DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that the posts in this page are NOT intended to be a medical reference or to replace professional care during pregnancy, labor, or birth.
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Tips for NURSING IN PUBLIC
Breastfeeding mothers and their babies shouldn’t feel they have to stay home.
They want to enjoy the same activities as anyone else! Current Malaysian Breastfeeding Policy is to breastfeed exclusively for six months and to continue breastfeeding with added complementary foods for two years and beyond.
Many mothers are already perfectly comfortable breastfeeding in public. That’s great – not only for you and your baby, but for those women and girls who are not yet mothers, who learn about breastfeeding when they see you.
But maybe that’s not you. Maybe you are feeling pretty anxious about nursing in public. You worry about what people will think, and how much skin you’ll be showing. These tips may help:
1. Know your rights. Breastfeeding in public is legal and a very good thing. You are nourishing your baby with the most biologically appropriate food, and – as a great side benefit – you are educating any young men and women who might happen to see you. The Ontario Human Rights Commission, for instance, specifically states:
No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.”
2.Practise at home in front of a mirror. If you’ve been concerned about showing a lot of skin, this will probably reassure you that it’s not likely to be an issue. A nursing baby covers your breast rather efficiently. You can try nursing in different outfits to see which ones work for you and your baby. Some babies can’t stand any fabric touching their faces as they nurse, others are less bothered by it, so experiment to find your best options.
3. Choose clothes you’ll feel comfortable in. You can buy (or sew) specially-made nursing clothes that have hidden openings to make breastfeeding easier, or you can put together nursing outfits from ordinary clothes.
4. Use a sling or wrap. With practice, you can breastfeed your baby in most slings or wrap and the fabric of the baby carrier will cover the baby and your breast. You can even walk around while breastfeeding!
5. Use a Nursing Cover. Specially made nursing Poncho; baby blankets; long & wide shawls or lengthy head-cover (tudung-for Muslim Mummies) can be useful to maintain modesty while nursing in public.
Beautiful Mummy Nursing in Public using Eve Love Nursing Poncho
5. Choose an easy-access bra. If you are using a nursing bra where you need to lower the cup, it might help to practise undoing it one-handed at home (and doing it up again after) so that you’re confident about managing it out in public.
6. Pick your spot. You’re looking for two things: a place where you can sit comfortably, ideally with some support for your back, as well as a place where you are less visible to the general public. In a restaurant, sitting towards the inside of a booth means you’ll mainly be seen by your dining companions; if there are no booths you can pick a seat at a table facing away from the dining room. Outdoors, you may be able to find a place to sit leaning against a tree or a bench with a back that gives you support.
Don’t get stressed out looking for the perfect spot. Find a place where you’re comfortable and where you have enough room to organize yourself and don’t worry too much about who might see you. There’s no point in walking around with a crying baby as you look for a place where you won’t be visible. Feeding your child takes priority.
7. Turn away to latch. The time when the most skin is likely to be shown is when the baby is first latching on. So let’s say you are sitting in a restaurant booth, next to the wall, but still visible to other diners. Before you latch the baby on, try turning so you are completely facing the wall. Latch your baby on in this position, then turn back to face the table and your dining companions. You can do the same if you need to unlatch the baby.
8. Smile! If you notice someone glancing in your direction as you breastfeed your baby, even if they are frowning or looking horrified, give them a smile! You know you are doing something very important for your child, and that’s a good thing. If you show your confidence with a friendly smile, you may defuse the situation.