Breastfeeding in public: Tips to make you a pro
The truly wonderful thing about breastfeeding is that you can do it anytime. You are carrying your baby’s food all the time in the most perfect state – what can be better than that? However, even this most-natural thing can become an awkward and weird when you are breastfeeding in public places. From people downright staring to weird glances to funny comments, breastfeeding in public can be a challenging experience for some. However, when your baby is hungry, you got to do what you got to do. If you do not want to be cooped up inside your home for the whole six months, it’s important to learn how to be comfortable while breastfeeding outside.
Here are some tips that can make breastfeeding in public easy.
Practice at home
You can try breastfeeding your child in front of a mirror before you do it in public places. This will help you to see how you will appear to others. You will also get an idea about how much others will notice while you are breastfeeding. You can do some trials around your close friends or family members to get more comfortable among strangers.
Study the places you are visiting
Sometimes, it is good to know about the places you are visiting with your child, beforehand. Find out if those places have a nursing station and how to get there from the entrance. Some stores may not have nursing stations but will have other arrangements like changing rooms, which can help you to feed your child in a private space. You can also seek advice from your friends who might have already visited that place and may have all the important details. If you are travelling to a new city, speak to some local moms for some advice.
Dress to nurse conveniently
Wear a dress that is convenient for you to breastfeed in public. Two-piece outfits or dresses that open from the front can allow you to nurse your child without much hassle. You can also wear nursing tops or clothing that can be easily pulled to the side. Thankfully, you will now find nursing dresses and tops that are designed for breastfeeding your child in public places. They have hidden flaps for your comfort and they come in various sizes to suit the needs of all women.
Use a cover
You can always use a nursing cover to be more comfortable. However, make sure your child does not suffocate and gets sufficient ventilation during feeding. He or she might not like being covered all the time, so you have to make sure your baby is calm and relaxed while you are breastfeeding him with a cover. Anything that can be draped around your child can be used as a cover, including a large napkin.
Carry your baby comfortably
If you are breastfeeding in public you might have to hold the baby in an uncomfortable position for a long time. What you can do is use a sling to carry the baby while you breastfeed him or her. It will reduce the pressure on you.
Carry a nursing pillow
You might be using a nursing pillow for breastfeeding at home. It can come in handy outdoors too, so don’t forget to carry it along with you during trips. It is very useful for breastfeeding on flights as well. You can also use an inflatable pillow that can be deflated and stashed away when not in use.
Ask for advice
Many malls, hospitals, and several public places are now equipped with nursing stations, and all the amenities you might need. You can feed your baby and clean him up before you carry on with the rest of your day. So, do not hesitate to ask for directions or advice.
If someone bothers you while you are nursing your baby or raises an issue, you should stay calm, unless they resort to extreme measures. You have the right to feed your baby and meet the child’s demands whenever necessary. You can explain it clearly to them. You can also get help from your friends, family, or your doctor, and take appropriate action. Remember, it is important to stand your ground and explain the situation confidently. This way, you will get used to breastfeeding your child in public places, without any stress.