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Thread: Feeding Baby While Out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Feeding Baby While Out

    I am driving myself crazy over this and so nervous about taking my LO out for the first time for longer than a few hours. We haven't introduced LO to bottle of breastmilk yet, but plan to do so soon. I am not that comfortable with nursing in public (even though I haven't actually had to do it yet) and I'm wondering if it is okay to give LO a bottle of breastmilk while out during the day instead of nursing? If it is okay, should I limit the number of bottles he is given during the day?

    Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    It's "okay" in that probably nothing bad will happen. You'll have to pump to make up the difference, and depending on how long you are out and how frequently you feed him it may make you uncomfortable and engorged.

    I know this isn't what you were asking, but I would also really think about if there is anyway for you to make yourself comfortable enough to nurse while you are out. How old is your LO? I was very very nervous about NIP at first. Maybe you could take a trial run where you try nursing out of the house, but in an area that has a private space for nursing. The first places I nursed in "public" were in department store (Nordstroms) that had a very nice "mother's lounge" and a childrens store that had a comfortable little spot in the back to nurse. It sort of let me get comfortable with the idea of nursing outside the house without nursing in full view of people. How do you think you would feel about a cover? What about nursing in your car?

    I'm just throwing out ideas, because I think that the ideal solution would be to nurse on the go, but I really respect that it's a source of stress for you.

    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    hi mama,

    how old is your baby? this makes a big difference in how much risk a bottle might pose to your nursing relationship. after 4-6 weeks is safer. the problem is that thought it's not terribly common for babies to refuse the breast after a bottle, when it does happen it's terrible, and you never know which one your baby is until afterward.

    also keep in mind that to get that bottle of milk you'd have to pump, which is not actually very easy or convenient. and in particular, you will need to express milk one way or another if you're out for "longer than a few hours", and lemme tell you, it's WAY harder to pump in public than to nurse in public!! if you don't express milk, you risk harming your supply or even getting mastitis, which is nothing to mess around with.

    if you want advice and support about learning to nurse in public (NIP), there's lots here! LLL meetings are a good safe place to try in the beginning for many mamas.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    One of the nice things about breastfeeding is that if you can get yourself to a place where you are comfortable nursing in public, it is SO easy to get out and about with baby! All you need is your diapering supplies and you are good to go. The idea of figuring out when/where to pump in order to provide a bottle of breastmilk to the baby when I'm with her anyway has always seemed so complicated to me that I have never done it. It is totally normal that you should have misgivings about nursing in public, because, at least if you live in the U.S., our society as a whole is rather uncomfortable with breastfeeding. That said, I have breastfed my babies in all kinds of places (restaurants, stores, airports, airplanes, at baseball games, at the park - you name it), and I have never had an issue. In fact, to be honest, I think most people don't even notice. In any case, I focus my attention on the baby rather than on other people. That helps me remember what's important (my baby) and takes my attention away from what's not (other people's opinions of breastfeeding). I know what's best for my baby (breastfeeding) so why should I trouble myself with other people's opinion of it? I don't use a cover but if that makes you feel more comfortable, try that. Also, wear clothing that's convenient for nursing - something that's easy to pull up (or down). I also like the PPs' suggestions of starting in a more baby-friendly environment. (Babies R' Us stores is another example of a store with a nursing room.) In your car is also fine if you are out and about and there is no where to sit - done that plenty of times too.

    In answer to your last question, about whether you need to limit the number of bottles during the day - once you have established a good nursing relationship with your baby, and he is past the nipple confusion stage, as long as you pump when the baby takes a bottle, so that you're matching your output with his intake, then you don't need to limit the bottles. (Some moms exclusively pump, for various reasons, so their babies only take bottles of expressed milk). The situation you don't want to get into is giving the baby milk from the bottle and not pumping, in which case you risk decreasing your supply.

    Good luck with getting out with baby!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    IMO it's more trouble than it's worth. If you are really uncomfortable NIP. You can nurse in the car, a fitting room, you can usually find somewhere semi-quiet/private to nurse in public. I am fine with NIP, but alot of times I nurse in the car because I am physically more comfortable on my cushy leather seats than at a bench in the mall.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    You can practice at home with the cover first, if you like. Inside...outside in your backyard...there are ways to work yourself into it gradually. Preparation and picking out a 'first spot' where you feel a little more comfortable and in control works wonders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    I agree it is a lot of trouble to pump if you don't have to for your baby (like if your baby doesn't have milk removal issues and is able to get everything he or she needs right from your breast). I would start by nursing in front of people you do feel comfortable with, like maybe your mom or sister or another breastfeeding friend, use a cover if you feel like it, wear a nursing tank if that helps (it covers tummy while you're nursing). And then if you still don't feel comfortable, you can, like PP mentioned, nurse in your car or a semi private place.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    How old is your baby? I would not introduce a bottle period until you have hit 4-6weeks of age. And in all honesty your comfort level won't go up with NIP until you PRACTICE doing it. Face your fear. Nursing your baby is something you are going to be doing for a while. May as well practice your groove. Because the older your baby gets, the longer and more frequent your trips will be. And pumping and bottle feeding when you have milk on tap is a total waste of time. Just do it mama!

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Feeding Baby While Out

    I'm on baby number two and I still get worked up about this sometimes BUT it's true-the more you NIP the more comfortable you'll be. I find now I'm most nervous when I'm taking baby somewhere I haven't been before. (Had to nurse at a dairy farm last week while on a field trip!) One thing I've started doing to get over my nerves is to wear a nursing tank and a cardigan-with or without buttons, I have both. This way there is no lifting or pulling down of clothing. I just unbutton the top few buttons (when applicable) and pull the cardi to the side a bit. I nurse under a cover also so nothing is showing. I'm really getting more comfortable NIP and I think a lot of it has to do with practice and finding clothing that makes it super easy. Also, there are places I go that I do pump right before we leave and bring a bottle; either because I just don't know how I'll be able to nurse (at a bonfire last night in 45 degree weather! I wasn't about to pull anything out in the cold! I left DD on the Ergo loosened it a bit and gave her a bottle) or I'm getting to nervous about it. Sometimes i do feel like it's not worth being so stressed and i go the bottle route. I just make sure i pump righ before we go and then either pump again or murse as soon as we get home. You'll find what works for you. Good luck!
    Mommy to Cole born April 10, 2010 BF for 11 1/2 months!
    DD, Ayla, born August 16, 2012.
    Birth weight-6lbs 3oz
    Weight leaving hospital-5lbs 14oz
    1 Week-6lbs 9 oz

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