Whether you’re a first-time mama or have been here before, it’s always great to visit a refresher course. For the first-timers, it may feel a little unnatural or uncomfortable, and with good reason. You’ve never done it before so you will lack the confidence of the next mama who’s ready to nurse whenever, wherever. Once you have it down, you’ll feel confident and even empowered. Know that breastfeeding in public should be natural and is 100 percent legal. It definitely shouldn’t stop you from leaving the house, no matter how awkward you may feel at first. However, if you want to feel confident and need some tips on how to go about breastfeeding in public settings, here are some tips to get you started and going.
Practice makes perfect
The best way to get started with anything is to practice, practice, and practice some more. The best place to practice is at home. Practice covering yourself and baby in front of a mirror that way you know what you look like when you try it in public. It can be tricky knowing how to not expose yourself before baby latches on. Practice getting your clothing out of the way and unhooking your maternity bra while being covered. This also allows you to know which nursing covers or infant swaddles will work best for you, as well as which maternity is easier to work with.
Use a baby carrier
Once you know how to use a baby carrier, it will be life-changing. You can do anything from household chores to breastfeeding in public with ease. It may be a little tricky at the beginning so if you plan on using one to nurse, be sure to watch YouTube videos a couple of times to make sure you get it down. A lot of women prefer using a baby carrier because it provides a cover for them and their baby. It also allows you to walk around as baby feeds. If you plan on doing this, be sure to wear an undershirt so that when you pull your top up you have an extra layer to cover your belly.
Pick the best location
Once you’re in public and you’re ready to put your practice to work, the first thing you want to look for is the perfect location which would be somewhere that you can rest your back. You don’t want to be hunched over or in other positions that will make you and baby uncomfortable so pick a place that will be convenient for you. Once you pick your spot, you’ll want to turn away before baby latches on so that you don’t expose yourself. Once baby is latched on, you can turn back and relax while baby enjoys their meal. Once they’re done, you can turn back to put everything back and place. This is a precaution whether you’re using a cover or not just so that you can get better situated.
Be prepared for some negativity. Although breastfeeding is a natural thing and should be normalized, some people may take offense to it. The best thing to do is to ignore them. If you want to acknowledge them, smile with confidence in knowing that you are doing something necessary for your baby’s well-being. As an extra precaution, you should also have a response ready in case someone has something nasty to say.
Kudos to you as a nursing mama, it’s harder than you think and plenty of moms wish they could produce the way you are so keep going and don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of producing that liquid gold!