Regardless of whether or not you celebrate the Fourth, if you live in the United States chances are you'll be within earshot of fireworks or in close proximity to Independence Day festivities. From parades and picnics to carnivals and cookouts, millions of Americans will come together to celebrate the anniversary of the day Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. And while it might not be obvious, Fourth of July festivities are great for breastfeeding.
Sure, there are the classic Fourth of July recipes, American flag everything, and patriotic songs on blast everywhere you go. And if you're the type to adore a parade, chances are you'll be listening to your local high school's marching band — a nostalgia bomb if there ever was one. Or maybe you'll be watching fireworks from your backyard BBQ, happy to skip the crowds and simply enjoy the day at home with close friends and family. Either way, the Fourth of July is sure to be a day marked by random history lessons from our elders and patriotic posts on social media. I know I'm already prepared for my loud neighbor to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" as the fireworks blast off in uptown Manhattan.
But for nursing parents, the parades and cookouts mean freedom to nurse without all of the attention that usually comes with it. Remaining incognito while your boobs are out is arguably a win, sure, but that's not the only reason why Independence Day latches are great. Here are seven reasons why breastfeeding during the Fourth is pretty great, in case you're preparing to nurse in the middle of all that freedom:
1. All The Drinks
Staying hydrated throughout the day will be easier than usual, especially if you're at a BBQ or party. With drinks in the cooler and replenishments close by, one thing you can count on is regular access to beverages.
As a breastfeeding mom, bottomless juices and ice water will help you keep up your energy while nourishing your little one. All of the liquids around you can help you ensure that you don't get dehydrated in the heat!
2. Fireworks Will Keep Other People's Eyes Off You
Whether you're nursing a newborn or a toddler, sometimes it can feel like you're being watched or judged by the people around you. With so much going on during the Fourth, however, the focus will be less on you and your hungry child and more on the fireworks and sparklers. Your little one might get distracted by the sounds and colors, sure, but at least you won't feel like the center of attention once the festivities pop off.
3. All The Food
There are so many amazing Fourth of July recipes to choose from, and every cookout has at least one person who swears their potato salad is the best. Breastfeeding during the Fourth of July is great because you'll have so many foods to choose from! You might also have multiple people willing to make you a plate, especially when nursing puts you in a physically awkward position or your baby falls asleep on you.
Maybe there will even be fruit salads and veggie platters to nosh on while the baby is nursing.
4. Your Clothes Will Probably Make Nursing Easier
Summer weather means less layers. If you're outside for the Fourth of July, you're most likely going to dress for the summer weather and, if you're like me, that means tank tops and sun dresses. Not only will these fashion choices make it easier for you to stay cool, they'll make breastfeeding so much easier since you'll have less fabric to move aside. Sometimes, nursing can be extra difficult when you have to go through layers and layers of clothes. Summer clothes mean easier access!
5. It's A Great Time To Celebrate With Your Child
Even if your child is a baby, getting to experience the festivities with them is special. They'll be in awe of all the sounds and colors as they celebrate the day, and you'll get to watch their face light up along with the fireworks. In the future, you can look back on you child's first Fourth of July celebrations and smile at the memories of watching them experience new things.
6. It'll Be Easy To Sneak Away
With everyone is distracted by the fun and games of the celebrations, you'll have so many opportunities to find a private place to breastfeed if you want to. If people are gathered in the backyard, you can find a spot in the house to nurse. Or, if everyone is down by the water at the beach, you can go back to your car and have some time alone with your little one while they eat.
7. If Anyone Asks What You're Doing, All You Have To Say Is, "Freedom!"
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. If anyone questions or negatively judges you for breastfeeding, especially on a day about celebrating freedom from harsh rule, you can remind them that you're exercising your rights. While your choice to breastfeed is none of their business, if they try and discourage you you can quiet them quickly with that very specific, very patriotic clapback.