Breastfeeding in public is a very personal matter, even women who are comfortable with breastfeeding at home or in private may not feel comfortable nursing in public even when done with discretion. All women should find what works best for them and their nursing baby. It is normal to feel only comfortable in the privacy of your own home, but just know it is okay to nurse in public.
There are many options new options available for new moms to help make breastfeeding easier and more discrete in public. Nursing moms can now download convenient apps on their smart phone to find clean, and private nursing locations while out and about. If these options are not available there are other tips nursing moms can try. Wearing the right clothes is key to making nursing in public go smoothly. Some moms wear two layers so less skin will show, while others wear a loose-fitting shirt so it is easy to lift or a button up shirt for convenience.
Nursing moms should have a nursing bra that is easy to unlock and fasten helping to avoid complications while in public. Practice makes perfect, so try a few times before going out for better results. An essential item for nursing mothers to have in their diaper bags is a nursing cover; whether it is a light blanket or a baby cover that is made for breastfeeding in public. This will help to ensure a little more privacy if that is what is wanted. Always keep in mind if it is a sweltering day and you are nursing outside to check frequently how warm the temperature is getting underneath the blanket. There could be an increased risk for the baby to overheat depending how thick the blanket is, and how much air is flowing through.
As a nursing mother, it is important to know your babies sign when they are becoming hungry. Try looking at possible places when arriving; this may help to alleviate some of the of the stress by planning a little ahead. When it comes to choosing the perfect spot for nursing look for a place that is not very visible but is comfortable with good back support. No matter what spot a nursing mother chooses, if it is right in the middle of everything or off to the side, there will always be someone who does not agree with nursing in public, so choose a spot that is comfortable for you and your nursing baby. If a mother chooses to nurse in public she may have to be ready for unneeded comments. Try educating them on the benefits of breastfeeding. Who knows, it may just change their views. Or just laugh it out! As a nursing mother, it is important to know your babies sign when they are becoming hungry and how much time nursing mothers should find a quiet place to and get comfortable. This may help to alleviate some of the of the stress by planning a little ahead.
There are organizations that are trying to enlighten the public about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers. Such organizations like La Leche, which is an international organization with chapters in the United States and abroad, strive to help normalize breastfeeding in public and in private. La Leche is one of many organizations successfully showing the world that breastfeeding is a normal, safe, and natural part of life.
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