Yes, your rest should be a top priority after giving birth. Leaving the house is sometimes necessary, though, and you shouldn’t let that stop you from feeding your baby. The beauty of breastfeeding is that everything your baby needs to be fed is conveniently within arm’s reach. It’s always the right temperature, it’s ready, and it’s free!
It’s entirely understandable to be nervous about breastfeeding in public. The most important thing, however, is that your baby doesn’t go hungry just because you need to handle some business. If you have concerns about public breastfeeding, we’re here to help. Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable feeding your baby in common areas.
1) Know Your Rights!
First and foremost, you’re not breaking any laws by breastfeeding your baby. Your baby needs nourishment, and nothing stands in your way of providing it to them. You are legally allowed to breastfeed your baby publicly, and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
2) Dress for Success
Before you go out into the public world, remember to dress comfortably.
Loose-fitted shirts are a great idea because you can simply lift the shirt on one side when your baby gets hungry. Buttoned shirts should be loose, too, so you can easily unbutton your top for easy access.
Consider wearing your maternity shorts or pants. Wearing these helps keep your postpartum belly comfortable when you lift your shirt for your baby.
There are bras made especially for breastfeeding mothers. These nursing bras are extremely convenient and have easy-access snaps. With practice, you’ll get the hang of fastening and unfastening these bras one-handed!
3) Consider Cover-Ups
If you’re concerned with your decency when you publicly breastfeed, you can consider using a cover-up. This could be in the form of a blanket or a unique nursing shawl made to help you inconspicuously feed your baby.
You may need to try practicing at home first. Some babies will fuss if their faces are covered when they’re trying to eat.
Cover-ups are not a requirement for public breastfeeding. They can, however, help new nursing mothers get comfortable with a little more coverage.
4) Plan Ahead
Don’t forget your Cradle Me Baby diaper bag! You will need to be prepared before you leave the house to make sure you have everything you need. Pack some extra shirts, blankets, nursing pads, and comfortable bras just in case.
Remember to bring water with you as well. Hydration is key to developing enough breast milk to satisfy your baby. Plus, you’re going to need to stay hydrated to perform your daily tasks with your baby in tow.
5) Pick Your Spot
Some public places have secluded areas for breastfeeding mothers. These will be good places for you to feed your baby without being bothered by people or loud noises.
Wherever you choose to breastfeed, make sure you’re relaxed and your baby can eat as much as they want to. You should be able to still pick up on your baby’s hunger cues, so you know when it’s time to eat and when they’re full.
6) Respond Properly
Unfortunately, there could be some less-educated individuals out there who will take feeding your baby personally. Nobody should be asking you to leave or cover yourself up.
In case someone does, politely remind them that you are well within your legal rights to breastfeed your baby in public. Even if they’ve been nasty to you and don’t deserve your kindness, it’s best to remember your safety. If you ever feel threatened by a breastfeeding critic, don’t engage.
7) Seek Support
If you’re able, consider asking a friend to tag along with you. They can help back you up in case you bump into some problems. Your network of friends and family should help you keep yourself and your baby safe from harm and small problems.
It’s always a great idea to have a supportive partner or friend to help you get things done. Breastfeeding in public can be nerve-wracking at times, and support may be just the comfort you need!
8) Do What Makes You Comfortable
It’s always important to do whatever makes you and your baby happy! If you’re still a little apprehensive, that’s perfectly fine. Nobody should force you to publicly breastfeed. More importantly, nobody should make you feel uncomfortable when you feed your baby.
There are plenty of accessories available to help you get the hang of public breastfeeding. Find what works best for you and your baby!
Know Your Rights & Feel at Ease
Practice makes perfect! Stay prepared, and know which locations are optimal for safety and happiness. Always remember that you’re legally allowed to feed your baby in public. When your baby is hungry, your goal is to feed them by any means necessary. This means your baby should be able to eat, and both of you should feel at ease during the process.
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