Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding is not an easy task, and part of the challenge is finding a way to breastfeed in public. Thankfully, society is becoming increasingly open and accepting to the idea of breastfeeding so moms have it much easier now than in the past. Still, it takes time to master breastfeeding in public. Here are some tips: 1) Familiarize yourself with designated areas for breastfeeding. When you’re going to new places, investigate the facilities and possible locations for breastfeeding. At most malls, there are designated Breastfeeding Rooms. Get to know where they are relative to the elevators, as well as the closest mall entrances so you can park closeby. If the mall doesn’t have one, you can often use the change rooms in baby or maternity stores, or any store for that matter. Department stores such as The Bay or Sears often having nursing areas in the baby section as well, but they aren’t well marked so you may need to ask the staff for more information. 2) Have a breastfeeding cover/scarf/blanket ready. There are so many breastfeeding covers out there so you should be able to find one that works for you. If you don’t have one, or forgot to bring it out with you, just use a blanket or scarf. If you’re wearing a cardigan or jacket, you can even use that! Unfortunately, Leah doesn’t like to be covered while nursing, so I position myself strategically and cover myself discreetly with my clothes. If your baby doesn’t mind a nursing cover, you can really nurse just about anywhere! 3) Wear appropriate clothing. Wear clothes that allow you to feed easily (i.e. stretchy and long). If you are worried about exposing your waist, wear a tank top underneath so you can pull your shirt up and pull the tank top down at the neck. You’ll need a pretty stretchy tank top to do this! Make sure you master the clasping and unclasping of your nursing bra with one hand. There are some pretty good nursing clothes out there to help you, like this PTPA winner. 4) Be creative! Sometimes your situation or location are not conducive to breastfeeding, and the above tips may not help. For example, when you’re dining at a restaurant or attending a wedding banquet, what do you do? Be creative and ask for help. You’d be surprised at how supportive and helpful people can be. I was at a lunch at an upscale restaurant and they allowed me to use a dining area that was currently closed off. Restaurants often have private dining areas that they can let you use if you just ask. If not, feeding in the inner seat of a booth may suffice. At weddings, brides have been very helpful and allowed me to use their bridal suite for breastfeeding. I was at the Public Library the other day and the librarian in the children’s area let me duck into the office for a few minutes to feed Leah. I’ve fed her in the park, in the car, and even in a church stairwell during a wedding! Once you get to know your baby, and master breastfeeding without a pillow, you can do it anywhere! Check out this great post on nursing in public. The comments are pretty interesting. Ironically, I have used a bathroom for nursing before, being very careful not to let Leah touch anything, but it is definitely a last resort.

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