One of the main reasons I didn’t want to go anywhere after Rachel was born was the embarrassment of figuring out how to breastfeed in public. Now that I have found a way Rachel and I can comfortably breastfeed wherever we are, there is so much more freedom in where we go and how long we are out.
There are many ways to feed your little one in public: breastfeeding expressed breast milk, or formula. The most important thing is that your little one is fed! The purpose of this post is to help mama and baby find a way to comfortably breastfeed in public if that is what they choose to do.
You have the right to breastfeed how and where you choose! Although I bet if you are reading this post, that isn’t the type of advise you are looking for, my point is to not let anyone shame you or make you feel uncomfortable in how you choose to feed your child. You have the legal right to breastfeed openly in public (with the exception of Idaho I believe).
There are tops out there made specifically for breastfeeding, that have secret panels that allow you to breastfeed without lifting your whole top and with minimal skin exposure. Brands like Motherhood offer a wide selection. I wore one of these recently to a Halloween party and it definitely made nursing a bit easier.
You can also try button up tops, which would allow you to just unbutton the top few buttons to nurse.
This is hands down my favorite way to nurse in public. I purchased these belly bands to wear while I was pregnant to add length underneath my tops at the end of pregnancy. Now I use them under my regular tops to cover from my pants/shorts/skirt up to my nursing bra. All I need to do is lift my top, get a baby in place, unhook the nursing bra, latch a baby on, and position my shirt to cover anything above the baby’s head that I️ choose not to expose.
I love that it gives full coverage, allows me to wear a great variety of tops, and I only had to make one purchase to get me through pregnancy and nursing.
I purchased this nursing cover while trying to learn how to nurse in public. And while I️ love how versatile this nursing cover is, Rachel was just not feeling it. It may be that she was new to nursing with layers between us (we had been skin to skin before) or that since we live in LA the cover made it too hot for her, or she just doesn’t like to be covered. I️ kept the cover because it is so cute and versatile and will be trying to nurse with it again as it cools down a bit for our SoCal “winter”.
Another important option is to just find a place you are comfortable and that will give you and your little one some privacy.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to practice at home before trying it out in public, that way you can find out in advance if something doesn’t work for you, or if your little one just doesn’t like something. Practice will boost your confidence in the method you have chosen and it gives your little one a chance to adjust to your new way of nursing in a comfortable and familiar surrounding.
If there is anything I️ missed or if you have additional advice, please share it in the comments!
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