Breastfeeding in public gets enough unnecessary controversy from people who think it's indecent or unacceptable, but there's also something else to note about breastfeeding in public — it can be really difficult. Whether you're comfortable being covered or prefer not to be, public spaces are not always spacious or roomy. It's always nice to have some breastfeeding positions for small public spaces in your brain, especially for the days when your baby is starving on the subway ride home or you can't find a booth in an overcrowded restaurant.
In general, any position will work, as long as both you and baby are comfortable, but some are simply better than others. I never could get the hang of the football hold everyone told me about, and I found that it was my least favorite of all the breastfeeding positions. As I got more confident in nursing my daughter, I always found laying down to be one of the easiest (and most relaxing) ways to feed her. (Plus, it almost always guaranteed a nap for both of us, so it was a total win.) But unless you're willing to lay on the floor of a busy store or stretch yourself out across the passengers sitting next to you on the airplane, it's best to keep these five breastfeeding positions for small public spaces in mind.
1. Laidback Breastfeeding
According to The Huffington Post, the laidback breastfeeding position requires reclining, but it could work in any kind of seat. The trick is to have your baby bear their entire weight on your body so that they are essentially on top of you while breastfeeding. You're already using that space, right? So laying your baby on top of your chest and stomach so they can reach your breast saves your elbow room and keeps your little one safe from getting a suitcase to the head.
2. Wear Your Baby To Breastfeed
For a super easy way to breastfeed in a small public space, take some advice from KellyMom and try wearing your baby so you can feed them as they rest in your sling or carrier. Your arms are free, so there is no awkward elbow movement and your baby is still all tucked in.
3. Sitting Up
Not only is a sitting up position great for keeping reflux at bay, but it can also be helpful in tight public areas. It works best if your baby is older and can already sit up a bit on their own (and with good neck control), but you can sit them in your lap and position your breast in their mouth so they are leaning against you as they nurse. KellyMom noted that this position works great if you also place your baby's tummy against your own.
4. Cradle Hold With A Knee Prop
Love the cradle hold? Keep doing it. But if you rely on a Boppy or other nursing pillow at home to help with the weight of your child, pull your knee up to act as an extra prop. This can also give your arms a little more room to tuck your elbows in so both you and your baby are comfortable in the space.
5. Lean Forward
This one is fairly similar to the resting position, but it can work in small spaces like airplanes or trains. Lay your baby on your legs, lean forward, and hold your breast over their mouth. It may not be the most comfortable position, but if you're trying to utilize your space, it can work.