Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
To be honest, I have never been completely comfortable nursing in public. So I think the number one tip would be to: relax. Relaxing not only helps mama be comfortable but also baby, especially since babies pick up on their mother's emotions, which can transfer to them.
2. Wear a nursing cover to reduce your exposure, if that makes you more comfortable. There are plenty of nursing covers to be had, but there was one particular one I got to review with my last child that I loved but I lost it at the Y. Do you think I can remember the brand name? Nope. It could be worn as a poncho type thing when not nursing so it was more versatile than most nursing covers and fashionable too!
3. Be considerate of others. I am all for the rights of mothers to breastfeed in public however they wish (covered or exposed), but I like to be considerate of others feelings and comfort levels too. That's just me though.
4. Act normal. There were plenty of times I was minding my own business and nursing my baby naturally that people didn't even know I was nursing unless they asked a question that required showing the baby to them. People just thought the baby was sleeping in my arms.
5. Wear comfortable, nursing friendly clothes. It makes breastfeeding in public so much easier.
6. Nurse as often as usual so baby doesn't get cranky and overly hungry. I think so many times I tried to avoid nursing in public that I held my baby over too long creating a very fussy, hungry baby. Better to nurse and have a happy, contented baby.
7. If you are not comfortable in a particular public setting, nurse in your car or outside the building. I preferred that to the alternative — a public restroom — yuck! I often had to do this because I was so tense that baby had a hard time getting my milk to let down. Getting away to a more private setting so I could nurse quietly usually helped get my milk a-flowing.
8. Do what is best for you and your baby above everything and don't worry about what other people think.
Nursing is natural but there are many people who do not think that way because women's breasts have been highly sexualized creating huge gaps in understanding how and why breastfeeding is healthy, normal and in most cases best for baby.