I still remember my surprise when travelling as couple through Tajikistan, our car was waved down by a group of women who wanted us to take one woman and her child to the next town, an hour away. It didn’t seem to be an emergency but rather, this woman should be the first of the group to go as she had a child…. if we had more room, I’m sure more would’ve come on board.
I remember this woman sitting in the front passenger seat while my husband (partner at the time) drove and I sat on our engel fridge in the middle behind our only two seats in the Landrover. The lady quite happily and comfortably breastfed her child, and I was fascinated that she would do so, in front of us strangers.
Here I am, five years later, and I can only guesstimate as to how many people have spotted me feeding during my approximately 4 year feeding period spanning two kids. I have to admit that during our travels (of my first son as a 6 week old) and now with my 2nd son as a 12 month old, I laugh at some of the “iconic” international places I have breastfed (and more still to come), and I have to say, that to date we have NEVER encountered any negative feedback or comments. In family friendly countries like Chile, there are even monuments/sculptures celebrating the mother/ feeding child relationship.
At one point, while travelling with my 6 week old son, I wondered if I’d even remembered to put “it” away again…. I have to admit that after staying in hotels for a couple of weeks and being out most of the time as a “tourist” and going out to eat 3 meals everyday, I began to tire of having to breastfeed in public most of the time. All I wanted to do was to sit comfortably in my own private space, top off rather than struggling with garments, positioning and trying to maintain a level of discreetness.
It has surprised me that I have only ever seen two other women breastfeed in public during my travels. One in a women’s prayer room who was feeding her child at the same time as me in Dubai airport and another on a tube train in London.
So I thought Id list some of the international places my travelling boobies have “seen”:
- Women’s prayer room at international Dubai airport
- various flights – (who can even remember), mostly during take off and landing, but anything in between like when take off is delayed by 10 minutes or pilot is circling Heathrow airport waiting to land……
- Toronto airport
- standing in the queue to buy tickets for the London Eye (while my husband and other child tried to save us a spot in the “actual” queue) – didn’t quite work
- feeding while on the busy London tube
- in front of the Eiffel tower
- on a river cruise along the Seine river
- at the immigration counter before boarding the Eurostar train from Paris to London (it took longer because we forgot to fill in our immigration cards and of course being Australian we were asked 20 questions)
- most of the way driving from Como to Lausanne Switzerland with our 6 week old son– the car journey took forever with frequent stops
- on a park bench with a wonderful view of Lake Como in the small town of Menaggio
- on a walking trail, with a view of scenic Mt Fitzroy in Argentina
- on a ferry travelling through the fjords of Chile’s Patagonia
- countless cafe’s, restaurants, parks, playgrounds in various countries
- in taxis, trains, buses, planes and cars (sometimes while stationary), other times with me squeezed in the middle and stretched as far as possible – with a war cry of “just drive!!”