How to Breastfeed in Public
5 tips to nurse wherever you are, discreetly and with confidence.
“Feed your baby anywhere,” they say. “It will be easy.” Breastfeeding in public can be seamless and easy, but there are barriers to overcome depending on a variety of factors. For example, if you’ve got an F cup size, whipping the breasts out may not be as easy a feat as it would be for someone with a B cup! But rest assure that breastfeeding in public can be done by anyone, almost anywhere (did you hear that, Idaho?! Get on board already!) because, well, when a baby is hungry, a baby’s gonna eat!
So let’s talk about some ways you can gear up to become the expert in “nursing in public” you are bound to be! Here are 5 ways you can prepare to breastfeed in public like a pro, discreetly and everything.
1. Invest in a nursing cover. You don’t have to use one, and, truth be told, as your babe gets bigger she will no doubt attempt to yank it off. But for now, this will be something to help you get started nursing in public while growing some confidence. Pick something easy to put on and lightweight, like a swaddle blanket. We also love the Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl for its ability to be worn in many ways, even when not nursing! Alternatively, you can use a baby carrier to keep baby comfy while nursing discreetly. The Ergobaby carrier or the Sakura Bloom are both great options.
2. Get some easy access clothes. Easy-access clothes may have had a different meaning when you were in dating mode but now, you need stuff that your baby likes, not your man! If you can easily pull down the neckline, then I consider it “nursing friendly.” But there are also some great nursing tops and dresses on that make it easy to be fashionable while feeding your baby. For a little styling inspiration, perouse the clothes at Loyal Hana and Seraphine.
3. Practice at home. This might sound a little bit silly. Practice?! But trust me, this can really help you get the perfect position and figure out exactly how others will see you. Take a seat in front of a mirror and nurse your babe. You’ll notice that truly, less breast shows than when you’re wearing a bikini top! When I first did this, the realization that I wasn’t completely “hanging out” of my top was settling and made me feel better about nursing in a public place.
4. Choose a location strategically. For your first few times nursing in public, pick a place you know and love — your favorite brunch spot where you know the staff or your closest park where there’s a quiet spot with a bench. Start off in a comfortable, familiar location — in a spot that is, in a sense, yours — will help you ease into nursing in public. Even having a friend or your partner with you can make you feel more comfortable. From there, you’ll feel better about branching out into other places and spaces, whether you’re by yourself or with other people.
5. Focus on your baby. Focusing on your baby, the nourishment you’re giving her and the ability to be able to nurse her anywhere and anytime is a positive way you can stop you from getting nervous or anxious about anyone staring or whispering about you. Those are rare circumstances anyway. Don’t give in to someone who may be giving a look of disgust or who moves away from you – remember that you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby and what’s legally allowed (once again, we’re looking at you, Idaho!).
Photography by Belle Augusta for Well Rounded NY. Shibori nursing cover available at A Gifted Baby.