Posts Tagged ‘nursing in public’

Best Places to Breastfeed in Denver

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Denver is one of the most breastfeeding friendly places I have been.  If there’s babies, there’s moms breastfeeding!  The following are my favorite places to take my girls (and while they were still nursing, to breastfeed).

Denver Zoo 
Our favorite place to stop for a snack at the Denver Zoo is a bench watching the giraffes. I spent many breaks feeding my younger daughter while my older daughter enjoyed the giraffes and her crackers and fruit.  If you’re looking for a less public location to breastfeed, there are many less-traveled exhibits that you could nurse by. The zoo offers large family restrooms in a few locations that have chairs inside that they advertise as being breastfeeding friendly.  As I refuse to nurse in a restroom, I can’t speak on the usefulness of these areas for breastfeeding. The family restrooms are, however, great when you have a potty-training toddler and a baby that needs a diaper change!

Denver Botanic Gardens
When I was a new mom to one, I enjoyed exploring the York Street Gardens. There’s plenty of benches in the shade and off the main trails to take a quick nursing break, while enjoying the landscaping. There’s a “secret” bench in a bamboo patch that was my favorite place for a break. Across the street, the Mordecai Children’s Garden is a perfect place to go if you have multiple children. My older daughter enjoyed running around and exploring while I was nursing my younger daughter. There are multiple areas that offer benches or picnic tables in the shade.

Storytimes at the Denver Public Libraries
Denver Public Libraries have four levels of storytime (Baby storytime, Toddler storytime, Preschool storytime, and All Ages storytime).  Not only did I meet many of my mom friends through Baby storytime, no one bats an eye if you start nursing your child. With 26 locations across the city, it’s easy to find a storytime that meets your scheduling needs.

JeffCo Open Space Parks and Trails
One of the best things about living in Denver is how quickly you can get out of the city for a hike.  Many of the JeffCo Open Spaces are only a half an hour to 45-minute drive from the city.  You’ll see all kinds of people taking advantage of the trails, including many moms and families.  Whether you choose to nurse at the trailhead at a picnic table or during your hike, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful scenery while feeding your baby.

These are just four of my favorite places to take my kids and some of the best places to breastfeed in Denver.  Denver also has a great Children’s Museum, Museum of Nature and Science (that has an awesome kids zone), plenty of shopping, and lots of restaurants to enjoy.  No matter what you feel like doing, you’ll easily be able to find a good place to nurse your child.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.

Why I Choose to Cover

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Why I choose to coverWhen I was pregnant with my first baby, I dreamt of nursing in public, baring it all and joining in the Nurse-Ins I had heard so much about. Yet as my first little guy came into being, and once I adjusted into my new role of mom I found that this was not for me. I loved nursing, I loved being out in public with my baby, yet nursing completely openly was something I never felt comfortable with.

Besides my babies being extremely distracted in public, my biggest unease about nursing in public had to do with modesty. I never felt comfortable nursing while out and about. Even with a baby blocking most of the view, I felt exposed, and the more I stressed over it the less milk I would give my babe. Amidst my uneasiness, I found myself reaching for my beautiful nursing cover more and more.

Even at home, if anyone is visiting my house other than another nursing mother, I prefer to cover up or leave the room. I do not feel it is respectful to my guests to nurse in front of them unless there is a blanket over us. My baby needs the privacy, and I do not like to make my guests uncomfortable by baring my breasts to nurse. While this may seem odd in today’s “it’s my right” society, my upbringing keeps me from being comfortable with it.

Babies, as they grow and become mobile, become more and more acrobatic as they nurse. Currently at nine months old, my littlest guy is more octopus than baby when he nurses. Even when he’s sleepy he pops on and off, talks, grunts, kicks and likes to release his frustrations at the breast. I enjoy these moments as a conversation between us–not to be shared with the general public. My baby and I have this special bond of nursing, and by keeping it private between us I believe I make him feel safe and important. At the moment of nursing, it is just him and I in the moment, taking a breather to reconnect.

Today, three babies into my mothering journey, I find that I love my nursing cover and am rarely without it or a thin muslin blanket to cover up with. My baby loves his covers, and I feel very connected to the privacy and respect it offers me. While baring it all is quite popular, for me and my little ones keeping it in is the way to go.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three crazy boys who keep her laughing and on her toes. She attempts to stay sane in Portland, Oregon.


No-Babysitter Date Nights

Friday, July 17th, 2015

No sitter date nightWhen we had our first child, I was terrified to go out, but my husband was determined to not be those people who stay home forever after having a baby. (Or two. Or a third.) So when our oldest turned a week old, we took her to a brewery to celebrate. As we continued to go out with the baby, I learned to relax, and I learned the best places to take a baby with you on date night.

Besides, when they can’t talk or walk, you can pretty much take them anywhere you go, and as long as they have a clean butt and a full tummy, they’ll do just fine, especially at night when they are prone to just dozing off anyway. It doesn’t always work out, so be prepared for that. But when it does, you get time together that’s kind of alone time, and you don’t have to pay $10 an hour for someone to sit in the other room while your baby sleeps.

Here are my favorite no-sitter date night activities.

  • Anything outdoors. Outdoor activities don’t have the expectation of quiet or decorum, so these are usually a safe bet. Many communities have festivals, concerts, and plays outdoors this time of year. You’ll of course want to know what the weather is going to do since babies are not all-weather friendly. Most venues will offer a VIP option for outdoor events, and this is usually a wise purchase, since you’ll have access to shade (if it’s hot) and bathrooms.
  • The movies. Yep, we were “those people” at the late movie with a baby. We weren’t sleeping anyway, trust me. Once the lights went down, I threw baby girl on the boob and we were set for the whole movie, even the loud ones.
  • Outdoor dinner/dessert and a walk. I love getting dinner or dessert outdoors, and then going for a walk. Not only does it have many health benefits, from regulating your circadian rhythms to having an impact on weight and blood sugar.
  • Have friends over. I always had the easiest time relaxing when we could be at home. Having dinner with friends was always a fun way to be able to keep baby on schedule while still getting to see people. It’s also great bedtime practice if you have an only child and are adding to the family. When you have one child, it’s tempting to keep everything super quiet when they are sleeping. When there are people laughing and talking in the next room it will help them acclimate to there being noise while they sleep.
  • Art shows/Museum night. This is a great way to get out and get some culture without having to worry about the library-like quiet of the museum during the day. Evening events usually involve drinks and socializing, so it’s noisy. I went with a carrier or sling worn over a carefully chosen outfit that would allow me to nurse and wear with ease. Maxi dresses are great for these events.

Whatever you decide to do, make an effort to get out there and continue enjoying some of the things you did before you had baby. Once we had more than one child, we often did these types of things while getting a sitter for the older, talking, walking child, since my babies liked to nurse every two hours or so until they are about six months old.

One thing that does really help make these date nights work is being able to nurse in public. I always covered with my first, sometimes covered with my second, and rarely covered with my third baby. I was just more comfortable with it by then. But I loved the security of always having my cover or a blanket with me in case I wanted more privacy. Whatever you do, know that you have the right to breastfeed absolutely anywhere you have the legal right to be.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

Tips for Nursing in Public

Friday, May 15th, 2015

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.


NIP Club

Friday, January 30th, 2015
NIP Club

Nursing in a solitary cell while on an historic tour at the Idaho State Pen. It was cold, so the cover came in handy!

Despite all the controversy, publicity and media coverage that nursing in public (NIP) gets, it’s really not a divisive issue. Babies want to nurse all the time, especially newborns. If you ever want to leave the house as a new mom, you’re going to have to either not be bothered by the cries of your baby, or you’re going to have to nurse in public.

So, in the event that you do want to leave the house with your baby at some point, how do you master NIP?

  1. Practice. If you feel uncomfortable at the thought of nursing in public, start small. Go to a place that isn’t your home but not heavily populated, like a park, a public nursing room, or even just at home in front of supportive friends or family, and nurse. It will take practice to master the latch and your clothing in a way that you feel comfortable doing in public. All moms have different levels of comfort, so find what works for you.If you feel exposed or are worried about being exposed while nursing in public, practice latching baby in a mirror and notice how little of you another person can see while you nurse. Even without a cover, nursing is a pretty discreet act.
  2. Get nursing friendly clothing. You don’t have to buy expensive clothes made for nursing—just make sure what you are wearing can be adjusted easily and quickly for comfort. Stretchy knits, V-necks, criss-cross, and low-neck tops are all easy access for nursing. If the neck of your shirt won’t come down, you can always wear a nursing tank and lift your shirt up.
  3. Realize that it’s not a statement. News stories, nurse-ins, and link-bait debates can make nursing in public feel like an act or performance art of some sort. It’s not. It’s not a political statement, it’s not a feminist statement, its not a statement of anything, except the fact that your baby is hungry. You aren’t taking a stand or siding on a debate when you nurse in public. You’re just feeding a baby. 
  4. Know that most people don’t care if you nurse. Most people either don’t care or avoid looking at a nursing mom in order to give her privacy. No one is going to faint, die, or go to hell because they saw a part of your nipple. People are much more likely to be bothered by a screaming, hungry baby than a nursing one. For the few people who are bothered, it’s much easier to hide online and post angry comments than to actually accost a nursing mom face to face. 

    Another part of this point is not pre-judging who you think will have a problem with nursing in public. Once I was seated with my infant on a plane next to a hulking, burly man’s man, and I was just dying inside. I NIP Club thought he was going to be really uncomfortable with us next to him. But once we finished nursing, he started talking to me, showed me photos of his infant daughter on his phone, and cooed at the baby. He told me his wife always nursed on planes too, since it keeps the baby so happy and quiet.

    On the other hand, one time I got a flat tire and ended up in a tire store with my hungry baby and started nursing in front of a mom and her son. She clutched her pearls in horror and ran outside (there was a Hooter’s next door–just sayin’) to wait on her car, while the tire guy who was helping me treated me just like any other customer. So, you just never know. Don’t stress yourself out over someone else’s opinion until they make it an issue. 

  1. Know your rights. In most places in the U.S., you have a right to nurse anywhere you are legally allowed to be—with or without covering. The laws in 46 states prevent nursing moms from being asked to leave an area or be required to nurse only in designated areas. You can nurse anywhere you are legally allowed to be, even if there is a nursing room or designated area for moms available. It’s your choice, no one else’s. 

In the South where I was raised, other people’s feelings are very important to consider, and that upbringing was hard to overcome but necessary. I had to learn to be “selfish” when it came to my baby. It wasn’t worth getting the hot sweats every time I had to latch in public, or searching the face of everyone who walked by, searching for signs of disapproval.

If someone has a problem with nursing, it’s just that–their problem. Nursing in public is something I had to learn to do to survive. That doesn’t make me an activist, or a lactivist, or an attention seeker. It just makes me a mom with a hungry baby.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She has nursed on a plane, on train, in a house and with a mouse. She lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.