Embarassed family members: how to deal with relatives or friends who’re embarassed when you feed

Embarassed family members: how to deal with relatives or friends who’re embarassed when you feed

Embarassed breastfeedingBreastfeeding is a perfectly natural part of life, though some – in particular the older generation – feel uncomfortable around a breastfeeding mother. Some mothers are happy to just brazen it out, but most of us still want to respect others’ feelings.

‘If you’re aware that you’re making others feel awkward, it can be difficult to relax,’ says a spokesperson for La Leche league, a campaigning group which offers support and advice to breastfeeding mothers. ‘If you’re tense it can cause problems latching on and interrupt the flow of milk.’ So here’s how to put everyone at ease…

Practice makes perfect

If you’re new to breastfeeding, try out different techniques in front of a mirror. You’ll soon become a dab-hand at discreetly lifting your shirt, unclipping your bra and getting your baby to latch on without revealing so much as a hint of flesh.

Act – before all hell breaks loose!

A crying baby is guaranteed to focus all eyes on you, so, to avoid drawing attention to yourself, start feeding your baby before she’s really starving hungry. You’ll find that in many instances, those around you won’t even be aware of what you’re doing.

Shift your position

Think about where you’re sitting before you start feeding. Perhaps you could turn to your side slightly, so you can still chat without forcing others to stare directly at you. If you’re sitting closely together, consider moving apart a little – perhaps to another chair – just to give everyone a little breathing space.

Make ’em laugh!

‘Using humour is a good way to deflect negative feelings and put people at ease,’ recommends the La Leche League spokesperson. If, for instance, you notice your father-in-law is uncomfortable around you when you feed, try making light of it. A little quip – ‘the bar’s open again’ – can ease tension.

Talk it through

If you’re still struggling to put people at ease, try talking to them about the positive aspects of breastfeeding. Explain how you’re simply trying to give your baby the very best start in life – that it provides optimum nutrition and boosts her immune system. You’ll find that will resonate with most people – especially with doting grandparents!

Now tell us what worked for you…

Do you have a breastfeeding tale to tell? Have you been shooed out of a café or had hostile stares when you feed? We’d love to hear what happened

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