Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

Breastfeeding while out

During pregnancy you might have already been thinking how to manage breastfeeding your baby while you were not at home. Should you always go back home for feeding? What to do, when it is too far? Should you just feed where you are? After all, you have a right to do it, but on the other hand, it is not possible everywhere. Take it easy, let us bring some order to the information, and the chaos will disappear.
Think what is that you want! Make a list of places when you will feel comfortable while breastfeeding you baby outside your home. I wonder what have you written. Here is my list I made some time ago:
 

- my parents/family and friends places

I easily fed my baby in my parents and siblings presence. It is a natural thing and there is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, there are no closer persons, who will additionally feel moved looking at a mother and her baby at such moment. If the place at that moment is in uproar and you cannot focus on your baby, then go to another room away from the rest.
At your friends', if you do not want to breastfeed in their presence, you should simply ask if you can go to another room for that time. Maybe you will feel more comfortable there, or you do that for the sake of your friends. Do you suspect it may be embarrassing for your colleague? That is why I recommend this solution.

- nursing rooms

When the feeding time approaches, look around, maybe there is a place (gas station, shopping centre) nearby with a nursing room. It will certainly be more quiet there, although even those places often leave a lot to be desired.

- in a playground, sandbox

It is a place outside, however, you are surrounded with women that are, or just have been, in a similar situation. If you are embarrassed with other passers by, sit with your back to the path. Possibly, ask other mother to sit screening you from unwanted stares. Nobody will understand your request better than another woman.

- today I would add coffee places and restaurants

At the time I breastfed my baby, there were not many coffee places and restaurants adapted to the needs of young mothers. Only some of them had separate rooms for mothers with children, but still they could be counted on one hand. Today, an increasing number of places open up and advertise as mum-friendly. Besides appropriate facilities, they organise activities for mums and babies, and breastfeeding in the room (not a separate one) is a normal, natural thing.
If you, however, are in a coffee place without a nursing room, ask for a table in a corner, and not by the entrance or a window. It does not mean you have to hide, but you may feel more comfortable sitting with your back to other customers and spending that moment only with your baby. In such position you will find it easier to focus on feeding, and your baby will feel that. Such quiet corner facilitates intimacy "baby-you" much more than the crowded centre of the restaurant.

Things facilitating breastfeeding in public:

1. Good bra
By purchasing a good bra your comfort during breastfeeding will be ensured. The special underwear is cut differently to a regular bra you wore before. Drop cups allow baring only a minimum area of your breast at the feeding time.
2. Buttoned blouse
It is another helpful thing. It is easier to unbutton/unzip your blouse than lift it all up or pull your bodice down.
3. A piece of absorbing material
A piece of material you usually put on your arm when holding your baby after feeding, may also be useful even earlier. You can use it to cover your bodice or breast during feeding.
It is also worth investing in breast pads protecting your clothes against staining and ensuring the feeling of dryness and comfort. It is particularly important when you are out and wet patches on your blouse may be really embarrassing.

 If your piece of paper remained empty…

If you yourself have not made a list of places where you are not embarrassed to breastfeed, then I hope my guidelines will be of assistance to you. Maybe you will reconsider places you did not take into account. I do not want to force you to breastfeed in public; as I stated at the beginning, it is your choice. You should not feel forced to do anything. Your baby also senses your fear and stress. However, maybe after reading these tips you found "your place", when you could still feel comfortable while breastfeeding.

Kasia

Mum of 9 year old Patrycja, 11 years of professional experience

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