When I was pregnant with my first, I worried so much about breastfeeding.
Would I be able to do it?
Would it be hard?
How will I feel about getting a boob out in front of my inlaws?
But, as it turned out, my inlaws seeing a nipple flash was the least of my worries.
Having had two babies in two years, and fed one for 20 months and the other for 6 (so far!), I’ve had some beautiful breastfeeding moments. Sitting in a field nursing a newborn while the toddler plays, those first skin-to-skin feeds, the late-night snuggles when it feels like it’s just us in the world.
It’s been really special.
But, that’s not to say I’ve not had my fair share of embarrassing breastfeeding moments in those two years.
Here’s a collection of my most cringe-worthy breastfeeding experiences.
It was lockdown in 2020 and I was always shopping online. Almost every day there was a package delivered with my name on it.
This one day I’d had a particularly hard night. It was lunchtime and I was still in my PJs nursing a fussy baby. It was a sleepy feed, for me and my baby, but the doorbell rang and brought me right back into the room. I jumped up, placed the baby in the basket, and opened the door. I thanked the postman and thought about how our usually chatty postman was a little off that day.
I shut the door, went to open my package and as I looked down I saw that my bra was unclipped on one side, revealing my big breastfeeding boob!
I’m sure I won’t be the first, or the last, to flash the delivery people!
The Coffee Shop
In the first few months my little one fed with her eyes shut. She’d feed for 30 minutes or more, relaxed and sleepy. Fast forward to when she was four months old the world suddenly got so exciting. There were lights, noises, voices – so much to see!
I was out with friends at a coffee shop in town. My little one was hungry so I discretely unclipped my nursing bra and lifted my top. I felt like a pro four months in. However, I wasn’t prepared for the waiter to drop a tray of cake right next to me and startle both myself and the baby.
My baby pulled away in a rush to see what was going on along with the rest of the people in the care, not only revealing my left breast, but also squirting milk onto the table all over my friends’ coffees.
Thankfully, my friends were all new breastfeeding mums too and we laughed off the new meaning of “would you like milk in your coffee?”
Hungry Babies Don’t Wait!
Having not been to any big events in two years my husband and I were excited to go to a local daytime festival. It was great for kids too so we bundled them both in the car with their ear defenders and set off.
After watching one of the main acts we thought we better head home before it got too busy. However, on the way out the baby started screaming – suddenly super hungry. We had time before the crowds arrived so I found a spot on the floor and began feeding.
It seemed that we hadn’t left quite early enough.
Before I knew it crowds of people began to walk towards me. I realised I’d sat down to feed in the middle of an exit! My husband stood in front of me with our toddler on his shoulders and parted the crowd so I wouldn't be stepped on, but I was there for what felt like hours as the little one had a long feed and the festival goers headed home.
Nursing a Toddler
Nursing a toddler comes with a new challenge, it sometimes makes people uncomfortable. I nursed my little one until she was 20 months, which was right for us. But, when she was around 16 months she started to connect that she could access my boobs at any time, wherever we were. She’d often pull at my top, drag me to the sofa to sit down, or even say ‘Bubb’.
We had numerous times where she’d do this. Once we were in a furniture shop and she saw the comfortable new sofas as the perfect place to have a little milk and rest.
She dragged me to one of the sofas and pulled my top up. To save a meltdown I said yes. I just hadn’t realised she was messing about and dribbling the milk out the side of her mouth! When I got up there was a big wet milky patch on the sofa, thankfully it was a leather sofa so it was just wiped off with a muslin. Just glad I didn’t sit on the velvet one and have to pay for damages!!
Were My Embarrassing Breastfeeding Moments Worth It?
I’ve loved feeding my girls. It has been a really special bond between us, saved us money on formula and bottles, and been super easy for night feeds.
My embarrassing breastfeeding moments never put me off. In fact, they just made great stories! If you talk to any breastfeeding mum, no doubt you’ll hear a story like mine. Flashing the delivery drivers seems to be a common theme amongst my friends, I’m sure most people get it at least once a day.
I’m not a very showy person and quite conservative in how I dress. This always made me worry about how I’d be if I did accidentally flash someone while feeding or squirt milk somewhere. However, I quickly realised that breastfeeding is natural. Even if you might think you’re being noticed by the entire cafe when you’re feeding, you’re not. People barely even glance!
Babies can be noisy feeders too, slurping and singing while they have their meal. But, chances are no one else will even tune into this.
If you are conscious, you can buy discrete coverups to keep your modesty or pump and bottle feed when you’re out and about.
Remember, in the UK it is classed as birth discrimination for any business, person service provider, institution, or education body to treat a woman unfavorably because she is breastfeeding a child within 26 weeks after the birth, and classed as sex discrimination after 26 weeks after the birth.
So embrace embarrassing breastfeeding moments, collect fantastic stories, and have some laughs along the way!