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Breastfeeding Made Easy
I never had the luxury of time to build my own bank of liquid gold via pumping. With a baby who's virtually attached to my boob all the time, that 2 hours of respite I get from breastfeeding was dedicated to sleep or stuffing my face with whatever I can get my hands on for a quick energy boost (yes, breastfeeding can do that to you).
So I was stuck between not leaving home or bringing the baby with me everytime I go out.
I was never the type to stay home all the time.
Over time, I've grown comfortable with breastfeeding in public: in banks, in restaurants, while waiting for the main course, in birthday parties. You name it. I've breastfed in every public setting imaginable... except the public restroom of course.
Who eats in restrooms anyway?
A good nursing shawl is a must-have
For the shy ones
I have gone past the point where I feel a little shy exposing some part of my breasts in public. I'm doing it for a good cause and I do know my rights.
But maybe not you. You might feel a little "naked" and anxious breastfeeding in public. But don't fret. There are a few things you can do to make feeding your baby a little more discreet.
- invest in a nursing shawl. I have one and it's totally godsend. I can feed my baby anytime and anywhere without eliciting awkward gawks and stares from people who are more used to the bottle-toting baby crowd.
- It's all about the clothes. I've never liked wearing bras since I gave birth. So I wear dresses and clothes with ruffles and details that could conceal my nipples while giving my baby easy access to my breasts when she's hungry. Whatever works for you. Bottom line is, you and your baby should be comfortable during feeding time.
- Nursing bras. Choose one that only exposes the nipples, not the entire breast.
- Breast pads. For those with leaky nipples, these are a must. Bring extra ones, too, in case of emergency.
- There has to be a breastfeeding room somewhere. Malls ARE supposed to have one. Just ask the mall concierge or the information booth to know where the breastfeeding station is located.
- Okay, so not all malls have a BF station. But any place that has a comfy seat with back support and is less visible to the public can make a perfect spot for breastfeeding. If you're going to a restaurant, pick a table with a booth. If you can't find one, pick a seat that's facing away from the dining room.
Breastpads. Oh... breastpads. What would I do without you.
So what happens if I can't find a private little space to breastfeed in public?
Sister, you're main priority is to feed your baby, not to appease the general public who may have not seen a naked breast (or part of it) in their entire life.
If you don't have a nursing shawl at the moment and you can't find a good place to hide while you feed the baby, then find a place where you're, at the very least, comfortable in and have enough room to organize yourself.
Just turn away when you latch. It's the time when most skin is likely to be exposed during breastfeeding.
And if someone makes a negative comment, like perhaps the mall manager or a stranger that has never seen a naked boob in all his or her life, then it helps to plan your responses in advance.
Luckily, I never had to because... well... moms here aren't too shy about breastfeeding i public. But I have prepared a few lines just in case the occasion calls for it:
"So... I can eat in this restaurant, but my baby can't. Very well. (leaves)"
"You don't eat in public restrooms, do you? Neither does my baby."
"Did that turn you on?"
"Ever seen cows feed their calves from a bottle? Yeah, didn't think so too."
"I guess women from your planet don't have boobs huh?"
"Which do you prefer? Seeing my boob or hearing my baby scream, cry and fidget for the entire time I'm here?"
*Smiles and silently hands over a pamphlet about breastfeeding and their benefits.* "I've got another copy here for the lady at the next table too, if she likes."
Remember that BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC IS LEGAL, and a good thing. You're not just providing your baby the nourishment he or she needs to survive and grow, but you're also educating people who happen to see you.