Recently, an American model Mara Martin made news for breastfeeding her five month old daughter Aria on the catwalk. There has been mixed response to this incident – Some hailed it as a bold move befitting a caring mom while others labeled it as a sheer publicity stunt. Though breastfeeding related debates are controversial and keep making headlines in the country, there are new moms who are strong enough to face the criticism if required.
Mothers have to often face harsh judgments when it comes to breastfeeding openly in the public. But has anyone given a thought over a simple, practical and logical thing that just like adults eat outside when hungry, why can’t a little baby whose only food is its mother’s milk can’t have it with full rights? Of course, there are certain dos and don’ts that come with it. Here are some useful tips to breastfeed your baby in public.
1. Choose Your Comfort
Comfort level matters a lot while opting for breastfeeding in public, those who find it comfortable can go for it. Others who are not can opt for various other options like shielding oneself while nursing. The baby’s comfort too matters. Nursing a baby is nothing wrong as a tiny life is totally dependent on mother’s milk. Mother’s milk provides water and a number of nutrients to the baby.
2. Get the Right Nursing Accessories
There are many trendy nursing accessories available in the market. You can easily buy stylish nursing dresses that can be used right from the pre-delivery through the breastfeeding stage. If you have already made up your mind to breastfed your baby for a longer period of time, you can go for such clothes early in the pregnancy.
There are easy access breastfeeding bras commonly known as nursing bras that are easy to open up; even stretchy sports bras work well. Make it a point to wear loose clothes so that they can be lifted up easily and most part of the exposed skin can be covered. Keep with yourself a nursing cover or blanket, scarves or shawls, slings or wraps that are breathable and easily spreadable or that can be used as good carriers for your baby. There are garments especially made for nursing but the designs are so inventive that one cannot make out they are breastfeeding access designs.
3. Be Well-Packed
Always carry all the important things while going for an outing with your baby – diapers, burp cloths, blankets and lots of wipes. Keep everything clean. Your bag must be well planned with all the necessary accessories.
4. Be Confident
Be confident enough if you need to breastfeed your baby in public. Try to ignore people who are staring or looking at you while breastfeeding. Remember that you are doing an important thing for your baby. Just concentrate, look at your baby, and keep a smile on your face. Show your confidence. Be proud of feeding a baby and show people that nursing is as important as any other thing. This way you can be a source of inspiration and encouragement for others too.
5. Choose a Convenient Place
Never feed a baby in a toilet room or a washroom. Will you ever have your food in toilet? Then why should your tiny baby? Look out for a bench outside a restaurant, a mother’s room, a quiet café, a park which is quieter and less disturbing. Avoid crowded, disturbing and noisy places where the baby gets distracted. Once you and your baby become comfortable and used to, you can even feed while walking or while standing in a queue.
6. Know Your Rights as a Mother
The patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers to give break times to nursing moms. Women have a right to breastfeed their babies outside in open as well. Though workplace law differs from state to state, there is one thing in common in all the 50 states – there is protection for women’s right to feed her child anywhere in the public. In 2018, breastfeeding has become legal in all the 50 states. However, make sure you do it with proper protocol and not for the sake of gaining attention or publicity.