Tips for Nursing in Public

Tips for Nursing in PublicWhen you have a baby and master nursing, you feel like a champion. There’s nothing you can’t do. Nursing is an amazing journey you embark on with your baby that sometimes comes with several obstacles. It hurts. It’s awkward. It’s not always easy to get your baby to latch. But then, you conquer them all. Then, there’s the whole thing of nursing your baby in the presence of others. How do you do it while still being comfortable?

Here are a few tips I have learned through my two nursing journeys.

Nursing covers are your friend.

I had a nursing cover with my firstborn. It sat in my house. I never used it, because I never truly nursed her in public. Of course, I guess you could count the awkward meal I had at a beachside restaurant when she was only 3 weeks old. I did flash my girls to several Floridians. However, after that experience, I felt like it was too hard and I fell into a rut. I nursed in the car–a lot. I nursed in bathrooms when I was insecure.

This time around, I have loved my Hooter Hiders nursing cover. The loop that goes around your neck was a lifesaver when I needed to get past my awkward handling of the cover. The fabric is soft, easy to wash in the washing machine, and it gets compliments. Don’t be afraid of nursing covers. Use them while your baby is little and doesn’t notice. They are inexpensive enough that you can get a couple if you have the funds.

Lately, an Aden + Anais swaddle blanket has been my BFF. It’s light enough that I can partially cover myself without my little guy noticing. These blankets are adorable and so multi-functional.  It’s a no-brainer to use it as a nursing cover if you opt for a blanket.

Layer up.

I am by no means a fashionable girl. For me, jeans and converse shoes is dressed up. With nursing, it is important to be comfortable in your clothes. For me, a long, stretchy tank top under my regular shirt is perfect. Glamourmom makes some super stylish nursing tanks. I can pull my shirt up and still have coverage on my postpartum belly–which is still lurking there 7 months later. I find myself wearing hoodies often to have extra coverage in case my little guy just needs the boob quickly. This way, I can pull my shirt down around my breast and cover with the hoodie.

Do what’s comfortable for you.

The best advice I ever received about nursing in public was just to do what’s comfortable for me. We all have different levels of comfort, and I feel like that is something to respect. Some moms don’t feel comfortable feeding in public. Other moms don’t need to cover and are super comfortable. I am somewhere in the middle. The main thing is that you are responding to your baby and his or her needs. Any onlooker would much rather see you feed the baby than hear a screaming, ravenously hungry infant. Just do what comes naturally.

Practice feeding your baby in the mirror. Ask your spouse or a friend to give you feedback if you need it. If someone is uncomfortable, like say your father-in-law or a friend who doesn’t support nursing, they will most likely leave the room. If you babywear, learn to nurse while wearing your baby. Youtube is a great resource for how-to videos. Nursing in public can be done easily and comfortably.

What has worked for you, momma?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two little ones in Northeast Indiana. She loves nursing and the older she gets, the more she is comfortable in her own skin.


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