Breastfeeding in public is the new controversial topic these days. Which is ridiculous, because it’s one of those things that shouldn’t have ever been questioned whether or not it was appropriate. When did breasts become so sexualized that it’s abnormal for them to be used for what they were literally designed for?
Anyway, it can be difficult to breastfeed in public when you have a million eyes on you. Plus, some women don’t feel comfortable nursing in public for the sole fact that it feels immodest. Whatever the reason may be, these tips and tricks will have you breastfeeding in public without having to worry the whole time.
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Breastfeeding in Public Tips
1. Invest in a good cover
While you don’t HAVE to cover up at all, a lot of women prefer to, for modesty’s sake. Getting a good cover is SO helpful in lessening the stress of breastfeeding in public.
There are a few different styles people like, the most trendy one is probably the style that doubles as a car seat cover. They are super cute, but they’re not as practical or comfortable in my opinion. They fully wrap around and cover you and baby, which causes it to be a lot hotter in there, and babies tend to not like that.
This style is my favorite! It’s actually cheaper and less common. But I’ll tell you why it’s the best:
- It goes over your neck, so it doesn’t fall off
- It doesn’t cover you all the way around, so there’s room for ventilation
- It has a crease at the top, which allows you to look down at your baby, and it’s easier to make adjustments. The crease also helps with airflow.
- You can sweep it over to the side, off the baby if they get too hot, and put it back over when you’re going to unlatch
- It’s a thin, lightweight fabric
Best. Cover. Ever.
Sometimes babies just HATE to be covered up, and can you blame them? No, because eating with a blanket over your head would suck. So for those babies, you can try using the cover for just long enough to get baby latched on, and then push to cover off to the side.
Turn away when the baby is latching on
You will likely be most exposed while the baby is preparing to latch. You can turn around, or turn to the side while your baby latches on, and then turn back around to feed them.
Use a nursing bra or tank top
Nursing bras and tank tops aren’t 100% necessary, but they are SO nice to have. They very simply disconnect to fold down, so that the baby can nurse, and then just click back together again.
Trying to force a regular shirt down underneath your breast will just stretch your shirt out, and it won’t be very comfortable. And lifting your shirt or bra up all the way isn’t fun either, because your whole stomach is exposed.
Use the two shirt method
The two shirt method is when you wear an undershirt or tank top (preferably a nursing tank) underneath a regular shirt. This way you can lift up the top shirt, and just barely pull-down or unlatch the undershirt. This way the only part of your breast that is actually exposed is your nipple.
Wear your baby
There are a lot of carriers out there that are perfect for hands-free, discreet breastfeeding. Most people won’t even know you’re nursing your baby, as it will just look like you’re carrying your baby. Plus, it’s hands-free! It doesn’t get better than that.
A ring-sling baby carrier is great! Not only is it perfect for breastfeeding, but it’s the best carrier all around. It’s so versatile, you can adjust it and position it any way you want. It’s great for newborns, as you can adjust it to support their head (a lot of other carriers don’t offer good support). But, it’s also great all the way into toddlerhood, as it is super adjustable. While the ring sling carriers are more expensive than other carriers, it will last SO much longer because you can use it for so much longer than other infant carriers.
Pack an extra shirt
Always make sure you have an extra shirt for yourself handy. Sometimes you’ll leak through your nursing pads and your shirt, or your baby will unlatch and milk will get all over. So, pack an extra shirt, and possibly some burp rags for clean up and mess-prevention!
Use nursing pads/and or a milk catcher
Nursing pads are a must! When your milk lets down, it lets down on both sides. You want nursing pads on so that when the breast you’re not feeding with starts leaking, it won’t go straight through your shirt. You can also try a milk catcher. It goes on your breast and catches the milk coming out. This is great if you’re wanting to save the extra milk, or if you tend to totally soak through nursing pads (like me).
Try to anticipate feedings
It isn’t totally possible to really anticipate when your baby will want to eat, but most moms will have a guess. So, try to think about where you’ll be when your baby might start to get hungry. If you know you’re going to be going somewhere that might make it difficult to nurse, try offering your breast right before you go in and see if your baby wants to eat.
Don’t wait to feed
Don’t wait until your baby is starving, and is screaming while you’re trying to get situated and ready to nurse. Watch for cues that they’re starting to get hungry, and feed them before they get too hungry.
Kill them with kindness
When someone gives you a dirty look or says something negative about your choice to breastfeed in public, smile and kindly remind them that it’s not their decision. They are obviously very ignorant people if they have an issue with breastfeeding in public. And arguing with an ignorant person is completely pointless, as they don’t possess the knowledge it requires to understand your point of view. It’s best to just ignore them, and go about your day.
We hope that these tips and tricks can help you to breastfeed in public with ease. No more trying to feed your baby in the bathroom!
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