Tips For Breastfeeding In Public
Tips For Breastfeeding In Public
Corky Harvey & Wendy Haldeman (Board Certified Lactation Consultants/Co-Owners of The Pump Station) gives expert video advice on: What's the easiest way to breastfeed in a public place?; When is the best time to breastfeed in public?; Can I do other activities while breastfeeding in public? and more...
What's the easiest way to breastfeed in a public place?
I guess some of the things, if I was going to breastfeed in public, that I would look for first of all is a place to sit down. I have breast fed standing up on many occasions. But it's certainly more comfortable to sit. And, preferably sitting with my back supported would be heaven! I would need a burp diaper handy, because I had babies that spit up a lot! And I'd want a bra that I could undo with one hand. A bra that I could undo with one hand, a top that I didn't have to take off, that I could get to my breast easily without exposing everything. And that kept me covered from here to here. I really like that option and I didn't have that, so I would like that. Something that's not too warm, because you sweat. When you breast feed you get hot anyway, your baby gets hot, so something that was cool, breathable. I'd want to be easy with my latch-on so that I've kind of mastered the first few weeks, and I'm not having a lot of struggle with issues about breastfeeding. And there are occasionally women that have to use like a nipple shield or something and so I would for them, I'd want them to have some kind of a little cover-up so they could use two hands without feeling exposed if they wanted to. I learned how to nurse with my legs so I would make up. I would lean into my own leg so not having a nursing pillow or something it wasn't really difficult. I wanted to learn how to nurse without any paraphernalia, i.e. pillows and stuff. So I learned how to lean in. Or you took your own diaper bag and shoved it here as a support for your arm, so I like those kinds of things, also to help me. And a water bottle. Yeah, because you get thirsty.
When is the best time to breastfeed in public?
When your baby's hungry. Exactly. You need to nurse when your baby's hungry, and that could be anytime, anywhere, anyhow. They set the schedule. Now in California we have, and I hope everywhere is getting these, we have mommy movies, and it's just a fun thing to see. We go to the grove at 11:00 on a Monday morning. Stroller heaven, moms everywhere, breastfeeding. A lot of dads go to the movie with them, and they go out to lunch at the farmers market afterwards. Just a breastfeeding mecca; it's great.
Can I do other activities while breastfeeding in public?
I cooked. I vacuumed. I folded the laundry. I talked on the phone, answered the door. I answered e-mail. Well no. I did not do that. I could not answer e-mail because we did not have e-mail. I shopped if my baby was really hungry in the middle of the store and I was trying to finish something, I would tuck my baby under my breast and finish with the other hand. I ate all the time. I got spaghetti in their hair. All kinds of things. I paid bills. I taught breast-feeding classes. I slept. Oh sleeping absolutely. Yes.
Are there special rooms in public places for nursing moms?
There are special rooms in public places for nursing moms In some places. Some of the Gaps & Shopping center has breast feeding friendly environment. There is also a new symbol. Nordstrom provides mother and baby rooms with comfortable clean surroundings. If I have a retailer/ wholesale I would put out cooler and snacks for mothers.
Where should I breastfeed if there aren't any convenient locations?
You can sit on the floor or lean on a wall if you have to. I mean, my least favorite place to nurse in public would be a restroom. Bathroom stalls disgust me. I hate restrooms anyway. They're disgusting for me, I don't like the smell, I don't like the flushing, it just doesn't seem very clean. We help women a lot when they're traveling on airplanes. Airplanes aren't very clean. And how to make that work, for instance, there's disposable pads that you can put down for changing a baby and not touch the seats, or anything. But, for me nursing in public; I did it in a lot of weird places, I did it in my car, I did it sitting on the floor, leaning on a wall, in a mall or in a public place, I did it in dressing rooms where you can take an item in and try it on or just say to somebody, hey, how busy are you in your dressing rooms, I just need to tie one up for a few minutes, would that be OK with you. So, I was pretty forthright about things like that. But, again, my least favorite place would be a restroom. I would probably choose to go outside and walk around at a park even if I couldn't find a place to sit I would go walk up and down a street. And I've done that at church, I've walked out if there's not a nursing mother's room, I'd go outside and nurse.
What if there are a lot of people near me while I breastfeed in public?
A lot depends on the age of your child. As children get a little bit older, it's a real challenge to breastfeed in public, because they're so interested in everything, and distracted. On the breast, off the breast, on the breast, off the breast. And so, those moms often find that they have to find a place that's really quiet, because they simply can't feed them.
What advice can you give if my baby is having difficulty latching on in public?
That happens to all of us because the baby is so distractible that they won't eat so sometimes you have to step away and go someplace more quiet. Or, the cover sometimes works for those moms because the baby keeps pulling off of it. It does make it a little quieter environment. Even the baby might respond well to it. There's a particular cover where you can see the baby and they can see you so that they don't feel like they've got something over their face particularly. If that doesn't work then you'd have to step away and go to a quiet place because some babies just won't settle in if there's too much too look at or it's too busy.
Do I run the risk of attracting a dangerous person when nursing in public?
I guess you could though I've never heard of it. I guess if you're alone in a park after dark. Maybe you could, with or without breast feeding. You just wouldn't go where it would be dangerous to go with or without your baby. I guess I just trust mothers enough to believe that they wouldn't put their baby in a risk situation. And if it's a safe environment for your baby, it's going to be a safe environment for you to feed your baby.