Family gatherings. Yay or nay?

With Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, I wondered how breastfeeding mothers fair at such family events.  I am not due until February, so I will not be breastfeeding at the two biggest family gatherings this year.  Let’s say I’m preparing for Easter!

It would seem to me (as an eager mom-to-be), that a family gathering should be a welcoming and supportive place to breastfeed.  But then again a part of me imagines it is more comfortable to breastfeed in front of a busload of strangers than while trying to have a conversation with my father-in-law.  Family members also seem far too comfortable putting in their two cents about how you should raise your child.  A mother wrote this plea on a forum recently “Help with opinionated MIL….”  I love the responses.  It’s not just mother-in-laws! Friends and family often offer suggestions (er, criticism) on all topics of parenting.

Norman Rockwell painting

So how do you deal with it?  What are your tips for surviving family events without awkwardness and debate?

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

3 thoughts on “Family gatherings. Yay or nay?”

  1. Hi there. There are a few things that you can do to feel comfortable nursing at large family gatherings. First of all, practice nursing discreetly at home. Figure out what positions and clothes help you to stay more discreet while nursing. I usually wore a nursing top and a lightweight cardigan. I found that was the easiest way to get the baby latched on without flashing the whole room. As well, do what makes YOU and your baby most comfortable. If you prefer nursing in a quiet room on your own ask your host if you could go sit in their guest room or a child’s room while you nurse but you should never feel that you have to leave the main party. As for unsolicited advice from relatives, just nod and smile politely and carry on doing things your way. This is your child and your body so you are the only one who gets to decide what is right for you. Ultimately, you have to feed your baby when they are hungry and the more you practice the more comfortable you will be with nursing anywhere, anytime. I’ve been nursing for almost 12 months and my son has nursed at the mall, on a plane, even on a bus stop bench when it was the only place I could find to sit down. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Erika! I appreciate your advice. It is my hope to avoid uncomfortable moments by not being uncomfortable with breastfeeding! It is a great idea to practice at home first. It will build my confidence (as will a Momzelle top :))

  2. The only thing that gets really awkward is spraying nipples! You don’t want to attract attention to them but it can take both you and baby by surprise. I must admit it makes me sweat. Normally I just try to latch her back on quickly. Oh, the amazing things are bodies can do…

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