One thing I really didn’t think about when I became a first time mom was breastfeeding away from the house. I knew breastfeeding was beyond beautiful, and I knew I was brave and I knew my legal rights to be able to breastfeed in public wherever I myself was legally allowed to be- but it still turned into something that I avoided until I made a plan to go out and actually do it.
-Decide on a place. I chose a local cloth diapering store in my area that had a strong community of pro-breasfeeding women working at the shop and often wearing their babies and breastfeeding them while they worked! Other great ideas for breastfeeding away from home for the first time include places like Buy Buy Baby where you can pick up some cute new breastfeeding clothing and baby gadgets, and chill out in their breastfeeding/changing room and nurse in a comfy rocker- you might even make a new mommy friend! Other great first-time breastfeeding in public places include playdates at places like mommy-centric chiropractic offices! We just had one open up in Frisco, TX called Triada Chiropractic. For playdate, everyone kicks off their shoes and gathers in their cozy and open room. It was a perfect place to breastfeed and get some mommy support!
-Get yourself prepared for the outing. Pack the diaper bag and include a cover if you think you might want one. Don’t forget your mommy snacks and your water bottle! Figure out what part of the day will work the best between naps, set yourself up for success! Wear the clothing that you will be most comfortable breastfeeding in! Later on, when you are a breastfeeding pro, you will be comfortable breastfeeding in almost anything, but in the meantime a breastfeeding cami or high waisted yoga pants will help you not feel so exposed. Less exposed skin typically made me feel more comfortable with breastfeeding in public because I never used a cover. I was determined from the start, I decided what I was doing didn’t need to be hidden so I would not cover my son. I’m in Texas and it would be pretty uncomfortable to hold a hot baby and cover him up with more fabric! It is a good idea to think about the reasons why you might feel like covering and make decisions for yourself- don’t let anyone else make this decision for you, it is your choice! I may not have used a cover but I did have an awesome lightweight nursing hoodie from that I lived in for 4 years, it was one of the best and most useful articles of clothing I have ever purchased ever!!!
-Make a goal. You can give yourself plenty of time to make it out to breastfeed in public, some moms decide to stay in for the first 40 days postpartum to rest and fully recover with their babies at home and do not leave the house. Whatever you decided is right for you is perfect, so there is no need to rush. The key is to realize the difference between resting and laying low, and when maybe you are avoiding leaving the house because you are avoiding breastfeeding in public for the first time with only you and your baby.
-Get your partner and close friends involved! If you are still feeling apprehensive about nursing in public, make a coffee date or shopping trip with a friend! Let your friend know that you could use her support in your breastfeeding journey, this is a great and fun way they can help you reach your breastfeeding goals! Let your partner know if you are feeling nervous about breastfeeding in public so they can help support you, and maybe you guys can plan a few more family outings where you can practice breastfeeding and not feel so vulnerable.