Breastfeeding in public is something that many mamas should never be ashamed of. But for some mamas, it can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s your first time being a parent.
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world. Knowing that you can feed your baby whenever, wherever is simply incredible, isn’t it?
But while breastfeeding in public is widely accepted, not all mamas share the confidence to nurse whenever their little one cries for breast milk. Some say they’re afraid of exposing themselves while others are concerned that they may put off strangers.
No matter what that nagging worry is in your mind, we’re here to share simple yet effective ways to help you nurse without worries.
5 Tips To Help You Enjoy Breastfeeding in Public
1. Use a nursing cover
One of the easiest ways to have stress-free breastfeeding in public is to wear a nursing cover. There is no shortage of options for mamas, from aprons to scarves. All you need really is to pick a style that works for you.
What are the different types of nursing covers?
- Nursing apron. With an apron-style nursing cover, you simply tie or pull it over your head and allow it to drape over your baby. This type of nursing cover is usually more structured and comes with an open neckline that lets you peek at your little one while she nurses.
- Nursing poncho. This nursing cover is similar to an apron–you slip it over your head. What sets it apart though, is that it provides full coverage for feeding. If you’re worried about exposing yourself, a nursing poncho is your best bet.
- Nursing scarf. This style of nursing cover is often dubbed the best because of its versatility. Even better, they can be worn like a regular scarf so you don’t need to keep it in your diaper bag. With a nursing scarf, you simply pull it over your baby and drape it across your shoulders.
- Nursing shawl. Similar to a shawl, this type of nursing cover is loosely draped over your shoulders and comes with buttons to secure it for breastfeeding.
2. Use layered clothes or nursing tops
In tropical climates like Singapore, a nursing cover may not be a welcome idea for some mamas. If you breastfeed outdoors or under the sun, you may worry that your baby is getting hot and stuffy under the cover, right?
In that case, you can also wear nursing tops that come with discreet slits in front that you pull open whenever you need to nurse your child. If you’re afraid of too much exposure, consider wearing layered clothing instead.
Experienced mamas often recommend wearing the layering approach. It involves wearing a nursing top under another layer of the shirt. This way, you can pull up the outer shirt and pull down your inner top when your baby is ready to nurse.
3. Practice at home
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Not all babies like being under a nursing cover, so it would be a good idea to take your nursing cover for a spin to get your baby used to it. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident breastfeeding in public.
4. Find a breastfeeding station or choose a comfortable spot
Breastfeeding is all about you and your baby. If possible, find a good spot that allows you to nurse freely. Most indoor places have breastfeeding stations or family lounges, which you can use as a place to nurse until you gain the confidence to breastfeed openly.
5. Know that you’re not doing anything wrong
Let’s admit it, you can’t please everyone. But when you know your rights, you can have one less thing to worry about.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.”
When you’re armed with such knowledge, you’re bound to feel more confident in what you’re doing–a completely natural thing!
Hanna of Mama's Choice
A mama of one energetic toddler, Hanna likes to read books, watch baking shows, and play video games when her little one is asleep.