It should be refreshing to see a mother nurturing her child in a way that was intended from the beginning.
I guess seeing nudity and half-nudity on television, the internet, and in public all the time has become so commonplace, where as people would rather make negative comments toward and give dirty looks to a mother nursing her baby on a park bench than a girl flouncing around in booty shorts!
Although I’m extremely comfortable breastfeeding in public, popping it out anywhere, anytime, I can’t sit here and tell you that I’ve always been this way.
Nope. I used to be extremely self-conscious.
Wondering if someone would see me.
If they knew what I was doing.
Maybe I should go to the car and nurse.
Or, maybe I should take that suggestion and feed my baby in the public restroom.
Then I realized something.
My baby isn’t doing anything different than a formula fed baby. Or you for that matter! He’s only eating! Something most people do in order to stay alive!
Why should my baby go to the car and eat? You don’t!
Why should my baby go eat in the public restroom? You don’t!
Why should I care what you think about me feeding my baby, nothing I’m doing here is illegal, or immoral for that matter.
After I realized these things, my confidence level grew and grew and grew, until I worried no longer whether someone was looking at me or not.
I also realized that the more I nursed in public, the better I became at doing it discreetly. To the point where I could carry on a conversation with you while putting my baby to my breast without you even knowing what I just did.
You may not be at that point yet, but I want to give you some pointers to get you there.
Because when you go out to eat, your baby is going to want to eat too. And if you want to live the simple life, without having to carry a diaper bag full of formula and bottles, you might as well learn to utilize your built on bottles, anyplace, anytime.
Here are some suggestions to help you get over your “shyness” and get you to the point of breastfeeding in public confidently:
• Know the breastfeeding laws in your state. Although breastfeeding in public isn’t illegal anywhere, some states have laws specifically protecting mothers from incidents like being put out of a restaurant for breastfeeding. Also knowing that there is a law protecting you, may make you feel a bit more confident. But like I said before, breastfeeding in public is not illegal. Keep that in mind.
• Use the cradle hold. The cradle hold is the easiest position to nurse your baby with while breastfeeding in public while they’re still little. And it’s the most discreet position.
When I breastfeed my baby using this position, most people think he’s sleeping. So get this position down pack before you go out in public.
• Listen to your baby’s feeding cues. A majority of the time, your baby doesn’t outright start crying because he’s hungry. He gives you signs. He may turn towards your breast with his mouth open wide. Actually, it doesn’t matter whose holding him, when your baby gets hungry, he will turn towards their breast with an open mouth trying to nurse.
Your baby may also start whimpering when he gets hungry.
Look for these signs when you’re out in public, that way you can feed your baby before he starts screaming from hunger, bringing unwanted attention to you.
• Use a breastfeeding cover. You could always use a blanket, but using blankets can make your baby sweat. I found that using a breastfeeding cover was much better than a blanket. At least until you become confident enough to do it without a cover.
• If you wear a bra, get a breastfeeding bra. I wore a breastfeeding bra for the first few months of breastfeeding my first child. It was convenient to be able to unsnap the front breast part of the bra to nurse without having to take the whole bra a loose or pull it over my breast.
But then after those first few months of breastfeeding, I found it even more convenient to not wear a bra at all! Haven’t wore one since!
If you don’t want to go without a bra, the next best thing is a breastfeeding bra.
• A breastfeeding shirt also comes in handy. You wouldn’t believe all the breastfeeding shirts that are available in different styles! Actually, most of them don’t even look breastfeeding tops. They look like something you would wear anyway, without breastfeeding. The good thing about breastfeeding shirts is that they snap down in the front of whichever breast you choose to nurse on, eliminating the need for you to pull your shirt up over your breast in order to feed your baby.
• Get a breastfeeding dress. For those of us that like wearing dresses, especially in warm weather, you can still wear your dresses and breastfeed, because they have breastfeeding dresses! Yay for me! I love wearing dresses and sandals, and having the option to wear something besides a breastfeeding shirt is great!
Here you see plenty of clothing options to help you with breastfeeding your baby in public discreetly. So there is no reason for you to sit at home all day with your baby or even carry a bottle when you go out.
Oh. And you know that leaking that happens on the other breast while you’re nursing your baby, here is the solution to that problem. For some, and maybe for you, having a wet spot on your clothes, right there where your nipple is, can be pretty embarrassing.
Now that you have the knowledge to start breastfeeding in public confidently, what are you waiting for?
Get the items you need and become free again!