Advice

Breastfeeding in Public

We’ve got tips that will help even the shyest mom feed her baby on the go.

We know that you want every feeding session with your little one to be a special bonding moment, but real life doesn’t always let that happen. There will be times where your baby is hungry and you’ll have no choice but to feed them right then and there. Here are some ways you can make breastfeeding in public a little more comfortable.

Start small

It would be pretty jarring to go from breastfeeding in the comfort of your own home to a crowded place surrounded by strangers. Try to get a little practice in a place that you’re more familiar with and where there are people you know. Maybe you can try at Mommy and Me class or during story time at the public library. Once you get comfortable in these places, you’ll feel a little more practiced when you need to feed in more alien places.

Don’t wait to feed

You probably have a good sense for when your child is starting to get hungry, and you probably also know that waiting to feed them is only going to make them more cranky and difficult to handle. Try to breastfeed as early as possible to avoid a fussy infant.

Do a trial run

It is wonderful the feeling of freedom our homes provide. Home is also the best place to practice breastfeeding in public. Pretend you are in a public place and practice in front of a mirror what you would do to ensure your breastfeeding session is comfortable and as easy as possible. You will feel a lot better knowing you have worked out any kinks while in the privacy of your home.

Wear the right clothes

It may cost extra to buy clothing that is breastfeeding friendly, but it is totally worth it. You can find specialty tops and bras online and in most maturity shops. Also, consider getting a nursing cover. Be sure that you get a cover that is appropriate for the season so your child is not too hot or cold.

Find or make your own privacy

Even in the most public of places, you can usually find a quiet place that’s removed from the busy crowd. You can go to your car while at the park, or to the family restrooms at the mall. If you cannot find a more removed place, use your environment to aid in giving you a bit of privacy. A stroller or even another person who you’re with can stand in front of you to block strangers view.

Ignore the naysayers.

Unfortunately, there will be people who disapprove of public breastfeeding. If you are comfortable with it and your child is hungry, just politely ignore anyone who is less than understanding. You should also be aware of your rights. “Mich. Comp. Laws § 41.181, § 67.1aa and § 117.4i et seq. (1994) state that public nudity laws do not apply to a woman breastfeeding a child. 2014 Mich. Pub. Acts, Act 197 prohibits discriminatory practices, policies, and customs in the exercise of the right to breastfeed and provides for enforcement of the right to breastfeed.” Ncsl.org http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx

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