While breastfeeding is dubbed to be best for babies, a lot of women are not too confident with breastfeeding in public. For one, this sometimes draw unwanted attention especially from male strangers which render a lot of breastfeeding moms self-conscious and anxious instead of being encouraged to nurse her baby.
While it is understandable to be hesitant of breastfeeding in public, you should be aware that you are allowed by the law to do so. Federal law entitles you to breastfeed anywhere with your baby. Regardless of what state you live in, you have the right to nurse your baby in public. A recent legislation also provides more support for breastfeeding as it allows you to nurse even on federal property. You may also be allowed to breastfeed during breaks at work and is also exempted from violation of laws concerning indecent exposure. In addition, day-care centers are also now required to have nursing facilities.
Now that you are in the loop of your rights as a breastfeeding mom, here are some the best tips for breastfeeding in public that can go handy right about anywhere:
- Practice breastfeeding at home. Get in front of a mirror and practice public breastfeed so you will know how to position yourself properly and avoid distractions. Practice a couple of times a day to get it going right once you are able to do it in public. Turn the side and see how much exposed (or not) you are when breastfeeding. Ask your partner to check out your breastfeeding practice to see if it needs more improvement. Do this a couple of times and you’ll be all set for public breastfeeding.
- Choose less-chaotic places to breastfeed. For starters, you can try breastfeeding in less-crowded areas to get a feel of how it is to do it in public. Once you get comfortable, you can breastfeed even in crowded malls or even while traveling on a public transport.
- Wear nursing bras or tank tops. There are wardrobes and undergarments which are designed for easy breastfeeding even in public. These nursing tops or bras can be easily unhooked or unfastened without revealing too much of your breast while nursing your baby in public. This gives you more confidence and avoid unwarranted attention from bystanders while breastfeeding your little one in public.
- Use a nursing blanket or cover. If you are wearing a sling to hold your baby, you can breastfeed with that as a cover. Also, you can use nursing shawls or blankets that will help you be more comfortable with breastfeeding especially at the first few months of trying it out in public.
- Put your baby in carriers, wraps, or slings. This does not just provide ease in carrying your baby while you are mobile but this can also help you carry your little one while breastfeeding in public. The great thing with slings and wraps is that you can easily breastfeed in stealth mode while on the move and no one would even think you’re doing so.
There you go – easy and doable tips to get you breastfeeding in public. If you feel nervous and awkward while doing it, keep in mind that this is for your baby’s health and not for other people. Focus on your baby and if there are people who would stare at you, remember too that most of the time this is because of admiration and not of disgust. Some would be curious but this is pretty normal. The way to handle the situation is to smile and go about your business. A breastfeeding mom is a panoramic view that no landscape of this earth can ever outshine. Be confident while breastfeeding in public and you’ll surely get the hang of it in less time.