23 June 2015

Public Breastfeeding - Tips for New Mums


Public breastfeeding has to be one of the most daunting things for any breastfeeding mum to face never mind if this is your first baby and your first time breastfeeding. I remember breastfeeding my son in public for the first time in a little cafe full of older people and quite frankly I was terrified someone would say something. Luckily no one said anything but a few did stare which was a bit off putting, so to try and help other mums feel confident breastfeeding in public here's a few little things I've learnt along the way.

If you're a bit nervous or shy about breastfeeding in public, be sure to scope out your area to find yourself a nice quiet spot to feed your baby. If it's a cafe or restaurant try and find a table that's situated so you don't feel over exposed. I used to pick tables so that I could sit with my back to most people and feed my baby in peace. When I was really nervous I used to hunt out a local Debenhams department store and feed in their family baby changing room although I wouldn't do that now. It helped to build up my confidence gradually though.

Take a friend or family member out with you for moral support. Sometimes just having someone there to fight your corner puts you more at ease in the public domain. I know it definitely does for me especially when that person is my other half. Don't think anyone would say boo to him!

There's a few breastfeeding cover ups on the market if your baby doesn't mind having some kind of fabric over their head. Harlow doesn't seem to mind it at the moment and we use the Loveyush Nursing Scarf, which does a fab job for us when ever I need to use it. The older your baby gets the more fidgety they become and sometimes they accidentally flash you to the world so a cover up definitely comes in handy here.

Make sure where ever you are feeding, get nice and comfy first. I find that if I'm not comfy then my baby doesn't seem to be comfy either. This then sets the tone for a grumpy crying baby which then means it's harder for them to latch on without fuss as they're normally hangry (hungry/ angry) by this point.

Be sure to wear your fav comfy breastfeeding top when going out so you can easily access the feeding machines. This helps to give you a bit of confidence and you really don't want to make it difficult for yourself by wearing a fiddly top. I also find it quite good to wear a little vest top underneath your main top so that this hides your tummy and you don't feel exposed with both breast and belly out at the same time.

Keep an eye on your baby regularly to check for signs of when they're beginning to get a bit hungry. This way it gives you time to find a place to sit and get comfy before they become too grumpy to latch on and feed. I tend to feed my baby before I head out too so that they've had a top up and won't be screaming the place down as soon as I go out.

Hopefully this will help someone out there somewhere as breastfeeding in public for new mums and any breastfeeding mum can be very scary sometimes. Just remember the law is on your side as the Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport. You're doing something natural and good for your baby as well so keep going and well done.




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