Tips to breastfeed in public
Breastfeeding mothers should not stay at home with their babies. You can enjoy the same activities as anyone else! Breastfeeding is everything you need to feed your baby and be readily available wherever you are. Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby and it is totally common for you to feel a bit nervous about nursing in public, particularly if you have never done before. Many mothers are already perfectly comfortable with breastfeeding in public and this is a great scene especially for women who are not yet a mother and they will learn about breastfeeding when they see you.
These tips will help you to be prepared:
Know your rights.
Breastfeeding in public is legal and it is a very good thing. At the same time, you are educating any young men and women who might happento see you breastfeeding in public. You are also nourishing your baby with the most appropriate food for their development.
Practice at home
You can try to practice it in front of the mirror so that you can see what you look like while you are breastfeeding. You might notice it that you are showing too much of your skin as your baby’s head is covering it. You may find it is easier to breastfeed in public in a supportive environment for the first few times. Another option, you can visit the mother and baby group or a café with a friend rather than going to a crowded place.
Choose comfortable clothes
You can buy nursing clothes that have hidden openings to make breastfeeding easier or you can put together nursing outfits from ordinary clothes. A loose-fitting t-shirt is a good choice in casual situations because you can simply lift your shirt on one side to feed the baby. Another benefit of wearing a loose t-shirt is that the fabric will cover most of your belly and breast. If you opt for a button shirt, you may unbutton from the bottom or from the top to nurse your baby. You can also wear a snug-fitting tank top, cut two slits in the front large enough and in the right position for you to breastfeed and you can wear that under your shirt, t-shirt or jacket for extra coverage.
Choose an easily accessible bra
Most mothers will opt for a sport-type bra rather than having to undo a snap or fastening because they can simply pull the bra cup down to feed the baby. If you are using a nursing bra where you need to lower the cup, it might help to practice undo it one-handed at home and keep doing it at home. You will be confident about doing it in public.
Turn away to latch.
During this time, most skin is likely to be shown when the baby is first latching on. Let’s say you are sitting in a restaurant booth but still visible to others. Before you latch the baby, you can try turning completely facing the wall. Latch your baby in this position, then turn back facing the table and your dining companions. You can do the same if you need to unlatch the baby.
Consider covering up
If you feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, you may want to cover your baby and breast with a blanket or an available cover-up. Make sure to practice it at home because many babies dislike having a blanket over their heads while nursing and might pull it off or make a fuss. However, you still need to do the “turn away to latch” with your baby to make sure that you are doing it right!
Make sure to smile!
If you notice someone is staring at your direction and showing a frown or horrified look, smile at them! You know you are doing duty as a mother for your child and that is a good thing. If you show your confidence with a friendly smile, you may recover the situation.