Yes, I agree. The thought of breastfeeding in public is horrifying. Nursing a squirming infant with the possibility of complete strangers staring at your breasts was on my worst nightmare list too. The lack of feeding rooms or a private spot when you’re out doesn’t make things easier either. But then, feeding our babies should not stop us from being on the go, right? Now, after two kids and with heaps of tips on breastfeeding in public from fellow moms, I have realized that being discreet while nursing in public is an art! Here are a breastfeeding in public tips, so that you can breastfeed in public without fear...
Wear the right clothes
Ensure you are dressed to breastfeed in public. Wear comfortable clothes and a bra that’s easy to access (nursing bra or stretchy sports bra). Some maternity clothes come with discreet openings that don’t show much skin while breastfeeding in public. While breastfeeding in public, make sure you wear a T-shirt, with a camisole underneath so you can stretch the neckline to feed without having to show your tummy.
Find your spot
Finding a quiet, secluded corner for breastfeeding in public is practically impossible in a busy place but some places attract lesser attention than others. In a restaurant? Feed under the table. Shopping for clothes? Ask for a chair and head to the changing room. At other places, to breastfeed in public, just find a spot you like and sit with your back to the crowd.
Use nursing covers/stoles/scarves
Fortunately for us, nursing covers to aid breastfeeding in public have been invented! These cover you and your baby completely while breastfeeding in public. You might need to turn around when achieving a latch before spreading out the cover. Some mums don’t like nursing covers as they end up attracting more attention. Alternatively, you could use a soft scarf, dupatta or a stole. Keep one in your diaper bag always. If you are out with your partner or a friend, ask the person to stand next to you while breastfeeding in public for extra cover.
Bring out the distraction
Sometimes, babies hate to be covered while feeding and will do all in their capacity to kick any kind of cover off. They also will take a pause several times while feeding to look around and this might leave you feeling exposed. Wearing a sturdy beady necklace or getting out your baby’s favourite toy could hold her/his attention. Talking, singing softly or making funny faces at the baby while breastfeeding in public also works.
Use a sling or carrier
This one is pure genius! Some mums make the most of baby wearing by nursing their babies in a wrap or sling and even manage to walk around! You might need to try this at home before you do it outside. For ease of reach, wear a button-down top. The fabric of the sling will cover your breast and the baby!
By Murphy’s Law, if you look like you’re committing a crime when breastfeeding in public, then everyone will seem to stare. Sit up straight and behave like you don’t care. You’re just doing your duty by feeding your hungry child; there’s nothing wrong with that! If you still feel conscious, avoid looking around and slip into your own world where there’s only your baby and you.
Despite being careful, you still might draw attention while breastfeeding in public. Keep on that beatific smile and remember, the world is your breastfeeding oyster! Let no one question your dignity!
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