Breastfeeding in public? Just the thought of it makes some women
blush and some men squirm uncomfortably. I even know a friend who
was pressurized by her mother-in-law not to breastfeed her newborn because
“it wouldn’t look nice in public”.
In the February issue of Today’s Parents (a local parenting magazine), some readers seemed to equate breastfeeding in public with breast exposure, with comments like:
“What the woman chooses to do in public is her decision and responsibility. If she has no
qualms about exposing herself to breastfeed her baby…”
“… what will we be teaching our children if they chance upon a woman with her breasts
In over two years of looking, I have only observed one other woman breastfeed in public, and I did not realize what she was doing until I had sat down directly opposite her for some minutes. Her baby was cuddled very close to her and not a millimetre of her flesh showed. I knew she was breastfeeding only because of her baby’s position and the way her T-shirt was bunched up just above the baby’s face. It was a beautiful sight, the baby drifting off to sleep snug in its mother’s bosom. There was nothing in the least “exposing” or “not nice”.
I myself have breastfed in public on numerous occasions, and nobody has ever seemed to notice. It is probably the greatest convenience of breastfeeding, being able to feed your baby anytime, anywhere without worrying about bringing enough milk and warming bottles. If you ever take an overseas trip with baby, you will realize just what this convenience means.
I understand how daunting the idea can be to most Asian women, especially those who come from families like mine which consider mini-skirts and bare-backs indecent. It took me three months to summon up enough courage to do it the first time. Other women who have done it agree that the first time is the hardest. Once the initial mental block is surmounted, it gets easier each time as practice makes perfect, and as the mother gains confidence that she is not exposing any part of herself.
Yes, it is possible to breastfeed discretely in public. Mothers who have done it have these
tips to share:
|Seiyu Children Dept
|“Large, roomy”, “has 2 rooms, so don’t have to worry about taking too
|Takashimaya 3rd Storey
||“has comfortable seats, altho’ too crowded during weekends”.
|“Marina Square’s room is better than the rest which give only single
rooms; the bench they provide for nursing is not
wide enough, though.”
|Isetan (Shaw House)||“clean & comfy”
|Robinson’s Children’s Dept
||“REALLY crammed! can only have one person in there at any one
|Raffles City Level 3||“Nice & Clean, has separate rooms for breastfeeding”.||****|
|John Little’s Children Dept||“too small”
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