Do you feel intimidated by the thought of breastfeeding in public? I know I did before I tried it the first time. It felt very strange to think that I would sit somewhere and expose my breasts to just about anyone.
Well that’s not how to do it. It is entirely possible to breastfeed in public without showing any skin at all. You just have to practice a bit and wear the right kind of top and bra.
If you dare to start breastfeeding in public, life will be much easier. Particularly during your baby’s first months, he is likely to be quite unpredictable when it comes to wanting to nurse.
When traveling, breastfeeding is so convenient! You know that your baby gets the nutrition he needs, you don’t have to worry about finding food that your baby likes and the water quality is not a problem either. So if you plan a trip, don’t quit breastfeeding jut before you go!
Below you’ll find tips on how to make breastfeeding in public as comfortable as possible for you.
Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
- Learn about the culture
- Wear good nursing bras
- Wear good nursing clothes
- Bring a blanket
- Be discrete
- Find a calm spot
- Just do it!
Learn about the culture
In some countries (like my own), breastfeeding in public is highly accepted. In other countries and cultures it is much more controversial.
If you plan to go traveling, before you go anywhere, try to find out what reactions you can expect if breastfeeding in public. This will help you plan your breastfeeding and make it a good experience.
How to find out?
Well, ask the travel agency, call the embassy or search the Internet.
Wear good nursing bras
Make sure you have good nursing bras! And with good I mean ones that you can unbutton and button easily with one hand. That is very important if you want to be able to breastfeed in public in a discrete way.
Make sure you try doing this before buying a new nursing bra. Ideally, you try the bra while holding your baby.
For tips on how to choose a nursing bra, click here.
Wear good nursing clothes
There are plenty of different nursing tops and dresses around. But not all of them are very practical. Shopping on Internet is very convenient if you are a new mom, but before you shop away, it can be a good idea to try a top from the particular brand, to see if you can breastfeed comfortably and discrete. And if you look good in it of course! Read about some more of our favorite nursing tank tops here.
As nursing clothes can be quite expensive, it is good to be able to use some ordinary clothes as well. If you use two layers, it is possible to breastfeed in a discrete way with your usual tops. Wear a low-cut undershirt under a quite loose top. Then you can pull the undershirt down and the top up and breastfeed without exposing your breasts or stomach.
Bring a blanket
If you throw a blanket over your shoulder and let it hang over your baby’s head while breastfeeding the “audience” can only guess what you’re doing.
At least until your baby pulls the blanket down… It may be a good idea to make your baby used to nursing under a blanket when you are at home.
Another possibility is to get yourself a nursing cover, which can’t be pulled down as easily by your baby, the wind or a passing person.
Turn away, sit in a corner, use good nursing clothes and so on. If you are discrete, the risk is a lot lower that you will be uncomfortable or harassed.
Find a calm spot
The older your baby gets, the easier he or she will be distracted by sounds and things happening around him. Find a calm place to sit, and chances are your baby will eat instead of twisting his head to see what is going on each and every second.
Just do it!
The first time is the hardest. Once you get used to breastfeeding in public you will notice how much freedom you get.
Now you don’t have plan as much where to be when your baby gets hungry. You also have an effective way to soothe your baby if nothing else works.
Just one word of caution – if you’re outside, make sure you don’t get cold. You don’t want to get mastitis!
And here is a poll on whether to breastfeed in public or not. Cast your vote!