How to Breastfeed in Public and Not Hate Humanity
Look, we have lots of thoughts on breastfeeding. And we could go on ad nauseam about flange sizes and dream feeding and formula supplementation. But for now we want to talk about the times you’re in the middle of the mall and your two-month-old needs to eat like right this second. Here, seven tips for nursing in public with confidence, success and even a little bit of pizzazz.
Get a good nursing scarf
If you’re nervous about doing this ultra-private thing out in the open, a solid scarf is here to help. We like the kind with a structured top that makes it easy to peek down at your baby.
Speaking of which…peek down at your baby
How to get an infant all latched and happy under a bulky cover-up? Take the time to look down at him, smile and help him get started. It can make the difference between a productive feed and a fit of fussy, squirming frustration.
Do the nursing tank/blousy top trick
Some ultra-confident moms forgo the scarf altogether by layering a roomy shirt over a nursing tank top. That way you can lift up your shirt and place the baby on your boob, without exposing any skin.
Excuse yourself if you have to
Let-down, latch, suckle… it can be tricky to get all the moving parts in place, right in the middle of Dunkin’ Donuts. If you and your baby need more peace and quiet, ask for it, whether that means moving over to an empty table or excusing yourself from a group conversation.
…Or just keep on going about your business
On the other hand, if you want to nurse while chatting with your girlfriends over frittatas, by all mean do so. Once you’ve got the nursing-in-public thing on lock, it can feel super-empowering to integrate it into your fabulous and busy life. (No worries if you drop the occasional egg on your infant’s head.)
Ask for help
Not sure about the best place at the DMV to feed your bambino? Ask! Most people (well, women) will be more than happy to direct you to a comfy chair or secluded banquette to do your business—especially if your baby flashes one of her patented smiles.
Know your rights
It’s legal to breastfeed in public in every U.S. state except Idaho. (Seriously, Idaho?) Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.