Breastfeeding in Public - Tips For New Moms
Submitted By: Carrie Lauth
When you have a baby you want to do everything you can to make them healthy and happy. Breastfeeding has been found to be the best thing you can do for your baby’s health. Breastfeeding provides optimal support to the baby's immune system and so much more. If it’s at all possible, breastfeed your baby for the first year of life while introducing solid foods slowly during the second part of that first year, then continue as long as you and baby wish.
When you are in a public place, you might be uncomfortable about nursing your baby. Perhaps you're concerned about the people around you. Here are some tricks that will help you feel more comfortable about breastfeeding in public.
Some moms opt to use a specially designed nursing cover up when they're out and about and baby gets hungry. Cover ups are now available in a variety of cute fabrics, and they're easier to use than a blanket that your baby might object to. Since they create an opening around the baby's head, allowing him to breathe more easily, they're much more comfortable for him. They also allow you to look at your baby while nursing so you can enjoy that bond together. Nursing covers are not going to slide off your shoulder either since they're designed to stay around your neck. Some moms use a blanket to cover themselves and you can certainly do that. Other moms find that it's easier to learn how to latch baby on discreetly and then simply place a blanket behind baby for some additional cover. If you practice latching baby on in front of a mirror you can become so adept at it that you can get baby settled at the breast within seconds, using just your clothing as a cover. Wearing a cardigan or jacket to keep your sides covered is also helpful.
Depending on the location you are at, some shopping centers and other public buildings have special nursing areas for moms. If you feel much more comfortable nursing in private, these are great. Bathrooms are often busy distracting and dirty. Not to mention smelly! You wouldn't want to eat in a bathroom, and your baby shouldn't have to either. If you're in a store, try the fitting rooms for some privacy and a place to sit down.
If you are in a situation where you can’t find a place to sit, the car is always an option. Sitting in the passenger side of the car or the back seat might be the most comfortable spot to nurse. If it’s warm or cold you may need to use the A/C or heater while you are in the car. You want to be comfortable and you want the baby to be comfortable as well. A lot of moms make it a habit to nurse the baby before they get out of the car for shopping or errands or wherever they're going. That way baby is happy and content before the excursion!
This one may be the most convenient option of all. You can learn to nurse your baby in a baby sling and noone will be the wiser. Some moms have even been nursing their babies in their sling while walking around the grocery store! A baby sling covers you well and provides a little privacy for baby so he can get down to the business of nursing without distracting noise and lights.
Remember that the most important part of nursing in public is your confidence and attitude. There is nothing dirty or shameful about meeting your baby's needs. Just because you are in public when your baby needs to eat doesn’t mean you need to go home. It doesn’t mean you can't leave the house or that you must pump a bottle for your baby. There is no need to restrict your activities when you have a new baby, and getting out of the house is great for your mood, especially in those early weeks.