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Breast feeding in France (gasp) in public?

Breast feeding in France (gasp) in public?

Jul 26th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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question...do you also insist on changing your 1 year old ...infant... right in the middle of a restaurant?
lyb is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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I truly don't believe my comments are 'nasty', the question was asked about what to expect, what is common, the norm. What starmom needs and wants to do is a little different. Go for it, just know you're doing what is right for you, not necessarily fitting into the culture you are visiting.
suze is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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I think starmom is really "nadienc", who wanted to take her well behaved 2 month year old to a Las Vegas show. The age is about right.
katharineclifton is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 11:50 PM
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Agree with St Cirq. I breastfed my 3 children, and on many trips to France have never noticed French women breastfeeding in public.
With a small infant, it might be necessary to breastfeed while you are in a public place, since they need to feed so often. A 1 year old does not rely solely on breastmilk, and should be able to go a few hours without it.
If you must, take a shawl or something like that, and be discreet.
Tulips is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 12:04 AM
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I must remember not to go to America for some time. Please those of you making ill-informed comments about breastfeeding, have a look at the WHO recommendations. Although I am sure they don't know as much about the subject as Fodors people. My, gasp, 14 month old is still almost entirely breastfed. I live in Switzerland. I feed her in public when she needs it. I have done so in Germany, Italy, France, England and Austria. Only a very few people have given me the evil eye. I now assume they were Americans.
LynnP is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 01:03 AM
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Bonjour Starmom,

French woman here, who has been breastfed in Paris by her mother.

Breastfeeding in public is perfectly acceptable in France. Most women will do it in the comfort of their own home, of course, which is why you won't see many doing it outside. However, all the women I know will without hesitation breastfeed in a restaurant (in a quiet and discreet corner - don't be afraid to ask for one), or in a park, etc., should they need.

You may attract some glances and approving smiles (the disapproving glares will most likely come from shocked American tourists, from what I gather in this thread ;-)). Just don't let yourself be impressed.
Florence is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 01:24 AM
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I am an American who splits the year between Paris and Rome. I have 2 small children (aged 3 and 1) both born abroad. I have done a lot of breastfeeding in both cities.

I feel uncomfortable entering this debate, but if you would like to hear about my experiences, you can email me at [email protected]

Florence and LynneP have given you very good info, but if you want any more, feel free.

context_rome is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 01:59 AM
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I also breastfed my kids in Europe. No big deal....just do it in a way that no one will see your breast. I found that was quite a temptation for male passers-by.
kleeblatt is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 02:19 AM
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Why is the beautiful act of exposing a breast in public to feed a child cause so much hoo ha? On a typical beach the only thing protecting a woman's modesty is a confetti sized topless swimsuit but nobody complains (least of all me!) If you're comfortable with exposing your breast than feed your child how and where you want. Stiff nipples to everyone else!
worldinabag is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Wow. Well many of you have been very helpful. Thanks
For those who are aghast at the thought of nursing a 1yo - as a previous poster wrote, take a look at the WHO or AAP guidelines. Until approximately 1 year, breastmilk will remain primary in the baby's diet. Immunities also increase in the second year of nursing. Early, forced weaning is not recommended by any health organization in the world. Please have the decency to inform yourself before making such ignorant comments.
So I guess I should expect that most people will be respectful and the American tourists are the ones to watch out for. What a shame.
starmom is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 05:01 AM
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Dear star,

Do what you would do at home.

ira is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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Well, it might surprise all the lecturing know-it-alls on this post that the La Leche League, an international organization that supports breast-feeding, and in public, has its OLDEST French chapter in PARIS.

why on earth would anyone be surprised that the oldest FRENCH chapter is in paris? As centre of political, intellectual, cultural life in France it does not surprise me one bit. As France's most international and trend setting city (by far) why would anyone be surprised? pointless comment (as usual).
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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walkinaround: I was far more amused - and stunned - that spygirl referred to OTHERS on this post as '..lecturing know-it-alls..'

Boy, is that pot SCREAMING at the kettle...!
Tallulah is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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"Does anyone have a sense of how breast feeding-friendly things are in France nowadays?"

You ask for input but only appreciate/accept the info that you already agree w/ Don't get mad if someone tells you what their experience has been. You DID ask afterall.

If you had asked the same thing on the USA forum you would have gotten the same sorts of division.

Did you ask this simply to get an argument going? Or did you actually want to know what to expect? Well you now have your answer - some will find it perfectly OK and some will not.

Women breast feed all the time w/o anyone else even aware it is happening. But some women use breast feeding as a "statement" that they can do anything they want anywhere.
janis is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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Yes, walk-I wouldn't expect YOU to understand that reference-someone who tries to pass themselves off as English but is an American might well have difficulty understanding anything about Paris and Parisian culture.
Spygirl is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Oh - I meant to add - your title, clearly shows in which camp you reside. Why the >> (gasp) << unless you plan on shocking? . . .
janis is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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I just looked at the AAP guidelines and what it actually says is gradual introduction of iron rich foods in the second half of the first year to complement the breast milk diet . It further states that breastfeeding should continue until 12 months and after that IF mutually desirable. I didn't see anything about breast milk being the main source of nutrition at the age of one.

One year olds are capable of sitting and eating in a restaurant just like the rest of the family.

I've known people that have nursed children until they started school. Of course they were doing it more for their own needs than the childs.

kybourbon is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Tallulah dear-have you EVER posted on this board without coming across as either hysterical or more to the point, neurotic? I do hope you're seeing someone for that.
Spygirl is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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I have read that a good place to nurse your baby is in church. It's always quiet there and aside from being a bit private for you, it is good for not being too distracting for the baby.
I also read that while women do nurse their babies in every country, Paris/France is not that big on out in the public nursing.
Here in the US, when I was nursing, I usually fed the baby before or after I had eaten, to relieve that problem of who gets to eat in public
Good luck~
Scarlett is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Based on my experience it is more easily acepted in France than in the US. My daughter has had the joy of eating (& sleeping) on nearly every park bench in Paris.
SAnParis is offline  

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