These 7 Tips for Nursing on the Go Will Help You With the Public Breastfeeding Debate
Most moms know that breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy option for their baby. The problem is that nowadays mothers need to work, shop, take their other children places, and do a thousand other things; it’s hard to always be in a private area when your baby is hungry. Social norms make many women feel wrong for feeding their children in public areas, but don’t let this stop you. There are several steps you can take to be discrete about feeding your child. You should also not let people stop you from doing what’s best for your children.
Are You Allowed to Breastfeed in Public?
First, let’s answer the burning question at hand:
You have every right to breastfeed in public. In fact, many areas now have laws protecting breastfeeding mothers. However, you should also take steps to respect the wished of others and be discrete.
Is Public Breastfeeding Legal
Breastfeeding in public is finally legal in all 50 states! The public breastfeeding debate is absolutely ludicrous in my opinion. This is a right that was a long time in coming. Thankfully, you can now legally and safely breastfeed your baby in public no matter where you go in the US.
Is Public Breastfeeding Wrong
Breastfeeding in public is no more wrong than giving your baby a bottle. Feeding your baby is a natural way of life and breastfeeding should be looked at as absolutely normal. It is not wrong to breastfeed your baby in public. As moms we have a right and obligation to feed our hungry babies. We should not be ashamed to do so.
Can breastfeeding in public be done the wrong way? Absolutely! I believe many woman are flaunting their right to breastfeed in public, and thereby are drawing negative attention to breastfeeding. Public breastfeeding is not wrong and it should be done the right way.
How to Breastfeed in Public Discreetly
Just because breastfeeding is legal and is your right as a mom, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to respect others and breastfeed discreetly. I don’t mean that you should have to hide out in a corner away from civilization, but out of courtesy for others, covering yourself up while breastfeeding is a good idea. Thankfully, there are many options available to not only breastfeed in public discreetly, but also to do it with class and style.
Here are some of the top picks for breastfeeding discreetly in public.
- Arrow Nursing Cover with Sewn In Burp Cloth for Breastfeeding Infants
- Nursing Scarf
- Baby Nursing Cover & Nursing Poncho
Best Breastfeeding Tricks for Breastfeeding in Public
I have found that the more comfortable I am with breastfeeding at home, the more comfortable I will be nursing when I’m on the go.
So, some tricks I’ve used for breastfeeding in public are:
- Practice practice practice! Get comfortable using a blanket at your own house and helping your baby navigate the breast without you having to watch exactly what she’s doing.
- Practice in front of a mirror. While it may seem silly, the best way to learn to breastfeed your child in public is to practice in front of a mirror while feeding at home. Try different positions and different coverings. This will help you know which positions are the best for feeding without showing too much.
- Tank top under the shirt. I’ve also found it very helpful to wear a tank top underneath my shirt so that when I position my baby to breastfeed, I’m not showing the world my back or sides.
- Baby carrier or wrap. Another great trick for breastfeeding in public is to learn how to nurse in a baby carrier or wrap. This skill takes a little bit of time to master, but once you learn how, it is well worth it.
- Find a secluded place. If you’re really struggling to breastfeed in public, then it’s okay to go to a secluded place. If you are a guest in someone’s house ask them where they would prefer you nurse.
- Be polite. It’s also a good idea if you were in mixed company to ask if anyone would be uncomfortable with you nursing. It’s just common courtesy and doesn’t diminish your rights to breastfeed. It just takes other people’s feelings into consideration, which is never a bad thing. You may save yourself and someone else a lot of embarrassment.
- Be confident. Finally my last trick for you is just to be comfortable and confident in feeding your baby. You don’t owe anyone an explanation and you should never be criticized or looked down upon for feeding your baby in public.
Use these tips for breastfeeding in public and you’ll be nursing confidently in no time!
Best Clothes for Nursing in Public
Wear clothing designed for breastfeeding. There is special clothing available for just for this purpose, or you can improvise or modify clothes yourself. As I mentioned, wearing a tank top underneath my shirt has been very helpful and feeling like I’m not exposing myself to the world. I always keep a set of them on hand in various colors to match my outfits.
A good nursing bra is also an essential for nursing your baby in public. It just makes breastfeeding so much simpler.
This is also a really good option for breastfeeding in public.
I tend to wear a shirt and pants as I have always felt like it is easier to nurse my baby in public this way. But recently I realized that you can also buy nursing dresses. I wish I would have found them years ago!
Dresses to Breastfeed In
Here are some really up awesome options for dresses to breastfeed in:
- This one is super cute and I love the 3/4 length sleeves!
- Although not technically a nursing dress, the style of this one makes it a great option.
- I love, love, love this dress!
How Do I Cover up Breastfeeding in Public
Use a cover. A breastfeeding cover is so practical and helpful for nursing in public. While many women use a baby blanket, you can be even more discrete by wearing a jacket or large shawl to cover your baby. The neat thing is that there are so many options for covering up while breastfeeding in public. Here are a few options that I have found to be great choices for breastfeeding in public.
- It just doesn’t get much cuter than this!
- This is one of my favorites.
- I love that this one is for multi purposes.
What Is the Best Nursing Cover?
The best nursing cover is the one that works for you! Don’t you just love that answer?! There are so many options and everyone’s tastes and needs are different, so it’s really beneficial to try out a few if you can before settling on just one.
Ask around to see if you have any friends that might be willing to lend you a nursing cover before purchasing. Don’t be afraid to use several styles until you find what works for you. Remember – in order to successfully breastfeed in public, you need to be comfortable and confident!
Never Feel Bad for Feeding Your Baby
Don’t let people intimidate you. No matter how discrete you are, it’s inevitable that someone will still be offended that you choose to breastfeed. Inform people politely that you have a legal right to feed your baby in public. But take into consideration that often times people speak out of ignorance and simply don’t know that they are being offensive. Strike a balance between authoritative in your right to breastfeed in public and educating people who simply might not know that they’re thinking could be changed.
Breastfeeding may be difficult, especially when you need to feed your baby in public, but keep in mind that it’s the best option for having a happy, healthy baby. And be confident of your decision to breastfeed!
Breastfeeding in Public Debate: 7 Tips for Nursing on the Go