The 4th of July is typically a lighthearted day of fun and time spent with family. For a breastfeeding mom, however, it can also be filled with a bit of nervousness about feeding your baby in a public place around people you don't know. how to breastfeed at a 4th of July picnic is a common worry when the holiday rolls around, especially since the celebrations are usually filled with more than just close friends and family, leading to some potentially awkward experiences from onlookers. Feeding your baby, however, should be your top priority regardless of what picnic goers may say or do.
Luckily, with a few tips about the best ways to breastfeed in public, you'll be more confident about your rights as a breastfeeding mom. And isn't celebrating your hard fought rights what the 4th of July is all about?
Speaking of rights, they're the first thing you should know before you try to breastfeed in public. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 49 states currently have legislation in place that specifically allow a woman to breastfeed in any private or public location. Although each state does things a bit differently, public breastfeeding is legal, so you should never be asked to go somewhere else to nurse your baby, picnic or otherwise.
After that legal confidence boost, tips for how to practically nurse in public are the most helpful. Many first time moms prefer to use a nursing cover when breastfeeding in busy areas, but you certainly don't have to. The choice is completely your own but whether you use a cover or not, you'll want to wear clothes that are easily accessible. You don't want to have to basically undress in order to nurse your baby, so loose tops, strapless dresses, and of course, clothes designed specifically for breastfeeding are your best (and most convenient) bet.
From there, you'll need to find a spot you feel comfortable nursing in. Whether your picnic is in a local park, a friend's backyard, or indoors somewhere, finding the best spot can be tricky. Most places, unfortunately, don't have specific breastfeeding-friendly areas, but finding the quietest area around might be your best option for a successful nursing session.
Belly Belly noted that babies often get distracted while they're nursing, so being in a public area with lots of commotion and excitement likely won't make things easier on either of you. Although there's nothing wrong with nursing in the middle of the party, sometimes finding a secluded or quiet area can make your nursing session easier — with less fidgeting, squirming, and accidental exposing.
Lastly, it's probably best to get your breastfeeding session out of the way sooner rather than later, so you're not juggling a feeding baby, your own food, and a conversation with friends at the same time. Feed your baby first, and then you'll be freed up to eat and enjoy the conversation (and maybe a drink or two) without having to worry about a hungry babe.
Nursing on holidays can throw your schedule for a loop, but with a little bit of adjusting and planning, there's nothing that a nursing mom can't do.