Amy's Corner. our lactation consultant answers your questions about nursing.

Breastfeeding in Public and Breastfeeding around Family

Breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding around family are always topics we like to discuss around the holidays. We’re all out-and-about, enjoying holiday festivities this time of year.  And many of us will be getting together with family, perhaps for their first introduction to your new baby.  If you are breastfeeding, all of this action might make you a little anxious.  Beyond concern for sticking to your schedule, you may find yourself breastfeeding in new environments.  If these worries are on your mind, read on.

Breastfeeding with Leading LadyBeing away from home and breastfeeding in public can be nerve-wracking for many new moms but we’re here to settle your fears.  First and foremost, breastfeeding is one of the most natural and nurturing acts of love on the planet.  Plus, you know that breast is best for your baby.  This amazing gift should be the first thing you think about to calm your nerves when breastfeeding around others.

But let’s face it, not everyone in the world knows and understands the superior nutrition and emotional value of breastfeeding for both baby and mama.  And ignorance often breeds intolerance.  We’ve all heard shocking and infuriating stories of breastfeeding moms being harassed and even kicked out of establishments for feeding their children.  As we gasp in horror, we also feel for these mothers who are nurturing their babies.  While some states are better than others are protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, not one state prohibits it.

What should you do if you get unwelcome comments or nasty looks while breastfeeding in public?  Your response is a personal choice.  We recommend taking the high road:   Ignore when possible and focus on your baby.  If ignoring is not your style, inform people why you choose to breastfeed.  If you are concerned what others may think and say, try to find a private area away from onlookers.  This may be less-distracting for your baby anyhow.

Leading Lady Nursing CamiWhether you are breastfeeding out in the open or in a nursing lounge, you and baby will welcome easy-to-open nursing bras and nursing camis.  Simplify feedings by being prepared and wearing comfortable, supportive nursing bras while you’re out of the house.  This way you can easily feed and be on-the-go again in no time.  Right now enjoy 15% off all nursing wear site-wide here at LeadingLady.com!

Sometimes even our own family members are the culprits of unsolicited and annoying comments about breastfeeding.  This behavior may come from generation-based values and misinformation.  For instance, older family members may not have breastfed because the value of breastfeeding was not as well-known at the time and breastfeeding support was not readily available.  Not having been exposed to breastfeeding may cause bias and discrimination.  Family members of your own generation may take exception because they aren’t around babies often or perhaps were not able to breastfeed their own children.

When it comes to breastfeeding around family, we recommend a longer conversation about the health benefits of breast milk for babies and how breastfeeding improves a mother’s health as well.  Your family may be surprised to learn all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding and thank you for the education.  If you’re worried about exposing yourself to your family, males in particular, bring along a nursing cover so you don’t have to miss any activities or fun family moments while breastfeeding.  Also, try to incorporate your family members into the experience.  Let them tickle baby’s toes to keep her awake, burp her between breasts or change her diaper.  Being part of the process may help them understand and appreciate the special bond breastfeeding helps you create with your baby.

We hope these tips and insights make you feel more confident about breastfeeding in public this holiday season.  Happy Holidays and Happy Breastfeeding!

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