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Should breastfeeding be done in private?

Breastfeeding may not be new in Malaysia but nursing in public attracts inquisitive stares at times. We ask several mums whether breastfeeding should be done behind closed doors?

NO

It’s perfectly natural and people need to accept it

  • I breastfeed everywhere at places like mamak, restaurants and parks. When baby is hungry, baby’s got to eat! So far, I’ve never encountered any “hostile” situations or had men leering at me – Janice Loke
  • If a mum is comfortable and discreet, which most breastfeeding mums are, then I think it’s alright. Plus, it’s one of the most natural acts – Shanti
  • I saw this mummy nursing her baby in the LRT. No one looked at her; a majority of the men looked away respectfully. It was about that time that I thought nursing in public was acceptable here – Danielle Sweetman
  • I do it all the time and mainly because nursing rooms in Singapore are always occupied. People do stare but I just ignore them – Mabel Teoh Grousson

YES

It’s not always appropriate

  • In my first few months of motherhood, I was not comfortable with nursing in public. It’s a combination of disliking stares from people and my lack of skills in breastfeeding discreetly. But I am more confident to nurse now, especially at certain public places. I hope there will be more places with nursing rooms for mums in the future. There is nothing shameful about breastfeeding – Jean Chuah
  • To prevent any awkwardness, I usually plan my day ahead and try to go somewhere private when my baby needs to feed. Otherwise, I will feed her in the car – Natalie Wong
  • If there’s a nursing room, I will utilize it. If I can’t find one, I will usually settle and feed my baby in a café – Freida Razali
  • I don’t breastfeed in the public when my babies are already taking solids. I think people will definitely stare in disapproval, not that I care. My babies are energetic; I prefer not to struggle with them in the public. If a mum is comfortable in nursing publicly without revealing herself, nothing is wrong. If anyone feels awkward about this, they should just look away – Teri Liew

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