Breastfeeding, On the Go
First, if you’re hesitant to breastfeed in public, know that you’re protected. Breastfeeding in public is now legal in all 50 states. If someone criticizes you for breastfeeding in public, the law protects your rights. And you don’t need to respond to anyone who criticizes you - if you feel threatened, change your location. Talk to other moms about how they’ve handled criticism. It can be helpful to know what others have done in a similar situation.
That said, here are some tips for making breastfeeding outside the home not such a scary idea.
- Plan ahead: Pack the diaper bag with everything you might need - burp cloths, blankets, plenty of wet wipes. And leave all the other “stuff” at home. One of the bonuses of breastfeeding is that you can do it anywhere, without anything. If you use a nursing pillow at home, practice breastfeeding without it.
- Try not to sit in a place where baby will be distracted. Use some sort of covering – a nursing shawl or blanket, or even a burp cloth – positioned so that you’re discreetly covered and baby’s face will be shielded. After all, you don’t like to be stared at while you eat, do you?!
- Wear clothes that allow easy access, such as tops that pull up from the waist or button down.
- And it shouldn’t have to be said, but we’ll say it: Don't nurse in a bathroom. You don’t want to eat in a public restroom (eeewww!) and neither does your baby. There are always alternative spots; you just have to look around for them.
- Be confident and enjoy yourself. Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do, no matter where you do it - enjoy the nursing experience!
You like to eat out, so why shouldn’t your baby have the same privileges! Practice breastfeeding at home using covering techniques (or not) so that you and your baby are comfortable when/if you choose to breastfeed in public.
Research shows that easily accessible help from a knowledgeable, caring breastfeeding professional is a key factor in helping mothers meet their personal goals. Consider scheduling a lactation consultation by calling (813) 872-3932.