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(72 Posts)
Newatthis Mon 02-Aug-21 15:22:27

I found this article interesting
I chose to breastfeed when we had our first child in the early 80's. I was very discreet at all times. I was in my in-laws and every time our child needed feeding every member of the family would go in the kitchen and stay there until I had finished (including my husband!). It was during the period that Prince Andrew was going out with Koo Stark who had made a film which was rather 'risque' which was being aired on TV. Needless to say no one left the living room while watching it! Clearly my in laws found it more embarrassing doing something perfectly natural breast than watching Koo Stark bare all. New mums everywhere should be allowed to chose how they feed their baby, either with formula or breast milk, be able to breastfeed anywhere, provided they are discreet, without discrimination.

Petera Tue 03-Aug-21 15:58:36


I remember having to go to the toilets to feed in the early 70s as some people were very prudish. A woman said to me that it was disgraceful that I was made to feel that way. After that I breast fed wherever I was and tough if anyone didn't like it.

What's really depressing is that, 50 years later, we're even having this discussion.

Hellogirl1 Tue 03-Aug-21 17:05:27

My GP back in the day asked me why breast feeding was best. I said because breast milk was better for the baby, he said "And the cat can`t get it!" My sister-in-law had so much milk she provided for the prem unit as well!

annodomini Tue 03-Aug-21 17:26:12

I was shocked when DS1 decided at 7 months that he wanted to stop breastfeeding. He just clamped his jaws shut and nothing I could do would persuade him. Well, I told him he wasn't going to have a bottle. A baby cup would have to do. It seemed that a cup was just what he wanted. DD2 was much more clingy and lasted until 9 months when I got fed up carrying him around on my hip. Glad to say that their children were all breast-fed.

Nvella Tue 03-Aug-21 17:53:46

I took my 3 week old baby to a meeting of psycotherapistswhich I had to minute, and when he started crying and I was about to feed him they told me to go and feed him in the loo. Don’t know what Sigmund would have said!

Nvella Tue 03-Aug-21 17:56:05

Psychotherapists (sp)

watermeadow Tue 03-Aug-21 20:34:53

I breastfed four babies in the 1970s when it was unusual and never encouraged. Even while one baby was in the Special Care Unit I was told to sit behind a screen so the staff would not see me.
I rarely needed to feed whilst out and about but was very discreet because breastfeeding was largely regarded as indecent.
I was proud that I was giving my babies the best possible start in life. Much later, one wanted to live off baked beans and chips and another never ate any fruit or vegetables despite all my efforts!

BlueSky Tue 03-Aug-21 20:46:50

Well done Watermeadow for doing what you wanted to do without listening to the ‘experts’! You must have been a very determined young woman.

nexus63 Tue 03-Aug-21 21:01:24

i choose not to breastfeed but i have no problem with any mum feeding a child anywhere, i did give a mouthful to a couple of ladies in a cafe who were tutting about how disgusting feeding a baby when there are eating, they asked to speak to the manager and he did not have a problem, they spent the rest of the time giving me dirty could not see anything, she had a blanket over her shoulder and the baby was happy and quiet.....i will never understand some people....mainly women.

Jaxjacky Tue 03-Aug-21 21:40:09

I breastfeed both of mine 1986 and 1991, expressed milk for the latter as I went back to work earlier, but still fed him in the evenings and weekends. Anywhere, anytime, discreetly, never an issue.

Scentia Tue 03-Aug-21 21:48:52

I BF my first in 1993 and was never confident enough to feed in public after being asked to leave bakers oven cafe on my first visit outside.
My DD has BF both of hers and she will get her boobs out anywhere, I am so pleased that I brought her up to be that confident not like her mum!!

Sebella Tue 03-Aug-21 22:53:27

In the early 80's, I breast fed each of my babies until the next one was born. This sounds strange, but I did have 4 children in 5 years. It never occurred to me society was judging, so I fed discreetly, anywhere and anytime. Except in my own home where discretion was not high on my agenda. My father, who was visiting, did say to himself, "I am going to get used it this again."
I remember ordering a cup of tea in a café and asking if they minded if I fed my baby. I did and to this day it never occurred to me that they thought I would have a bottle or baby food. At times it is much better to be innocently naïve.

Longdistancegrnny Tue 03-Aug-21 23:25:04

My mother bottlefed all 4 of us, and both my older sisters bottlefed theirs, so they were all surprised in the 80s when my three came along that I breastfed. My mother was upset because she said she loved giving bottles to babies! And how did I know how much they were getting was the other thing that concerned her -but it had never occurred to me to bottle feed. I do remember with my first when visiting my parents or in laws it was usually expected that I would discreetly disappear, (especially when my unmarried brother was around!) but with the subsequent babies it was not possible to abandon the toddlers every time the littlest one needed a feed! I do not remember upsetting anyone when I was feeding whilst out and about. My DD1 breastfed her first and then had twins, she breastfed them too as she was determined they would have the same start as their big sister. She would also express so that someone else could feed one of them - its not easy to breasfeed two at a time discreetly!But I agree - young mums need all the encouragement they can get to give their babies the best start in life, not tutting and criticism for something natural.

glammagran Tue 03-Aug-21 23:28:14

My MiL in the mid 70’s could scarcely believe I’d chosen to breast feed which I did with all of my three. She said only animals feed their young and it was perverse for civilised humans to feed their own offspring. Her’s were Glaxo babies and obscenely fat in photos and she thought I should do the same. Her boys did grow up to be slim men though.

M0nica Wed 04-Aug-21 07:46:20

I think my mother was quite envious I could breast feed. I was born during WW2, when mothers were expected to breastfeed, but although she was physically well-endowed, she could not provide enough milk and she was having to weigh me before and after each feed and at 6 weeks, when I was still at my birth weight, she was 'allowed' to just bottle feed me. The same thing happened when my sisters were born.

Then when I have a baby, my very modest (in size) breasts successfully feed a large (9lbs) and very hungry baby.

OneOfThoseDIL Wed 04-Aug-21 07:49:55

I am reminded of this picture.

I happily breastfeed my DC, although I’ve had comments from FIL about it not working and when to stop.

It’s always well-received when an older gentleman tries to mansplain breastfeeding very incorrectly. hmm

JackyB Wed 04-Aug-21 10:32:39

I laughed out loud at the cartoon! It hits the nail on the head!

My mother says that she bottle fed me (in the 1950s) because she had had to go back into hospital 2 weeks after I was born because she had developed an abscess on her stitches. I had to go in, too, and apparently had all the nurses cooing over me. But they said I wasn't putting on enough weight and DM didn't have enough milk. So I was put on to bottles.

When I think about it, it was no wonder as in those days babies, and life in general, was kept to a very strict routine. 10 minutes on either side every 4 hours. I never had a routine and had plenty of milk and remember even setting up camp in bed with a pile of paperbacks and my youngest baby, feeding him almost non-stop.

Newatthis Wed 04-Aug-21 12:17:19

Good on you everyone, Especially those who spoke up supporting young mums feeding outside. Breastfeeding is not an indecent act it’s perfectly natural and we all should do everything we can to support our young mums who choose to breastfeed and also those who don’t.

Witzend Wed 04-Aug-21 12:34:30

BlueSky, I had my first in 1977. Maybe attitudes had changed by then, but I don’t recall anyone trying to discourage me from breastfeeding.

I still fed by the clock, every 4 hours as then laid down, and it worked well for about 5 months, by which time supply was dwindling - probably down to relatively early weaning then - I.e. starting baby cereal at 3 or 4 months.
TBH it was a relief when I finally got them both to take a bottle, since I knew they’d had enough, and it didn’t take nearly so long.
I was still sad when I finally stopped BFIng dd2 though.

Dd has always fed her 3 on demand, umpteen times a day (and night) and has fed them all for far longer, no problems with supply. So from that POV I dare say demand feeding is better, but it’s certainly more tiring and (from her experience anyway) means that you can ditch any idea of an early-established routine.

BlueSky Wed 04-Aug-21 12:44:36

The only problem with just getting your boobs out anytime anywhere would be the unwelcome attention, as some on here have experienced.

Magrithea Wed 04-Aug-21 16:10:25

I breastfed all 3 of mine from mid 80s to 1990 - and in the Far East where it was even harder! Never had a problem with it and no one ever complained but I knew friends who'd been asked to go to the Ladies loo to feed!

NoddingGanGan Wed 04-Aug-21 21:26:35

Breastfed all three of mine in the early 90s. I couldn't have fussed about with bottles and sterilising and whatnot. It's instantly there, it's clean and hygienic, it's at the perfect temperature. What's not to like about it? grin