Some women feel anxious about breastfeeding in public. They worry if those around them will feel uncomfortable or how revealing the very act of breastfeeding is for themselves. Privacy is obviously a big concern.
However, what would you do if your baby was hungry while both of you were out in a public place?
Know your rights
Breastfeeding in public is legal. Both women and their babies are protected by law. No one can prevent you from nursing your child because you are in a public place.
Practice at home
If you are worried about how much skin you show in public, you may practice various ways on how to breastfeed as discreetly as possible at home in front of a mirror.
Try different outfits and positions when breastfeeding to find out what works for you and your baby.
Try a cover
You may use a blanket, shawl or poncho draped over your shoulders and over your baby’s head when breastfeeding. But, make sure your baby has sufficient space for feeding and can breathe easily. In this manner, you can breastfeed even while walking around.
‘Wear’ your baby
A sling could help make your breastfeeding discreet and convenient because people will think your baby is sleeping.
Choose an easy–access bra
Choose a bra that is easy to remove when breastfeeding. Or, you can shop for a bra that allows you to simply pull the cups down under your breasts rather than bra types that require you to undo the snap.
Pick a discreet spot
When breastfeeding in public, look for a place where you can sit comfortably and which is less visible to the public like a table in a quiet corner of a restaurant, a bench under a tree, or a corner with a roomy chair in a bookstore.
Also, before latching your baby on, turn away from those around you when your baby is in a breastfeeding position. Do the same when unlatching your baby.
If you notice that someone is staring at both you and your baby, give them a smile. Breastfeeding is a natural part of motherhood, so don’t worry if people are judging you.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com. It was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.