The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you exclusively breastfeed for six months and then to continue for at least a year or longer. This is what is best for you and your baby. So how do you make this happen when you are out and about and living your life? Below are some tips to make your life as a breastfeeding mom convenient and easy while nursing in public.
Choose clothing that makes nursing easy. Pick a nursing bra that is easy to unlatch. Button down shirts, shirts that easily lift up or to the side are great options. Camisoles under shirts are a great option if you would prefer to keep your abdomen covered. Plan a rehearsal before you go out and breastfeed in public for the first time to see which of your outfits work best.
Although I would bet that nursing your baby reveals much less skin than a typical woman in a bikini, some moms feel more comfortable with a nursing cover. Other options to cover would be baby slings, infinity scarves, or just covering up with a blanket. If you choose one of these covers, make sure that your baby’s mouth and nose aren’t covered so that he or she can breathe.
Choose a place that is comfortable for you and your baby. You have the right to nurse your baby, unapologetically, wherever you would like! If you would like privacy, many places have allocated rooms for moms to nurse. If you can’t find one, ask an employee. Dressing rooms usually have a place to sit, and can work well for nursing. You may want to ask for a booth in the corner when out to eat at a restaurant, so you and baby won’t be disturbed as much.
Alternatively, if it is your preference, you may bring pumped milk with you. Freshly pumped, milk is good for four hours without cooling, or 24 hours in a cooler with ice packs.
Plan ahead, think about what may work best for YOU and YOUR baby, and enjoy providing the best possible nutrition for your baby while you are away from home.