Are you a mom who would like to know how to breastfeed outside the comforts of home? Or maybe you have tried breastfeeding in malls, restos, and other public places but disliked the experience? Fret not, I’m here to help you! I have personally tried and tested these tips below during the 2 years and counting on my breastfeeding journey. These can help you out to breastfeed even whether you are eating in a restaurant, sitting at the park, or commuting to the mall.
Benefits of breastfeeding
- Breastmilk has the nutritional components that your baby needs in every life stage. It changes its composition as your baby grows, providing optimal nutrition.
- Its antibodies that formula milk cannot replicate boosts the immune system of your baby and prevents illness.
- It will be easier to travel lightweight. Breastmilk eliminates the need to bring formula milk, bottle, sterilizers, and other equipment.
- You can quickly feed and attend to your baby’s needs by breastfeeding because it does not need tedious preparation.
- As a breastfeeding mom, you will be able to create an irreplaceable bond between you and your baby. Plus, you can take care of yourself too with its health benefits, which include natural weight loss and birth control.
How to breastfeed in public with confidence
1. Wear breastfeeding clothes that make you feel comfortable
One thing that you might not want to happen while your baby feeds is having your tummy exposed while feeding a fuzzy baby. Especially if you have recently given birth and already ditched the binder, it might be intimidating to try breastfeeding outside the comforts of your home.
So nursing bras, tops, and dresses are the solution for that!
These special clothes have easy access to your breasts that makes breastfeeding discreet. Nursing covers and scarves will also help you to conceal your breasts while feeding your baby.
As these are widely available nowadays and come in different versions, you’ll be able to find the perfect one that will make you feel at ease.
2. Research the Location
Before going to your desired destination with your baby, familiarize yourself first with the venue. Whether it is inside a mall, restaurant, or other public areas, you have to make sure that you will be comfortable where you are planning to breastfeed your baby.
You may try to physically visit before bringing your baby with you. But if it won’t be possible, your best bet is to check the reviews and photos online. The things to take note of are the facilities, crowd, and space.
Most public establishments, namely shopping malls, hospitals and clinics, and even government offices, have designated breastfeeding or lactation rooms. These eliminate the hassle of planning on where or how to breastfeed your baby outside.
However, if the place you are going to does not have one, then you may check the other features of the place. Make sure that there will be a couch or at least a chair with a backrest that you and your baby can relax on.
Another thing to consider If the place you are planning to visit does not have a lactation room is its crowd. What time will you be going there? Will it fall within peak hours? And if yes, do you think you will still be able to feed a fuzzy baby comfortably in the venue even if it might be too noisy or crowded in the room?
Connected with the crowded, you have to research also if the public place you’re planning to go to has a lot of room for you and your baby to breathe. The last thing you would like is to have a man directly sitting in front of you while you whip out your milk-filled boob for your baby. Or you might not want to be apologetic when your baby stretches his legs or flail his arms and accidentally hit others.
After you have made your research, you will be physically prepared by bringing items that you think might be helpful with breastfeeding, and you will be emotionally prepared too as you have already managed your expectations.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Breastfeeding is a skill. You will need to practice with your baby to make breastfeeding easier. When you know that you will be in a public place for a while with your baby, a dry run of your breastfeeding session is your best bet.
Get to know your baby by practicing at home. You may wear the nursing clothes that you are planning to use, and try on different breastfeeding positions wherein you can hold your baby for long periods.
Do this in front of a mirror as many times as you can. Watch how you and your baby look like. Look at the way you sit down, breastfeed, and hold your child. Do you look fine and were you able to discreetly breastfeed? If not, you may consider trying different breastfeeding positions and angles.
Also, get to know your little one’s mannerisms while feeding. Does he like grabbing your breasts with both hands or does he prefer holding a toy on one hand and gently stroking the boob he is feeding on? Does he get very sweaty while feeding and needs more space, or does he like to be cuddled tightly and closer to your body?
Your baby can give ideas more than you think they can if you will keep on breastfeeding and observing. From there, you will know how to breastfeed comfortably, making you prepared and confident for the feeding time.
4. Have the proper knowledge and mindset
Nothing beats the good old quote “Mind over matter”. To be confident in breastfeeding wherever you are, you have to condition yourself that you are doing the best that you can do for your baby, and that includes breastfeeding.
Make a stand for your baby by being a proud breastfeeding mom and embracing your right to breastfeed. Having yourself equipped with knowledge on your local breastfeeding law will make you fight for your right to feed your baby anytime and anywhere, even when you’re outside your own home.
I hope that these tips will be helpful to fellow moms who are worried about how to breastfeed when they are always on the go. Remember that confidence comes with comfort. Knowing how to breastfeed in a comfortable way for both you and your baby will make you more confident. Not only you will be affected by it, but your baby too. Make the most out of your breastfeeding journey and create memories with your baby!