Thursday, 8 September 2011
Anyway, after all of that, once I was sorted feeding him, I faced another hurdle. I wasn't really comfortable feeding my son in public. I started by planning so that I could come home to feed him, or I fed him in the toilets! I was lucky that my local shopping centre (The Glades in Bromley) has a feeding room, so I was always comfortable feeding Kit there. It took me a while to be able to start feeding him at my local cafes though, and the whole time I was feeding him I spent a lot of time in the toilets!
The thing was, I hadn't seen anyone feeding their baby in public. I wasn't likely to really, because most mothers are discrete about their feeding, and you wouldn't know that was what they were doing. Plus it wasn't really something I'd been looking out for until I had my own son. I didn't know where it was 'acceptable' to feed my son. I love the idea of the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme because it identifies places where the owners/managers have declared that they are happy for you to breastfeed in their establishments.
I know that the law now states that you have the right to breastfeed pretty much anywhere, but it being legally acceptable wouldn't have made me feel more comfortable about where I was feeding my son. I think it helps to know that the place you are feeding are happy for you to be feeding there to make you comfortable to do so.
I hope that identifying the venues in my local area who are happy for you to breastfeed will help all the breastfeeding mothers, who were shy to feed in public like I was, to step out of the toilets and enjoy the freedom of feeding their children in nicer surroundings!
The venues in my local area (Bromley) signed up so far are
The Lavender House, Sundridge Park
Belleberry Deli, Beckenham
Brodies, Bromley High Street
Bloomingdelis, Bromley High Street
Chislehurst Sandwich Cafe, Chislehurst
The Crown, Bromley Common
Taste-Bud (Love Food), Chatterton Road
Thorntons Cafe, Nugent Shopping Centre, Orpington
Fired Up, Petts Wood
Roxby Hair Design, Beckenham
Taste of Cyprus, Beckenham
Risto Italian Restaurant, Beckenham