My girlfriend and her husband recently had a beautiful baby boy. When we visited them and all sat around their coffee table, the baby became noticeably fussy. My girlfriend took her baby lovingly in her arms, kissed his cheek, and began to nurse.
I was amazed. What a beautiful thing to be able to share with your child. I was also impressed by her courage to breastfeed in front of my husband and me. As natural as breastfeeding is, some women might feel a little self-conscious about doing so in public and may fear making others uncomfortable. Interestingly, MSN.com has seen a rise in the number of web-searches related to breastfeeding in public over the last month.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural part of life that can be done anywhere. Most states have laws protecting mom’s right to breastfeed. In fact, breastfeeding in public is legal any place a mother is allowed to be with her baby.
Once mom starts to get back into her pre-baby routine, it can be hard to schedule the day’s errands around her newborn’s feedings. If you’re out and about, you can try to pack a bottle of expressed (pumped) breastmilk ahead of time. But sometimes, no matter how much you plan, you might find yourself having to nurse your baby in public.
There are lots of things you can do to feel more comfortable. Several companies sell breastfeeding clothes to make breastfeeding discreet. But, any two-piece outfit with a shirt that pulls up (rather than unbuttons) can work well. Once your baby is latched on to your breast, you can settle the shirt hem so that little or no breast shows. Practice in front of a mirror until you feel confident. If you’re particularly shy, a vest, poncho or sweater can provide additional coverage from the side. Also, ask your employer if there is a lactation policy or a place where you can breastfeed or pump milk in private.
However you choose to breastfeed, just be sure that YOU are comfortable!