‘Help a Mama Out’ Topic of the Week: What are your favorite tips for overcoming anxiety about breastfeeding in public?
Sandy: Take along a support person
Melanie: Practice in front of a mirror. Another thing that helped me was to just focus all of my attention on my baby. I learned not to look around for a reaction from a stranger.
Miranda: Bring a light shawl to cover up, and remember, you are protected by law to breastfeed in public!
Marie: Have someone with you who is either a) also nursing and has no issues nursing in public or b) is super supportive of you nursing in public. Also, the first couple of times, go somewhere you are already comfortable, like a local bookstore or Starbucks.
Sara: So whatever makes you most comfortable! Practice, practice, practice! So it in front of people you are comfortable with first, then adjust slowly. Find your comfort zone and be happy with it.
Kat: I started going to places and having play dates with other moms who nursed in public.
Keep Austin Nursing in Public: Check out The Badass Breastfeeders free e-course: Becoming a Badass Public Breastfeeder. Know your rights (breastfeedinglaw.com). Surround yourself, even if it’s only online, with a support system. Breastfeed in a bubble… I never pay much attention to those around me when I’m nursing. I’m not looking around for real or possibly imagined dirty looks or sideways glances.
KC: I wore a nursing tank with a t-short on top. Undo the tank from the top and lift your shirt up from the bottom and use that to shield yourself until baby latches. Then the shirt just rests on the baby’s cheek. Second he popped off, I pulled my shirt down and fixed the tank from the top. It helped me feel like I wasn’t exposing everything to everybody. My friends called me the ‘stealth nurser’ because no one knew I was nursing.
Lisa: Practice in a breastfeeding support group. Also, just do it and your comfort level will increase over time.
Raquel: Try practicing breastfeeding in a carrier. I nursed all 3 of my kids in my ergo. Not only was I hands free, but no one was the wiser when I had the little sleeping hood over their heads.
Marybeth: Take a buddy – someone who will talk to you, smile and chat with you, and treat you like it’s normal (it is!!!) while you tackle your anxiety.
Amanda: Start gradual. Start in your car with a cover. Move to a quiet out of the way corner. Eventually, you’ll just get rid of the cover (because your baby will hate it!) and feed anytime, anywhere. I have Momzelle shirts, but you can easily make your own as well. Keeps my tummy covered and lets me feed discretely.
Brooke: A deep v-neck shirt works great to pull your boob up and out….LOL!
Michelle: I use a muslin blanket when I’m out. It’s nice and cool and you can tuck it into your bra strap for security. You’ll be rocking NIP in no time!
Natural Parenting: Just start. It may be awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Also, what helped me was to nurse uncovered in front of a mirror at home – once I saw in the mirror what everyone else saw (i.e. how little flesh is really exposed), it made it a lot easier for me.
Stephanie: This video says it all