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How do the words breastfeeding in public make you feel? Do they make you feel anxious and scared? Or do they make you feel carefree and confident?
In case you haven’t already guessed it, today we will be talking about breastfeeding in public.
As soon as I found out I was going to be a mother for the first time, I immediately knew that I was going to breastfeed. I knew that there were times where I’d have to breastfeed in public but decided I wouldn’t worry about it until I had to cross that bridge.
I never thought that it’d be a problem or that anyone would have an issue with me breastfeeding my child in public until I began doing research.
Can you believe there are actually some weirdos out there who actually have issues with women breastfeeding in public!? This massive list 11 benefits of breastfeeding also mentions some moms not wanting to breastfeed in public due to fear of shaming.
Since when did breastfeeding in public become a crime?
How can anyone have an issue with a mama feeding her hungry baby? Breastfeeding in public isn’t normalized, but celebs are idolized labelled as sex symbols when they show up nearly naked on the red carpet?
What kind of backwards non-sense is that? I’m not asking even to be recognized as any of that! I’m just a mom who wants to be able to feed her child in public without fearing being shamed.
With my son being my first EBF baby, in the earlier days of our breastfeeding journey, I had certain insecurities about feeding him in public.
A part of me was always waiting for that one person to call me out in the middle of the crowd screaming, “Hey lady put that thing away or better yet find a bathroom to feed your child!”, but thankfully that never happened. In fact, no one has ever said anything to me.
I didn’t get to breastfeed my daughter long enough but I’ve certainly made up for it with my son. He was EBF for 9 solid months!
Now that I’ve had experience with breastfeeding in public, I’ve grown to be very confident and comfortable.
I don’t generally cover myself up unless I’m in church where everyone is sitting in close proximity to each other, and mind you this has nothing to do with other people, but with my own comfort.
In that case I just used a muslin swaddle blanket and loosely draped it over my chest.<– These muslin swaddle blankets right here are my absolute favorite. Not only are they gorgeous, they are of amazing quality and last a lifetime.
My daughter is 2 and the ones we purchased for her as a newborn are still in great shape! and loosely drape it over my chest.
Anywhere else, I simply pulled down my nursing tank and bra, and fed my baby.
Now for my breastfeeding mamas, I want to applaud you for choosing to breastfeed. I call it a Labour of Love because it’s not easy being the only one at the mercy of a hungry hangry baby all day long. Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned mama who is just now getting into the world of breastfeeding, these tips are for you.
8 Tips for breastfeeding in public like a boss
Investing in a breastfeeding course is a great way for you to prepare yourself for success. If you want to learn how to breastfeed like a boss, or how to pump like a boss (going back to work doesn’t have to mean ending your breastfeeding journey!), I highly recommend you take The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class or the The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class, both by Milkology.
This course was created by a mama of 3 who also happens to be a Certified Lactation Educator! Oh, and did I forgot to mention how affordable these courses are?
For less than what you’d pay for 4 Starbucks frappucinos, you get lifetime access to whichever course you decide to purchase!
I recently took the course and I can honestly say that I would’ve had a much easier time breastfeeding my daughter had I taken this course.
Much of what I learned in the course was also taught to me by the midwife who delivered my son.
And guess what, my son was exclusively breastfed for 9 months, whereas my daughter was only breastfed for 3.
I ended up pumping for my daughter so she could still benefit from my breast milk but even that was a bit of a struggle because I had no idea what I was doing. This course would’ve been a life-saver.
Take it from a mama who’s been through hell and back with both breastfeeding and pumping, educate yourself beforehand by taking this amazing either one of these courses!
To add on to this amazing course, check out this fantastic post featuring a whooping 111 benefits of breastfeeding!
Know your rights
There’s one thing that no one can argue, and that’s the law. Familiarize yourself with the breastfeeding laws where you reside and of any other place you may be visiting.
If anyone attempts to challenge you, you can either smile and nod and keep going about your business, or you can clap back at them without missing a beat.
Breastfeeding, let alone breastfeeding outside of the comfort of your home, comes with its own set of challenges. You want to be prepared to make it enjoyable for both you and your baby.
You want to make sure you’ve got everything you need so that you are not scrambling around looking for things in the middle of a feeding. Check out this list for my complete list of breastfeeding and pumping essentials.
Plan your journey
Plan your outing around your baby’s feeding schedule as much as you can. Not only that, but find out where you can feed your baby prior to heading out.
There’s nothing like being in an unfamiliar environment, scrambling to find a comfortable place to feed a hungry hangry baby.
I don’t know about you but I like to be extra prepared before I go out. Juggling 2 babies isn’t easy and having some sort of plan helps keep my mommy nerves at ease.
While you’re at it, grab you FREE Nursing Log Chart printable to help keep track of your baby’s feeding sessions (Click on the image below)!
Are you a pumping mama? No problem!
Click here to grab you Liquid Gold Inventory Log chart printable to keep track of your stash!
Wear nursing undergarments
For me, anything goes. I wear all types of clothing but I never go without my nursing tank and bra because it makes for really easy access, and it prevents my stomach from getting exposed during feedings.
I don’t really think nursing specific clothing is necessary but I do believe that nursing bras and/or tanks are things that every nursing mother should own.
Wearing nursing undergarments makes it a lot easier for you to nurse without having to fuss with your clothes while juggling a screaming, hungry baby.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Get as much support as you need in order to make your breastfeeding journey a lot easier. Reach out to your mom, your aunties, your girlfriends…
Surround yourself with people who have experience with breastfeeding in public. These are the mamas who will have your back and who will give you some tips that will also help you be more confident and comfortable.
It’s always easier when you’re not alone. If you are really going through it with breastfeeding and feel like you can no longer go on, I have some words of encouragement for you.
There are so many breastfeeding groups on Facebook and on the pregnancy apps you probably already have on your smartphone. “Find your tribe” so you can connect and exchange knowledge and experiences. Also, don’t forget to check out this massive list of 111 breastfeeding benefits. Knowing that breastfeeding is no only beneficial to your baby, but to you, the environment, and your pockets, will be sure to boost your confidence in no time!
Practice makes perfect
Some babies don’t mind what position they’re in during feeds, however, some are a little more particular.
If you want to have a life outside of your home, I really suggest getting comfortable with various positions so that you won’t be restricted to positions that are harder to achieve without certain things like nursing-pillows.
Fake it till you make it
I mentioned feeling uneasy while breastfeeding my son in public when I first started out. One thing I didn’t do was allow stop me from doing what I knew I wanted to do.
The more I fed my child out in the open, the more my confidence grew. Don’t feel bad if this is something that you struggle with. Just keep developing your confidence by breastfeeding in public every time you get the chance.
If it helps, try focusing on your baby, or reading a book, or even browsing the web on your phone. That way, you won’t be so aware of people looking at you.
Eventually, you’ll become more comfortable with it, and people’s weird looks and comments will be the least of your concerns.
I hope you found these tips helpful. No matter how you choose to feed your baby, you should not be shamed. Whether your child is fed through a bottle or a breast, you should no be judged.
Don’t let the negativity of a few discourage you from doing what you need to do as a mama.
To anyone reading this that has an issue with it, get some help. If you’ve sexualized a woman’s breasts so much to the point where you only see them as sex objects and not as a source of nourishment, that’s on YOU.
No, we don’t need to feed our babies in the washroom, cover up, or stay confined to our couches at home in order to appease you, and you have no right to shame us about it.
And on that note,
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