Breastfeeding in public...(80 Posts)
I'm new to all this so bear with me please :-)
My LO is only 8 days old & so far we have been house bound after c-section so been concentrating on trying to get to grips with BF rather than thinking of doing it in a discreet manner in preparation for being out & about.
Does anyone have any useful tips? As our first planned venture is for next week when we go to register her birth.
I've got a mums scarf but find it quite fiddly to use & worried that if I feel flustered/agitated trying to feed in public it will make it worse for baby should she need to feed whilst we are out.
I just threw a muslin over my shoulder and arranged it. Once you get confident it's really easy to pop baby on and off
I didn't really like nursing tops. I found the one up one down best. But a load of vests (primary are only £1!) and wear them under a top that you can lift up - then you aren't exposing your tummy and you can just pop your breast out over the vest (the top will cover your nipple in those few seconds before the baby has latched on)
Practice at home - good luck!
Thanks for the advice, will try both options & hopefully with time I wil get the hang of it.
Practice sounds like a good plan ahead of our first outing.
Vest top under normal top, vest top pulled down under boobs and other top pulls up, keeps the stomach covered. Idid use a Muslin as well in the beginning
Sit in front of a mirror and you will see that people looking at you can see a lot less than you can see looking down at yourself and the baby. Congratulations!
the one piece of advice I had which I loved was to get a chair (like a dining chair) and put it in front of a full length mirror and breastfeed your baby in front before you try to feed out of the house, it will reassure you about what others can/do see. which honestly when they are that little is almost nothing.
if you want to use a scarf/muslin cloth tuck it under your bra strap that will hold it up.
I never found any shops or cafe's to be anything other than warm and welcoming. However for ease the first few outings I made my way to john lewis or mothercare to their feeding rooms with v v comfy chair and magazine whilst monkeys were feeding.
You will be fine.
The up down top trick is by far the best option. I've yet to meet a BF top that isn't 'faffy'. Actually I had one, but the company stopped doing them.
Whatever you don't bother with one of those BF cover up things. Pain in the neck and only useful for drawing attention to yourself.
A muslin or scarf over your shoulder for the very early days is also useful when they're still figuring out the latch. By about week four
when my two practically picked up my boob and put it into their mouth themselves I wouldn't even bother with that.
I opt for a sports bra as you can just pull it up or down, depending on what you are wearing - no hassle and no fiddling with straps and clips. I also found it more comfortable and easier to feed from my left boob (to do with being right handed maybe?) so would always make sure the last feed before leaving the house was from my right, I have renamed them my public and my private boobs!
Just feed how you like, don't worry about others. At first it's a good idea to plan ahead and go to places either with a feeding room (shopping centres, boots, mothercare, john lewis etc) or think about the actual layout of the place - lots of coffee shops, wetherspoons, pizza hut etc have booth type seating areas which are nice and you can feel more relaxed there. Meeting up with other BF mums is good too, confidence in numbers.
Cardigans: great for hiding feeding babies under during the winter. I fed mine everywhere (trains, planes, parks, weddings etc: I was a bit militant). I got the odd Look but the only comments I ever had were favourable ones. These were mostly of the been there/done that variety, though the elderly dad of a friend of mine - who I thought would disapprove - told me how marvellous it was, and quite the best thing for the baby, make yourself comfortable, do you need anything and then trundled off and left me in peace.
Hope you enjoy your baby, and that your BF time goes smoothly.
Maybe I am over thinking the public feeding. Just don't want to stress me or baby out when it comes to it.
I'll Definately practice in front of the mirror ahead of next week to get a good idea of how much can actually be seen :-)
It's incredibly daunting to even think about in the early days, you're not alone!
I did the same with vest & top (1 up, 1 down) although I did use maternity vests rather than pulling a normal one down, mainly because I found it easier to unclip vest & bra while the top was covering me, get sorted out underneath, then pull the top up for baby.
Another reason to use a muslin over the top tucked into your bra strap is that it's ready to cover you & more importantly mop up if baby comes off mid flow! Avoids wet patches on your top!
This & breast pads were essential for me in the early days!
I was a bit nervous of getting negative comments or looks at first, so I made sure I had DH with me the first couple of times. Now I am completely relaxed about it; I'll wap out a boob anywhere! Only ever had one negative reaction, got a very dirty look from an old couple in wetherspoons in a train station and I think they complained to the waitress - she arranged some menus on a table between us as a kind of screen (they were halfway across the room FFS). I'd expected to be really embarrassed or upset if people reacted negatively but I actually found it funny. Went out of my way to walk past them on the way to the loo later in the hope of annoying them further! In a way it was a helpful experience; I now know that if I get a negative response to bf-ing it doesn't matter in the slightest. Remember, you have an absolute right to use your breasts FOR THEIR ACTUAL PURPOSE and feed your baby wherever you chose.
I was really nervous about feeding in public at first. The first time I did DD was around 6 weeks old. I was in a cafe with DH and my parents - it was practically empty, I faced away from the main eating area and had a mama scarf to cover up. I used that a few times but found it fiddly and DD got really hot under it so I don't bother any more. I've tried the muslin trick too but found that fiddly. So I now I just get myself ready under my top (have to use nipple shields) then get DD in position, lift top and latch her on!
I have to say, I don't really care anymore if people do see my boobs. They're just boobs being used for their natural purpose. But I know some people are more modest than me!
Practice in front of a mirror. Go out with people you feel comfortable with the first few times and you'll get the hang of it. (don't go with someone like my MIL who told me to turn round and face the wall )
Learn the words to Ruin your day so you can hum it in your head to remind yourself to feel positive and happy.
It will feel odd the first few times. But you'll be amazed by how quickly you decide you don't give a rat's ass who sees your breasts
I really struggled in the early days until someone recommended this:
I didn't end up using it for very long, but it got me through the phase of her struggling to latch, coming off the boob, me having to hold my boob and stroke her lips with my nipple. We had tongue tie and latching issues so I needed to see what was going on and this cover holds away from your body so you can see the baby. 3 or 4 weeks in, we got the hang of it and ditched the cover.
rootypig it's once you've flashed the postman that you realise there are truly more important things in the world to worry about isn't it
not me, oh no, not ever
I had my babies in a carrier, and just pulled my shirt up. No one could even tell they were breastfeeding unless they looked really closely. They used to feed all the time as I walked around.
I mainly used the double top-one up one down method and couldn't get to grips with a muslin or any covering- just tied myself up in knots! It is easier a few weeks in when baby knows what to do - I found going out with other bf mums in the beginning easier as we all got our boobs out together! Do you have NCT friends who are also bf that you could go out with to help gain confidence? Having said that, youngest is 7 months and just bought a bf top which has a slit across the middle which you lift to get to boobs and I love it! Just remember you are doing what is totally natural and what are boobs were designed to do - I've never had a negative reaction from anyone anywhere with either of mine so try not to worry too much- good luck!
I have nothing new to add - totally agree with the one up, one down tops etc.
But I wanted to say that every time I see a mum BFing in public I want to give them a big thumbs up and a smile. I think it's so important for everyone, particularly girls, to see it happening. You're doing a fab thing and if you're like me that first feed will be so liberating! Enjoy.
(NB. I don't thumbs up & grin & stuff because it would be weird)
Congradulations on your new baby and it's great bf is going well for you. You are not the only one that's stressed about it. I'm sure most new mums were. If you see a mum with bf a newborn confidently in public, most likely it's not her first! I remembered being so nervous about it with my first and now with DD2, I'm out and feeding within a week.
I have nothing to add other than also recommending the vest down, t-shirt up method. What you need with the vest are very stretchy ones. I have some long vests from H&M and I can easily pull one side to under my breast without pulling the strap down. I found with some vests, I need to lower the strap before I could move the fabric under the breast. With the t-shirt, choose looser fitting ones so it's easier to pull up too. I also prefer cardigans so there's less fabric to pull up. I never get on with the muslin over shoulder thing.
I also have a bebe au lait breastfeeding cover (not the pattern linked)
It's very useful for feeding in front of male friends and relatives. It's more they find it slightly embarassing and not sure where to put their eyes! It's definitely more of a faff then without but I'd rather not make others uncomfortable. Strangers don't have any problems cause they can easily just look at somewhere else
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