Breastfeeding In Public
Breastfeeding In public can be a daunting thought for any breastfeeding mum. It can be scary to get your breast out in front of a friend, relative or in a public place such as a café for the first few times. If this is the case for you wait until you feel comfortable with the breastfeeding process first.
Where can you breastfeed?
The law states that it is sex discrimination to treat a women unfairly because she is breastfeeding and this law extends to breastfeeding in public. As a breastfeeding mum you have the protection to breast feed in parks, any public transport including buses, trains and aeroplanes, leisure and sports centres and public buildings. You have the right to feed in shops, hotels and restaurants no matter the size of the company. You are also covered by the law in cinemas, theatres, petrol stations and hospitals. Remember the law is on your side and you have all the rights to breastfeed your child.
Research breastfeeding places
Research on the internet where other mums have found it comfortable to breastfeed. Breastfeeding in public is a huge topic online, so there are plenty of places you can find advice and suggestions of where to go. After a while you will find regular spots where you feel most comfortable, this could be a park bench or the local café. Don’t feel like you should use public toilets, you wouldn’t eat your dinner in there and your baby shouldn’t have to either. If you’re not feeling comfortable your baby won’t feel comfortable either making feeding them harder for you.
NCT’s “Bobby awards” had high praise for big companies like Debenhams, Pizza Express, Ikea, Starbucks and John Lewis for supporting breastfeeding mums.
What to wear?
Being comfortable and having easy access to your breasts while in public is key to help breastfeed more comfortable out of the house. Find a good breastfeeding bra that allows you to get your nipple out without flashing the rest of the world. A patterned top is ideal for hiding any leakage that might occur too.
There are also tops specifically designed for breastfeeding but you can also use loose, baggy tops just as long as you can pull it down underneath one of your breasts.
Some mums also find it more comfortable if they use a breastfeeding cover/shawl, this way you have material over your chest and the baby. Although you should not feel that you have to cover up but if having a cover enables you to breastfed successfully and longer then it makes sense to use one.
Don’t let negativity stop you
It is your right to feed your baby and if people have opinions on you feeding your baby, it’s there problem not yours. Even if you’re feeling nervous, act confident and if anyone has a negative comment, remind yourself this is a completely natural part of being a mum and the law is behind you. Even if you feel someone is staring at you, stay calm and don’t take it personally, keep your mind on breastfeeding your baby. Remember most people will not say anything to you and let you feed your baby in peace and hopefully during your breastfeeding experience you will never receive a negative comment.