Stuart and I were on a weekend away to Devon when Millie started refusing the breast in favour of the bottle. We went out for lunch and I was trying to be all relaxed and feed Millie but she would fuss over the nipple. Because she was fussing and crying for milk I became anxious about drawing attention. I was struggling to maintain my modesty because Millie kept pulling at the covers which made me stress more. The more anxious and stressed I became the more Millie fussed. I told Stuart I couldn't handle the public display so we went back to the car but it was uncomfortable and no better. Millie was obviously hungry but wouldn't feed. In the end Stuart ran all over Torquay trying to buy ready made formula and bottles to feed her.
Keeping covered in public when breastfeeding is all good and well when you have a cooperating baby but when things aren't going to plan, thoughts about what others may or may not be saying aren't helpful. I know this is my problem as maybe noone was saying anything. Maybe they sympathised and had been there too. Maybe they thought it was beautiful but the opinions bestowed upon me by my mum (who didn't breastfeed), my non-maternal and childless friends and the articles I see in the media make it difficult not to worry that everyone in that cafe or restaurant isn't against you.
I battled on (and yes it was a battle) for about a month longer before Millie pulled the plug on it altogether.
Like I said, the mental fight I had was my own doing and I know that but I do ask that people spare a bit of empathethy for the struggling mummy who is trying her best to meet the basic feeding needs of her baby rather than judge or make unhelpful comments (or looks of disapproval) and instead he her to keep her discretion and modesty. As for the media, perhaps we can have more positive stories about how welcome feeding mothers are rather than how unwelcome.