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Thread: won't nurse in public....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default won't nurse in public....

    my DD is 7 months old and i have never nursed in public. never. i feel like all eyes would be burning holes through me if i did. i have rather large breast (38G) and it is hard to be discrete. most of the time i have both hands full with baby and boob. i have tried the nursing cover but DD pulls it up so it defeats the purpose. i literally just stay home or make VERY fast runs in and out so that she doesn't get to hungry. she WILL NOT take a bottle at all. after 7 months, home is starting to feel like prison. any suggestions?
    I didn't succeed with Breastfeeding with my first two children I'M NOT GIVING UP THIS TIME! I PROMISED MY DAUGHTER!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    Maybe you could try something like a nursing hat? It's like a big floppy-brimmed hat you can put on baby's head, covers you both nicely, and is much easier (IMO) to use than a cover. Plus, I think it's less noticeable, and you can lift the top brim a bit and see baby, without exposing too much breast. She might have a harder time pulling it off, or maybe not be so bothered by it.

    check this out http://www.moboleez.com/

    NIP can be hard, especially if you feel like people are staring. I think sometimes it's one of those things where you notice it yourself more than others do (but still hard, I know). Maybe you could start with places that have a family washroom, like a mall?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Central VA

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    My breasts are even bigger. Trust me, you're not showing as much as you think. Practice in front of a mirror. Put a hat on the baby. Wear a nursing tank (over a bra, if necessary) and then lift your top shirt from the bottom after dropping the nursing flaps.
    Mum to DS (04/07)
    EPing for former 28 weeker (03/12)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    I've never used a nursing cover, just learned to nurse discreetly without it. As long as the baby stays latched on the whole time it's not an issue. All my babies went through a stage, though, where they would pop off constantly throughout the feeding if I tried to nurse in public (too many distractions), but then eventually they do get to a point again where they can nurse through the distractions. As they get older they only really need to nurse for maybe five minutes and they're good. Unless they're sleepy, but I just wait to nurse until we're home if that's the case.

    Your home won't feel like a prison for much longer. Soon you may not even need to nurse in public at all, but just schedule your outings around nursing/naps and then give solids or a sippy cup when you're out and about.

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!

    Daughter of God

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    My LO would never nurse in public. He was always too interested in what was going on around him/us and just would NOT nurse, no matter how hungry he was. Like you, I just made quick runs out and stayed home a lot so we didn't have to deal with this. But, like you, that didn't seem very sustainable for us in the long run.

    This may be an unpopular approach, but it worked for us....when LO was hungry, I would find a single user bathroom (usually the baby change and/or disabled one) and hold him and nurse in there, while standing up. Not the most comfortable, but it worked to at least get some milk in him so that we could be out for errands or visits with friends, etc.

    Hopefully the other suggestions of how to nurse discretely and practicing in the mirror with help you to feel more at ease and that will solve the problem. If not, perhaps this suggestion might work.

    (I feel compelled to add that I am strongly in favor of a woman's right to BF in any public place and would never suggest someone go to a public toilet, or any other "private space" to nurse, unless that was what worked for the mom-baby dyad).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    I can totally relate to the idea of "home feels like a prison" ... to be honest, that changed for me once I got comfortable nursing outside the home. If you are in a place where you are ready to work on it, I can suggest some intermediate steps. You could start by nursing in women's lounges in stores -- for example, go to Babies R Us and use their nursing room, or if you're at the mall, some of the nicer department stores have a lounge by the women's restroom. That way you can get used to nursing outside the house, without being around a lot of people. Then you could try picking a more public spot during a quiet hour -- say, a quiet coffee shop mid-morning, or a cafe mid-afternoon, in between meal crowds -- there might be a few people around, but not jam packed. Or you could go to the park with baby, and lie down on a blanket together -- there might be some people around, but they probably won't be close enough to really see anything. You can use those opportunities to practice without pressure. And if it gets really nerve-wracking, you can always duck out to the car and nurse there (I have done that on occasion when baby is just too distracted in a busy place).

    I think it's normal to feel self-conscious at first. The first couple times I nursed in public, I got really flustered and nervous... but then I looked around, and no one was even looking my way. I know it feels like you'll be attracting a great deal of attention, but in actuality people tend to either not notice, not care, or just give you your privacy. Some other things that help increase my comfort are: I make sure I'm wearing clothing that allows easy & discreet access (like a tank underneath with a loose, blousy top over, so the tank covers my tummy and I can drape the blouse over everything else once baby is latched -- but you can experiment with different clothing options to see what gives you the most coverage); I always scout out restaurants to find a seat that's tucked a little off to the side, and I turn my body towards the wall when latching so that no one will catch a peek; and I take advantage of comfortable spaces when I find them and offer to nurse proactively (whereas if I wait for baby to tell me he's hungry, who knows if it will be as convenient?).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    Is there a breastfeeding support group in your area? many moms first learn to nurse in public at a 'safe' place like a LLL meeting. Plus hopefully you will see some tricks other moms use to feel comfortable. Or if you have a supportive friend, try nursing in public when she is there at first. Safety in numbers.

    I would also suggest experimenting with trying different positions
    i feel like all eyes would be burning holes through me if i did.
    This is the hardest part about nip. Feeling comfortable. It will probably not feel comfortable until you have practiced a few times. Even with my third baby, when I first got out there I was literally sweating with embarrassment the first few times until I got the hang of it again.

    It is very unusual to elicit out and out stares. Most people try NOT to look if they even notice. And even if someone stares it is not necessarily in hostility. Some may stare because they see a loving mother and a cute baby.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    You could just nurse in public.
    I have 40 F. It sucks, I know, but it's not like you're just flopping it out for the world's eyes.
    In fact, if I'm in the rare form and feeling modest I just drape something over my breast, but not to cover baby's head, just my breast part. But that's few and far between. Other times he ends up being hungry right as we are parking, leaving, and most times, especially on flights and transportation places I just do it without a cover.

    Most often, I'll be honest, people avert their eyes because they feel that looking would destroy my modesty.
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

  9. #9

    Default Re: won't nurse in public....

    I am a 34 KK and I use my moby to nurse when out in public. At first it felt I was showing a lot but my friends and family all said I was stressing to much that you couldn't tell anything was going on. It took a while to feel comfortable nursing in public but oddly the one time someone said anything to me helped me see I was being so silly that I was just doing what any mother with a bottle would have done by taking care of my child's needs that I shouldn't feel how I was about it.

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