Breastfeeding🤱🏻in public used to give me anxiety. I’m all for it & when baby is hungry then I will feed her wherever I am. Though it wasn’t always easy -she hated being covered & I used to worry a lot about what others will think. As much as I am all about normalizing breastfeeding I still do consider that there are creepers out there and it is weird and uneasy to have strangers looking. Let’s get this straight, breastfeeding in public is not a means to call for attention. If you gotta feed, you gotta feed. No one has ever told me not to eat when I’m hungry or cover my own face, so why restrict a mother who just needs to feed their child? It’s not sexual nor is it calling for attention. It used to be tough for me and I wasn’t comfortable til I learned what worked best for the both of us & just a whole lot of practice! You may find breastfeeding in public easier if you do it in a supportive environment for the first few times. Here are some tips that helped me become comfortable:
✨Since she didn’t like being covered by a blanket or a wrap I just used a small towel to cover the top of my breasts enough to also hide the nip & her lips leaving her eyes & nose uncovered.
✨Flowy cardigans allowed me to shield away from the crowd until she was latched and comfortable.
✨Wearing double layers (usually a nursing tank or any tank top underneath) allowed me to lift my shirt, but also not expose my entire stomach.
✨ Babywearing and using my Sakura Bloom Scout baby carrier made it easy for me to nurse in public. I just lower her down and loosen the straps just a little so she can comfortably nurse without bending her neck down too much. To cover the side boob I usually hide that with the straps, my arms, or wear a cardigan or jacket.
✨ I scout out my location. I look at my surroundings, see the type of crowd I’m in & assess if the location is comfortable for the both of us. Sometimes overly crowded or loud areas distract her so she’ll pull away from in the middle of feeding while leaving me completely exposed! Has that ever happened to you? In some areas I like to see if there are family rooms or mothers room. A lot of shopping malls have that, but if there isn’t one available I usually like looking for a semi-secluded area & have my husband or friend join me so that we’re not completely alone. Additionally, I also assess who I am with.
✨Though family and friends are very supportive of my choices I am still cognizant and respect that not everyone wants their spouse to see another woman’s breast. People will look and they can’t help it. So I make sure that I’m turned away from my friends’ spouses whenever I need to feed or prepared to cover up as much I can when they are around. Up until baby is latched at least. This way there are no nip slips. Though normalizing breastfeeding is important, respecting my friendship and relationship are also equally important. Especially to respect my husband, as well. Breasts are commonly sexualized and the last thing I want is to make my husband feel uncomfortable too. It’s hard to explain even though I shouldn’t have to hide or cover, but this is still the world we live in. Slowly but surely, it is becoming more and more normalized and the more I’m around my friends’ & relatives’ spouses, the more they are also accustomed to it and less likely to look.
✨ Maintain eye contact, if you keep looking down, people will look where you’re looking. There was a time where she kept kicking off the blanket or throwing the towel, & I wasn’t wearing double layers. I was w/ a friend for lunch & instead of worrying if they are looking at my breasts, I maintained eye contact with them the whole time. That allowed us to just focus on our convo without having to worry. No explanations are necessary if you need to feed your child in front of them either!
✨If you look awkward & uncomfortable, others can tell! Show them how confident you are & be damn proud of yourself! You’re a badass mama! Respecting your privacy is important, but do what you gotta do! Only you can make the best judgement call.