Although breast feeding is one of the most natural and common phenomena between mother and child, it is still to gain acceptance in public. While some countries are open and amenable to the idea of nursing in public, a lot of countries look down upon it.
So if you are among the few who has to battle uncomfortable stares, gazes and lecherous looks, you are not alone. Although the breast is happily celebrated in books and magazines it does not have exactly the same appeal when a child is seen frantically sucking from it. Just because you are nursing, it does not mean that you have to be cooped up for that duration. Once you master the art of nursing in public, you will do it so discreetly that, only you and your child will know that you are breastfeeding.
If you plan to nurse in public, wear clothing that is comfortable and can be easily opened from the front. With the right clothes, you can feed your baby without being subjected to stares by curious onlookers. Unbutton your blouse from the bottom or lift up your shirt discreetly. Position the baby’s head in such a way that the breast remains unexposed.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice at home in front of the mirror to see if you are able to effortlessly feed your baby without being conspicuous. Try different feeding positions to see what works best for you. Take someone’s input on whether you are doing it right.
Drape A Shawl
When nursing in public, make sure you cover your front part with a loose jacket, a shrug, stole or a shawl. Make sure you don’t smother the baby and that he/she can breathe easily. Make sure he/she can breathe and has enough air to be cool and well ventilated. If the weather is hot, ensure you are seated in a cool place.
Use A Sling
A sling is perfect for breastfeeding. Position the sling in such a way that the baby’s mouth is in line with your nipple. That way you don’t have to hold the baby for long periods. You can watch movies, shop, browse and feed the baby at the same time. People will presume that your baby is just dozing off or napping.
Feed the baby in a comfortable and secluded spot preferably a bench or a quiet corner. If you are in a bus, find a secluded seat where your back is facing other passengers. Turn away while your baby is latching on, and turn around again once he/she has started to feed.
Look For Nursing Rooms
Restaurants, malls, airports and stations have special rooms for nursing mothers where you can comfortably feed your child without public scrutiny. You can also choose to feed baby in your car parked in a secluded spot before venturing out.
Don’t Wait For The Baby To Howl
As soon as the baby’s meal time approaches, feed him .Don’t wait for the baby to start squalling. A screaming baby will attract attention and you will have to counter embarrassed gazes. Watch for hunger cues and anticipate crying. Provide the babywith a meal.
Listen To Your Instincts
If travelling is inevitable, no matter what the constraints, feed the baby in public. Opt for privacy whenever you can.
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