It is not always easy to breastfeed your baby in public; we can be a little embarrassed, not knowing how to do it or having the impression of making the people around us uncomfortable or even very uncomfortable!
Don't be panic; breastfeeding is the most natural thing and shouldn't bother anyone. So that everyone feels comfortable (including your mini glutton who sometimes waits for a little loudly for the time) of his snack!), here are some practical tips:
Breastfeeding in public, the very first steps
For the first time, always have a pretty stole or scarf handy:
- Discreetly ask for help when you have to "settle the baby": it could be the husband or a friend holding the stole for thirty seconds in front of you. This makes it possible to start feeding comfortably and monitor the baby's positioning.
- Then we fold the scarf back on ourselves to cover his shoulder and the baby's head (while letting him breathe, of course).
It is very effective! At least nobody sees anything, and it's a little sexier than a square diaper (full of milk stains).
- Favor the technique of the double layer of clothing:
Always have a rather tight-fitting layer underneath (tight tank top to which you don't care more than that) and a rather loose layer above (blouse, sweater, T-shirt). We approach our baby, we lift the outer layer, and we lower the tank top. Once the baby lies on your lap, the top of the bust is covered by the slightly large blouse and the belly by the tank top. Again, this is very effective, and no one sees anything! You can also cover your shoulder and the baby's head with a pretty stole.
- Avoid dresses:
Whether in summer or winter, it is better to avoid dresses, or even slightly long tunics, otherwise you will end up in somewhat complicated situations. Instead, choose “special breastfeeding” dresses, which are very practical. If you look around carefully, you can find some really nice brands and models.
- Adapted bras:
A nursing bra is not compulsory, but it is still very practical. You will find different opening systems. The pumping and nursing bra is also a great way to feed your baby discreetly in public. Some reveal the breast widely, and others show just what it takes to breastfeed your little one: therefore prefer a model that has a triangle that will cover the breast a little when you lower the cup or support. This way, it will only release the nipple: clever, isn't it?
- Choose the right clothes
There is a large offer when it comes to nursing clothes. Many brands offer clothes with clever openings. Some brands offer really discreet systems, whether for tops, sweaters, or dresses (which can also be worn during pregnancy). We lift or unbutton a side of the garment, and here is an opening whose width can be varied. And if you do not have the means to spend a fortune, by showing ingenuity, you will be able to hide this breast that you could not show. There is a top with straps under a T-shirt with Tunisian collar or under a wrap; you lift the top, which is found above the breast, and voila! That's it!
- The nursing cape:
For those most reluctant to breastfeed in public, there are nursing capes, aprons, or nursing scarves. You put it around your neck, and then you can breastfeed out of sight. This type of accessory can also attract attention more than making the baby's meal inconspicuous. We love the breastfeeding shawl offered by the Seraphine brand (which can also be worn while pregnant, economical as a solution) as practical as it is elegant. And then without necessarily taking out your credit card, you can use tricks.
Whatever your solution is to breastfeed in public, keep in mind that this gesture is completely natural and that it is okay to breastfeed the baby when he shows the need to breastfeed wherever you are. No one has the right to blame you! Alternatively, you can use a breast pump bra for expressing milk and feed your child with breast milk using a bottle when you are in public.
- Choose suitable places
Some shopping centers, hotel lobbies or restaurants offer their customers rooms reserved and suitable for breastfeeding. There is obviously no question of avoiding places that do not have these privileged places, but you can feel more peaceful and at ease.
- Practice before exposing yourself
Like any new activity, breastfeeding, whether in public or not, requires a minimum of practice. Before heading to a packed mall or restaurant on a weekend evening, start by practicing at home, why not in front of a mirror to get a feel for your appearance and put together the best and most discreet techniques.
You can then go out in a small group, in a public place where there is not too much attendance or start in the family circle. All this learning will also allow you to feel more confident and serene. Some young mothers have problems with leaking milk. If your breasts start to tingle as if they are about to leak, you just need to press your hand on the nipple to stop the flow; Absorbent breast pads can also be very helpful.
- Usse sling:
A “sling” or a carrying sling can allow you to breastfeed discreetly and even while walking! A small backpack for your water bottle, diapers, and a baby change will be very useful to have your hands free and thus focus your attention on your little one.
A word of advice: go to breastfeeding meetings in your area as much as possible, this will allow you to practice breastfeeding outside the home with a caring audience who are living the same situation as you! You will also be able to share your joys, your doubts, your fears with other young mothers; this mother-to-mother support will be very precious to you to gain confidence.
If you are outside the house, you feel that your baby is starting to show signs of impatience, that the last feeding is already far away, and then find a rather quiet place as far as possible. For example, in a park, you can sit on a bench a little apart. When dining out, avoid the table near the front door or near the toilet. Then ask for a table in a corner. So you will be able to fully enjoy these moments of sharing with your baby without stress, without depriving yourself of your activities and meeting your friends outside.