! Ick ick ick!!’ So, chances are that most people won’t see anything when you’re nursing except a mom holding a baby – the only time anything can be seen is that second you pop the nipple into baby’s mouth.
Post # 9
I’m going to go against the PPs on this one and say you should push yourself to get comfortable with breast-feeding in front of your mom. Of course you know whats best I don’t know your family, but you shouldn’t be ashamed of breast-feeding and your mom will understand. It might help you feel better if you just ripped the Band-Aid off and do it. And talk to your mom about it before you do just tell her you feel uncomfortable but you’re gonna push yourself to do it anyways. Because i’m sure she just wants her grandchild fed and she doesn’t want you to have to pump and deal with bottles or hide in a room when she comes over.
I would give different advice if your mom was saying or doing anything to indicate that she would make it more uncomfortable for you.
Post # 10
How you feel is how you feel. It doesn’t matter whether it’s “normal” or “weird”–your feelings are legitimate and should be honored. Honoring your feelings means acknowledging them and not feeling guilty. But it doesn’t always mean accepting them unquestioningly or letting them control your actions.
I wonder if the reason you feel comfortable in public and with your DH’s family is that they are less likely to make a big deal of it and involve themselves by asking you questions about how it’s going, how you’re feeling, why you chose to Boyfriend or Best Friend, giving you advice, etc. Since BFing is a new and kind of strange/alien thing, you want to just do it without dwelling too much on it. Strangers and people you’re not as close to are almost obligated to treat it as natural and not a big deal, which is what’s easiest for you right now.
So much depends on where you’re at. If you’re struggling and feel like you’re barely getting by, do what works for you right now. But if you feel like you have the mental/emotional resources for it, I think it would be worthwhile to put yourself out there and try BFing in front of your mom/female friends. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not as big of a deal as it seems in your head. And it could help you integrate your new identity as a mom with your longstanding tomboy-self that your mom and female friends know so well. It’s not some new, split off version of you that BFs. BFing fits who you’ve always been and will continue to be. I think you’ll ultimately feel most comfortable once you’re able to share this part of your life and still feel like yourself.
Post # 11
That’s very strange to me. Unless your mother (and/or others) is saying and doing things that make you uncomfortable it’s really interesting that doing something natural in front of relatives that are also female (and therefore more likely to have shared or similar experiences) makes you so uncomfortable.
Not right or wrong but definitely strange.
Post # 12
awkwardthrowaway : I don’t think this is weird for you to feel at all. However as a friend of a BFing mom I appreciated how open and comfortable around me she was. Babies who exclusively breast feed do so more often and if she had to switch up her routine for me I’d feel bad. But again… it’s your body your decisions! I would imagine your female friends would be comfortable and empowered by you doing this most natural thing for your child.
Post # 13
I’m sorry that I cannot provide any helpful insight 🙁
I breastfed publicly, and I publicly shamed anyone and everyone who tried to make me feel uncomfortable for doing so (including people whoo hurled abuse at me to Boyfriend or Best Friend in the bathrooms). I didn’t just “whip it out”, but nonetheless I never used a cover up – I didn’t need to. If people don’t want to see a nipple – they shouldn’t look!
If it’s any help (I ended up becoming a Boyfriend or Best Friend pro), I wore two tops – the bottom I would pull down, and the top I would pull up; baby’s head would cover the actual boob (and FYI I had GG cups…).
When I discovered that trick, I patted myself on the back – hardly anyone noticed that I was Boyfriend or Best Friend. Most people thought I was just holding baby.
I guess what I am trying to say bee is, you need to feel confident in yourself. If you don’t feel coomfortable, you need to make yourself comfortable – if that means expressing and using a bottle, or covering up – so be it!!! 🙂
Post # 14
awkwardthrowaway : I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve thought about this situation and feel similar to you. The weird thing is that my family is super pro-breastfeeding. They would likely judge me for NOT breastfeeding. Yet, I would feel super uncomfortable with anybody in my family, especially my mother, seeing my bare breasts. It makes no sense whatsovever.
But the only way I can explain it is the fact that I was always the biggest prude. Growing up, I remember going to the public pool and being the only one who refused to change in the common area, even when all my friends and relatives were. In fact, especially because they were there. I’m the same way now… Even wearing a bikini in front of my family makes me feel a little off.
Post # 15
I can understand that. I tend to go to a private space. Babt nurses better too, at least mine do.