Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
No one likes to feel exposed or embarrassed. Nursing a baby is a natural and beautiful relationship and while no one thinks twice about feeding a baby a bottle in public, the thoughts of nursing publicly often create strong opinions on both sides. As nursing mothers are taking the country by storm, they have created a whole new way to nurse in public without feeling embarrassed or offending others. You can join this quiet revolution.
1. Practice First To Get Comfortable. Discreet
nursing is really a learned art. Some babies are natural at it and some need lots
of training! Learn to nurse discreetly while walking around and then you will
be able to take your baby anywhere! Once you get your nursing clothing made, practice
nursing in it until you are really comfortable and confident in your ability to
nurse discreetly.The best place to start is in your own home. Family members are
good "guinea pigs" to practice on. Nursing your baby is not a disease or a reason
to isolate yourself in the back room. If you are worried about offending anyone,
tell him or her that you need to feed your baby and give them the opportunity
to leave. The trick here is that they leave, not you! Arm yourself with the attitude
that nursing is normal and healthy. You wouldn't eat in bathroom or in the back
room, so your baby shouldn't either.
2. Nurse Discreetly. Discreet nursing simply
means you avoid drawing attention to yourself and/or exposing yourself while breast-feeding.
If you can master this art, you will be able to nurse your baby everywhere and
no one will ever know what you are doing. This is sometimes a hot topic, because
political breast-feeding activists feel that by nursing discreetly, we are catering
to the unhealthy views that breasts are sex objects. The problem is that making
a public statement with breast-feeding can put you in a vulnerable situation.
You'll need to decide where you personally stand on this issue. Most moms feel
much more comfortable about keeping things discreet and you will find that others
around you will also feel more comfortable.
4. Stay In Tune With Your Baby's Needs And Feed Him As Soon As You Expect He Is Hungry. When in public situations be very aware of your baby's hunger cues. Every baby is different, but if you are observant, you will notice your baby may root, suck on his/her fist and or begin to get fussy. This is a signal to feed him immediately. Putting off your baby by trying to give him a pacifier or a bottle will just make your breast-fed baby miserable and unhappy. It is so much better to feed babies quickly at the first signs of fussiness or hunger. After a baby has tried every way possible to get your attention, they will start crying hysterically as a last resort. A screaming, miserable baby, whether breast-fed or bottle-fed, attracts lots of negative attention and that is just what we are trying to avoid. A confident mother who is in tune with her baby and meets their needs quickly is much more likely to have a successful public nursing experience.
5. Try Nursing Clothing For Ease in Special
Situations. Our two casual top patterns, (Nursing Classics #107
and #207, also available Ready-Made)
are my personal favorites for public nursing. I made several and took them on
a trip to Mexico. I nursed on the plane, on a fishing boat, absolutely everywhere!
The double layer construction keeps you covered in back and at the sides while
the overlay keeps you covered up front. Vertical nursing openings like those featured
in Nursing Classics #101, 102, 106,
and 205 are also great for public nursing
because they have almost no bulk and are easy to adjust for discreet nursing.
Lightweight jackets are also a great accessory because they provide extra coverage
if you need it. A receiving blanket is a great nursing accessory if you are feeling
uncomfortable, but try to avoid a "big blanket over the shoulder" look;
Babies like to have eye contact with their moms. If you use a blanket, keep it
low. Most people won't even notice you are nursing your baby if you are casual
and discreet about it!
7. What If Someone Is Staring At Me? This can really be an uncomfortable situation. The best thing to do is to return their gaze without backing down. This will usually cause them to look away. This won't happen very often and is much more likely to happen if you have a screaming baby. A nursing baby is a quiet baby and usually doesn't attract much attention. Remember, the whole idea of discreet public nursing is to act like nothing is out of the ordinary. Most people will truly have no idea you are nursing your baby. In summary, just remember that nursing your baby is a normal and healthy part of everyday life. Breast-feeding in public doesn't need to make you nervous or uncomfortable. Stay firm in your knowledge that you are doing the very best thing for your baby. If you act confident and self-assured about nursing in public most people will offer you positive support instead of criticism. By applying these few simple tips to your nursing relationship you will find a sense of freedom you never thought possible.