There’s now officially nowhere in Joburg I won’t breastfeed, says Tori Foxcroft.
I was brought up to believe that if you’re going to do something, you must do it properly. Needless to say, the first time I breastfed in public, I was crossing busy Rivonia Road in Sandton. My baby had started fussing at the Village Walk, and rather than stick around where strangers had taken it upon themselves to give me dirty looks and kiss my baby (in that order), I decided he could munch on the run. Since then, I’ve fed at Nando’s, at the movies, at the soccer, at the doctor, in the parking lot…
Today, however, I wasn’t so lucky. Thomas decided that he wanted some of my chocolate croissant and decaf latte too, and he wanted it now. But when you’re on your own, pushing a pram whilst feeding a baby at the same time isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So instead of feeding in front of the 20 suits I was sitting amongst (I know they were suits as I saw the suits, and heard the words “Anglo” and “don’t worry” in the same sentence) I decided to look for a Feeding Station. Alas, there wasn’t one anywhere to be found. And feeding a baby in a public bathroom really isn’t that much fun. Besides, would YOU like to eat your breakfast in the toilet?
Fortunately a shop assistant, who obviously has kids of her own, recognised my baby’s hungry cry immediately, and said she’d ask her boss if I could feed in their shop (hidden away in a changing room, I think she said). The boss, of course, said, “Absolutely not”, looked at me with disgust, and shook her head disapprovingly. There was clearly no way she was going to allow me into her shop, on the off-chance that it actually got a customer that morning and I repulsed it.
I landed up sitting outside the Balalaika hotel, on the edge of a water fountain feature, SMSing my sad story to one of my good new-mom friends. “Nice,” she said. “Maybe they’ll copy you in cement and make it a permanent fountain feature. Water coming out of your nipple.” Ha ha, I giggled, what a good idea. She never got the reply, though, as I was promptly chased away by security. I mean come on, I was hiding my brown rice and sandals under a blanket and everything!
My question to you as new, breastfeeding moms is this: Do you have issues with breastfeeding in public? If not, then do you find that other people have issues with it, find it offensive and to make matters worse, that there are hardly any public facilities for it? In all fairness, my husband did follow me around the house when Tommy was a week old, shutting all the curtains behind me wherever I fed. But if he can get over it, anyone can!
Can you get over public breastfeeding?