“Excuse me madam, were you about to breastfeed your baby” the waiter asked.
“Oh no” I thought, “here it comes.”
We were at a family party at a local restaurant with my 2-month old Samuel. I had heard stories of mums breastfeeding in public being asked to leave or cover up and I was expecting just this humiliation. I flushed deep red and nodded…
“Would you like a more comfortable chair” the waiter continued.
“Oh….yes, thank-you”, I was dumbfounded.
After changing my chair, the waiter then proceeded to bring me a complimentary cafetiere of decaffeinated coffee and chocolates. Talk about VIP treatment.
Sam is now 7 months old and I am still partially breastfeeding. I can’t say I’ve had this reception everywhere when I have been breastfeeding in public (more’s the pity) but I can certainly say I’ve never felt uncomfortable. I’ve been so surprised by how positive everyone around me and Sam has been, from the hospital staff, midwife and health visitor, family and friends and even complete strangers. It seems the world has woken up to benefits of breastfeeding and become more supportive of mums and babies. Even my ‘traditional’ father of 70 (who I never thought I could feed in front of) has been really relaxed about it.
My experience of breastfeeding Sam has been overwhelmingly wonderful. With each feed, from the first time I fed him 20 minutes after he was born to 20 minutes ago when he had his evening milk, I get real pleasure in knowing I’m giving him a great start in life and feel so close to him. I would recommend breastfeeding wholeheartedly to any new mum who is able to (and bring on the comfy chairs and chocolate).