Some babies have an amazing internal timer that causes them to want to nurse at very predictable times. Those babies must be from a different universe, you’re thinking! Most babies will nurse whenever they have the opportunity, fall asleep, need a change, and then want to go right back to nursing. Moms who have been through it remain unfazed and prepared to offer a feeding when the baby demands one. For new moms, nursing when away from home can be a little nerve-racking. These tips for breastfeeding in public will help you get more comfortable for unpredictable feeding times.
Check Local Laws
Unless you’re trespassing or in a moving car (when the baby should be secured in a properly installed infant seat), you can breastfeed your baby in public in all states. However, some states still classify an exposed breast as “indecency,” so check online to find out if your state exempts breastfeeding from indecency rules.
Scope Out Likely Locations
There are places you know you’ll have to go with your nursing babe. When you visit places ahead of time (while pregnant, for example), identify spots or designated nursing areas that will be comfortable for you to sit down and feed your child.
Dress for Access
The need to breastfeed when you are out in public raises two issues: access for your baby and privacy for you. Dress in clothes that make it easy to put the baby to your breast. A Milk Snob 5 in 1 nursing cover is a great solution! The versatile, stretchy cover serves as a car seat or carrier cover that you can remove and toss over your head when you and the baby get out of the car or when you stop the stroller for a break.
Practice and Prepare
If you’re nervous about feeding your baby in public, practice in front of a mirror to reassure yourself that you’re not “flashing,” and that your baby can be comfortable while you are also covered comfortably, An important tip for breastfeeding in public is to acknowledge that even when you have your technique down, there is still the chance that you’ll encounter a judgmental or curious person. Politely assert your baby’s rights. “My baby is hungry and is eating now, please don’t disturb us” should fend off the curious!