So you are pregnant and you know that you want to breastfeed your baby. Congratulations! Maybe you have started breastfeeding but not yet ventured out in public. Breastfeeding in public can be a scary thought for any new mum and even not so new mums. These tips should help you on your way.
- Practise in front of a full length mirror at home. It might help you to know exactly what can be seen when you are breastfeeding your baby, you might be pleasantly surprised!
- Wear the right clothes. Ensure that you are wearing something that you are comfortable in and that can give you easy access for feeding. This might be a large top that you can easily lift or open. Layering with a cardigan can offer additional coverage. There are many different styles of breastfeeding clothing available, often with hidden openings across the chest allowing access without having to lift or remove any item of clothing. You might choose to double layer vests and lift one and pull down the other which will provide a similar effect.
- Take a friend along for moral support. If you are going to breastfeed in public for the first time, you should take someone supportive along with you whether this be your partner, friend, mum or even some other new mums.
- Go to a breastfeeding friendly place. You may want to seek out some breastfeeding friendly places in your local area and choose one for your first outing. Your Midwife or Health Visitor should be able to advise you on breastfeeding friendly places. Often child/baby friendly cafes are breastfeeding friendly.
- Find a seat out of the way. If you are still feeling nervous you may want to find a seat out of the way or in the corner until you increase your confidence.
- You could use a breastfeeding cover such as a Mamascarf. This not only provides privacy for public breastfeeding but allows you to see your baby throughout the feed, can’t be pulled off and also provides some additional support.
- Plan your route. If you know where you are going to be when it’s feeding time, you will be able to make sure that you are somewhere you are going to feel comfortable breastfeeding your baby.
- Have confidence in yourself and what you are doing. You are breastfeeding your baby, it is your right! It is the best food you can give your baby and it is also good for you too. Good luck and remember it gets easier with time. Happy Breastfeeding!