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Jumping into the deep end of breastfeeding a 4-day-old at Butlins Bognor Regis this year, here’s how we got on!
I want to start by saying I am quite a shy breast-feeder, I know it’s natural, I know it’s feeding my child and while I don’t see anything wrong with it and I am happy to breastfeed around family, but I still get quite anxious about it. This is partly due to the horror stories you hear online of confrontations to breastfeeding mothers and the comments on social media. Particularly with the recent breastfeeding week, I was reading horrible comments online and it just fuels the anxiety of doing it in public. I just don’t want the hassle if I am honest, and I can see why people feel like they need to quit, the worrying is exhausting.
I did breastfeed my first, (until he reached 5 months and got teeth!) But I practically became a hermit and would worry about leaving the house, getting “caught” having to breastfeed in public and at 19, I was very nervous so I would feed in the toilets or standing in a changing area if I had to go shopping. None of this provided a comfortable or pleasant experience that should be a bonding moment with your baby. With this in mind I was quite scared this time to be taking a 4-day-old newborn baby on holiday, out of my comfort zone and my usual environment, essentially being forced to breastfeed here there and everywhere. Particularly as we don’t self-cater, so I HAD to leave the apartment twice a day for meals minimum and with a 5 year old wanting to do activities, there was no way I could turn into another hermit.
That’s why I felt compelled to write this post! In an environment that is busy and full of people, the likelihood that you would encounter someone who takes offence and causes a problem just increases and yet nothing like that happened. I only ever received respect, kindness and understanding from staff and guests* when it came to breastfeeding which has really boosted my confidence and turned what would have been a very anxious and awkward holiday into another fab year at Butlins (this year is our 9th!).
*there was an isolated incident regarding my weight and a miserable lady, but that is an entirely different story!
Perhaps it was the fact that I am 5 years older now or I gave off the new mother “don’t f**k with me” face but I think it was the attitude and environment we were in. Butlins is full of families, particularly during the summer break and therefore it was no big deal, just an everyday occurrence, don’t mind me feeding my baby. Exactly how it should be!
I also tried to be respectful and considerate to others and keep the nip slips to a minimum during the baby to boob transition as well as avoid sitting next to any major thoroughfares but for the most part, I went about my holiday as any other would and fed at my leisure. It has been a fantastic experience that has definitely helped with the bond with Penelope as I am less stressed and worried and she is picking up on that so it doesn’t restrict the feeding at all. To the point that I actually breastfed in the sling while playing golf and no one bat an eyelid! – I got a pretty good score too.
On the several occasions I was faced with Butlins staff while feeding as they served food, drinks or provided entertainment they were incredibly professional and in some cases extra attentive, ensuring my hot food wasn’t in the way of straying baby hands and asking if I wanted it on a particular side so that I could reach it as she was feeding. It might have been a run of the mill day for them, but for me, it is an experience that made sure our holiday wasn’t ruined and for someone who is an anxious breastfeeder, it proved that there are good people out there and not everyone is looking to shame you. Which is honestly why I wrote this post. To say to the breastfeeding mothers who are worried about going out in public, it’s not all shock and shame and if you are planning on going to Butlins Bognor Regis, I wouldn’t worry at all!
Bye bye #butlins all done for another year! It’s been weird being a family of four on holiday so quickly and taking a 4 day old was definitely an experience trying to get into a routine but we survived and had another lovely year to add to the scrapbook #family #holiday #fun #butlins2017 #summerholidays #summer #bluesky #sign
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So thank you Butlins for restoring my faith in humanity and making this mother’s holiday a memorable one, for all the right reasons! See you again for our 10th year next year!
*I am in no way affiliated with Butlins, I just needed to share my fantastic experience and give them a little shout out!