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Thread: Breastfeeding in public

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding in public

    I'm having trouble breastfeeding in public and need some tips on how to do this successfully. I've tried it a few times but mostly try to make sure my LO is fed before leaving the house. I went to lunch with a friend of mine and was successful that time in the restaurant and it was my 1st time doing it. however, I've tried 2 other times since then and have been unsuccessful. Love my husband to death but he started getting annoyed that she was crying and I was having trouble that I ended up going to the bathroom because I felt so uncomfortable. I felt like he should've supported me instead of giving me the "look." I run into problems trying to make sure I'm not smothering her which is what I think the problem has been. I've just been using a blanket to cover up and I can't see her when I try to get my nipple in her mouth. I know she can find it on her own but being able to guide it in there helps a lot. Plus the positioning feels uncomfortable without my boppy. Please help me. I don't want to be confined to not being able to go out to dinner when I want to just because she hasn't been fed and I know a feeding will have to occur while we're out. I'm frustrated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    Welcome to the forum, mama!

    In my opinion, the best thing a nursing mom can do is to make herself comfortable and then nurse with pride wherever she is and without regard for what other people might think or say. Confidence is a nursing mom's BFF! Other good friends include:
    - nursing shirts with openings for discreet access (Motherwear makes nice ones) or layers (a shirt to pull up worn beneath a shirt you can pull down)
    - a well-stuffed diaper bag that can serve as an on-the-go nursing pillow
    - a mirror- practice nursing at home and you will probably discover that you're showing less skin than you think
    - time- nursing in public gets much easier as the baby grows
    - a supportive partner- let your husband know that he's falling down on the job and needs to be your protector and your cheerleader, not your critic
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Salem, Ohio
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I'm having the same types of issues. My little girl is 3 months old now and we are getting better, but I come from a family and community where breastfeeding is basically non-existent. My mom and husband are around the most and they try to be helpful but they arent any good at it I used to nurse in the car before going to the next stop. Now I nurse wherever with a recieving blanket. I'm trying to work up my self-esteem so I feel comfortable nursing without the blanket (she doesn't like it, and with summer coming it gets hot). One thing I do is slip the corner of the recieving blanket into my strap and drap it over her and slide my hand in to unhook my nursing tank and help her latch.
    I hope everything works out for you
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I takes practice! I always wear a tank top under my shirt for descrit nursing. I usually have a muslin blanket as well to cover just a little, from about her ear down because she pops off at every sound and it is easier to avoid flashing that way. I didn't get way comfortable with public nursing my son until 6+ months. My girl is 4 months and has been nursed countless public places. Start small like a friends house and as you get more comfortable it will be easier.

    Another tip is if you can't nurse in public find places with nursing rooms, babies r us has them and so do malls here. If I am at the mall alone with my two kids I always use their nursing room. Otherwise I would have to keep running after ds, he is contained and I get to sit in a comfy chair win win.
    Ds 9/09 nursed for 20 months

    Dd 12/11 nursing a toddler again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I agree, it can help to practice in a safe environment. I first nursed "in public" at the weekly mommy and me meetings held at the hospital where I gave birth. Then, after meetings, some of us would go out to lunch or for coffee and I would nurse there-safety in numbers. Or as mommal suggests, nurse in front of a mirror (or a good friend.) Also, go places like a LLL meeting or other where you can observe other moms nurse. That will show you how little is usually actually seen and give you ideas to try.

    I would also suggest ditching the blanket or cover if it is not working for you. IMO it is far more obvious and attention grabbing to struggle with latching baby under a blanket than to simply lift the shirt up and nurse. I was using a nipple shield early on with my oldest, and he popped on and off (we had latch issues for a couple of months) and I soon found my fancy cover simply got in my way too much! (plus it was hot, ugh.) I sometimes wish nursing covers were never invented, I think they make moms feel they are expected or required to cover up with something to nip. Nope. It may be reassuring to look into if there are any laws protecting mom’s right to nip where you live.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I have those hooter hider things. Personally, Im a pretty modest person and like having them. It was helpful because it has a strap that goes around your neck to keep it from slipping off and boning in the front neck area to create a peek hole so you can see your LO at all times.

    At first, nursing can be a little nerve wrecking and frustrating because its new to BOTH of you. But the more you do it, the easier it will get. My dd and I have gotten better at it over time. Now we can use whatever is around to cover up and we're slowly figuring out ways of not using a cover at all but still being discreet. Its definately a learned art.
    Mom of 3- Two boys ages 17 and 13 and one sweet baby girl, born 1/19/12
    Pumping once a day and nursing whenever we're together

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    If a cover or blanket works best for you, great! This is a very personal choice (and sometimes the choice is made by baby, and not mom.) Anything that works is good because feeling comfortable nip is so important! My point (which was not crystal clear) is not that there is anything wrong with using covers, but that their existence may create certain attitudes about nip that are not helpful-for example, that mothers who do not use covers or blankets are less modest than those who do. There are lots of ways to nurse 'discretely' that do not include covers.

    I have similar thoughts about nursing rooms. The nursing room in a baby store in a nearby strip mall was my second home in the early months, I am very glad it was there, great for chatting etc. while nursing. But I have talked to moms who have been told (or just assume) that they "have to” use the nursing room if one is available in a store or mall, which is not always convenient. Nope.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    Hang in there! It will get easier. As baby grows she won't be quite so floppy and positioning will be easier.
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    PPs have great advice. The best being that it gets easier as baby gets older. Newborns frequently don't mind nursing covers. Nursing hats are kind of cool, too if your LO will keep it on. No cover on you and baby doesn't feel like he's being hidden but you're given discreet area to figure out latch and position with no one the wiser. They are basically wide brimmed hats that go on baby and cover your whole side without cover baby's face or body.

    But without a nursing cover, just let your confidence grow. It'll come. And if you're not looking around wondering if people are giving you the stink eye, chances are very few people will even notice let alone bat an eye.

    It will improve, and you're doing great! Hope DH starts to be supportive asap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    Modest may have been the wrong word. I was trying to convey...feeling uncomfortable nursing without a cover. I was very self conscious nursing in public in the beginning even with a cover. I even used a cover when I attended a local LLL meeting! lol But we're slowly learning and I'm now slowly starting to try nursing without one.
    Mom of 3- Two boys ages 17 and 13 and one sweet baby girl, born 1/19/12
    Pumping once a day and nursing whenever we're together

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