Breastfeeding With Freedom in Public!!

Breastfeeding With Freedom in Public!!

Yes you read it right. It is a possibility.

I am a mother of two boys and I have breastfed them until they both were 1.4 yrs at a bar, restaurant, cafe, theatre, mall, shop at almost all the public places you could list. Through this article I hope to make you mothers feel liberated and comfortable about nursing your baby when and where you please.

Breast feeding in a public place is considered odd, uncomfortable, indecent even as a taboo sometime. The question is why, when the actual purpose of a breast to exist in the fist place is to feed an infant why is it shameful? Most women are so conscious about it, they wouldn’t even try.

The question arises is when you can feed your baby in private why do it publicly? Most infants need to nurse approximately every 3 to 4 hours. Each nursing session lasts for approximately 20-30 minutes. When you isolate your self every time you need to nurse, your social relations, work, social network, sometimes simply the joy of sitting at the beach and watching a sunset is being compromised. You are so stressed about finding a place to nurse every time you step out, that most often you choose not to. Imagine you were at a restaurant you ordered your food, your entree has just been served and your baby cries, you rush to the car or any other private place sometimes even a washroom if there’s no baby room available. By the time you nurse your baby and burb him/her, the rest of the table is eating dessert. I am sure they must have been considerate enough to leave a bit of everything for you but then you ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be better if I were just sitting at home and doing this?” Mommies, you have a choice, you could have nursed your baby right there at the dining table in the restaurant and enjoyed a perfect dinner. You could have.

The big question which leads to all the anxiety is, ‘What will people think?’

Your baby is hungry, she/he needs to be fed and you are doing that. How does it concern any other third person. It is between you and your baby. What will people think? They will think you are breastfeeding. What their thoughts and comments are about why you are breastfeeding is their problem not yours. Your health and your babies health is priority. When we think more about what others think about our actions we cause a lot of harm to ourself and our baby. Sure you will get a glance or two, look them in the eye and smile, cause what you are doing at that very moment is precious, its nurturing. You may face negative comments from people who think that nursing in public is indecent. You may find it helpful to plan a response to any negative comments such as “I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable. May be you’d like to move to another table.” Breast feeding is Empowering, let the world know you are giving your very best to your child.
Not being able to breast feed in social settings causes less opportunities to socialise, attend events, participate in activities, go to work and so on. This often causes mothers to replace breast milk with formula. And overtime causes them to wean their babies off the breast. You could instead feed your baby at any social setting, give him/her the nutrition and also enjoy the innumerable benefits of breastfeeding on your health. Its a Win- Win for all.

Tips on how to breast feed in public:

  • Carry a cover up or a shawl in your bag that helps you to snuggle with your baby while feeding.
  • Wear a front open dress or a shirt/top that can be comfortably lifted up.
  • Incase you are worried about your breast being exposed, ask someone you are comfortable to check for you while you nurse.
  • Try to choose a corner or a sofa seat to be able to fold your legs and sit comfortably.
  • Ask for help, don’t be shy to ask for extra cushions or anything you need to make you feel comfortable.
  • The first few times may feel odd, don’t give up, you will be a pro in no time. Such that even your own partner won’t notice when you started to breastfeed your child in the middle of a conversation.

Stay confident, knowing that you are providing for and caring for your baby. Enjoy this journey of motherhood. Don’t let the negativity bring you down. Breastfeed when and where you like..

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