Welcome to the Carnival of Breastfeeding! Nursing in public is this month's theme and there have been absolutely loads of contributors for this one! They're all listed below and will be updated throughout the day as they become available. Without further ado, here's mine:
Nursing in Public - What's a Breastfeeding Mother to Do!
Nursing in Public... oh just the very the thought of it filled me with dread.
What if someone was offended and made a big scene? What if some school kids started giggling and pointing at me? What if I caused someone other than myself to get dreadfully embarrassed? What if my baby was making a great big fuss and I started leaking all over the place? What if I just couldn't do it?
So many what ifs, so much to worry about and no idea what to do about it all.
Being a naturally private sort of person, even before my babies were born I never felt overly confident that I would ever nurse in a public place. With my first baby every time I left the house I knew that at some point she would start to scream for a breastfeed; at those times I usually found myself rushing off to the car and trying to black out the windows with a handy coat or baby sun shade!
However, eventually even I realized there was no need to scurry off and hide somewhere just so that my baby could be fed. I knew by now that breastfeeding didn't mean stripping down to my waist and that it was very possible to nurse discreetly. And so, as my confidence grew and my understanding of the benefits of breastfeeding developed, by the time babies number 2 and 3 arrived breastfeeding in public became less of a big deal. Although I still didn't do it very often purely because I didn't go out a lot, if the need arose I was quite happy to find somewhere handy to breastfeed. And thankfully all I ever got were positive comments from strangers rather than the barrage of abuse I was expecting!
These days when I see a fellow breastfeeding mother nursing her baby in public I feel like rushing over to congratulate her... although I always control myself just in case she starts ranting at me to mind my own business! (See, it's clear I'm a born worrier!!)
Anyway, since I no longer have any breastfeeding babies of my own all I can do these days is offer support to mothers who are breastfeeding and when it comes to breastfeeding in public I have a few tips:
Try to forget about what other people think (I know, easier said than done, but you will be able to do it if you just let yourself) and feed your baby where and when necessary. Aside from satisfying her hunger and preventing her becoming distressed, you never know who might see you and decide to give it a try for themselves.
Join a breastfeeding support group where you'll discover lots of mothers happily breastfeeding their babies (plus the groups tend to be full of very satisfied quiet babies so it's a relaxing treat for mothers to attend!) You'll soon see that most people wouldn't know that a mother was breastfeeding her baby as there really isn't anything to see except the back of the baby's head!
Wear clothes that you'll be comfortable breastfeeding in. You don't need to buy special breastfeeding clothes - although you can if you like! Wearing loose layers is a great way to comfortably nurse in public.
If anyone does pass a negative comment you can either choose to ignore them or say in a loud voice something along the lines of, "Yes, I am breastfeeding in public. I don't have a problem with it, nor does my baby, but it's clear that you do. Do us all a favour and Get Over It!"
If you don't want to breastfeed just anywhere, check to find out where the nearest breastfeeding friendly shops are located and use their facilities. You'll make lots of new breastfeeding buddies too!
Now, what are you waiting for? Off you go and give it a try ;)
Visit the following sites for more nursing in public stories and tips and don't forget to check back for more throughout the day!:
- Lucy and Ethel Have a Baby: Nursing in Public - Boobs out and Proud
- PhD in Parenting: Would you, could you, nurse in public?
- Dirty Diaper Laundry: Breastfeeding in Public - Talents - I Haz It
- Kim Through the Looking Glass: Here, at the Restaurant?
- Grudgemom: Nursing in a room full of people you know
- Mum Unplugged: Awww, is he sleeping?
- Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Nursing in Public - Chinatown, the Subway, the Vatican, and more
- Mother Mary's Soapbox: Breastfeeding Oriana
- Tiny Grass: Nursing in Public as an Immigrant
- Mommy News and Views: Breastfeeding in Public
- Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Nursing in Public: A Fresh Perspective on Nurse-Ins
- Mom on the Go: Planes, trains and automobiles - we’ve breastfed in them all
- Baby Ready: Wee Nip in the Park
- Mama Knows Breast: Products that can Help You Breastfeed in Public
- Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Get kicked off a bus for nursing in public? Here's how to respond.
- Blacktating: Thank You for Nursing in Public
- Warm Hearts Family: Breastfeeding and the Summer Time
- Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Why Worry about NIP
- Stork Stories: Little Old Men... & Nursing in Public
- Breastfeeding123 - Nursing in Public - To Cover or Not to Cover
- Musings on Mamahood: Nip, No Tuck
- Hobo Mama: Easy, Discreet way to Breastfeed a Toddler in Public