Breastfeeding in Public – Tips for the Nursing Mothers

Imagine a situation where you are waiting in line at the checkout of your local grocery store, with your baby in tow. You have had an exhausting week fraught with sleeplessness and would like nothing more than a long relaxing nap.

Sadly, your newborn is having none of that.

She screams in hunger and grapples with her blanket, sending you into a frenzy.

All eyes land on you as you desperately try to lift your shirt under the blanket, trying to feed the baby without flashing anyone. Your discomfort drastically multiplies with each movement.

This is just one of many examples of what mothers face with breastfeeding newborns.

Despite the weight of the stares from the onlookers, mothers prioritize feeding their babies above all – no matter how uncomfortable she is.

Fortunately, we have prepared a guide so nursing mothers can learn all the necessary information she needs to safely and comfortably breastfeed in public.

Is Breastfeeding in Public Legal?

In 47 of the 50 states in the US, DC and the Virgin Islands, there are laws that specifically allow mothers to breastfeed in public.

If you live outside the US and are unsure if it is legal in your area, check with the law or even doing a simple Google search can immensely help you.

Tips to Help you Comfortably and Discreetly Nurse in Public

1. Dress to Nurse with Ease

Although long, flowy, summer dresses are all the hype this season, it’s best that a nursing mother opts for a simple two-piece outfit.

T-shirts or button-down shirts are easier to lift up and you can be far more discreet when you are feeding.

You can wear layered tops as well to give you an extra cover.

Many retail chains sell maternity fashions that not only flatter you but also make feeding babies that much easier. These outfits may be equipped with flaps that can be unhooked and additionally used to provide cover.

2. Use a Blanket or a Nursing Cover

With a blanket or a nursing cover, mothers can comfortably feed and not fear to expose anyone no matter how much the baby moves.

A nursing cover also has the added advantage of straps to hold the blanket in place so that it doesn’t slip off, unlike regular blankets.

You can even wear various patterns if you are feeling a bit fancy!

If you prefer to use a blanket, make sure it is well ventilated so it doesn’t obstruct air and keep the baby’s skin cool.

3. Wear a Sling

Kill two birds with one stone. A sling helps you carry your baby and also gives the privacy you need during feeding times.

Passersby get the impression that your baby is just snoozing. Talk about convenient!

4. Practice Before Going Outside

To avoid unnecessary embarrassment lest you flash someone, try practicing in front of the mirror.

Pretend like you are in a public setting and adjust the positions of your body to minimize the amount of skin you show. Remember your baby’s feeding needs come first before looks and fashion.

Get a friend or your partner to watch as well to make sure you are getting it right.

It takes some time getting used to but once you master it, you can confidently and quickly feed your baby in the public areas.

5. Pick a Quiet Place for Feeding

The hustle bustle of public places isn’t an ideal place for a meal.

However, your baby still needs to eat.

Consider moving to a quieter space like the deeper, out of the way tables at a restaurant or a lonely park bench away from the crowds.

Don’t go to a bathroom stall or to a cleaning area. You wouldn’t eat on a smelly toilet, neither should your baby.

Putting off feeding for too long will result in a frustrated baby and a frenzied mother. Annoyed babies will not easily latch on to the nipple and thrash around, making feeding even harder.

Additionally, if you don’t find your desired space to comfortably feed the baby, ask establishment managers or staff. Most of the time, they are more than friendly and extremely accommodating.

6. Stand Up for Yourself if You Face Harassment

There are many rude people out there who would either intensely stare at you while you are feeding your baby or tell you that you are guilty of public indecency.

Do not give these people the satisfaction of getting angry or agitated. Instead, simply tell them that you are trying to feed your child and carry a copy of the law to support your argument then promptly walk away.

If you fear violence, call 911 or the emergency helpline of your country.

Most of the time, people are genuinely curious about your newborn hence the stares. Don’t let them take away your confidence to walk in public.

Conclusion

Babies, especially newborns need constant feeding and working mothers don’t always find secluded places to nurse them. That’s why mothers resort to feeding their babies wherever they can. Without proper feeding, babies can get very difficult to handle. Hopefully, these tips will help you do so without being uncomfortable

And ladies, you shouldn’t shy away from taking care of your baby. Remember, you’re a mother now and the baby’s needs always comes first.

About the Author:

This article was contributed by Stepheny on behalf of FeedFond. She’s a mother of two and many of her tips are taken from real-life experiences. Check out more of her work at FeedFond.com

How To Stay Healthy & Fit While Breastfeeding

Taking care of your baby is paramount. After all, you waited a whole nine months to finally get to hold your little bundle of joy. But wait — you look at yourself in the mirror and notice the dark circles under your eyes, your unkempt hair, unhealthy pallor and protruding stomach.

You once swore to yourself that by month four, at least, you would resume your old workout routine. But it is now six months later, and baby seems healthy. How about you?

As a breastfeeding mom, it’s very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of childcare, work and daily household tasks. Eating properly becomes more challenging, and fitting in some form of exercise seems next to impossible. But don’t give up yet — there’s always something you can do to get back into shape.

With this practical advice for nursing mothers such as yourself, you’ll soon be wearing that flattering tank top you’ve been meaning to wear this past year.

  1. Reach for a glass of H2O

Remember, you are breastfeeding, and breast milk is 87 percent water, so do the math. Aside from  drinking water (a lot!), your best bets for proper hydration are fresh vegetable and fruit juices, herbal teas and almond milk.

Caffeinated beverages and wine will have to be consumed in moderation since anything you ingest will definitely affect the quality of your milk and will have an effect on your baby’s well-being.

  1. Eat for you and for baby

Eating for two can mean having small meals or snacks throughout the day just like your little one to avoid overeating from extreme hunger pangs. Stick to nutritious snacks and meals with plenty of quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Eat healthy and natural foods, including green leafy vegetables, wild freshly-caught fish, nuts and whole grains. If you have access to organic food and ingredients, then that would be much better.

Have an occasional treat now and then, but make sure it is free from chemicals and artificial ingredients, colorants, flavor enhancers and the like. As long as you are eating healthy, you can forget about counting calories — so yes, you can definitely have your cake and eat it, too.

  1. Commit to a simple fitness plan

In setting your fitness goal, make sure it is realistic, simple and something you can commit to. Start with something as easy to accomplish as walking, or something low-impact like circuit training, Pilates or yoga, then gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your body begins to adjust to your exercise routine, regains strength, and recovers from the strain of giving birth.

Make exercise a regular part of your day. It doesn’t matter if you exercise in the morning, afternoon or at night, as long as you do it with some consistency. Some special added bonuses of exercise include a general feeling of wellness, better quality sleep, and time for focusing on yourself.

  1. Give yourself time to chill

Snacking on your favorite fruit while reading your favorite book is a great way to wind down while baby is busy snoozing or playing. On weekends, you can wear your most comfortable mama clothing and wander idly through the neighborhood, go exploring while eating ice cream, and baby is in the stroller relaxing.

Whenever you have a few rare hours to yourself, call a friend, catch up and go to a salon for a facial or a mani-pedi, do a little window shopping, watch a movie, or drop by your favorite bookstore.

Take a long, warm soothing bath, get a home massage, cook your favorite meal and savor dinner time while help is at hand, or simply use your exercise routine as the time to focus on yourself, recover and feel empowered.

So there’s really no reason to feel bad at this stage because with just a little push from within, you’ll be well on your way towards getting fit. All you need to do is set your goals straight, and stay committed to taking extra care of yourself with a wholesome wellness, nutrition and fitness plan.

AUTHOR BIO

At 16, Merril Bainbridge began her career in the Australian fashion industry. In her early 20’s she left to launch a successful Pop Music career which saw her at the top of the US Music Charts. Retiring to start a family, she found a new purpose helping breastfeeding women with her fashion label, Peachymama.