Feel Secure Breastfeeding in Public?
As a new mom there were so many things running through my head. Am I going to appreciate every moment? Even when she has been crying for hours and no matter what I do and she doesn't stop. What about breastfeeding? It is the best healthiest option for both of us? Okay, I have done my research. I am ready!
Starting out a breastfeeding journey can be exhausting. You know the drama over nursing in public. “Don’t do that here, there are children present! That is disgusting, nobody wants to see that! Seriously, is it that hard to cover up?”
So, what do I do? I guess I will do all my errands in one hour. Doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, bill paying, date night?
That is ridiculous, why should I? I cannot let people dictate my life, or how I feed my child.
So as I mentally prepare for the first, of many, times that I nurse in public. What do I do so I have a sense of security? My warm fuzzy theoretical blanket that covers me from the stigma of nursing in public.
1. The law.
Many states have passed laws to prevent the harassment, discrimination, and bullying of breastfeeding families. Some are even specific to working mother’s rights to pump. This is a big one for families everywhere. You can do a lot of things, especially when it comes to your child, especially when you are protected by the law. Know your rights!
You can read the laws at www.nationwidenursein.com
2. My husband.
My husband is my rock. He has been there for me since I came home and said “I have been a fool”. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was the first to say I would not be breastfeeding. “I just can't! It’s gross! I don't want a baby hanging off my boob”! I had been a fool, and uneducated. I never knew of all of the benefits. When I told my husband he was by my side the whole way. He attended every breastfeeding class, and watched all the videos I could find. I had him prepared for extremes in the delivery room. If I had a C-section, he knew just what to do to help us start a positive breastfeeding experience. When we first ventured out in public, he would support me nursing anywhere, and was ready to defend me. This same thing can be seen in any home. Grandparents, friends, wives, and husbands are our soldiers in line against the haters.
After you give yourself a pep talk, and you have your entourage of family, you can begin to build your confidence. Looking the part and feeling good about yourself can help you a lot. There are many ways your clothing can help. My personal favorite is the two shirt method. You can find nursing tanks at Walmart; just pop that on under your normal shirt of choice. They come in many style and colors! Another way is utilizing a scarf. Infinity scarfs are very good, if you are planning a lower cut shirt, it can close some of the bare flesh between your neck and top of baby’s head. You can also use a cover, or just pull up the bottom of your shirt. Whatever makes you comfortable. This is about your personal journey, and experience. If you are not comfortable you are going to stress, and that’s not good for anybody.
It took me awhile to figure this one out. Most people who have negative feelings toward breastfeeding are too afraid to say anything. That doesn't stop them from wanting to cast you dirty glances. But how would you know? You’re too busy! You could be paying a bill online, trolling Facebook, talking to your significant other, or reading the awesome posts on Nationwide Nurse-In. Maybe you’re even looking into your baby’s eyes that are looking back up at you. Saying; “Thank you momma, thank you for giving me the best start to life, thank you for taking all the heat so I can have something to eat. Distractions are a helpful security blanket.
So, if you’re just starting your journey or are even well into it but still can’t seem to feel a sense of security nursing in public, just remember we have all been there before. Nothing should make you feel more secure, than knowing your taking care of your child. There will always be prejudices against nursing in public.
So, what will make you feel secure?