So I just read this article about Secret Breastfeeders in Metro.co.uk and felt compelled to write this after reading. Every now and then there will be an article or comment in the media that breastfeeding covers are terrible because they encourage women to cover up or make them feel that they have to cover up whilst breastfeeding their baby. To quote from the article…
“Blogger XXX feels that products to help mums ‘feed discreetly’ fuel the idea breastfeeding is something to hide. She says: ‘I actually get really frussetrated when I see products to help mum feed discreetly, I’d love to tell every mum that it’s OK and the most important thing when you feed your baby is that you are both comfortable.”
I wanted to put across the other side of the argument and the reason why I created Mamascarf, my discreet breastfeeding scarf.
Firstly, I do not think that the existence of breastfeeding covers makes women feel that they should cover up. I think that women should be able to breastfeed freely and comfortably wherever they are. However, some women do not feel confident doing this and for them, having a cover might be the difference between being house bound or being able to go out and enjoy time with their baby, without faffing about to express before going out.
So yes, I created a cover but no, I do not think that everyone should cover up while breastfeeding. Mamascarf is definitely not for everybody but it is for mums or mums to be who are so nervous or self conscious that they would not consider feeding in public without one.
I have spoken to hundreds and hundreds of mums about this topic over the last 10 years so I know that some mums are completely happy and confident to feed wherever they are, sometimes this comes with the confidence of being a second time mum, sometimes they are fine from the start. There are others who might want the support or comfort of having something to help, something more than a muslin whilst they get established with breastfeeding and then after a while won’t use it. There are also a third group, the mums who would not feed in public and would not consider going out if it meant they would have to feed. Some of these mums give up feeding earlier than they would have liked because of this, or would have if they had not had something to give them the confidence to feed.
Surely something that encourages breastfeeding is positive, and may encourage more women who might not have done, to breastfeed their baby or to do so for longer?
One customer testimonial that stands out was the mother of a teenage daughter who had had a baby. Her mum really wanted her to breastfeed but she couldn’t bear the thought, especially in front of her dad and brother. Her mum heard about Mamascarf and bought one and her new grandchild was happily breastfed for 6 months as her daughter had the confidence to feed. That particular story made me cry. I also get lots of other stories about how Mamascarf helped mums feed for longer or venture out for the first time. That is what is important. Giving mums confidence to breastfeed in public, giving them a choice.