Freedom to “express” yourself ;-) Breastfeeding debate …

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I had never intended to become a boob crusader or breastfeeding advocate by my post on 3 May, but since that post, I have been inundated by responses from people of all walks of life giving their two cents on the topic. I should have known being in the public eye would be a sort of a booby trap (see what I just did there!) when airing my opinion on such a contentious and somewhat polarising issue, but I am always glad when “celebrity” offers a chance to highlight something so pertinent to my baby’s and millions of babies’ health.

Some newspapers and online publications had used my post as a basis for a story and the afternoon chat show Afternoon Express also had a show on the issue 2 days later. My darling friend and presenter on the show, Jeannie D (whose boobs have always overshadowed mine) also voiced her opinion on the topic and drew attention to the fact that feeding a baby in a stinky public toilet (where some people suggest you feed) was far from “civilised.”

Since then, many women have shared their stories about how they’ve been shunned by society when feeding their babies and it made me realise how trapped some moms must feel not being able to go out of their houses because of other peoples’ prejudices. And we think we have emancipated women in this world? … not quite! I understand people not wanting to see breasts on display. But, then THEY should be the ones not leaving their houses and visiting public places. You go to a mall and you’ll see cleavage – The cartoon attached is quite self-explanatory 😉 We live in a society where boobs are brazenly on display in all contexts, but why when a little human is attached to the nipple does a moral debate ensue and not when the boobs are selling peri-peri sauce chicken burgers?

The benefits of breastfeeding and breastmilk are immense and well documented. It is the most natural thing in the world and the best start you can give your baby in life on so many levels. Those who are unable to breastfeed for whatever reason should not be made to feel guilty, though, about not breastfeeding. Trust me, moms experience enough guilt – they don’t need others to add to that list 😉

I remember the freedom I experienced as a new mom when I would leave our baby at home with milk I had expressed earlier and be able to wear whatever I wanted without worrying whether I could drape a cloth over his head, open my top and let him latch with singlehandedly. And, being able to work again, because I would be able to express milk whilst on set or backstage when at events (or even in the aeroplane toilet). Being able to express with a great pump would be a game-changer for some moms who don’t breastfeed as long as possible, because they have to get back to work. I thought THAT would be an empowering gift to give-away on this blog.

So, I chatted to the good folks at Medela (I have one of their incredible pumps and am super happy with it!) if they would generously donate a state of the art breastpump for one of you lucky readers to win. Or, you could win this prize for a friend, lover, cousin, aunt, baby mama … you can donate it to someone who you know it would make a huge difference to! Imagine this being your gift at a babyshower – major friendship points 😉

To win a Medela Swing Maxi Breastpump worth over R5600, simply follow them on Facebook Medela FB link and Twitter Twitter link and comment below with your opinion on breastfeeding in public. Everyone has the right to a substantiated opinion and I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

Lots of love and light,

xx Modern Mommy AKA Jo-Ann

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111 Comments

  1. Mia
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I also breastfeed and what make me sad- because I am quite a shy person when it comes to boobs… The bathrooms are so dirty and the baby rooms if there are any… So it feels if they dont cater for moms. I always had to feed in Woolworths big changing room… I wish they would make public places more user friendly for breastfeeding shy moms!

    • Helen Barnes
      Tue, 17 May 2016
      Reply

      There is no shame in breastfeeding in public (just hang a receiving blanket over your shoulder for some privacy)! Breast milk is the best milk for ALL babies xxxx

  2. Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding on public has not to be ashamed, it should be something that all mommies out there be comfortable with i mean back then women use to breast their babies what wrong now when someone who cares about their babies healthy doing it. If they saggest that you should breastfeed on the toilet aleast, can they it on toilet ?i don’t think so we shoul cherish every natural thing god gave us#modernmommyblog#healthybabbies

  3. Sharleen
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    My opinion on breastfeeding is if you want to do it in public why not. I do think malls/public places should have a nice comfortable room for those who don’t feel at ease doing it in public. Most mommies I have seen in public are very discreet with a blanket or towel. It doesn’t bother me. Being a mommy is beautiful This Medela pump woukd be awesome for my pregnant daughter

  4. shaakira
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a mother of a two month old baby girl and she is constantly on my breast so without saying theres no time to do any shopping,but because im always breast feeding im too scared to go to the malls but As long as my baby is healthy and feeding from me without the evil eyes watching over me in malls. It is sad that the malls doesnt allow breastfeeding openly and that it has to be hidden.Thank you Jo Ann for being such a great role model,and continue with your great work!!!

  5. Tshidi
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am not ashamed to Breastfeeding in public, However if a bottle-fed baby can have her dinner in public, why shouldn’t a breastfed baby have the same? I have certainly never seen a public restroom that I would like to feed my baby in and I’m certainly not going to stay at home all the time because I’m afraid that my baby will get hungry while we’re gone away and I have never put a blanket over my Breastfeeding baby, If you’ve never Breastfeeding in public and you are nervous about “what people might see or say ,” practice in front of a mirror , a good friend , husband even the whole family and relatives

  6. Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m a first time mother and my views of breastfeeding has never really been a issue. I allow my daughter to drink whenever and wherever as I know this will help her with her development long term. I really don’t know what the issue is these days. Does people not realise resorting to plastic is not beneficial to the needs of the newborn?!? God created us to feed from the boobs. I love holding my daughter and her staring at me while feeding. It’s a beautiful art!

  7. Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    There is no shame in breast feeding in public. We as women shouldn’t be feeling this way even though it’s difficult not too. But in order to change people’s perception we must not allow others to make us feel insecure about breastfeeding in public. There are more serious things happening in the world that could use people’s concern like poverty, crime etc.

  8. Adelaide
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I wouldn’t care less when it came to breastfeeding my boys, when they needed too I will cover my baby for his comfort with a small blanket wherever I was. I never gave into society, they always have something to say either way so as long as my baby is benefiting from the milk I’m happy.

  9. Abbygail Van Rooyen
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding is part of life and a mom should be allowed to feed her baby anywhere anytime (with a blanket or towel) to cover up. 17 yrs ago I had no problems breastfeeding my daughter in public I covered up by using a towelling nappy 9 yrs later when my son arrived Babysense came up with these cute breastfeeding shawls with a little weight in the end of the shawl.I always had it with me in the diaper bag for feeds. I don’t know why people make such a big deal about breastfeeding in public. Is it OK for men to stop on the side of the road and take a wizz in full view of passing cars or even a mother like me passing with my toddler in his car seat asking ‘ Mommy what’s that man doing?’ They just seem to do it anywhere anytime even in a family park by a tree , in the parking at a shopping centre against the wall and not one debate on social media. Maybe they need to cover up to.

  10. Idah mbiya
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a new mom and I don’t see it as a problem to breastfeed the lil one as long as u cover with a towel or blanket since the society had too much to say about bobs in public but they don’t mind watching music video with half naked women.

  11. Rudzani
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Society likes to normalise ub normal trends and yet shame natural processes. breastfeeding should be encouraged in public and stores and resturents should have areas dedictated to the comfort of a breastfeeding mom. if restaurants can have desigmated area for smoking which is a health hazard and shame a woman for feeding publicly we are a messed up society and we should correct this by normalising what is already a normal process

  12. SHANAL
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    My little girl is also 5 weeks old. This is my first time breastfeeding (couldn’t with my older girl). But it’s really amazing bonding time … I tried but the baby rooms at some of the malls are horrible and so dirty. . . It would be nice if malls were abit more baby friendly and we could feed our little ones without being judged. #modernmummy #medela #Iloveyourblog

  13. Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am 20 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I have always been a boob crusader. I don’t see anything wrong with feeding your baby because hey, it’s natural. You eat a banana in public, why can’t my baby have a nutritious meal in public. HOWEVER, I also get where the rest of the public are coming from. When Janet Jackson’s boob was exposed to the entire US (and thereafter the world), the US went mad. Chris Rock said in one of his stand-ups that 20-year-old boob is ok but not 40-year-old boob. That is, unfortunately the society we live in. Mommy boobs are just not “sexy” enough but hey, I wouldn’t mind checking out Pamela Anderson’s fake boobs (even though she is a mom too and I’m sure society would change its mind if they saw her breastfeed in public). In my opinion, we should meet each other halfway. There’s no way a baby should be breastfed in a stinky toilet. But you can’t be standing in Edgars, boob out, with your baby hanging on it either. Shop owners, restuarant owners, etc , should maybe look at making their establishments “baby-feeding friendly” instead of “smoking friendly” (who still smokes anyway). I get the upset – you don’t want your small kid to see another woman’s exposed breast (even IF she’s feeding her child). We have to be mindful and considerate. In the meantime though, people should just mind their own business.

    So, will I breastfeed? Hell yeah! Not only is it good for baby, but it’s good for mommy too. Will I attempt to breastfeed in public, covering my baby’s face in the heat of summer? Let’s see 🙂 thank goodness for an amazing and supportive partner.

    And would I like the Medela pump? Hell yeah! I go back to work mid-Jan (and baby comes in Oct). I want baby to be breastfed for as long as I possibly can.

    Thank you for your blog, Jo-Ann!

  14. Zubeida
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding in pubic is essential. When the baby is hungry why should we starve them?

  15. Julie Jones
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a new mom, and quite a private person, so I haven’t quite worked up the courage to breastfeed in public. The breastfeeding facilities at most malls are dreadful, though! I’d be thrilled to win this prize – holding thumbs!

  16. Renay
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a first time mom of a 4 month old baby boy. I am exclusively breastfeeding and my issue with breastfeeding in public spaces is that not only are the facilities to breastfeed in public minimal but not much thought is really put into it. I love being able to breastfeed at anytime but being a working mom it is quite time consuming to pump. I am sure having a great breast pump would make all the difference in the world.

    Love this blog.

  17. Natasha
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am about to have my first baby in the next couple of weeks ( or days?), a little princess and I cannot see myself not breastfeeding due to not being able to do so in public. I will invest in a cute feeding apron and when my little one is hungry she will get the best nutrition that she needs. This should be something natural and beautiful and I definitely would not be caught eating in a disgusting public toilet so how can I expect my princess to do so…..

    Thanks for the blog Jo Ann! ?

  18. Jenay
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    As a first time mom to a 12 week old who chose to exclusively breastfeed I never imagined how intimidated I would feel to breast feed in public. Oh my gosh it’s such a drama and to add to it i dont exactly have thr smallest boobs which makes me much more aware of my surroundings as I find it quit a challange to get the boob out and to get baby latched all while trying to stay covered that most times I just choose to stay indoors all together or I will get someone to watch baby while I very quickly run out to go and get something. It will make things so much more easier and comfortable if establishments had proper breastfeeding rooms and if people were better educated on the topic and thus wouldnt stare as much. Being a new mom is overwhelming enough to still have to worry about who’s going to be judging you for breastfeeding in public. And it becomes so lonely being indoors all the time 🙁 because you feel to scared to breast feed in public as people are always judging. You get looks at funny for breastfeeding and you get looked at funny for having a screaming baby you cant calm down because she’s hungry and you feel too intimidated to feed her immediately which leads to feel like a bad mommy.

  19. Surina
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a first time mom and never understood the public breastfeeding debate until now. I mostly stay at home or rush to the mall alone inbetween feeds just to avoid breastfeeding in public. However, I wish it was more socially acceptable to breastfeed in public, maybe then I would have the guts to do so. Or that there were nicer breastfeeding rooms or spaces all over in order to make it more pleasant for moms. Great blogpost! Would love the Medela breastpump for myself!

  20. Priscilla Nagtegaal
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I havent nursed in public places such as restaurants, malls etc. but will easily do so if my little one must feed. I do have a muslin blanket that I’ll use to cover-up but feel it’s not always needed. We recently had a baby expo in JHB where there was a nursing room set up and throughout the whole day I nursed twice in that room without covering-up as my little girl is too interested in all the other babies and mommies to be covered, as the matter of fact she did not even wanted to lie down as she is too curious. And I must add, I experienced that most breastfeeding mommies are just comfortable with one another since we share something special and that’s giving our babies the best, so no need to ne ashamed to nurse in pyblic !!!

  21. Jenay
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    As a first time mom to 12 week old little girl I who chose to breast feed I never imagined I would feel this intimidated about breast feeding in public and what makes things more awkward is that I have big boobs so its sucha drama to get the boob out and get baby latched all while trying to stay covered 🙁 I feel if people where better educated on the topic it would make things so much less intimidating. They give you the look dor feeding in public and then they also give you the “do something” look when baby is screaming of hunger because mom feels so intimidated to feed in public so you just endup having to run to the car with your screaming baby to feed. So for the most part I just stay indoors which can become quite lonely and depressing 🙁 Hoping that malls and eateries will have breastfeeding rooms soon. Xoxo

  22. Jo-anne
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I was a mum terrified of breastfeeding, with my first two I didn’t breastfeed. With my eldest I was inexperienced and I had no clue what I was doing so when someone recommended formula I went for it. With my second I wanted to breastfeed but after 6 weeks and everyone insisting that she wasn’t getting enough milk, that’s why she was always crying and not sleeping enough. I succumbed to the pressure and gave her formula. Now with my son I have decided that no one is going going to stop me from feeding him. I have been through a lot post natal depression with my first then diagnosed with bipolar 2 and now I know I can breastfeed my son. I’m strong enough to tell the naysayers where to get off.

  23. Diana
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am absolutely pro breastfeeding and thus also breastfeeding in public. I absolutely agree with your opinion. I am also fearing going back to work, to express and continue breastfeeding my son. Thank you for being an advocate on this subject. Also thank you to Medela’s sponsor.

  24. Rache Longman
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Hi everyone
    Im currently 23 weeks old.,still in my mommy’s womb,im a miracle baby or so my mommy tell me everyday after she lost my little brother or sister very early before me.. After that loss she asked me to remind her everyday that Im okay in there.. So here is what I did…
    Since i have arrived I let her knew from hurting her BREASTS.
    As I developed I Made it itchy , black around the nipple, and ohhhh I think she like this one the least, The stretch marks(sorry mom).

    SO,to all the people having or going to have a problem with my mommy breastfeeding me in Public…
    Im sorry if its gonna offend you, but you see Im hungry,and for the first 6 months milk is kinda all im suppose to live on, (even though i would like chocolate instead) just imagine you laying in your mommys arms and you smell your favourite thing so near,but unfortunately mommy is shopping in the mall, so its so far, you literally burst out in tears!!! Do you expect my mommy to drive all the way home to give me my most important meal or wouldnt you just want to buy yourself a MACDONALDS just there? (You see my milk is kinda my macdonalds) I want it then and there. OH and you know i can hear in here right? So I heard about the Naked boobs that are on display from Kim Kardashian,who is getting an award for breaking the internet for going naked, and im like, are these people real out there? How is it a disgrace for my Mommy to feed me in public,and then a other person get an award for just showing off? Well to all you haters out there, my mommy is a brave woman, she will give you a run for your BOOB(im a funny little baby) . SO if any of you see her feeding me in public go and give her a high five and tell her how freakin awesome she is for bringing life in this world.. And Most importantly, back in the days there were no pupms so your Momma propably let you suck that nipple in church while the priest were praying,i dont think you complained… So there you go we are all kinda similar..
    Oh and lastly, Im a guy so ask any1 of us out there, there is nothing as yummy as “BOOBS” (i told you im funny)

    OH and can my mommy please win this toy, Aunti J…She likes to try new things(even though i would prefer the nipple lol) I know it will make her job easier and I just want my mommy to be happy and have a lttle easier life, im still to young to bring my bit to the table, so can you please give this to my mommy as a present from me..
    Thank you Aunty J

  25. Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    That special bond of 9 months, will and can never compare to anything. It will remain forever Priceless, despite, how much, toys, bribe money and sweets, Dad sneaks to buy. I personally, do not see anything wrong with breastfeeding in public. First of all, you had to walk around, in public (especially in queues, bus and taxis), with that baby bump for 9 months. Only you, as Mum, Mom, Mother, Mummy, Mama have the right to make that decision. God gives you life, and you gave life to Baby.

  26. Liesl
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I breastfeed confidently to the point that even when going to our family doctor, I would speak up against comments such as “you still breastfeeding at 6months? – there’s no nutritional value any longer!!” – I happily inform the dr that he is misinformed and then proceed to send him tons of peer reviewed articles until he said “ok, I admit,
    I was ill-informed”

    I have the most amazing husbands, mother and friends who fully support my breastfeeding and will make every effort to ensure I can do so comfortably.

  27. Simorne
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I was in America a while back visiting my friend after she had a baby. I was stunned how natural breastfeeding was there. It was as it should be the most natural thing in the world. I am 30 weeks pregnant now and I intend to breastfeed myself. I will feed my child if it’s time to do so. We need to stand up against this discrimination. Thanks for this post…

  28. Anthea
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding is the most natural thing to me, when I see my lg needs a feed I make sure she and I are relaxed and start feeding, thankfully I’ve only had positive responses from people.

  29. Claudia
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m a mother of 2 gorgeous boys. I breastfed my first until he was 18 months (he self weaned) and I am currently breastfeeding my 6 month old boy. I have been shunned in a restaurant and my baby was told “you are naughty, you must only eat at home”. I was furious and complained to the manager and owner over his staffs comment. But nothing was done about it.
    With my first I wasn’t as confident in the early days to breastfeed in public. I feel more confident now but when people look at you with utter disgust and pass nasty comments, that can really break you and not make you want to go out. So unfortunately I have had to feed my baby in many a smelly toilet cubicle because there hasn’t been a nursing room available. I cover myself up as I don’t feel comfortable as my son gets very distracted now and loves to pop off my boob and have a look around. I feel that if you don’t like seeing someone breastfeed (covered or not) just don’t look!!!

    I believe in the amazing benefits of breastmilk so much, I have even registered to become a breastmilk donor so I would absolutely love to win a breast pump. It would make my donating journey much easier.

    Thank you for an awesome blog.

  30. CHANTAL
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I was quite disappointed once when I went out for breakfast with my family and my little one needed a feed. I covered up my breast with a facecloth and the Manageress came up to me and said that I was supposed to cover my babys head and my breast since nothing is supposed to show. i was hurt and shocked. I told her I was not prepared to cover my baby’s head as he needed to breather, my hubby (thank God his supportive) told her we would not be covering baby’s head and if anyone had a problem they are more than welcome to speak to him. She was not impressed but let us be. I cannot understand why something so natural and so right can be such a big issue with people. I will continue breastfeeding in public my babys needs come first.

  31. Sne
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    There’s no shame whatsoever in breastfeeding in public. It’s a natural thing that God created. Breastfeeding in public is not against any law, but in South Africa there is still a definite stigma attached to breastfeeding in public. Because of this reason moms feel uncomfortable feeding their babies in public. In other countries, mothers breastfeeding their babies in public is an accepted custom and a daily way of life. Funny how in a restaurant for instance, some males feel uncomfortable at the sight of a woman feeding her baby….but…but they don’t mind seeing ‘booby’ elsewhere, in magazines, TV etc. I just don’t get it. I’m 23 weeks pregnant and I feel like mothers are being robbed off their rights as women. This infuriates me! Being able to breastfeed, will I feed my baby in public, definitely yes!

  32. Laylah
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding in Public should be applauded. I mean honestly, who walks passed a breastfeeding mother and thinks “aaargh look at that lady giving her baby the best in life”

    Breastfeeding Is such a selfless act. I can’t tell you how many obstacles I have encountered and all I wanted to do was quit…mastitis, engorgement,lumps….having to wear breastfeeding tops, leaking, trying to cover up while breastfeeding and half smothering your poor little human in the process. Yet so many mom’s continue to breastfeed…I applaud everyone of us. Especially if the public won’t. We deserve a smile or please rather look the other way. Actually we deserve a medal, breastfeeding is not easy, it is the closest to rocket science I have come thus far.

    The support or at least no nasty comments from public would go a long way. We are definitely not trying to show you our breasts, oh no, those aren’t even ours or our husbands anymore….they’re our nurslings.

    Breastfeeding is the most normal things yet our society has caused people to frown upon it….this needs to change. We need more support, people need to learn about how amazing it is so they too become advocates for breastfeeding.

    Well done to all you marvelous milk mommies….keep it up!!

  33. Justine
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I love breastfeeding my boy. I had a totally different outlook on breastfeeding this time around compared to my first child. I feel like I stressed too much and now I go with the flow. We feed on demand and I take my cues from my baby boy. For people who have an issue with breastfeeding in public, get over it!! Go back to work in July and will be expressing for as long as i can with the Medela pump hopefully! ☺

  34. Bulelwa Languza
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding is natural and it’s unfair that women get judged for doing it in public. However, nowadays that can all be avoided by using products like the Medela Swing Maxi Breastpump. Not only is it convenient but it also guarantees new mothers peace of mind at home and in public. Any mom can tell you that life is that much easier when you have one less thing to worry about. You are then able to dedicate all that positive energy to continue raising your baby in the best way possible.

  35. Adele
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    My baby boy is 9 months old, and was EBF till about 4 months, then I had to go back to work, and now is just fed at night… It was pretty stressful going out when he was little, and having to time my outing around his feeds… I think it was more about that I didnt feel comfortable feeding him in public, mainly because im not a confrontational person and was so scared someone would say something… On the odd time when he did need to be fed, I would use the change rooms, the staff were always so accommodating! As i definitely wasnt going to feed my baby in the bathroom!! On one occasion, we were out at a restaurant, and I tried to subtly feed my little one… My goodness, it takes quite a lot of skill to try keep the cover over you, whilst trying to help baby latch! I really wish women didn t have to feel like this, as breastfeeding is hard, and the more support a women can get the better! women should really be encouraged and made to feel like they doing the best they can!, especially by other women, as parenthood isnt a contest we all just trying to do the best we can

  36. Kim Hoffe
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m very shy when it comes to breastfeeding with anybody around but my immediate family. In fact, I have a love-hate relationship with my breastfeeding apron. That said, I think people have a right to feed their children – whether by breast, bottle or solids – wherever they like. If it’s ok to bottlefeed my baby in a restaurant or park bench (or feed them purity with a spoon there), then it’s ok to breastfeed my baby there too. Similarly, if it’s gross and disgusting to bottle/solids feed my baby in a public toilet, then it’s inappropriate to breastfeed there too.
    I really don’t get why people make such a big deal of it.

  37. Micheallene
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a first time mommy and if you have a problem with me feeding my little man, please look away. I really do not understand why people feel offended, I show less flesh while feeding than most advertisement. He has just as much right to eat than any one else.

  38. ISABEL SHIKWAMBANA
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    “not when the boobs are selling peri-peri sauce chicken burgers?” – LOVE this! Going to be a new mom myself, I think I use to be one of those ladies who use to never understand why must you breastfeed in public and since I will be a mom soon your post made me think if baby is hungry and I am at the mall what must I do? Do I stop what I am doing and run back to my car and feed her or find a nice bench at the mall and feed her? What happen to the people who don’t have cars and also feeding my baby in a stinky toilet is not ideal. I wouldn’t eat my Peri-Peri sauce Burger in a stinky toilet so why should I breastfeed my baby there? I so much love your blog and I am learning a lot from it too, also appreciate the ladies comments.

  39. Lauren
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breast is best! I really struggled with BF at first and felt really bad about it, I had to give my baby formula as well, but you know we do what we have to as moms. Once the BF became easier and my little girl starting getting the hang of it it was great, so much easier than having to make a bottle at 2am! It was hard coming back to work as we don’t have a decent private place to express, fortunately though there was a sick bay that I could get access to so I would express there, if I had a better pump it would have been much better as I would have been able to quickly and quietly express and then carry on with my work. I used to struggle with a manual pump and it would take almost half an hour each time. At first I also felt embarrassed as the sick bay was right next to staffs desks and I often wondered what they thought when they’d see me walking in there with my little cooler bag, but soon enough I got over that and owned it when I walk to go and do my expressing, knowing that what I am doing is better for my baby! I feel what offices should cater to moms who have just come back from maternity leave and have a decent place to sit and express, my other alternative was a tiny kitchen where I had to sit on a crate to express if the sick bay was occupied.

  40. Caron Smith
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m so blessed to be a second time mommy and blessed again in that I am able to breastfeed both my children. The benefits of breastfeeding are enormous for our children in a world filled with alternatives that are not so healthy. So why not breastfeed in public? I’m a shy person but have overcome this as its for my children that I breastfeed not for myself. I try to plan my day that I don’t land up in public breastfeeding out of choice but sometimes baby decides to feed earlier and then you have no choice. So I prefer to cover up with a shawl and when I dress up for a day I wear clothes that it’s easier for me to breastfeed. I don’t believe in flashing skin in public as I believe this is a special moment between mother and child. And I also understand that some parents don’t wants to explain to their children what the mommy is doing or that some people don’t like to look at another woman breastfeeding. To each their own. I’ve never been addressed by Anyone when I have breastfed in public but suffice to say I would not let it deter me at all. Proud to be a breastfeeding mom.

  41. Liezel Thomas
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am not a mommy yet, but will be come early September, and I have been wondering about this myself. Personally I do not have an issue if someone were to breastfeed in front of me, yet understand how some people would get uncomfortable, it’s a very personal thing I feel, but hungry babies are hungry babies! I am most definitely going to breastfeed if I can as it is how nature intended us to feed our angels. Our choices are our choices..at the end of the day, the baby should come first… nobody else.

  42. Marisa Michael
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Thank you for making a statement!
    I have not grown up in South Africa and was a little surprised when my daughter was born 6 years ago that it seemed to be quite a taboo for people here to feed in public even if done discretely.
    I have always been an advocate for breastfeeding since I have seen how it has benefited my daughter, and I am also an advocate to still live life to the fullest after having children, so breastfeeding in public is something I have always done and will also do in future…. discretely of course where possible,

    I don’t know if you remember us from the Heritage Day feature on Top Billing last year.
    The family is growing…. We are expecting twins end of the year and the Medela would surely help a great great deal with keeping up the supply of breastmilk at all times lol…

  43. Eloise
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your princess, Jo-Ann! What a great post about breastfeeding. I am currently 4 and a half months pregnant with our second bundle of joy (also a little princess).
    With our first born, Noah, I really wanted to breastfeed him, but after 1 month, I unfortunately had not enough milk. But as I think back, I am actually not sure if my milk actually dried up, or if I just gave up, because of being a shy person. I think it might help if public places had “breastfeeding rooms” available.
    When our second angel arrives in October 2016, I definitely want to try breastfeeding for as long as possible!
    Enjoy your little princess!!!

  44. Carla
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I have no problem with people breastfeeding in public. I do only breastfeed in public if I have a nursing cover. I know that they don’t work as well as the child gets older but then I find a place where they aren’t too many people around that will get a free flash show. ?

  45. Alexandra Shardlow
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am hoping to breastfeed, and think it is a beautiful moment in time for bonding between Mother and Baby. People would be appalled if one took their sandwich into the toilet to eat it, so what is different with breastfeeding?

  46. Bonita
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I definitely wish more of us would feel comfortable about breastfeeding in public. I once witnessed a lady sitting in the pew infront of me in church comfortably taking out her breast to feed her toddler. My hubby nudged me to look and I responded saying “isn’t it beautiful?” I was obviously referring to the practise of breastfeeding in public and not the mommy’s breasts (which was beautiful in any case). But it made me so proud to be a breastfeeding mom at that very moment. He gave me a weird look and i started educating him about breastfeeding in public. And i think if we keep educating we will eventually win the fight ! So big ups to all the moms who bf in public.!

  47. Sunita de Vos
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Love your blog posts ❤

  48. Ginny Nortje
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I am completely for being able to breastfeed in public. I personally will just throw a blanket over my chest for my own privacy.
    However I am totally for having breastfeeding rooms in shops/ shopping centres. Mothers should be made to feel comfortable and not like they are being judged when feeding their baby in public after all it is the most natural thing for a mother to do. Let’s start praising moms instead of bringing them down!

  49. Lebohang
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I breastfeed my 8mnths old everywhere malls,Shops,church and Restaurants I cover my boob with a cloth and I get stares but don’t care as long as my Son is feeding and full I really don’t care!!Dont be ashamed Mommies to feed your babies

  50. Carin
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Before becoming a mommy to my now 3 month old baby boy I never thought public breastfeeding was a big deal. In my mind it just seemed like the natural and easy thing to do, I mean if your baba is hungry then u can feed him any time and any place. Ha… how wrong I was! Firstly breastfeeding is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My nipples were too flat for him to latch properly which meant he cried and cried and eventually I cried and cried aswell. Then theres the pain that I’m sure every breastfeeding mommy goes through. Needless to say the first time I took my baba out of the house I was a nervous wreck. How was I going to feed my baba while being exposed to the world. Im not to keen on exposing myself for the world to see and it also took him like 10 min to get a good latch. Then the added stress of the watchful.eyes of the other mommy’s judging me and watching me fail and the looks of shock and disgust by passers by. The anxiety I felt made me never want to leave the house again. I never knew I would feel this way. I realise it has a lot to do with our society that views public breastfeeding as taboo and then the conflicting statement of breast is best. So its a must to breastfeed but please don’t do it where we can see you is the message that I got. Hopefully one day this won’t be the case anymore and mommies will feel the freedom to nourish their babies any way and any where they want.

  51. Fatima
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am currently breastfeeding my second born which is now 3 months. My first son was breastfed as well. I just feel amoung all the benifits from the milk, there’s something so special and unique you give to your baby when you breastfeeding. It’s almost as if you transferring immense amount of love and attention to them, the bone is unmatched to any other feeding method. The problem I have is feeding in public, it’s always deciding and choosing breastfeeding friendly outfits and also trying to find a safe yet clean place to feed. I usually end up going back to my car and feeding in there and sometimes resort to feeding in these stinky and unsafe bathrooms, which I feel is so bad for feeding a new beautiful baby in. I just feel so bad when those things happen. It should be standard that every public place should have safe, clean and fresh feeding rooms for mums and babies with a comfortable chair. Jo-Ann you make “us” breastfeeding mothers so proud by the fact of you speaking out for us and making it known that there is no shame in doing so. Thank you for doing that 🙂

  52. Bianca Jo-Ann Adams
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    if you’re able to buy a burger and milkshake for your little toddler, why not feed your baby as well.? for the most natural things of life people like to pull their noses up and always have debates about. What was available in the Bible times? One cannot go more natural than those times, so i’d say, if I am covering my “girlies”whist breastfeeding, please just let me be. I am feeding a hunger of my baby, Funny how some of the opionated ones was also breastfed in public…#justsaying

  53. Danya Potgieter
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    My son is three and half months old now and I am so happy that I am able to breastfeed him as I know many mom’s are not able to!! I am all for breastfeeding in public, I use a light weight material poncho which covers front and back and baby can’t pull it off! I also have no issues if women would like to feed without I cover. I actually had a debate with someone the other day when they mentioned a women stood in the aisle in checkers and fed her baby.. This person had a major issue with this, I argued that until you’re a mother and you have a crying hungry baby, you will feed anywhere and that is how it should be, society shouldn’t dictate when, where and how we should be able to feed our babies! I start working tommorow and I have to add that I am so happy and grateful that our labour laws state that you are allowed 2 half hour breaks a day to express or feed your baby! It’s help that our government and health department is so pro breastfeeding!

  54. Candice Gain
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    What an amazing prize! I am due on 17 June and will gift myself with this prize LOL

    Breasfeeding was an unknown, undiscussed topic for me before I became a mom about 19 months ago. I never asked questions about it when a cousin or friend retreated to a bedroom at a family function to feed her baby. Also, I always just assumed it was for no more than 10/15 minutes…but as I have come to learn, it can take forever. I used to take loads of photos and videos of my son breastfeeding because of his facial expressions and watching him quench his thirst! There is nothing like the satisfied look on a baby’s face when they are happily fed…be it with breastmilk or formula.
    Every mother will do what is best for her baby, some are fortunate enough to breastfeed, some prefer formula and the freedom it provides from the get go…no judgement. There are mothers who donate milk (superhero status) I would love to have been able to even explore that option.

    Good on you for being a martar Jo-Ann 🙂 We def need more mom’s like you.

  55. Suzanne Rose
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    When you become a mom you instantly realise the importance of putting the needs of your children and family first, and to be the best mom possible. This means I will breastfeed wherever and whenever I need to, for the sake of my baby. There isn’t much anyone can say or do that will make me feel otherwise. My babys’ needs outweigh public opinion. I do what’s best and roll with the punches…for my baby, ALWAYS!

  56. Janine
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am currently pregnant and I’m hoping I can breastfeed. I think it is such a personal thing. My sister’s baby had a heart defect and because of that she got too tired to suck / breastfeed. Some people judged her for NOT breastfeeding- without knowing the whole story. Breastfeeding is beautiful. I would prefer to cover myself with a cloth- but I don’t think it is necessary for moms to be left out/forced to miss out on shows/concerts/meals when they need to breastfeed
    You are such an inspiration to moms-to-be out there. Keep up the awesome blog!

  57. Gail
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Thank you Jo Ann on using your platform to bring awareness to BREASTFEEDING. I definitely would like to find out more. Im sure many women feel lost and uncertain about breastfeeding, especially when you’re expecting the 1st time round. There isn’t much awareness around breastfeeding as one would expect. I find alot of expecting moms make up their minds before the time to not breastfeed. I also feel breastfeeding/breast expressing is not made as accessible to do so in the work place once moms go back to work after maternity leave.. Most women quit nursing early because they either impatient to get baby to latch or not well informed of the benifits it has for baby. This is an emotional journey for moms to experience so its not always easy. I will definitely want to attend a breastfeeding clinic to assist me on the how to, do’s and don’ts thank you for this blog post

  58. Vicky
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    BREASTFEEDING ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!, in becoming a new mommy on the 30th December 2015, it has been an honour so far to have such a special bond with my baby girl. Its such a bond that no one else can have with a her, only me. I feel PROUD to be able to provide her with something only I am able to supply her with. The past 5 months has been challenging, from her latching on, to the 3 hourly feeds to mommy and me time that I have with her. I too felt very conscious about feeding in public, so I would feed her just before we had to go somewhere, go out for 2 hours so that we could be at home on time for the next feed and if I didn’t make it, I went to sit and feed her in my car… sucked big time, but I was fortunate and bought the Madela Harmony pump, manual but it does the trick!!! My baby took immediately to the bottle and the thing I love the most about it was that she had to suck in order for the milk to flow through, minimising the winds issues and the teat was perfect just like a nipple . Today is my 4th day back at work and expressing at work, well lets say I have to get used to it. I miss having the opportunity to hold her in my arms and feed her, mommy and me time :-(. I cant wait to get home to be able to have mommy and me time with my baby. For as long as I can I will breast feed, I was 4 years old when my mom said enough is enough and I can truly say that its the best ever in this world, not once in my 31 years was I hospitalised for any illness or injury. My first time in hospital was when I gave birth to my daughter last year. So mommies do it for your babies and tell whoever has a problem to build a bridge and get over it. Thank you Jo-Ann for being a role model and sharing your journey with us.

  59. Taybah
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I Honestly couldn’t care less what people think about breast feeding your baby in public. People always have their own opinions no matter what. if it bothers them they shouldn’t look 🙂 Breast feeding is the most natural thing and I for one love it. My son is 1 year old and still breast feeds, it is the most special bond any mother can have with their baby. We are living in a modern world, why should mothers be expected to stay at home 24/7 because they are afraid to breast feed, people need to get with the program. Breast is Best!!

  60. Kgomotso
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Thank you Jo Ann

    I am a 30 year old first time mother to a baby boy. And I must say the breast feeding issue has been quite a challenge for me. I used to always hide my breast while baby fed even at home in from of my siblings and father. I guess it was just a taboo in the black community for me to be showing my breast in public. I’d go to another room. Then as time went by and I started getting back into the rhythm of normal life, I realised my son doesn’t wait for me to be in a convienant place to start eating. So I had to make a choice either I stay indoors all day with my son or I learn to get over the stares of judgement from people. I must say I choose the places I go to carefully, I google restaurants that cater for younger children and mothers with babies because I refuse to breastfeed my son in the toilet. I do cover up my breast as soon as my son has a good latch when I am in public and now that it’s getting colder I want to express more so I am not exposing myself to the cold when I breastfeed.

    A friend of mine told me when I had a baby that “your breasts stop being private parts when you have a child” and she was so right. At the end of the day any mother will make sure their baby is happy, which means we care more about the baby then about the cold stares we get from people who forget they were probably breast fed too.

  61. Roma Bailey
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I breastfed my two kids till 2 years old. In my old days it did not bother us where and when you fed them and you will take cover if needed.
    My daughter are pregnant with her first child and she will be breastfeeding and is looking forward to it. So I don’t know whats the fuss about breastfeeding in public? A good example will be the mommies in the townships. If there babies are hungry…they feed them anywhere, anytime.

  62. Jaymor
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    As a young mother of two beautiful blessings, I felt incredibly criticised by the public whilst feeding my 1st born in public to the point where I weaned her off breastmilk at 2 months. Up until today I still feel guilty for letting people’s ignorance dictate what is/isn’t socially acceptable. I now have a 3 month old and I am overwhelmed with joy when breastfeeding in public, knowing that she is receiving all of the nutritional goodness from breastmilk and I am her source has empowered me to not only ignore the agonising stares but to remember they only stare because they know no better. I have immense respect for women who do not hesitate to pull out their boobs and feed their hungry newborn. Breastfeeding in itself is one demanding job for us mom’s we shouldn’t be prisoner’s of our children’s well-being but rather liberated,respected and honoured for doing the best we can for them. The only thing I now dread is not being able to breastfeed as much as I am when I return to work because it truly has benefitted my newborn in so many ways. #ContentedCow ?

  63. Wendy Marsh
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I gave birth to my 3rd baby, a beautiful boy.. I decided to breastfeed, and thanking God every day. He was 34 weeks pre mature an d growing so fast

    Yes I’m also using formula because I started to work but its the life of a working mom.

    I breastfeed in public but I always close my chest and babas face.

    Society jas changed so much that we as women must be scared to leave our house, . Why I don’t know
    Thank you for standing up.

  64. Menoka Bechoo
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Hi. My darling daughter is turning one next month and I’m proud to say that I am still breastfeeding her. I will continue to do so till she’s two. Yes, it is rather sad to note that most public places do not provide a suitable place to feed your baby but that has not stopped me from feeding her. I feed her from my breast even at fine dining restaurants and I’m waiting for the day any person has the guts to tell me I should stop doing it in public. Of course I cover my self up but I’m just really comfortable and I don’t see any problem with it. I just always put my baby’s health first before anybody else’s and I really don’t care what people think. Thank you for voicing this issue and hopefully in future shops, malls etcetera will provide facilities for mum’s to feed their little ones.

  65. Tammy
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am breast feeding at the moment.
    I must say I would not have it any other way.
    This is what’s best for my child.
    I do not see what the hype is about re breast feeding in public. This is nature are people should embrace this wonderful capability that a woman has.
    Quick funny story…
    My 6 year old nephew walked into the room while I was breastfeeding Mia…He came close and looked at what was happening. He asked me, with a very concerned look on his face, what is Mia doing to you aunt Tammy.
    I had a good laugh and then had to give his mom the heads up as I’m sure questions were going to be asked. ?

  66. Nabila
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a soon to be first time mum. (in october to be precise) reading all your invaluable advice just gives me the confidence that I need on this journey. I am a very shy person and I’m really not sure how I will handle the situation of breastfeeding in public because I have the intention of exclusively breastfeeding my little one (holding thumbs this is as easy as I’m praying for it to be). I do think we are doing something so special and selfless and I don’t think any woman who makes this huge commitment to her child should be looked down upon. Yes we can be modest about it in the best way we can, but if anyone feels offended by this special gift we have been blessed with, then they should be the one to leave.

    I have only heard amazing things about the medela breast pump and I really do hope that I’m lucky enough to win it, one less thing to worry about on my list.

    Keep up the excellent blog Jo-Ann. U are such an inspiration and so helpful with your wonderful advice!

  67. Andaleen Hattingh
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I love every moment of our breastfeading journey, it started out with prayers to be able to breast feed because my mom could not breastfeed us because of allergies way back when and I am sure wrong advice now that I know more on the topic. I feel that moms not choosing to breastfeed because it is not their thing are selfish and do not consider the good it can do for their baby now and in the long run! We also made the mistake off not giving our baby expressed milk in a bottle because I had fear of nippel confusion, but now looking back at our breastfeading journey almost a year later and still going strong, I stand for pumping and allowing daddy to feel the awesome feeling to be a main caregiver because in not doing so your baby would only want mommy 247. Make the right choice for your baby pump and keep a stach and relax about it let your baby guide you ❤️

  68. Kim Barry
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    The minute my son was born and looked into my eyes with a familiarity that only growing beneath my heart could encourage, and the minute he latched onto my breast and looked at me while taking gentle sips of nourishment, I knew that there would be a special level of connect and intimacy between us that can never be faltered.
    Almost 6 months down the line and my favourite part of the day is coming home to nurse my little boy, who will melt my heart as he looks up at me and smiles.
    These precious moments are unfortunately not understood by the greater public. Yes my son needs to eat, and yes he can get it from a bottle too, and yes the world’s fascination and displeasure with the female form will never end… but you know what, I WANT to share in the closeness and feel his little heart beat so close to mine.

  69. Pavla Sessions
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful ways to build a bond with your baby, but also the way nature intended us to feed. It is straightforward, if it bothers you seeing someone breastfeed, simply don’t watch and you will not be bothered 🙂

  70. Carmen
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a first time mom and breastfeeding has been a battle from the word go. My baby struggled to latch and after hours and hours of trying eventually we managed (with the help of nipple shields at first)! Then more challenges ensued, I had a blocked milk duct that became infected and I had been given antibiotics to treat mastitis. My baby was just 3 weeks old at the time. I was so worried about what the medication could do to my baby while nursing. I continued to nurse painfully until I was healthy again and continued until she was 12 months old. Just the thought of going out in public and having to breastfeed made me so nervous, But I would do it all over again, just this time I would definitely make it a priority to invest in a good quality breast pump!

  71. Bronwyn Van Haght
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m a 1st time mom since 31st March 2016 and what an experience it has been so far and much more to look forward to!

    I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to breast feed and just whip it out wherever/whenever now I’m a walking dairy farm and loving it!

    Thank you for such an awesome blog!
    Xo

  72. Thabang Felicia Seemane
    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Reply

    My daughter is 1 year now, and has been breastfed from the moment she was brought into my arms at birth,since I did my research while pregnant that:put baby at breast immediately and that’s what I did,will never regret it ever,she hasn’t had any sicknesses since birth and hasn’t been a troublesome baby,BREAST is BEST that’s a FACT,it makes financial sense so why not,in public I use my baby sense shawl to cover up my breastfeeding, but I’ve noticed that in black dominated areas no one gets bothered but in white areas white people get annoyed seeing a women breastfeed her baby,it’s mainly them who don’t breastfeed their children,it’s like it’s culturally not accepted to breastfeed their children,my bond with my baby is enough repayment for breastfeeding her,yesss I still breastfeed her at night,why not, LADIES when you have a baby stop being selfish,it’s not about you anymore,your baby needs all those benefits from breas milk why deny it to your beloved child, SELFISH

  73. Janice Weakley
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Its great when you can use this platform for positive messages. Powerful message and that picture says it all. Moms have enough struggles as it is, I hope your message touches many woman to know its ok and do what is best. I remember once while in a family room (baby room) with my baby I got moaned at for taking to long. I have slowly learned to ignore all these things and enjoy being a mom and a woman before life passes me by. You will never please everyone. X

  74. Janet
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Society has made it acceptable for people (even mothers) to pose for nude pictures on social media and get a thousand +plus likes but looks down upon women who choose to breastfeed. They shame women who don’t have perfect bodies according to their standards. Without judging anyone I don’t see a reason why breastfeeding should be a problem, if me breastfeeding my baby in public bothers someone else, in the words of an african woman ayifuni mina leyo (that’s none of my business)

  75. Tersia Bugan
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding to me has been beautiful! My little girl will nurse and let go and give me the cutest “thank you mommy” toothless smile that melts my heart. She’s grown beautifully all because of mommy’s nyum nyums. I’ve been lucky enough to not experience an bad comments about breastfeeding in public and have had many compliments on my cover and my cute little princess. However, I am appalled at the lack of facilities to change baby let alone feed her in public spaces. You never really notice these things until you have a child of your own but I really thought that considering our modern society and people’s access to information; we would have much more support from the general public. Breastfeeding is not “outyds” as some put it, its the absolute BEST start you can give your child. And best of all, its FREE!

    When I pick up my little one in the afternoons, no matter when last she had a bottle; she buries her head in my chest and pulls on my clothes until I give her the good stuff 🙂 its the best feeling in the world!

    #medela #normalizebreastfeeding #modernmommy
    5 months and going strong
    xx

  76. Megan Knights
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    There is absolutely NO shame in breastfeeding in public. I feel that the public needs to change their views on it & try to see it from a mother’s prospective. When it comes to bottle feeding your baby, it can be done in the open in public & no one has a problem with it. However as soon as one breatfeeds (which i feel is so beautiful), everyone has something horrible to say. When your baby is hungry & needs to be fed, i feel that it needs to be done, irrespective of where you are. Your baby is your number 1 priority. I do not see why we as mothers need to remove ourselves from the current situation of where we are at that given time to go sit in a bathroom or in the car, simply to feed our babies. This should be allowed, no matter what the situation. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with nursing your baby. In fact, i think it is absolutely beautiful. If you are a person on the sideline & feel that you not comfortable looking at it, then by all means, look the other way! The struggle to be a mommy is real! Some mom’s cover themselves up & be discreet about it, which is perfectly normal whilst others feel they need to expose their entire boob for everyone to see. I feel that one should be discreet about it BUT never should one feel that it is a shame to feed your little one. It is extremely important for us mothers to feel proud of what we are doing for our babies & not need to justify anything we do. The public really needs to see the bigger picture & learn to accept what is naturally what a mother would do. God created us to nurse, protect & love our children, irrespective of other individuals views. Freedom of expression is one thing, but to be in the actual situation is another. NORMALIZE BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.

  77. Samantha February
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    As a mom to 6 gorgeous kids, 4 of whom were/are breastfed, I am a firm believer in breastfeeding. I find it hard to believe that in an open minded society there are still those with closed minded opinions. Thankfully these people are few and far between. No woman should even have to give up her hard fought right to public breastfeeding just because someone else has an “opinion”. Big ups to all those mommas who pop a boob to feed a hungry child. I salute you!

  78. Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    http://mommyatozblog.com/
    http://www.babycenter.com/
    http://not-your-average-mom.com/

    In the beginning I was very sensitive about people disagreeing with my motherhood but these days I put my energy where it is needed. Each mom is different and no two kids are the same, even if they are both yours. There is a big world out there to enjoy so take your babies with you and breastfeed when you need to. I am sure that most of us cover ourselves anyway. It is stressful enough adjusting to life with a new baby in it, breastfeeding in public should not be added to that. Happy breastfeeding everyone! 🙂

    I’d like some tips on: eczema and how to get rid of pacifiers (including the blankie)

  79. Ally
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    My son is 10 months old, and the one thing I fear is him going hungry.

    When he was a mere two days old he refused to drink of my breast milk and preferred to rather go hungry. I had no one else to blame but myself for leaving the hospital before the suggested 3 days I was meant to spend in hospital. I was lucky to get to a wonderful lactose consultant who helped me and guide on feeding my little hungry boy both formula and breastmilk.

    He eventually chose formula over my breastmilk, and for this I was gossiped about, people calling me a bad mother, saying im selfish and these are the very people who ended up feeding their own children formula too.

    The sad part is that people dont stop and think what they’d do if they were in your position, how they would feel if they were denied food when they are hungry.

    Denying a baby his milk is as good as child abuse as starvation to keep up with public acceptability is not fair on the little being. On Sunday my big 10 month old insisted on having his Squish n go while we were leaving the store, it was the most adorable sight to many people as he sat and kept his own Squish.
    I hope society wakes up, how about one franchise build a baby feeding area in celebration of their customer base growing every time a new baby enter their premises….

  80. Alison Geduld
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I breastfed both my daughters until way past 20 months. It’s a normal and natural (and very beautiful) experience. I see no reason for all this hullabaloo!

  81. Tiyana Van Der Rheede
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I think breastfeeding is great, but have some class in doing so. Cover up with a blanket or something. A woman should have the right to do it anywhere. She can’t just not feed her child! As for whether every woman should feel comfortable doing it anywhere, I don’t think anyone can say. Some will want to do it anywhere; some will want to do it in private. No one can speak for all women. I will say, however, that no woman should be made to feel like she has to do it in the bathroom.” I cant wait for my time to come in July to breastfeed and most of all meet my little man.

  82. Kat meek
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Love it !! I’ve just given birth to my second daughter at home and breastfeeding her . With my daughter I used to spend many minutes locked in dirty restaurant toilet all because I overhead a very prim and proper lady saying ” can she do that somewhere else .. Gross ” I was shattered …. Now I’m whooping it out whenever however and I’m so proud that my body produces this incredible substance ! us women we are incredible and I’m so proud to be one ! Free the boob !

  83. Mariëtte
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Feeding your babe when he/she is hungry is an integral component of raising your child. That means wherever, whenever. Breastfeeding is natural, healthy (for both mother and child) and highly recommended. Embrace motherhood, embrace womanhood, embrace public breastfeeding.

  84. Natro
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I WISH I COULD’VE BREASFEAD LONGER. I COULND’NT PRODUCE ANYMORE MILK. IT FELT SO GOOD. FORMULA ISN’T THAT BAD BUT SOME OF US ARE NOT THAT FORTUNATE TO PRODUCE. KEEP IT REAL MOMS AND GOOD LUCK TO THE MOMMIES WHO STILL HAS TO GO IN TO LABOUR, THEE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER 🙂

  85. Amy Williams
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    What a beautiful post . AAAh the breastfeeding topic. I consider myself quite the feminist and breastfeeding crusader ( even though the last time I had someone dangling from my boob was 6 years ago) . I breastfed my daughter for two years and found it to be the most gratifying and rewarding experience ever . The bond it formed between myself and my daughter was amazing . As a single mother I went back to University full time when she was a little under a year – I traveled home during every break and lunch time I had to breastfeed her and still the exhaustion was completely overshadowed by the sense of complete and utter love I felt when looking in her eyes . Why would I not want another mother to experience this , no matter where she finds herself . Be it in the comfort of her own home or even outside in a restaurant while enjoying the very little time she gets to spend away from her home . This should not even be a debate to be honest ….

  86. Charlene
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Personally I’m quite baffled why breastfeeding your child in ‘public’ is such a contentious issue. It’s a no brainer…the ‘public’ needs to sort its issues out, not the breastfeeding mom and baby being ridiculed for something that is perfectly normal. Something that poses a challenge to breastfeeding, more so within the economic climate that we are in. Where mom’s are required to work as soon as possible, yet still wanting to maintain the healthiest feeding option for baby, is the fact that many employees aren’t accommodating to breastfeeding moms and many working environments and job doing make provision for it. I’m particularly thinking of young moms who need to work to sustain their babies and families, who don’t have access to resources like the awesome product by Medela. Not to mention the challenges that arise with breastfeeding and expressing milk for many mom’s. I’m FOR breastfeeding, it’s the healthiest option for babies. I’d love to give this prize to a young expecting mom that I know, to encourage breastfeeding as the best option, but with the resource to make it easier for working mom.

  87. Natalie Madise
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    My boy Levi was born in 1 March 2016. I exclusively breastfeed. Boobs are created for breastfeeding, it’s their main purpose. I’m so fortunate to have a husband that supports my decision to breastfeed and has no problem is I nurse in public. Breasts have been sexualised and that should not be by baby’s problem. He needs to eat,and not in a public toilet.

  88. Zayaan Roux
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Great blog! My daughter will be 2 months on 28th May and I’m stressed about returning to work in August. During my maternity leave now it is quite stressful going out anywhere as many places and not “boob friendly”. I must say that many people smile when they see me breastfeeding. I am always discreet but this comes with great difficulty trying to discreetly get a wriggly little one to latch. I am quite appalled at the state of some breastfeeding rooms in the malls. Definitely not created by a nursing mother. Two recent examples, one had a narrow couch-like seat most uncomfortable and the second a plastic chair with no armrest and just a open hard surface next to the basin as a changing station.

  89. Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I always thought I was an advocate for breastfeeding in public but with my newborn I see that I tend to wait until my visitors left my hospital room or I retire to my bedroom to feed. I just realised it this morning. Surely I need to start at home. So what if visitors are around. Why must I leave my comfy couch to feed elsewhere or leave my baby crying so I can wait for people to leave the room before I whip it out.

  90. Andrea Jacobs
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Congrats on the birth of your gorgeous little one! I am mommy to a soon to be 1 year old. She has been breastfed from day one and I have been lucky enough to do it almost full time for a whole year!! To me breastfeeding has been such an amazing rollercoaster ride. Struggling through the pain those first few days, not having enough expressed milk when I need to be at work (i hand express), or my lg refusing to take bottles (we tried every brand out there). Looking back i would not have it any other way. Yes i miss sleeping through the night, and i often wish i can just drop her off somewhere without having to worry about her having to feed every few hours, but this is all part of an amazing journey we started together. When she is happy or sad or missed me, the breast provides comfort to her. Often its a struggle when out and about because she hates waiting & having her head covered, and i was always very shy when it comes to feeding in public. I have since realised people are always going to complain about everything, nursing in public happens to be one of those things. If my child is hungry, i am going to feed her where i feel most comfortable. If it happens to be in front of strangers, then so be it. The bond i share with my child through breastfeeding can never be turned into something shameful or ugly. She needs me, and i will provide. I happen to be a co sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing kinda mom, so i am bound to have some comments thrown my way. You are entitled to agree or disagree with my parenting methods, but I am not obliged to listen. We are all trying to navigate through life in the best possible way we know, we do not need the added speedbumps because certain people cant handle seeing breasts being used as per instruction manual. Love you and love your blog!

  91. Dorothy
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I am due to welcome our first baby next month and I’m really excited about meeting and breastfeeding her! (Yay!). I strongly believe that something so pure and rewarding should rather be celebrated and not frowned upon. Breastfeeding your baby gives them love and life (as does bottle feeding).. it’s such a beautifully natural thing that I struggle to see why some are offended by it.
    I intend breastfeeding my bubby anytime, anywhere with a little blanket over us both I am sure those around will understand the sanctity of our special time together.
    Xxx

  92. Lisa
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I think breastfeeding in public is a personal choice but is something the society should accept – it should not be something that happens in a “feeding room” or even worse a public bathroom. I found breastfeeding to be very isolating and I think it is due to the fact that when you do decide to feed your baby in public along comes the stares and you automatically shy away from feeding in pubic. It is one of the most natural things a women can do and why not be proud of the fact that you can nourish your baby with your milk. With my 2nd LO on the way I have already showed my little one of 22 months how I will breastfeed the baby (by putting her dolly to my boob) – she loves lifting her top and feeding her baba and I hope this sets an example for her that its not something to shy away from and I am definitely not going to be scared to do it in public this time round (the feeling of having big sore leaky boobs in public just because you cant feed your baby isn’t great after all)!

  93. Andrea Jooste
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    I’ve just had my 3rd child. Well 12 weeks ago to be exact. Everything is SO much easier and more relaxed the third time around-well everything except breast feeding in public. I’m so lucky to have a supportive husband who believes that it doesn’t matter when or where, if the baby needs to eat, it needs to eat. He caringly helps drape a shawl over my shoulder and passes me burp cloths as I need. However, I live about an hour away from “town”-that being the nearest mall. Last week I ventured to town with baby in tow to find a wedding gift for a friends upcoming nuptials. I fed baby, and left home, knowing that id have about 3 hours before the next feed. I found a gift and had a few more errands to run. Then my baby started getting niggly-needing another feed-because that’s what babies do!, There was no where to feed other than a smelly bathroom and quite frankly-I don’t like the idea of feeding my baby in a germ infested bathroom!. Although I feel more than comfortable with my husband around during such times in public (and will sit down somewhere for a cup of tea with him while I feed), this time I didn’t have him to help me out. I am so paranoid about trying to manoeuvre baby to the breast and having a little “nip slip” in the process, that it sends me into a flat panic. People are so judgemental, the dirty looks and frowns I while I’m single handily trying to wrestle a drape, a baby, sometimes a nipple shield and a burp cloth is somewhat soul destroying. All I am trying to do is the BEST for my baby! At the end of my mall debacle, I kept propping the dummy into my baby’s mouth and made my way to the parking lot. Where I ended up having to feed my baby in the privacy of my rather warm car just to avoid the looks and the anxiety they cause..
    The fact that women, and more in particular women’s breasts have been sexualised to such a point that the one thing they were created for-feeding their children- has become this scandalous public sin! I wont stand for that, and the next time I’m out in public, by god, I wont go to the car to feed my baby. I will do it right there in plain sight! I’m proud to be a mom and I’m proud of the fact that I alone can provide what my baby needs to sustain itself and grow-and we get to spend time bonding while I do that! Well done to all you incredible moms out there, for doing the BEST you can for your children. Love and light x

    Or perhaps, ill

  94. Cindi
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    Being a mom of a preemie born at 26 weeks gestation. I am fully aware of how amazing and important breastmilk is for a baby that tiny. My breastmilk is what warded off diseases and made my baby grow. 9 months down the line and we are still at it. I will not allow society to dictate to me on when and where I can breastfeed my baby. I am pretty comfortable breastfeeding in public. Those who shun us have no idea how valuable “Liquid Gold” is, this is what breastmilk is called in NICU. It is such a privilege to breastfeed if your body allows you too and the bonding experience is like no other. I am proud to say I am one breastfeeding amabassador!!!

  95. Heather
    Wed, 18 May 2016
    Reply

    As a soon to be mom, I am nervous yet so excited. I’ve heard not only the good but the worst ?.. in my opinion I think it’s quite selfish being judged, kicked out of places for breastfeeding a baby that cannot speak for “itself”. Imagine we got told when and when not too eat! How grumpy do we get when we are hungry. It can cause problems, especially being at the wrong place the wrong time ☺️.
    It’s enough having to think of appropriate clothing that allows you to just take it out, this is the lease of my worries!!

    I am however in two minds whether I think not using a towel or blanket is appropriate, but I do believe when duty calls it calls and boy oh boy does it call at the wrong times ?

    I believe not only 100% but 500% above medical aid rates ? that breast milk is the best nutrient you can give you kids at that age!

    In other more exciting news, I am forever greatful that so many amazing breast pumps have been made available..I am yet to find the miracle of a breast pump. Being prepared “sometimes” enables one to avoid instances where selfish, ignorant people roam. It will cause less inconvenience, being stared at, laughed at or chukked out of malls etc… I think it’s quite pathetic & shouldn’t even be debated whether it’s appropriate or not! People should use common sense!!!

    I will breastfeed all day everyday and i refuse to deprive my baby girl from getting her “nunu’s” ??

  96. Lynn Botha
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    Breastfeeding in public .. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.. BUT I do feel that it can be done under a blanket or cover. I think its something quite personal and I wouldn’t want to be exposed in any way in front of complete strangers. Some people are able to do it without anyone even noticing they are breastfeeding their baby.

  97. Lynne
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    Oh my, what a contentious subject and I’ve had my fair share of being ridiculed in public for breastfeeding (in a very private manner I might add) and to top that because I was in my early 40’s and asked if I knew what the risks were for my child was etc. I am proud to say that I was a Milk Matters donor for 3 years and breastfed my daughter until she was 4 years old. She is now 6 ½ and when she is feeling very emotional or ill, she asks to please drink ‘nennies’ which I allow her to do if it means that she receives comfort enough to get her through that trying period, which could be solved in 5 minutes. We have such an amazing bond and I attribute 50% of it due to being able to breastfeed her – what a privilege!

  98. Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    I am not a mother. I recently got married two months ago and last year I became a godmother to a beautiful baby boy. From someone who is not a mother, my opinion on the matter is, to each their own. Mother’s should feel comfortable to breastfeed where they see fit and should NOT be judged for it. As women (especially) we should not be shaming one another. Instead, we should be a support for one another and an inspiration to women who have not yet given birth to babies. There are far to many other issues out there to still have to deal with this one. It’s simple, let every mother breastfeed as, when and how she sees fit and if you don’t agree with it, then look the other way, because the mother ‘in question’ sure as h*** does’nt have to.

  99. Lizelle Van Rooyen
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    I am all for Public breast feeding. If people can smoke and drink in restaurants and in public spaces I believe babies have the right to feed.
    Personally I will cover up as I dont like advertising my lady bits and I applaud all those mommies who have more courage than me <3

  100. Ruth Erasmus
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    I am an unapologetic public breastfeeder. My sproglet refuses to hide under a cover and I refuse to interrupt my activity to find a secret spot in which to do the deed! I certainly would never feed sproglet in a toilet stall! I don’t make a fuss or set out to garner attention, but I also know my rights and will not compromise. The ability to feed one’s child as and when should be an expected norm, and moms out there need all the support they can get when it comes to breastfeeding. I was recently blown away by a stat from Normalise Breastfeeding SA that only 8% of babies in SA are breastfed for the WHO recommended time frame of 6 months. I think a short 4 month maternity leave coupled with lack of support is to blame as those who do work do not always have the ‘luxury’ of being able to express at work, even though it’s a right. I love my Medela Swing Maxi and would not have succeeded without it as we had trouble with latching at the start of our breastfeeding journey followed by various other upsets including mastitis. Next week I can proudly say that sproglet will have been breastfed for 6 months and I have donated an average of 5-6 litres of milk a month to my local milk bank. Not once have we used formula 🙂 … If I win I will pass on the pump to a friend, pregnant with her first baby, in the hope she too can become a breastfeeding success!

  101. Fatima
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    It really upsets me when ppl are against breastfeeding in public… does that mean a breastfeeding mum isnt allowed out the house ?

    The worst is i have seen women cringe against other women and make them feel as if they doing something gross. You munch down your bag of chips or sip a cooldrink why cant my little guy have a bite to eat in the middle of shopping time ?

    Im very pro freding in public i try to cover up most times… but on warm days my little guy refuseshaving something over his head

  102. Sarah
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    I’m about to be a first-time mom, and I want to make sure my baby gets the best she possibly can – and that includes all the benefits of breastfeeding.

    Breastfeeding in public should be a non-issue, and the policing of my (and other mothers’) bodies is something that needs to be addressed in a big way. It’s a sad reality that women face a harsh double standard, where their bodies are concerned.

    Being able to express and feed baby on the go – when public facilities are unwelcoming or unpleasant (too often) – is a major plus. While we fight the battle against bodyshamers, at least I know my girl will be getting all the good stuff she needs from me.

  103. nicky
    Thu, 19 May 2016
    Reply

    I am a mom of a 5 month old and a 6 year old and well I can tell you its not fun when baby needs to breastfeed and trying to watch your 6 year old as well, when i go to the mall I sit down and use my beautiful pink blanket to cover myself but my baby just hates the blanket over her face so she constantly takes it off exposing me and i can tell you with fumbling around I have had so many bad looks so now I stay home, have not been out for a while cause its just too embarrassing.The breastmilk is healthy and way more cost effective so i will stay home rather and save.

  104. Ashleigh Jolan Grootboom
    Fri, 20 May 2016
    Reply

    Im currently expecting and i intend to breastfeed my soon to be little prince/ princess!!! With regards to all comments and slandering breastfeeding moms i think public places should make it more comfortable and suitable for those moms out with their babies, needless to say they are so helpless how do u deprive your littlle one from feeding because of people being so judge mental and inconsiderate i think as a mom i intend to breastfeed whenever my sweet pea is hungry while covering up…..

  105. Ra-eesa
    Fri, 20 May 2016
    Reply

    Why shun something that’s natural? Alas, to each his own

  106. Kelly
    Fri, 20 May 2016
    Reply

    I simply love this :
    You go to a mall and you’ll see cleavage – The cartoon attached is quite self-explanatory ? We live in a society where boobs are brazenly on display in all contexts, but why when a little human is attached to the nipple does a moral debate ensue and not when the boobs are selling peri-peri sauce chicken burgers?
    ha ha I love it!

    Breastfeeding for me and my baby Scarlett is the best thing ever!
    We both enjoy the bond and I will continue until she has had enough.
    MANY times I would get the look, Many times I am asked “when are you going to wean her?” I answer “she will wean when SHE is ready!”

    I can’t help what is socially acceptable, BUT I CAN HELP my kids…..
    Extended breastfeeding has many emotional benefits for the both of us.
    I have always embraced breastfeeding as a natural and normal part of life.

    Watching my angels’ little faces when I feed and feeling them all snuggled up against me…. makes me so proud that I am giving them the best start in life!

    I long for the day when all mothers are confident and able to breastfeed their children in public without stigma.

    Breastfeeding is so easy, economical, efficient & sterile – but more importantly there is this bond that I cannot express!

    My goal is to express 10 bottles every week to donate to RED CROSS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.

  107. G duimpies
    Sat, 21 May 2016
    Reply

    I love reading your blog and I am very much pro brest feeding in public. But there is an ugly side to it as well which i still experience. A lot of noise has been made about breast feeding. But I think there is a slight disregard for people who cant breast feed their babies. My heart ached everytime someone asked me did you breast feed. And i would say no. The look on faces are just as bad as the looks, women who breast feed in public, get. And i know what they immediatly might be thinking. She gave up, didnt want to, thought she was too posh to do so. Not at all the case. Every mom wants to give the best to her child so why wouldnt I breast feed mine if i could. The ugly comments are out there very much so for the moms who didnt breats feed. not thinking that there is a possibility that it wasnt even a choice they had. Nature intended that I couldnt i have made peace with it but society has simply not allowed me to do so in many ways. Everywhere I went i got the same question and i simply stopped explaining my personal health reason as to why I didnt as it was simply not their business. I think as new and experienced mothers we need to practise the art of kindness as the flack i received were mostly from mothers.
    I just wanted to highlight the issue and a different topic on its own is that moms who couldnt/didnt breast feed are shamed just as much. After my return to work a male colleague even asked me did you breast feed i said no and as he walked off he said “what type of mother are you then”.

  108. I used to think breastfeeding in public was terrible… Why can people just feed their babies at home first….its so awkward to look at.. Then I had a baby and all those negative thoughts vanished. I was naive before and didn’t know any better. Now I understand.. You need to whip out a boob on demand and feed when baby is hungry no matter where you are or what you’re doing. His needs come first. I think it is hard for most people to understand that it’s normal because it wasn’t something seen all the time. #normaliseBreastfeeding #breastISbest

  109. Este Griffiths
    Tue, 31 May 2016
    Reply

    I still breastfeed my 2-year-old but, to be honest not in public. It made me feel uncomfortable getting stares and people giving their 2 cents. Being a first-time mom is stressful enough, although I feel very strong about the issue, I didn’t have the strength to fight it at the time. I feel it is so wrong since it is totally different in other parts of the world where I have lived. Also, most malls don’t have breastfeeding facilities and I have to give a shout out to our Woolies – the ladies at the changing rooms look the other way if you go in there to breastfeed – our only other alternative if you want to leave your home. Thank you, Jo-Ann, for addressing the issue.

  110. Michelle
    Wed, 01 June 2016
    Reply

    I breastfed my son until just after his third birthday! I personally felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public (particularly as he got older) and would schedule outings / shopping trips etc around his feeding schedule. Most times when in public I have managed to find a feeding room or when visitinh friends homes I would go and sit in a separate room.

    Holding thumbs would LOVE to win a new pump!!

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