NIP Help :)
My baby is almost 3 months old and other than nursing him in the car I have yet to venture out and nurse in public. I haven't been able to get a good hold without using my boppy. My baby hates being under the wrap. It's so discouraging because family members aren't very supportive of me BF and it annoys them when I have to take time to feed my baby. They tell me to just switch to formula so I can just pop a bottle and go. I've been trying to practice holding him in different positions without the boppy, but he gets frustrated. I have to hold boob in place to keep it in his mouth. Will it get easier?
Re: NIP Help :)
Welcome to the forum! And yes, it gets easier. Young babies are hard to nurse. because they aren't very strong and don't have a lot of muscle control, they need a lot of help with positioning. And they also take a really long time to feed. But as time goes on, babies get stronger and nurse faster, and nursing becomes much easier.
Couple of suggestions:
- Keep your diaper bag well-stuffed with an extra blanket or two, and use it as an on-the-go nursing pillow.
- Ditch the cover. Unless you are so modest that you can't stand to nurse without one, of course! Instead of using an unwieldy and hot cover, I suggest buying some nice nursing shirts with discreet access panels, or simply wear two layers: one you can pull up over one you can pull down. That way you can expose the bare minimum of flesh.
- Practice nursing in front of a mirror. That way you can get a sense of just how little you expose. It's usually a lot less than you fear!
- Tell your unsupportive family members to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. ;) Formula wouldn't make your life any easier. Just imagine- you'd be sitting there trying to hold a squirming, hungry baby while simultaneously mixing a bottle, and then- whoops! Baby just dropped it on the filthy floor. Do have another in the diaper bag? No? Now what? Guess you'll have to rush home!
What I am trying to say is that milk in the breast is always clean, fresh, immediately available, and at the right temperature. It won't spoil in the heat and you can't drop it on the floor, and unlike a bottle, it will soothe even then crankiest, tiredest, most uncomfortable baby.
Re: NIP Help :)
Have you tried nursing in a sling or carrier? I nursed my baby in a sling when he was little, then an Ergo once he started getting a little bigger. It is completely discreet. I have been walking down crowded streets and stopped to give directions or point out a bus or recommend a restaurant to perfect strangers while nursing my baby and no one was the wiser.
Everyone has their own preferences as to which sling or carrier works best; so I think it's best to find a shop, bring your baby and try on a few.
I also like to wear a tank top that I can pull my breast over the top and a button down shirt or t-shirt to pull up. Finding outfits that make you comfortable helps a lot too.
Once you get used to NIP, it will be a billion times easier than bottles. All you need is your baby and yourself. I've been walking home with my 18 month old in the Ergo and I can pop out a breast and feed him without even slowing down! :gvibes
Re: NIP Help :)
Yes it will get easier. But the fastest way for it to get easier is to start getting out there! It can feel so strange baring yourself in public at first, but you will soon learn that (most) people have better things to do than to stare at nursing moms. (And some stares are stares of approval!)
Meanwhile, keep experimenting with different positions at home, if you can sit back even slightly reclined with baby more on top of you, you may be able to get rid of the boppy altogether. I will include laid back ideas below but most of those show mom really laying down, not something you are likley to be comfortable doing in public but also not necessary. Even sitting only slightly reclined as you would in a chair or on a bench etc, can also work for 'laid back." So, keep experimenting.
You can also try fashioning a smaller, less obvious nursing "travel" pillow from a rolled up blanket, small couch pillows, a soft purse or backpack or diaper bag etc. Years ago I owned a small travel nursing pillow that had a slightly contoured shape (shaped like a bean kind of?) and almost a bean bag consistency I purchased. Before I got that, I brought my humongous breastfeeding pillow with me when I went out.
Do you know what laws, if any, govern NIP where you live? Covers are nice for moms who feel more comfortable that way, but are seldom (if ever) required by law. As you have discovered, some babies just do not like being covered up when nursing and who can blame them? Generally speaking, you have the right to nurse your baby where you wish, an entirely natural and normal activity. You may meet up with some ignorance and you may not, but if you know your rights you can meet that more confidently.
For your own comfort, I suggest you practice NIP at a safe place (like a LLL meeting or a mommy and me support group) where you can also see other mommas nurse. You will see that there are many ways to nurse with discretion that do not include covers. Nursing in front of a good, supportive friend or a mirror can let you practice nursing with modesty without a cover.
If all else fails, visit stores and malls with family rest rooms or nursing rooms at first. And in many places it's simple enough to turn away from where people comgregate to nurse if that helps you.
As far as your family...It's so hard to deal with criticism and so unfair to you when you are working so hard to do what is best for your baby. Since I cannot believe they would actually suggest you compromise your baby's health for their own convenience, perhaps they simply do not understand the very real concerns of unneeded formula or bottle feeding.
I have included some short tip sheets below that attempt to explain the importance of breastfeeding and supporting the nursing mom.
laid back: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and www.biologicalnurturing.com
Tips for dads/parenting partners: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf
tips for grandparents: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf
breastfeeding/formula feeding side by side comparison: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...tgoodsense.pdf
Re: NIP Help :)
Tell those ridiculous family members that babies fed from a bottle still deserve to be held and cuddled while fed, and that takes two hands! And propping a bottle is downright dangerous.
Re: NIP Help :)
I used a pillow for at least the first 4 months nursing my daughter. Then we took up the side laying position, which is nice for naps and bedtime(we co-sleep since 4months). It is still a struggle for me to nurse her without the bed or pillow, but on occassion we can if we are over a friends house or something. But pratice makes perfect, so keep trying you both will have to get used to the new positions. My fiance asked me many times to switch to formula, and my other new mom friend would say after it took me 15 min to pump a 2oz bottle, "that's why I use formula", but breastfeeding is the absolute healthiest nutrition for your little one no matter what others think or say. If you haven't, maybe contact a LLL Leader in your area and go to a meeting for support. I don't know if this helps any, but good luck! You are doing great already!:clap
Re: NIP Help :)
I would start by nursing in front of someone you're comfortable with, like a sister, or a breastfeeding support group or even just another breastfeeding friend. When you get more comfortable, it gets easier, but you also do need to hold a baby while feeding with a bottle so really I do think it's easier to nurse your baby rather than pump and bottle and if you're trying to breastfeed you don't want to start giving formula when you're out and about because that'll just decrease your supply. So basically you need to be confident but in the end, you're feeding your baby and if they have a problem with it, it's their problem, not your baby's and your baby needs to nurse.