Breastfeeding in Public : The First Weeks

Mom and dad in a restaurtant. Mom breastfeeding in public

When I began my breastfeeding journey with our 1st daughter, I must admit I was completely underprepared. Experience had taught me that it didn't matter how prepared I was, there was a curve ball waiting for me, so I chose not to educate myself too much beforehand.

Looking back, I’m not sure it would have made much difference to know what was ahead. Would it matter to my breastfeeding journey that I didn’t know cracked nipples, constant feeding, and engorgement were waiting for me? I don’t know, but I do know that I tend to learn better by doing.

Even back in 2000, we lived in a time where no matter what I was going through, 1,0345,000 other people (at least) had experienced the same problem and had googled it. And so, with the internet at my fingertips, I knew I was not alone in my search. How different it must have been for my mom in the 70s – a much more individual and alone experience that depended on an in-person appointment with a lactation consultant, days away from the moment of the issue at hand…or breast.

Like me, once a breastfeeding routine is established, you will want to venture out into the world to meet a friend, go to the store, or just out for some fresh air. With my first baby, I didn’t have a nursing cover. I would sit with my back to the rest of the room or try to time each outing with feeding right before, and as soon as I came home, just so I didn’t have to nurse in public. But that was before I made the 1st nursing cover to use with my 2nd daughter. Oh, hallelujah what a game-changer!

Breastfeeding in Public: Why it's Important and How to Feel More Confident.
Breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful way to nourish your baby, but it's not always easy to do in public. Some people (my hand is raised) feel anxiety, especially in the first few weeks because it takes some practice and commitment.

Why is Breastfeeding in Public Important? Most importantly, it allows moms to feed their babies whenever and wherever they need to, without having to worry about finding a private space or delaying feeding. This is especially important for young infants who need to feed frequently, and may not be able to wait until they're in a private space. If a baby has to wait too long, they will likely be in a state of distress when they do get to feed.

Breastfeeding in public also helps to normalize breastfeeding as a natural and normal part of motherhood. By seeing mothers nurse their babies in public, other people are exposed to a natural and healthy way to feed a baby, and it can help reduce the stigma and shame around nursing in public.

Tips for feeling more confident breastfeeding in public: If you're feeling nervous or self-conscious about nursing in public, there are some tips and tricks you can try to help you feel more confident and comfortable:

  1. Dress comfortably: Wear clothes that are easy to nurse in, such as nursing tops or button-down shirts that can be easily opened for feeding. This will help you feel more comfortable and make it easier to nurse discreetly.
  2. Use a nursing cover: A nursing cover can help you feel more comfortable and private while nursing in public. Our nursing cover allows for eye contact with your baby, and you can make sure your baby is latched properly.
  3. Find a comfortable spot: Look for a quiet and comfortable spot to nurse, such as a bench or quiet corner of a restaurant. You might want to position yourself with your back to the room as I did, but Patrick Swayze said it best, ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner.’ Plus, one of the many joys of being out and about, is people-watching and being a part of things.
  4. Bring a support person: Having a partner or friend with you while nursing in public can provide emotional support and help you feel more comfortable and confident.
  5. Remember your rights: Remember that breastfeeding in public is legal and protected by law in many countries. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened while nursing in public, don't be afraid to assert your rights and stand up for yourself and your baby.

Breastfeeding in public the first few times can be nerve-wracking, but it's an important part of motherhood and a natural way to nourish your baby. With the right tools and mindset, you can feel confident and comfortable nursing your baby wherever and whenever you need to. In a matter of days, you will be an expert!


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