For some reason, seeing a woman nurse in public bothers a lot of people. The stigma nursing mothers are forced to deal with is one the biggest reasons many give up entirely.
Women know they should feel secure, but they don’t. As a community, it’s important we work together to make sure breastfeeding mothers feel comfortable. We need to re-normalize the behavior so nursing moms, moms-to-be, and young girls understand that there’s nothing shameful about nursing. Here is how you can nurse in public confidently.
1. Practice in the mirror.
You might be surprised to learn that when your child is across your lap, you aren’t as exposed as you feel. You’ve probably shown more skin at the beach than you do with your child at your boob. Nurse in front of a mirror once so you can see how you look and decide if you need additional covering.
2. Stay informed about your rights.
In most Western countries, it’s illegal to be discriminated against for breastfeeding in public. In some other parts of the world, however, that behavior may be perceived as inappropriate. If you aren’t sure about the local laws, do some investigating before you bare yourself in public. It would be great if the rest of the world respected a woman’s right to feed her child, but it’s not worth going to jail over.
3. Be natural.
If someone has a problem with you nursing in public, it’s their problem. You’re feeding a child from your body, and I can’t think of anything more natural. If you stay cool, relaxed and calm, most people will walk past without even noticing what you’re doing. Those who notice will only be alarmed if you look nervous or defensive.
4. Wear a nursing cover of blanket.
I don’t want moms to feel like they have to cover themselves, but if you prefer the discretion, you should do whatever makes you comfortable. A simple nursing wrap or scarf can give you just as much security as you need without adding a lot of bulk. If your baby is getting big and doesn’t like being covered during feedings (after all, he/she probably isn’t used to that), a fun idea is to put a wide-brimmed hat on your child which covers you when he/she’s at your breast.
5. Wear something comfortable.
In a park, museum, theatre or restaurant, you don’t have the luxury of stripping down to make yourself comfortable. You’ll have to wear something that gives you easy access to your breasts that doesn’t require a ton of work or ruin your clothes. Dresses are out unless they open at the top. Nursing tank tops are helpful and you’ll want a nursing bra so you can drop the cups without removing it entirely.
6. Start somewhere with fewer people.
Don’t make your first attempting at nursing in public a crowded concert arena or building lobby with thousands of gawkers. Start in a quiet place, like a public park with little foot traffic so you can get used to the idea of nursing out in the open. You might find a part of your brain rebels against the vulnerability, so you’ll have to work through that.
7. Plan your responses to negative comments.
Have you been insulted or criticized in public, but couldn’t come up with a witty remark until the car ride home? Don’t let that happen! It’s possible some stranger will say something mean. Come up with a few comebacks to keep in your arsenal to fire back. Don’t be mean, but fight their cynicism with humor.
Mall security: “Ma’am, please take that to the ladies’ room.”
You: “No thank you, we don’t eat in bathrooms.”
Guest Blog by Nicole Zoellner from NizoWear.com
Nizo Wear is the first nursing bra to have a unique, patented pocket in the pull-down flap that can hold a heating or cooling pack helping bring moms relief and healing faster while being extremely comfortable and super chic.
Nizo Wear nursing bras were inspired by the real-life experience of the company’s founder, Nicole Zoellner. When Nicole became pregnant with her son, she eagerly read all the materials her doctor had given her about the benefits of breastfeeding. She happily anticipated the feelings of serenity and bonding that nursing promises mother and infant.
So, Nicole set out to do for other nursing moms what no-one had been able to do for her: provide a practical, comfortable way to get relief from the soreness breastfeeding mothers often experience. Her design was patented, and Nizo Wear was born.
Visit www.nizowear.com for more information.
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