There’s a terrible incident happened recently. A mom was breastfeeding her baby at a restaurant, when one of the employee telling her off and said that breastfeeding in public is not allowed in Singapore. The employee was even go further by covering the baby and the mom’s breast with a dirty jacket (full cover story here)
This incident has pulling attention from many moms from many online group, forum and community. And it’s good that this incident happened at the same time we’re having the World’s Breastfeeding Week, so that we can bring this up to the next level.
As a breastfeeding mom myself, I really feel disappointed and disgusted by the incident as I once had experienced the similar incident happened at a restaurant. The shopping center only have one nursing room and it was occupied, so I breastfed with M (was 20 months old) on COVERED, when the waitress literally asked me to go and find a proper nursing room as it's IMPOLITE and may disturb other costumers, but then I confronted her by saying "no such thing as impolite when it comes to breastfeeding a hungry baby" then she walked off. She’s lucky not to cover M with a dirty jacket, otherwise I might literally kick her ass off. LOL!
When you first decided to breastfeed your baby, you were in for the long haul. Although it’s the best for your baby, but breastfeeding was never an easy way out or I shall say challenging and tough. But it’s always good to know that “tough” is what makes stone into a diamond, and diamond is always every ladies bff!
I’m always a curious mom and it bothers me so much to find out: “Is it true that breastfeeding in public is not allowed in Singapore?”
Anita Daubaras as The Vice-President of Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group Singapore explained:
“It is not an offence to breastfeed in public in Singapore, if the mother is decently clad and does not expose more of her breast than is necessary to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is a beautiful act of tenderness and nurturance. The discomfort that many experience when they see a mother breastfeeding stems from cultural sensitivity and conflict between the breast being perceived as a sexual object and a means of nourishing a young child. Many mothers choose to breastfeed in privacy, in nursing rooms or at home. Some do so in public, but very discreetly. Some may not breastfeed openly because they do not want their infant feeding choice to cause discomfort for others. Nevertheless, it is an individual mother’s choice. Asking a mother to limit breastfeeding ignores her baby’s needs and potentially influences her breastfeeding success. A fussy baby who wants to nurse but is denied the breast would also be disturbing for others in the vicinity. Many babies resist being covered while breastfeeding. We need to respect that every mother and baby finds their own style of discreet breastfeeding, be this through nursing in a corner, under a nursing shawl or with the mother wearing a loose t-shirt.”
(full cover story here)
Understand that even if there’s no laws saying that breastfeeding in public is not allowed in Singapore, but to me it’s not just about the laws, but the people itself. Let’s say breastfeeding in public is indeed not allowed in Singapore, do you think people (especially smart moms) will just accept as it is or will they stand up together and raise flags to fight for it? If that question slapped on me I will be stand up and fight of course! But there are many moms out there too who doesn’t really know much about breastfeeding and find it shameful or disturbing to see a mom novelty breastfeeding her baby in public. Perhaps they never get much information about breastfeeding or they’re just simply ignorance people. I believe it is every moms objectives to give the best for their children, so in terms of breastfeeding in public, try to put yourself on other mom’s shoes.
One thing for sure is that breastfeeding mom needs to go out too sometimes (or many times due to so many household’s errands). And going out shall never stop us from breastfeeding. It’s indeed one of the challenges that breastfeeding mom has to take. But before you step outta’ your house, keep in mind on these three main points that you need to know:
Be well informed!
I always remember one of Indonesian phrases saying:
“Lain ladang lain belalang” in English “Different grassland different grasshopper”
It means that we can never expect to find a same character from each different places. Every places, every city, every country has different kind of people with different kind of ideas of many things, including breastfeeding.
I wish every places in the universe can be as open minded as US/UK in terms of breastfeeding laws. Where every moms has the right to peacefully breastfeed their baby anytime anywhere like nobody’s business.
So, first find out about the nature of the places, once you know for sure that there’s no single laws shall stop you from breastfeeding your baby in public, you may be more confident and peacefully breastfeed like nobody’s business (still in discreet ways, of course).
Always have your cover inside your bag anytime anywhere!
You’ll never know when/where/in what situation your baby needs to nurse. With nursing cover, all you need is just a corner where you and your baby can sit down and relax. A cover can come in a form of a proper nursing cover, or shawl, or extra loose T-shirt or men sarong to create an instant booth (with a help from daddy to hold the sarong) or many more, they all come in handy.
M never love the idea of proper nursing cover, as most nursing cover comes in solid fabrics. So when I changed with the one that have slightly see through (embroidery or sheer kind of fabrics) he loved it so much! He also loved extra loose T-shirt as breastfeeding cover. I’ll add extra baby carrier that can front-hold your baby, as it helps when you can’t find any corner to sit down.
Master your skills!
You may want to be more experienced in breastfeeding before you step out. Find out what can cause you and your baby feel uncomfortable and what can help you feel more comfortable.
Try out on many positions that will work for both of you at home before you try to breastfeed in public. Once M reached 1 year old, he started to become extra difficult to be covered. But even for this kind of situation, we need to master the position even to the next level (read: mentalist level). where we can still breastfeeding in public uncovered without anyone notice. It’s hard, but fun to try!
Every breastfeeding mom needs to have thick skin skill too. Just in case some intolerants give you “that look”. All you need to do is smile at them and stay calm and relax. If that doesn’t kill off “that look”, then just stare at your baby, I guarantee you’ll be alright then. Don't worry, this is the easiest skills that you can master among others, as we naturaly willing to do anything to give only the best for our baby.
Check out our list of nursing room in Singapore!