Breastfeeding in public is something which I still feel uncomfortable doing. I’m not worried about what people think, I am just uncomfortable with my post baby body and cringe at the thought of predominantly my belly being on display. You might be reading this and rolling your eyes, thinking “Oh get on with it woman!” and you’re probably right, but that doesn’t really help. Anyway, this post is a little post which I hope might help other ladies who feel a little body concious while breastfeeding, and are my tips to feeding in public – the ones which have worked for me, that doesn’t mean they’ll work for everyone, but they’re a starting point!
1. Choose your venue.
Until you get used to feeding in public, choose somewhere quiet where you feel comfortable – a table in the corner of a coffee shop worked for me to get started. I also found the first few times were easier with a friend in tow, and in lieu of a friend my kindle so I could avoid eye contact with strangers until I was ready.
2. Choose your clothing.
This is probably the most important thing to do. There’s nothing worse than struggling to get undressed, layers work well, cardigans are essential! I’ve also invested in a couple of breastfeeding tops as they provide really easy access, but my must have item is a breastfeeding vest. I love breastfeeding vests as they replace the need to wear a bra, yet provide support and access while covering my wobbly tummy – the area of me I feel very concious about!
3. Don’t wait!
In the early days, I made baby wait to feed – she could hang on 5 minutes while I got organised right? WRONG! I now know she likes to be fed 3hourly, and beyond that the window between hungry baby, and crazed screaming banshee hungry baby is about 60seconds. As soon as baby goes into the latter stage, it’s much harder to settle them in my experience, so if you’re on a day out, schedule a stop to feed.
4. It really doesn’t work!!
EXPRESS!! If you really can’t handle breastfeeding in public, how about expressing? It takes a little pre planning, but if you know you’re going somewhere where you won’t feel comfortable breastfeeding express before you go. You will need to express again so you don’t dip in supply, but that hour or two extra where you’re not needed for feeding might mean you can enjoy the meal with wok colleagues without feeling stressed about everything.
Do you have any tips to add for feeding in public if you’re a bit self concious? Let me know! x