Re: Afraid to leave the house
Congrats on your son and for breastfeeding through difficulties!
Although I don't have some of the challenges you do I too was afraid of going out anywhere when I first got home from the hospital because of nursing in public. I was, and still am, more nervous about it than I thought I'd be. I was forced to confront it just a day after coming out of the hospital when I had to go to my postpartum visit and my LO was hungry in the waiting room -- fortunately an OB/GYN office is a good first public place to have to nurse.
I got my NIP toes wet by nursing in the car at first -- and I actually don't mind doing that at all now. The windows are tinted so I have some privacy. I also invested in some nice nursing tops from Momzelle that helped me be discreet.
Then I decided that an LLL meeting would be a great way for me to get out of the house and meet with some adults while also going somewhere I could NIP comfortably. That was a great way to get used to NIP in front of strangers, but people you know are accepting of it.
The other day I decided to brave the hoighty-toighty mall. I knew that they had family restrooms and thought I had seen a place to nurse there a long while back. My LO got hungry as we walked so I quickly found a directory and looked for the nearest restroom -- aha! The family restroom sign! I headed over there only to find out it had a diaper changing room, not a place to sit and nurse. By now LO was pretty angry I hadn't fed him yet. There was a bench outside the restrooms so I pulled out the ring sling that I don't really know how to use yet, threw it on and realized it was on backwards, didn't care because LO NEEDED to eat, so I put him in it as best I could and it gave us a small added measure of discreetness. Tons of people were walking by, and I was really nervous even though I knew I didn't and shouldn't have to be. But then by the end it wasn't so bad after all.
Perhaps you could pack some pillows in your car, since you say you need quite a bit of stuff, and try and go somewhere you could easily get back to your car from? It's at least a good first step. I know that I reached a point where I needed to get out of the house for my own sanity and health and that really pushed me to find any solution that would let me do that, even if it wasn't optimal.
First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.