How to Nursing in Public
Nursing in public may take some practice, and some moms are more comfortable with it than others. The majority of moms are afraid to nurse in public because they feel embarrassed or are afraid they will expose themselves too much and other people will see what they are doing. This may take some time to feel comfortable with, that’s alright. The public has a false view of breasts – men think they were put on women for their pleasure, and sometimes women have to get over the fact that their breasts are to nurse their young as well. As a nursing mother you have a right to nurse in public – would you ever consider eating your dinner in a dirty public restroom? You shouldn’t expect your baby to either.
Breastfeeding in Public Natural
Nursing in public has several benefits. First of all, it makes feeding your baby easy. You don’t have to pack bottles or formula, you don’t have to mix anything, there are no bottles to take home and clean. Second, it reiterates to the public the real reason women have breasts.
The more people are exposed to breastfeeding in public, the more natural it will become.
- Breastfeeding is natural. Breastfeeding is NORMAL.
Breastfeeding is the best nutrition you can provide to your baby – formula will never, ever give you baby the many benefits breastmilk can. And, by the way, most of the time people won’t even realize you are nursing your baby. They don’t go out looking for it, and when they see a mom nursing, they might assume you are just holding your baby! In
They don’t go out looking for it, and when they see a mom nursing, they might assume you are just holding your baby! In fact, I have had people come up asking to see the baby – while I am nursing. They had no idea I was nursing in the first place, and just assume my baby is sleeping or being held close.
To begin nursing in public with confidence, first practice at home! Stand in front of a mirror and practice nursing your baby in public – you will see what other people will see as you latch your baby on and nurse, so you won’t have to wonder what you are exposing.
You can practice nursing several different ways – by simply lifting up your shirt, unbuttoning your button up shirt from the bottom, a nurse under a blanket or shawl. Receiving blankets are especially handy to nurse under – you don’t need a full-size sheet to keep yourself covered up, and you certainly don’t want a blanket so heavy your baby is uncomfortable or has trouble breathing under.
Some babies cannot tolerate being covered while they nurse, and if this is the case with you, try to find a way to nurse without covering with a blanket, or try using a nursing necklace to occupy your baby while he’s nursing under the blanket – sometimes a diversion is all it takes to get his attention off whatever is covering his head.
There are ways you can make life easier while nursing. For example, there are shirts made with invisible flaps or slits in the shirt for nursing moms. There is no shirt lifting, unbuttoning or otherwise with these nursing shirts (and they are available in a bunch of styles and colors!).
Another example: a nursing bra can be more convenient than a sports bra. The fold down flaps prevents you from having to raise your sports bra over your breast (which may attract attention as you wrestle with yourself). There are also very comfortable “undershirts” with nursing bra’s built-in, so you don’t have to worry about showing off your back or your sides while lifting your shirt up to nurse.
Wear a shirt over these and when you live your shirt and fold down the nursing flap of the bra, your skin will still be covered. In fact, you can easily make a shirt like this (without the build in bra) by finding an old tank top, cutting out circles where your breasts will be, and when you prepare to nurse and fold down your nursing bra to nurse, you will still have your skin covered. This was comforting to me especially in the early weeks after having a baby when I still had flabby skin and stretch marks.
Another great option is nursing in a sling. Slings are great for not only carrying your baby close to your body (you can use a sling from the day baby is born until they are too heavy to carry – they can lay down, be carried upright, on your hip, on your back, forward facing – and they are excellent to nurse your baby so that no one can even notice you are nursing. The great thing about slings is that your baby is carried close, and baby is generally always covered by the sling – which means your breast will be too. You can adjust the sling so your baby is in a cocoon and not visible, or you can use the tail of your sling as a blanket to cover you baby with. while you nurse. There are many varieties of slings available.