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Practical tips on how to BF in public please

(23 Posts)
primalero Sat 21-May-11 09:03:35

- New to BF (2 week old baby)
- Approx 36F
- No idea how to discretely get DS to latch on and detach

At home I get the entire breast out and DS may latch on quickly or have a few tries while shaking his head from side to side. Also, he can detach suddenly with no warning. So I can do a lot of flashing before and after a feed. I know it's early days, but I'd like some tips on how to discretely get him on and off so I can BF in front of visitors or when outside.

RitaMorgan Sat 21-May-11 09:19:32

I would wear a stretchy vest/breast vest/boob tube/bump band that you can pull down below your boobs to cover your tummy, and then a loose, floaty top over the top. That way if your ds suddenly pulls off the floaty top will fall down to cover your nipple. If you're extra concerned you can have a pashmina or big cardi over the top for extra coverage.

Cyclebump Sat 21-May-11 09:24:42

I wear H&M BFing tops a lot or a stretchy vest top with a cardi I can pull across. I practised at home, resisting the temptation to pull the whole boob out. It's scary the first few times and although DS is now six and a half weeks I still chicken out sometimes but I found having supportive friends or family with me and picking cafes I knew were BF friendly for the first few times really boosted my confidence.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 21-May-11 09:28:03

the two tops method is by far and away the most discreet
practice in front of a mirror at home, and you'll be pleasantly surprised how little you can see, even during latching/unlatching. a muslin or scarf can help during latching if you're nervous.
i agree that having someone with you for the first few times is brilliant - they chat away and distract you from feeling self-conscious. even better if you can find another bfer to go with you.

DilysPrice Sat 21-May-11 09:28:15

2 weeks is nothing, you will both get much better at it, so don't worry too much about bf in public places just yet, when you feel ready then start with very high bf-tolerance environments like bf cafes and watch with baby screenings at the cinema and ante-natal class meet ups where you've got safety in numbers, then work from there.

But yes, big floaty top is good.

Pedallleur Sat 21-May-11 10:22:22

Unclip bra cup and get boob out of bra but still underneath your top, then get baby's head in roughly the right place, before quickly uncovering nipple and pushing boob towards baby's mouth (not the other way around). Have a hand ready to either cover your nipple with clothing, or with a muslin/cloth if baby suddenly unlatches. You can always just pull your top down over nipple and leave boob out of bra till baby has totally finished. I have even stood up and put sleeping baby back into pram before putting my boob back inside my bra! You only need to cover up with your top and can then faff with bra/clips and straps underneath afterwards.

notthewowy Sat 21-May-11 16:01:20

i wear a ring sling, if you loosen it right off it covers that portion and you can see what youre doing but doesnt draw attention the way a bf cover might.

notthewowy Sat 21-May-11 16:02:23

doh, im a 34k btw. and the double vest works well too, but there is a bit more to see.

Spudulika Sat 21-May-11 16:04:12

Download the NCT baby change app which will help you find comfortable places to feed and change your baby while out.

They get a tummy warmer from Uniqlo or Lidle, a few vests and some nice little cardigans. Layer.

Would also want to say that trying above all to be discrete can lead to stressful and less effective breastfeeding if hiding your nipples becomes too much of a struggle. I'm a big fan of just cracking on and doing it. Just keep looking at the baby. If people are watching you and making faces you won't see because you're not looking at them. And if they really don't like it they can drape a muslin over their own heads. grin You'll be amazed how quickly you become desensitized.

estya Sat 21-May-11 17:54:08

Everything everyone else says, plus take a friend. It gave me much more confidence to have some support, either other BFing mums, or just someone who can keep chatting to you.

primalero Sat 21-May-11 19:25:17

Brilliant advice - thanks everyone.

Parietal Sat 21-May-11 19:42:38

It has been ridiculed on another thread, but I find a bebe au lait great for bf in crowded places (bus / aeroplane) or in front of male work colleagues when I want 100% privacy.

VeronicaCake Sat 21-May-11 19:48:29

Your son is still learning. He'll get much better at latching quickly and efficiently over the next few weeks. Then around 4 months he'll have great head control and want to have a good nose around and suddenly start de-latching all the time. But by the point you'll have been feeding in public for ages and will be a past master at either getting him back on or pulling your top up for some privacy.

The baby covers up a surprising amount. If you start feeding at home in front of friends and family you can ask how much they see. I'd guess very little.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 21-May-11 20:45:49

Parietal, some of us weren't ridiculing!!! I found a nice scarf or cardie with baby's head under meant DD wasn't distracted and I was covered. Two weeks is early and you will get MUCH better at getting the feeding done efficiently. I also used to check where there were BFing places before just in case.

lucamom Sat 21-May-11 22:28:38

Just wanted to add my support and urge you to get out and about. Some great practical advice in this thread, and once you've got your clothing sorted, the best thing you can do to increase your confidence is do it!

With my first son, I was self conscious at first, so I'd feed in special bf rooms when out, or in the car, and even with in-laws I'd go and sit in the conservatory and feed. Then one day, when he was about a month old, I sat in the cold conservatory listening to the laughter and conversation going on in the next room and thought 'sod this', and bit the bullet. If you have the vest/loose top combo no one can see anything (I've been at parties and had people walk past me feeding standing up and they've stroked baby's cheek, as they didn't realise I was doing anything other than having a cuddle)

Believe me, it's much more pleasant if you're out and about to grab a magazine/book, cup of coffee and feed in a coffee shop than in a smell loo (especially if you're talking of feeding half and hour plus sometimes). It definitely gets easier very quickly, and I promise you I never had any comments or even funny looks (bf eldest for 9 months, 2nd son for 13, so lots of public occasions. Feel a bit cheated actually, had my answers at the ready in case anyone tried!)

My size varied between 36-40 d/dd/e, so not talking little boobs (although sadly a different story when not pg or bf!)

Good luck and enjoy - it's actually quite liberating! x

loulabella81 Mon 23-May-11 20:18:45

My son is 6 months now and im only just getting to grips with feeding out. I must recommend something that I wish wish wish I knew about in the begininng. Its a feeding apron/nursing cover. They are amazing!!!

The nursing cover allows you to breastfeed discreetly in public. It has a rigid neckline which can be easily shaped to enable eye contact with baby or pressed flat for more privacy and if/when baby falls asleep feeding.... Using a nursing cover helps to create a calm feeding environment for you and your baby where ever you are. Theres a link for you below, for some on ebay- should you think its a good idea. I got a black and white polka dot one- And I dont go anywhere without it.

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_nkw=nursing+apron&_sacat=0&_odkw=feeding+apron&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

Also bras and vest tops made for breastfeeding, so you can unclip them from the top help a lot.

And if all else fails- my car and mothercare have been backup feeding rooms smile

MassagesDeclinedByNetmums Mon 23-May-11 21:49:56

How I do it... (38E btw)

Two tops are a must, the one underneath is a boob tube rather than a vest so you dont have to fiddle with the straps. Unclip the bra and pull down the boob tube from over your one boob, leaving the top in place. Put baby in front of top in place ready to feed, lift top and attach baby to boob.
People have asked me if I'm going to feed DS after I already have, so it must work grin

japhrimel Tue 24-May-11 08:58:57

2 tops works great - practice at home not exposing the whole breast and pulling the top layer down to baby when they're latched on.

For the first month I used a thin wide scarf to give me extra cover when latching on/off. It was more discrete than a nursing cover or muslin IMO.

Squitten Tue 24-May-11 09:20:02

I also use the two top method.

I'm BF for the first time with DS2 and he's now very nearly 6mths and it's much easier. He latches on without really trying now and I also find that I care less and less about feeding in public. Once you've done it for a little while, you quickly learn that people mostly don't notice at all!

kickingking Tue 24-May-11 09:29:05

Haven't read the other posts so sorry if I am repeating things.

Clothes - I found nursing vests worn underneath cardiagns/looseish tops useful. You pull the vest and and your bra down from the shoulder (under your top layer) then get your baby in position, then whip up the top layer and get baby on.

Practise at home in front of a mirror.

Scarves/pashmina type things are useful for covering up as well.

Personally, I didn't feed in public til my baby was about six months old as I felt too self concious (sp?). I intend to earlier next time though.

SarahPoppy Sun 29-May-11 14:11:57

When my baby was tiny I very much relied on feeding rooms as I felt very uncomfortable about feeding in public, however I found them so smelly and often quite dirty that it wasn't such a pleasant experience! A health visitor then recommended trying a breastfeeding cover so I bought one and never looked back! It folded up easily to fit into baby's changing bag and came everywhere with me, I didn't need to use feeding rooms anymore as I felt so much more confident with my breastfeeding cover and I was no longer restricted to wearing nursing tops day after day. Perhaps they may draw attention to the fact that you're breastfeeding, but I wasn't ashamed to be breastfeeding, I just wanted to be able to get on with it when I was out and about without worrying about exposing anything I didn't want to! You can get them in subtle prints too and you're not restricted to wearing nursing tops day after day. I found mine so useful that I've started making them, they're online at www.peekabooboo.co.uk

beanlet Sun 29-May-11 16:06:12

Oh well done all the people "discreetly" selling merchandise on this thread.

Echo loose top over cheap stretchy vest in matching colour - top up, vest down. Plus large pashmina for extra discretion as and when required. My boobs are 36F too and you really can't see them.

Nursing covers are bulky and look ludicrous and special BF tops are a waste of money.

bessie26 Sun 29-May-11 20:27:43

I think the nursing covers just draw attention to what you are doing, but agree that no-one would be able to see anything.

I love my special bf tops, most of them are the same concept as a vest top with a looser top over the top so you end up with only a little bit of boob out anyway, and remember babies head will be covering that up!

It does get much easier once you've both had a bit of time to practice, and I found that after a while I didn't really care anyway! grin

FWIW I've bf in many places & have never had any comments from anyone... I think that people are so busy doing their own thing they don't notice & if anyone is looking, they are prob just admiring your gorgeous baby!!

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