New mothers need to be out and about with their babies and often have lots of questions about breastfeeding away from home. Here are some easy tips to help you breastfeed fearlessly anywhere.
1. Attend a breastfeeding support group or meet-up and see how other moms are breastfeeding confidently in public. Confidence is contagious!
2. Practice makes perfect! Practice your breastfeeding technique at home in front of a mirror or with a trusted friend or family member who can tell you what they see from angles that you can’t see. Maintaining the level of modesty that you desire gets easier with trial and experience.
3. Wear a bra that allows easy access with one hand. Being able to hold your baby and access your breast with one hand makes latching on a virtually seamless move.
4. Is latching on the most awkward part for you? Try leaving the room or turning your back while your baby latches on. When baby is nursing comfortably, return to what you were doing as if nothing happened. Smooth.
5. In a restaurant, sit with your back to the crowd. No one is likely to notice your quietly breastfeeding baby from behind. A roomy booth provides the most comfort and privacy.
6. A baby cradled close in mom’s arms looks like a sleeping baby. Most bystanders won’t even notice you’re breastfeeding. See someone looking your direction? Make eye contact and smile!
7. Pull your shirt up from the bottom rather than pulling your breast out over the top of your shirt. Wearing a shirt that it is a little loose will give you the most coverage all around.
8. Looking for more coverage? Wear clothes or undergarments (such as nursing camisoles) that are designed for breastfeeding moms. They offer strategically-placed access holes that allow you to breastfeed while remaining comfortably covered whether you want complete modesty or just to cover your post-pregnancy tummy. For an inexpensive alternative, cut slits into a regular tank top or camisole and wear it under any shirt you already own.
9. Breastfeed while carrying your baby in a sling, wrap, or other soft carrier. The fabric of the carrier will help keep you covered. Bonus: You can walk, do chores, or a million and one other things while you are wearing your baby.
10. Still feeling shy about breastfeeding in public? A nursing cover or blanket thrown across your shoulder and your baby offers full coverage and can provide for complete modesty.
Remember: Anything that helps you feel comfortable and confident while breastfeeding in public is right for you. There are no rules! Do what works best for you and your baby and makes breastfeeding an enjoyable part of your everyday life.