Breastfeeding at home, in your cozy sweatpants while leaning in the recliner, is one thing. Nursing in public, however, is a completely different animal. Although it usually takes a while to get comfortable with breastfeeding at all, throwing in the added "excitement" of doing it in front of people is enough to give some moms anxiety. Luckily, there are lots of ways to become more comfortable breastfeeding in public so that even the most inexperienced nurser can become a seasoned pro.
Though I can't remember the very first time I nursed my daughter in public, I do remember the awkward first few weeks of trying to forge a solid breastfeeding relationship. Even when I was around my friends and family, I was often tempted to just throw a blanket over both of our heads and feed inside our tiny "tent." Although I was never embarrassed to breastfeed in public, sometimes it felt awkward. All I wanted was a little bit of privacy to work out the kinks, so to speak.
Since you can't expect to stay cooped up in your house every time you breastfeed, it's probably a good idea to get acquainted with the idea of nursing in public. After a few "practice runs" you'll be able to feed your baby no matter where you go with ease. To help get your started, here are a few way to become comfortable breastfeeding in public.
Wear Clothes That Are Easy To Nurse In
Most clothes weren't designed with breastfeeding in mind and, as frustrating as that can be to a nursing mom, it's better to think ahead than to find out the hard way that maybe wearing your bodycon dress wasn't the best idea. Think layers with easy access to the goods. If you're OK with baring it all, a v-neck or button down shirt works great. Otherwise, wear loose shirts or maybe even a cute nursing dress.
Turn Away To Latch On
Latch on can be awkward as you simultaneously try to avoid flashing everyone and help your baby latch at the same time. Often, your baby is distracted by the noise and sights around, making it even trickier to get a good latch. Although it's not always possible to avoid the noise altogether, try turning away to latch and use the same technique that you would at home.
Have A Response In Mind
In the case that someone is rude enough to ask you to move or makes a snide remark, have a simple response in mind. Even if it's as simple as "I have the legal right to breastfeed here," knowing what to say in advance can help you relax, even if no one actually says anything.
If All Else Fails, Fake It Till You Make It
You might not feel confident or comfortable right away, and that's okay. Breastfeeding in general is a hard task to master and doing it in public only adds to the stress. Go easy on yourself, and remember that ultimately, what anyone else says or thinks doesn't really matter as long as you're doing what needs to be done for your baby.