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Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your baby. We at Birth Boot Camp wholeheartedly support and encourage breastfeeding on-demand, and sometimes that means nursing in the middle of the store, at the swimming pool, when you’re out to lunch with your friends, or on a bench at your favorite park. However, nursing in public can sometimes feel intimidating or uncomfortable for new mothers. The good news is that with a little preparation and knowledge, nursing in public can become a stress-free and empowering experience. Here are 7 tips to help you breastfeed in public with ease!

1. Dress for comfort and convenience:

Choose clothing that allows easy access to your breasts. Opt for nursing bras or tops with discreet openings. Using a nursing cover or a lightweight scarf can provide additional privacy, however it can sometimes draw more attention then your regular clothing. Dressing comfortably will help you relax and focus on your baby’s needs. Here are some of our favorite nursing clothing options to consider.
Woman nursing her baby wearing a nursing bra and convenient clothing

2. Find a comfortable and quiet spot:

Look for breastfeeding-friendly spaces such as nursing rooms, designated areas, or quiet corners in public venues. Many establishments now prioritize creating breastfeeding-friendly environments. Alternatively, you can scout out cozy spots in advance, like quiet benches in parks or comfortable seating areas in malls.

3. Practice at home:

Before venturing out, practice breastfeeding in front of a mirror or with a supportive partner or friend. This will help you gain confidence in your nursing technique and find comfortable positions that work for you and your baby. Practice using a nursing cover if you plan to use one, so you can become familiar with it.

4. Use a breastfeeding-friendly sling or carrier:

Investing in a breastfeeding-friendly sling or carrier can be a game-changer. These versatile accessories allow you to breastfeed discreetly while keeping your baby snugly close to you. They provide privacy, support, and freedom of movement, enabling you to breastfeed on the go.

5. Know your rights:

In the United States there are laws to protect breastfeeding mothers in public and in the workplace. You have the legal right to breastfeed your baby at any time and in any place, covered or uncovered. It is not necessary to cover yourself while you breastfeed, though you can absolutely do so if that’s more comfortable for you.  Familiarize yourself with your rights. Knowing them can give you confidence and assurance in your decision to nurse your baby whenever and wherever needed.

6. Seek support from like-minded communities:

Connect with other breastfeeding mothers or join support groups both online and offline. These communities can provide valuable guidance, encouragement, and advice. Sharing experiences and learning from others who have successfully breastfed in public can boost your confidence and normalize the practice. La Leche League offers volunteer based support groups online or in person. Find a support group in your area here.

7. Practice relaxation techniques:

Breastfeeding is a special bond between you and your baby, and it’s important to approach it with calmness and relaxation. Practice deep breathing, visualization, or other relaxation techniques to help you feel at ease while nursing in public. Remember, breastfeeding is a natural act, and you have the right to nourish your baby wherever you are.
Woman nursing her baby in a relaxing environment
Breastfeeding in public should be a positive experience for both you and your baby. By following these tips, you can breastfeed confidently and comfortably in various public settings. Remember, you’re providing your little one with essential nutrition and love, and that is something to be celebrated. Embrace the journey of motherhood, trust your instincts, and enjoy the beautiful moments of breastfeeding with your precious bundle of joy.
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