Almost all new mommies are a bit hesitant when it comes to nursing in public. You may be conscious of what others will think and also feel embarrassed about the whole scenario. But hey! This does not mean you will stop going out with your.
Shy? Try From Our Top 15 Tips for Breastfeeding in Public:
Breastfeeding is a natural process, and also a required one, to keep your infant well-fed, wherever he may be. If you’re feeling unsure about it all, try our top 15 tips on breastfeeding in public with confidence.
1. Plan Beforehand:
If you are planning to be out with your little one for long, be prepared for breastfeeding in public. Visualize the place and think of suitable locations where it will be easy for you to nurse your baby. If you are going to visit a shopping mall then think of a café or a women’s lounge; if you plan to be in a restaurant then choose a place which is less visible and in a corner. If you are visiting someone’s house then talk to them about your requirements in advance, so that they can prepare accordingly.
2. Always Have Someone Along:Sponsored
If you are new to breastfeeding habit, then do not go out alone. You can take with you some well experienced person like your mother, friend, spouse or anyone whom you feel shall provide you appropriate support, this can be quite helpful. They might aid in finding an appropriate place, provide necessary company and make you feel less conscious.
3. Wear Appropriately:
When you are at home and are breastfeeding then you can wear anything of your choice, but when you step out it makes sense to choose your dressing well. Some women wear just a loose t-shirt which is easy to lift. While some women wear two layers of clothing or a sari so that there is less of skin show. While some like wearing shirts so that they are easy to unbutton. And lastly, remember to wear dark colour, which can aid in camouflage leaking or spit-up stains.
4. Choose the Right Bra:
Sometimes if the bra is not chosen correctly, you might take longer to unlock it and that may make you feel embarrassed in public. Always prefer a stretchable sports bra which can be easily opened and also when you are done with feeding, it gets fastened easily. Moreover, there are nursing bras available in markets which can things easier for you and your baby. You just need to practice a couple of times before start using nursing bras.
[ Read: Breastfeeding Diet ]
5. Look Yourself in Mirror While Feeding:
Many women feel that they expose a lot while feeding and thus get more embarrassed while breast feeding in public. On the contrary, some might feel that they are all covered up and need not worry about skin show. But one should try breast feeding looking in mirror and understand how they look, which part is getting exposed and how can you cover it. Thus when you are actually doing so in public, you are more confident and feel less awkward.
6. Carry a Baby Cover:
Some women may feel extremely uncomfortable breast feeding in public and may like to cover their baby as well as their exposed body part. They are advised to carry a baby cover up, but do be warned that some babies might dislike such cover and pull it up or make a fuss of it (so try at home first to see if your baby likes it!). Besides, there are some wraps or slings available in market which can give you the much needed cover. Many also facilitate breastfeeding while you are walking.
7. Recognize Cues Given By Your Baby:
A mother should be able to foresee when will her baby get hungry and need feeding. Thus when you are out and baby has started showing symptoms of hunger, quickly arrange for his feeding. Otherwise, once your kid starts howling, you will face much difficulty in calming him and getting him to feed, not to mention attracting unwanted attention or censure from people annoyed by baby’s loud howling.
8. Select the Spot with Care:
When looking for an appropriate space you should keep in mind that the place should be less visible by public, should be comfortable and must have proper back support. Also, when someone is accompanying you he or she can try and hide you from much of public glare. Lastly if you are unable to find a suitable spot then don’t run around with your crying baby and make yourself comfortable wherever you are. Your baby’s immediate need should be your priority.
9. Latch Time Posture:
There might be a brief moment when your breast might be exposed because your baby is trying to latch on. During this period you might try to turn in a corner or go in another room and come back once your baby is latched. If it is not possible, then try using a blanket on your arm, breast and baby till it gets latched on. However, this problem is more frequent with infants, because newborns take longer to latch on.
10. Be Handy With Things Needed:
If the place you have chosen is uncomfortable and does not provide enough support, keep your bag close by or try to keep anything handy to make you feel as comfortable as possible. The last thing you want is a cramped back or neck. Don’t make your outing turn into a punishment for you or your little one.
11. Smile and Make Eye Contact:
When someone is frowning at you or making a weird face, don’t get disheartened. Just keep smiling! And look at them in eye. You know that you are doing a very important thing by nourishing your baby and there is nothing wrong in it. So do not get overwhelmed by such response and always remain calm. It might just happen that your attitude might pacify the situation.
12. Learn the Laws:
It might happen that at a particular place someone might come and tell you to do the nursing at some other place. Then just be bold and don’t succumb to their demands! Breastfeeding in public is not illegal in most countries, and no one can disturb a woman while she is nursing. So if someone tries to be rude, always teach them lessons of ‘law’. Even the Human Rights Commission gives a green signal to breastfeeding in public. So don’t you be afraid!
13. Never Ever Breastfeed in Washrooms:
Some women who might want to avoid public attention while doing breastfeeding often chose washrooms as a safe option. But don’t you attempt that. Have you ever had your food in washroom? No, you won’t, then why do you expect you baby to do so! Even if someone else also suggests such an idea, avoid doing so.
14. How to Handle Criticism?
However hard you try but reacting to a criticism is often painful and sometimes unexpected. You can try the following ways to manage it:
- Try to be empathetic with the nay-sayers and make them understand your predicament. This might really change the other person’s heart.
- Ignore the rude person’s reaction or try to change the conversation topic. This might further dampen their confidence.
- If they seem educated then give them more information about breastfeeding. Who knows they might respect you for getting enlightened.
- Laugh it out and just cheer up yourself. The other person may get your message clearly.
15. Have a Positive Attitude:
You may hear many women simply say that “let other women do breastfeeding in public; it is not my cup of tea”. They also will make their kids go hungry till they could get indoors! It is absolutely necessary to overcome such attitude. Think it in this way that by breastfeeding your baby you are nourishing him in the best possible way. So never be ashamed of doing it.
One more thing to understand is that you are also educating other young men and women who might see you breastfeeding your baby. They might also understand its importance and make you feel better. So, shed all your inhibitions and have a positive attitude. Next time when you go out, try to be calm, composed and breastfeed your baby with grace. Make your outing an enjoyable one and mother breastfeeding in public easier!
Do enrich us with your breastfeeding in public experiences in the comment section below:
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