Is it embarrassing to breastfeed in front of male relatives?

Here's what our mums said about it...

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We all know that we have a right to breastfeed in public. And plenty of campaigns over recent years have done their best to make sure women feel as comfortable as possible breastfeeding wherever and whenever they need to. 

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But just because public acceptance of breastfeeding is probably at its highest ever, it doesn’t mean everyone will necessarily feel comfortable doing it, does it?

And, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding it in front of male relatives, is there a special element of reservation?

We decided to ask the mums who post in our Chat forum and on our Facebook page what they think about it all and their opinions were really a bit of a mixed bag. Here’s what they told us…

“I couldn’t feed in front of my dad or any male, other than my husband, unless I’m properly covered,” said Sonica M.

Gabby E told us: “Male relatives? Yes, it was awkward. But male friends? Fine. I’d only leave the room when a certain couple came round because I know his girlfriend would have started arguing with him about whether he was looking.”

“I felt awkward but did it anyway,” said Cassie P. “They didn’t care.”

Some of our mums admitted it wasn’t just male relatives they felt awkward in front of. “I don’t feed in front of anyone,” Sarah-Louise W told us.

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Sak K agreed: “Yes, I think all women feel shy.” As did Debbie H, who said: “I used to sit in another room while I fed but everyone’s different.”

On the other hand, we did have a few mums who had no issues with breastfeeding in front of the men in their life.

“I don’t feel embarrassed [around my dad or father-in-law],” says Jessica J. “I am feeding my baby, their grandson, and I’m pretty sure they’re proud of me.

“Yes, my dad could barely look in my direction at first, but I’ve got the knack of being discreet and he just doesn’t take any notice anymore. It’s natural to all of us now and I love it that way.”

And Alex E said: “Nope. Everyone in my family has seen my knockers now!

“If Freya’s hungry, she’s hungry, and that means boob time. These days, she just pushes my top up and helps herself. She doesn’t care who’s watching!”

What do you think?

Did you feel embarrassed breastfeeding in front of male relatives, or do you just see it as something that needs to be done? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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