Breastfeeding your little one is the most practical and nutritious means of ensuring their growth and future health. The composition, from colostrum to later production, is meant to fortify and acclimate infant physiology to the outside world. But as we all know, sometimes one isn’t in the comfort of their own home when nature rings a meal bell. And depending on where you are in the world, there can be some backlash regarding the exposure of the human body, even during this crucial and ancient practice of ensuring your baby’s health. So wherever you may be, here are some tips on the smart way to breastfeed your bundle of joy in public.
Aside from the primary goal, physical comfort is a giant factor in effective nursing. So as much as possible, find a nice cool spot. It gets hot. I mean, it gets really hot. Engorgement alone can cause a spike in body temperature and hormonal fluctuations throughout the weeks can add even more steam to rise from your shoulders. If you’re choosing to cover up, whether you’re using a regular cotton blanket or those Bebitza breastfeeding covers you see everywhere, just know that the added heat can make nursing a bit more uncomfortable than it already is. Temperature also plays a role in the demeanor of your child. A rule of thumb is: if you’re uncomfortable, so is your baby.
Consideration is a bit of a strange topic these days. It’s unimaginable that one has to explain themselves in this day and age. But in the spirit of keeping our lives stress free, one can offer a bit of customary politeness while in public. A simple question to the people around will suffice. And from experience, diffusing a potentially awkward (I know, I know) situation for those around by asking will typically yield a: “Oh, yeah. Sure, no problem.” A little bit of that goes a long way, especially while surrounded by strangers. It’s also a good idea to check your local laws and policies to make sure there isn’t any strange puritanical line about feeding your kids. Recently, breastfeeding on airplanes has been in the news, with uncomfortable passengers asking flight attendants to make the awkward walk to sleepy mamas. While most airlines are fine with it, the five seconds it takes to ask diffuses so much aggravation in the immediate future.
Check if there are any special accommodations for nursing in the venue you’re going to. A quick online search can yield a plethora of information that can save you time and stress. Most shopping malls have a place where you can go to. There’s air conditioning, comfortable couches, and some have pleasant music (the whole Mozart-baby thing really took off). Breastfeeding stations are a godsend in public places. It really does take the edge off so you can focus on the task at hand.
These are just a few tips among the many out there to help make your life easier. There are products, special clothing, and webinars dedicated to the subject just in case. Just remember, there are communities out there that are willing to help, and most people will try to answer any question you can think of. Remember, we’re here for each other.