Nowadays breastfeeding in public isn’t such a big deal. And when someone makes a big deal out of it, the tables often turn and the big deal because the naysayer, not the mother who has every legal and humane right to feed her child. Still, sometimes new moms are understandably nervous about breastfeeding in public, at least at the beginning.
Today we’re sharing 8 tips for breastfeeding in public to help you feel more comfortable with feeding your baby anywhere, anytime:
1 – Wear Nursing Attire
A nursing top or nursing cami is ideal for breastfeeding in public. They offer the convenience of nursing claps or a slide-over design for simple and discreet breastfeeding. Our stylish Leading Lady nursing tank tops can be worn alone or layer beautifully under blouses, sweaters and dresses. When a nursing top isn’t an option, be prepared with an easy-to-use nursing bra that unclasps or slides over with one hand. With a button-down blouse or shirt with a wide neck, your baby can latch with no muss, no fuss!
2 – Use a Nursing Cover
Covering your baby while breastfeeding isn’t necessary but if it makes you feel more comfortable or helps your baby be less distracted, go for it. Our Leading Lady nursing cover is perfect for breastfeeding in public because it is light and breezy to keep you and your baby cool. Plus it doubles as a fashion scarf in trendy prints and colors that are fun and convenient to wear.
3 – Wear Your Baby
Wearing your baby in a carrier can make breastfeeding in public a cinch. You’ll be close already so unhooking your nursing tank top or bra for breast access is super simple and rather discreet too.
4 – Turn Around to Latch and Un-latch
If you’re worried about flashing complete strangers, you’re really only talking about the moments before and during latching. Once your baby has latched you are covered until she’s ready to come off the breast. For privacy during latching and unlatching, turn around until you are situated. It is absolutely fine to be modest. If that’s who you are, find a way to make breastfeeding in public work for you.
5 – Watch for Hunger Cues
No matter where you are, it’s best to feed your baby before she’s starving. Watch for the first sign of hunger cues, such as rooting or sucking on fingers and start feeding at that time. When you wait until your baby is fussy or crying, feeding in public may feel like a disaster.
6 – Find a Comfy Spot
If you’re already leery about breastfeeding in public, being in an uncomfortable place while you’re nursing isn’t going to help matters. Carve out a comfy spot to peacefully breastfeed, even amongst the chaos of the world around you. This may be a park bench, department store couch, bean bag chair at the library or a booth at a restaurant. Wherever you are, sit back and relax so you and your baby can enjoy being close while breastfeeding.
7 – Practice
Practice breastfeeding in front of a mirror or with your husband or close friends watching so you’ll know what you look like to others and how much of your body is exposed, if any. Having a picture of yourself doing it may make you more comfortable when the time comes. Also, try nursing during at a playgroup where you are surrounded by other breastfeeding moms who will understand and calm your fears.
8 – Prepare for On-Lookers and Comments
Some people may stare or even object to you breastfeeding in public. It’s best to ignore them and enjoy time off your feet snuggling with your baby. If someone comments you can politely, calmly and briefly explain that your baby was hungry and this is how she eats. Usually that quiets negative comments. Also know that you have the law on your side because most states protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.
Sources: KellyMom, Mom365 and Today’s Parent
Loving Moments believes moms should have the knowledge, resources and power to make the healthiest choices for their babies, starting with breastfeeding. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month in August, we are sharing Breastfeeding Basics, our educational blog series that we hope will empower you with information, encouragement and inspiration to meet your breastfeeding goals.