Breastfeeding in public
Take heart from the fact that you are doing the best for your baby.
Breastfeeding in public is something that you may need to get used to, as some moms might feel uncomfortable. However, our society seems to frown upon this practice, which makes it more difficult for you if you are out and about with your baby.
Use these guidelines/tips to make it easier for you:
- Ask people if they mind: It is courtesy to warn those around you that you are about to feed your baby. That way if they really are offended it gives them a chance to leave the room!
- Do it discretely: As long as you are discrete about putting your baby to the breast, most people will not mind you feeding in front of them. Use a blanket or a towelling nappy to cover you while feeding.
- Wear the right clothes: Make sure you have a top on that will open just enough to allow your baby to get access to your breast without exposing you too much. A two-piece outfit is best, as you can just lift up or unbutton the top. You can use a jacket or over-shirt as a "screen" to hide your breast and baby. There are also special maternity T-shirts available.
- Feed in a sling: A cloth one that goes over your shoulders shields your baby from view.
- Use a blanket: What would we do without receiving blankets? One of their many uses is to drape discreetly over your shoulder and your baby. Just make sure that your baby does not get too hot, and that he can breathe freely.
- Hurry up: Feed your baby as soon as he starts niggling for food, or you'll soon have a screamer on your hands, which is bound to attract even more attention.
- Find a place: If you are not in a place that has a special breastfeeding room, find a private place like the change room of a shop, or the corner of a restaurant, with your back to the room.
- Changing rooms: If you are uncomfortable about feeding in public go to any clothing store nearby and ask them if you can use the changing rooms to quickly feed your baby. This way you will not need to use public toilets which are not really ideal places to feed a baby.
- Persevere: Breastfeeding becomes second nature after a while and you can latch a hungry baby in seconds. In addition, your baby can go longer without a feed, so you may be able to get round your errands without having to feed your baby.
Remember, it is your right to breastfeed your baby – and your baby's right to be fed! So be discreet to minimise any embarrassment, but don't be put off your decision to breastfeed.