Public breastfeeding 101: Mothers share their best advice

Public breastfeeding 101: Mothers share their best advice

Despite the rise in support for nursing moms, breastfeeding in public can still seem alienating. Luckily, there's this helpful public breastfeeding 101!

While public breastfeeding continues to gain mainstream support through media and social media, the fact remains that it can still be a rather alienating experience for mums. Many people out there still believe that breastfeeding is something that's more appropriately done in private as opposed to out in the open.

Honestly, we could talk until we're blue in the face about the ridiculousness of that ideology, but that's not why we're here today. Actually, the reason we're here today is not just to advocate and show support towards public breastfeeding but to spread some helpful and insightful tips and tricks about how to breastfeed in public with ease.

In a recent post, initially shared on Momtastic, a series of tenured mummies shared their best advice on how to hand;e public breastfeeding. Take a look at what these breastfeeding veterans had to say, and feel free to share your own personal tips and tricks!

1. Pick a familiar place to practice nursing in public

“Mum-and-baby yoga classes, nursing support groups, and the nursing mothers room in a store are all great places to start,” says Joanna C., a Washington, DC-based mum. “Once you get your routine down, you’ll feel a lot more confident feeding your baby in a new place.”

2.  Focus on your baby, not your surroundings

“Just remember that it doesn’t matter what other people think, all that matters is that your baby comes first,” says Jennifer N. of San Francisco.

public breastfeeding 101

3. Don’t be afraid to speak up in restaurants

Heather S. was at a pizza place with her family and friends in New York City when her baby decided it was time to nurse. Her 10-month-old was getting too distracted at the table with everyone else chatting and having a good time, so Heather asked if she could nurse her baby at a quiet table in the back instead. The manager was incredibly friendly and accommodating.

4. Look for out-of-the way benches at festivals and parks

"Nursing in a crowded park, festival, or playground can be intimidating. Instead, look for a patch or grass or bench that’s off-the-beaten path, where you can nurse in private, without distractions or spectators," says Jenny Studenroth.

Check out more helpful tips and tricks on public breastfeeding from these mummies! Visit page two for more!

5. Try the buddy system for extra support

Says Jessica O. from Atlanta, Georgia. That's what she did after she was criticised for feeding her 4-week-old baby in a museum. By moving to an area where she could sit with her husband and other children while breastfeeding, she felt supported, rather than ostracised.

6. Use a nursing cover, if you want some privacy

"Choose a cover that’s light and breathable, like one of these top picks," claims Jenny Studenroth 

public breastfeeding 101

7. No cover? Use the baby’s blanket 

"I always have at least one Aden + Anais swaddle in my diaper bag, and if I need to I can tie it and slip it over my head to create a bib-like cover," suggests Jenny Studenroth.

8. Invest in some cute clothes that are9 easy to nurse in

"Trying to discreetly get your top undone while holding a starving, flailing, probably screaming baby is not easy," says Studenroth. "Especially when you have an audience. Brands like Pink Blush and Milk Nursingwear offer stylish options that are easy to nurse in. I’ve also been loving button-down and cowl neck shirts and dresses!"

9. Nurse your baby in her carrier

"I have successfully nursed my daughter in both this easy strap-on Infantino carrier and this popular self-tie wrap (our pediatrician gave me the OK to do so when my daughter was about 8-weeks-old). Not only is this a discreet choice for breastfeeding in public, but it lets you do so hands-free," says Jenny Studenroth.

Check out more helpful tips and tricks on public breastfeeding from these mummies! Visit page two for more!

10. Get creative if your baby doesn’t like his cover

"Some babies, particularly older ones, just don’t want to be covered up while they’re eating," claims Jenny Studenroth. "If your baby falls into this category, try covering up with his sun hat or even a spare onesie once he’s latched on."

11. Keep her focused with a baby-safe necklace

"There are plenty of distractions when out and about, so consider investing in something your babe can focus on and play with while nursing. We like Chewbeads (also great for teething) and Nommies by Mommy," adds Studenroth.

public breastfeeding 101

12. Have a sense of humor about accidental flashing

“Once my babies were around 7 or 8 months, feeding them in public became a whole new struggle because they would be distracted by EVERYTHING!” shares Caitlin R., of Springville, Utah. “Sometimes I ended up accidentally flashing anyone watching when the child I was feeding would pull away unexpectedly.” Her solution: laugh it off.

13. Say to h*ll with the rude people

“Know that people who say negative things or give you nasty looks are completely in the wrong,” says Emma T., of Seattle. “What you are doing is not inappropriate.”

14. Trust that you’ll feel more confident over time

“It got easier the longer I did it,” says Jen M. of Cambridge, Minnesota. “At first, I was extremely worried about someone seeing my breasts or tummy, if I had to pull my shirt up. I also worried about offending people. By my third child, I didn’t worry about those things so much.”

This article and its helpful information was originally posted on Momtastic.

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