I’ve been doing breastfeeding a long time. Still breastfeeding baby #3 right now, who turns one year old soon. But the thing that always gets to me is when people talk about the need to be discreet when breastfeeding.
It’s just not always that simple.
Keeping oneself covered up is pretty easy in the early days when baby is too small to do much about it. But as babies get older that becomes much harder and sometimes pretty near to impossible.
What Is Discreet Anyhow?
One of the problems I have is that the definition of “discreet” can vary so much from person to person. Does it mean always draping a covering across baby and your body so that no one can see anything going on? Is just popping out one breast just enough for baby to latch on and keeping the other covered discreet enough?
Who decides these things anyhow?
Essentially, it always seems to come down to other people. What’s discreet enough for some is too much for others to handle or it’s seen as worrying too much about the whole thing.
It’s About Feeding the Baby – Comfortably
For me it comes down to how best to get baby fed in a way that works best for you. Others can judge, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth paying attention to. It can mean being prepared to deal with rudeness, especially from those who mistake breastfeeding for some sort of sexual display. As if!
I’ve been fortunate enough to not get it that bad.
I’ve found that what is discreet enough can change quite a bit from baby to baby as well as with how the baby’s need to move around while breastfeeding changes with his or her development.
That’s particularly true with my current baby. To her, breastfeeding is pretty much an athletic event. She’s all over the place if she’s awake. What most people would call discreet just doesn’t happen so much with her. She can move herself and other things around and she knows it.
Breastfeeding a baby who has climbed over your shoulder is an odd experience. Even if you are leaning way back at the time.
I do tend to resist feeding her in public not out of embarrassment but because she clowns around even more with an audience. Better to be quiet so that she focuses a little more on her food than on flirting with anyone amused by her antics.
That’s what’s comfortable for us at this moment.
Used to be I could feed her anywhere, and did so. My father-in-law has had to get used to the fact that I will do that. So did my mother-in-law, but she got it after the second baby was born. My father-in-law still resists a little.
As a mother, you have to figure out what’s right for you and your baby. It’s not about what’s right for those around you. You may have to decide how to cope with situations made awkward by the reactions of others, but it still comes down to what you’re comfortable with doing.
In the end, breastfeeding means you’re feeding the baby the way babies were meant to be fed. It’s a wonderful ability, not something to be hidden away and treated as something shameful.