Breastfeeding In Public: A Cause For Discussion?

Many mothers are still uncertain when it comes to breastfeeding in public. There is still no law protecting breastfeeding mothers in public, even though this has long been demanded by the German Midwives Association. In principle, it is not forbidden.

However, owners of restaurants and cafés can exercise their domiciliary rights and prohibit it. If you want to breastfeed your baby in public, you should not be put off. After all, breast milk is the best thing for your baby.

Controversial Discussions About Breastfeeding In Public

Most mothers want to be able to breastfeed their baby. They prepare for it during pregnancy to encourage milk production. But what about when you’re out and about with your baby and it’s time to feed?

Basically, you don’t have to avoid public places, because breastfeeding in public is not prohibited in Germany. In other countries, there are already laws, for example in the USA, Great Britain, or Australia, which basically allow breastfeeding in public.

The German Midwives Association would like to see such laws in Germany as well. The German government has not yet laid the foundations for this. Basically, different groups of people have different opinions about breastfeeding your baby in public. You should not be forbidden to do so and should look for a suitable place to do so.

The Situation In Restaurants And Cafés

Even though breastfeeding in public is not prohibited by law in Germany, breastfeeding mothers are not sufficiently protected. In restaurants and cafés, the owner has the domiciliary rights.

He or she may prohibit breastfeeding in public if it is embarrassing for him or her and if he or she fears a loss of revenue because the guests will stay away. You can’t plan exactly when your baby is hungry and therefore want to breastfeed him in the coffee.

The owner of the restaurant may send you to the changing room or outside. This is inhumane, because no one wants to eat their food in the toilet or outside in the cold.

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Tip: Before you breastfeed your baby in a restaurant and get into trouble, you should find out about suitable restaurants. It is best to ask by phone whether breastfeeding in public is allowed there.

Different Views In Society

The views on breastfeeding in public are completely different in society. It is mainly older women who are bothered by a mother breastfeeding her child in a café or on a park bench.

They feel embarrassed or find the sight of the female breast indecent. The situation is completely different for the younger generation. With young mothers, but also with young women who don’t yet have a baby, you will meet with broad understanding if you want to breastfeed your baby in a coffee shop.

What Midwives Want To Do?

Midwives generally recommend breastfeeding in public and want to encourage women to do so. The German Midwives Association is calling for a law that allows breastfeeding in public.

It has already submitted an online petition to the German Bundestag on this issue, but it did not receive support. Midwives criticize the fact that only a few celebrities in Germany support breastfeeding in public.

Beate Riebold of the Thuringia Midwives Association feels that the lack of legislation excludes breastfeeding mothers from the public eye. One of the few celebrities who support breastfeeding in public is actress Nina Bott.

An initiative commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Food investigated how breastfeeding-friendly Germany is. The results showed that Germany offers a moderately breastfeeding-friendly environment.

New Communication Strategy Planned

A communication strategy is planned to deal with the issue in a more relaxed way. One in four women is embarrassed to breastfeed in public because she would feel embarrassed and offended if she have looked at askance.

That’s what midwife and lactation consultant Regine Gresens notes. After all, women with exposed breasts feel vulnerable.

How To Prepare For Breastfeeding In Public?

If you prepare well, you will succeed in breastfeeding in public. You should wear comfortable and practical clothes. It is important that you take everything you need for you and your baby.

You don’t have to breastfeed in a coffee shop just yet. You can prepare well by practicing a favorable posture at home. For your first attempts, you should choose a few quiet places. Very important: Don’t forget your self-confidence and prepare powerful arguments.

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Practice The Right Posture

It all starts with the right posture, which you can practice at home. It is also important so that your baby does not hiccup, (https://www.practicalmommy.com/schluckauf-bei-babys/).

It is best to try out the posture in front of a mirror. This way you can see how you look when you breastfeed and how you look in public. It is important to hold the baby comfortably.

Furthermore, make sure that as little of your breast as possible is visible. The easier it is for you to hold your baby, the less inhibited you will be about breastfeeding in public.

It is best to ask your partner or a friend to accompany you during your first attempts in public. With support, it will be easier for you.

Wear The Right Clothes

Breastfeeding in public is more successful with the right clothing. Your breasts should be largely covered without having to change much about your clothing. You can buy breastfeeding clothes, but your existing clothes may be enough.

A top with spaghetti straps that you slip over the breast where you want to put your baby is practical. This top covers your belly. Over it, you wear a T-shirt that you can roll up.

It covers the upper part of the breast. This way you won’t get cold while breastfeeding in public and you don’t have to worry that someone will see your belly. Alternatively, you can wear blouses, shirts, or dresses with a long button placket that you can unbutton to put your baby to your breast.

Also practical are tops for wrapping or with a waterfall neckline. It’s best to try out what works best for you.

What Else Is Pactical?

As Breastfeeding Clothes You Should:

  • Avoid fine fabrics like silk, as they can stain quickly.
  • Wear patterned clothes if possible, as stains on them are less visible when your baby spits up.
  • Wear a nursing bra that opens in the front.

Nursing shawls or scarves are practical. They are especially suitable at the beginning, when you want to breastfeed in public. With these scarves you can protect yourself from prying eyes. Alternatively, you can use a sling to hold your baby in.

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What You Should Not Forget

For Breastfeeding In Public You Should Take A Diaper Bag With You – Do Not Forget:

  • Nursing pads for your bra.
  • Nursing wipes to protect your baby if he or she spits up.
  • If you have long hair, hair ties to tie your hair back.
  • Wet wipes or moist soap wipes.

It is better to pack a few more things than too few. That way, you’ll be well prepared if things go on for a while.

Choose A Suitable Place

Before you start breastfeeding in public, you should choose suitable places where you can try it out. The best thing to do is to write a list and make a note of such places. Such places could be the following.

  • Shopping malls with breastfeeding rooms.
  • Furniture stores with breastfeeding rooms.
  • Baby stores with breastfeeding rooms.
  • Libraries with reading rooms.

There, you can retreat with your baby to put him or her to the breast. These rooms are equipped with chairs and changing facilities. Parks with benches are also good.

You can also try museums or libraries before breastfeeding your baby in coffee. If everything goes well and you think you are well prepared, there is nothing to stop you from breastfeeding in public.

Choose Quiet Places For Breastfeeding In Public

You should not force the public to participate when you breastfeed your baby. Always look for a quiet corner in restaurants and cafés, for example in the back.

It’s best to inform the staff when you enter the restaurant that you want to breastfeed your baby in public. Often the staff is accommodating and will recommend a suitable place for you. This way you avoid being asked to leave the restaurant.

Do Not Hide In Public Restrooms

Under no circumstances should you hide in public toilets. It is crowded there. The position is not healthy for you or your baby. If you receive nasty comments while breastfeeding in public, politely ask the person to look the other way.

Help In The Breastfeeding Group

You should find out if there is a breastfeeding group in your area. In a breastfeeding group, you can get useful tips and make new friends. Together with friends from the breastfeeding group, you can breastfeed your baby in public.

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Avoid Problems With Breastfeeding

To ensure that breastfeeding in public works, you should take care to avoid problems right from the start. Especially during your first attempts at breastfeeding, you may experience an unpleasant pulling sensation in your breasts.

This is even more unpleasant when breastfeeding in public, as you may feel inhibited. You should not feel any pain when your baby sucks on the breast. In case of pain, you should inform the midwife, who can give you tips.

To Avoid Problems – The Following Things Are Important:

  • Correct breastfeeding position while sitting.
  • Correct technique, where the baby should have as much breast in the mouth as possible.
  • Good care and proper cleaning of irritated nipples.
  • Stimulation of milk flow.
  • Relaxation.

Every now and then, you may experience milk engorgement. In this case, it is important that you stimulate the milk flow again. You can stimulate the flow of milk with warm, moist wraps or a warm shower.

If you have breastfed your baby, cool compresses with curd on the breast have a calming effect. This is not possible when breastfeeding in public, but you can be better prepared for it. Relaxation is important to ensure the flow of milk.

Breastfeeding problems lead to stress, which causes new problems. You should therefore remember to have enough time for yourself.

Breastfeeding In Public: Conclusion

Still many people have problems with breastfeeding in public. It is mainly older women who are bothered by the sight of breastfeeding mothers. Men also often give breastfeeding mothers unpleasant looks in public.

In principle, breastfeeding in public is not prohibited in Germany. However, laws that allow it does not yet exist. If you want to breastfeed your child in public, you should prepare yourself well.

You should wear appropriate clothing and practice a favorable posture. To prepare yourself, you should choose suitable places. You can get many useful tips in a breastfeeding group or from a midwife.

Sources

https://www.medela.de/stillen/deine-stillzeit/stillen-in-der-oeffentlichkeit

https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/panorama/stillen-in-der-oeffentlichkeit-104.html

https://www.swissmom.ch/baby/stillen/besondere-situationen/stillen-in-der-oeffentlichkeit/der-kleine-knigge-fuers-stillen-in-der-oeffentlichkeit/

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