Breastfeeding gives your baby the best possible start in life, and is the perfect way to bond with your new baby.
One thing you’ve probably already learned as a new mum is that babies don’t keep to any set schedule so there will be times that your baby will be hungry while you’re out and about. Breastfeeding in public for the first time can seem like a scary prospect but there are plenty of ways to feed discreetly, as we’ll explore in this article.
These can be expensive but are great for feeding in public. They have an opening for feeding discreetly and are easy to use. Good places to shop for inexpensive breastfeeding tops are Matalan and H&M.
Top Up / Top Down
Depending on the top you’re wearing you can simply lift your top or pull it down and latch your baby on. This is best for when you become experienced and your little one has a good latch. For beginners, try layering, for example having one top you can lift up but another, for example a vest top, underneath that can be pulled down, to avoid exposing your belly while you feed.
Breastfeeding covers are generally apron style, providing a good amount of cover. Not only do they provide privacy but they are helpful if your baby is prone to becoming distracted and pulling off while feeding. Bébé Au Lait’s covers have a reinforced neck so it’s easy to maintain eye contact with your little one during a feed. Many people find a muslin cloth hooked into their bra strap works well as a makeshift cover but this could be difficult if you’re outside and personally I enjoy the funky designs and the practicality of the purpose made covers.
Scarves are all the rage at the moment and can be bought in most high street fashion shops. A light, wide scarf makes a really good breastfeeding cover and looks stylish at the same time. Buying several scarves offers variety and you can match them with many different outfits.
Places To Feed
Coffee shops are ideal for starting out breastfeeding in because they’re quiet and comfortable. Some shops and department stores now have specific feeding rooms and you could always use a changing room in a clothes shop. Don’t feel you have to hide away though; if you’ve got the confidence, there’s no reason you can’t feed in the park, library, or pretty much anywhere you can get comfortable!
In the UK, breastfeeding mothers’ rights to nurse in public places are protected by discrimination laws. Thanks to high levels of publicity surrounding these laws, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter a public place where the staff aren’t aware of your rights.
Once you’ve fed your baby a few times, you’ll realise how uninterested most people are in watching you; in fact, although you might feel like you really stand out, many people won’t even realise what you’re doing. The more you practice, the more efficient you and your baby will become at feeding and what seemed like a big deal in the early days will become a breeze!