6 Tips for Breastfeeding Outside the Home
Hey guys! Lindsay, owner of The Little Milk Bar here. A brand that empowers breastfeeding moms everywhere. Giving you the confidence to feed your baby whenever and wherever you need to. Today we’re talking… you guessed it, breastfeeding in public.
If you’re a mom who breastfeeds, you know how intimidating and nerve wracking it can be to even just think about having to leave the house and your baby getting hungry. Breastfeeding in public can be a huge stress factor, especially for new moms. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be.
And not to mention feeling like you’re missing out. I don’t know how many times we went to a friends BBQ after having my daughter Allie and I’d be so excited to finally leave the house and be able to visit with friends, only to end up feeding her in a private room all alone the entire time. And it never failed, right when she was finally done eating, it was time to go. I didn’t get to talk with anyone. It really sucked!
So today I’m going to share with you my top 5 tips for breastfeeding outside of the home. If you’re nervous about feeding in public, this post is for you!
First, I want you to know that it’s your legal right to breastfeed your baby, with or without a cover, whenever and wherever you need to. Utah and Idaho were the last two states to legalize public breastfeeding in 2018 (finally!).
Now that you know you CAN breastfeed whenever you need to (I mean, why should it even be a question right?), let’s move on to those tips I promised.
Practice at Home
Now I know this sounds counterintuitive but hear me out. For most, the scariest part about feeding in public is getting comfortable enough to get that latch quickly and getting comfortable enough that you don’t feel over exposed.
So practicing at home is a great start. Sit on your couch and practice getting that quick latch. Next time you have friends or family coming to visit, instead of getting up and going to your room to feed, practice feeding in front of them. That way you’re right there in the comfort of your own home, in front of people you feel comfortable around.
The next time you’re in mid conversation with them and baby gets hungry, pick them up, feed them right there on the couch and continue on with your conversation.
Practice makes perfect, right?
Try the 2-Shirt Method
Okay if you haven’t already heard of the 2-shirt method, it’s going to change your life! Not only will it save you a TON of $ because you’ll realize you don’t need a whole new wardrobe of “nursing friendly” tops, you can wear all your fave tops you already own… but you’ll also be able to feed your little one without feeling over exposed (if that’s a worry for you).
Okay, so here’s the 2-shirt method: Basically you wear a thin cami (or nursing tank) underneath your regular top. When it’s time to feed, you just pull up your tee and pull down the neck of your cami, latch your baby and voila… your chest AND belly is completely covered.
(You can also do this with high waisted leggings instead of a cami)
See the example below. You can also check out THIS video for a quick tutorial.
Talk to your Partner
Have the conversation with your partner. Let them know you’re nervous to feed in public. They might not even realize it’s a thing. Because they’re not the one feeding, these fears probably don’t even cross their mind. So bring it to their attention.
Express your concerns and ask for their support. When I first started breastfeeding in public, I remember asking my husband to come sit next to me every time he saw me sit down to feed. There’s something about having someone right there who you know supports you and has your back.
Support other Breastfeeding Moms
For some reason when we support others, it builds confidence in ourselves. The next time you’re out and about and see someone else out breastfeeding in public, give them a quick smile, tell them they’re doing an amazing job, offer up your seat and tell them you’ve been there. You never know, it could be that mom's first time feeding in public, her hands are sweaty and she’s ready to make a run for the bathroom because she’s so nervous and something as simple as your smile made her feel instant relief and let her know she’s not alone. It completely changed her breastfeeding journey.
I found the more I did little things like this, the more I realized I can do it too. It was almost like everytime I gave another mom a boost, I was giving myself a little boost of confidence too.
Start with a Cover
People are always surprised when I throw this one out there. As the founder of the #dropthecover movement and a brand that focuses on the fact that mothers shouldn’t feel like they NEED to cover up to feed their babies, it’s not something you’d expect me to suggest.
But I’m 100% for mothers feeding their babes however makes them feel most comfortable. That’s the MOST important factor here. If wearing a cover eases your mind enough for you to be able to feed your crying baby while out in public, then go for it!
They can serve as great “training wheels” too. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll get comfortable enough to finally #dropthecover.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Have you ever tried wearing a nice dress and feeding in public? Ha, it’s almost impossible. It’s important to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. I’d go as far as saying it’s important to wear clothes you feel empowered in.
What’s one of the first things you do when finding out you have a job interview? You go through your closet and pick out the perfect outfit. One that you feel comfortable in... one that makes you feel like a million bucks. Your clothes can play a huge factor in your confidence.
Imagine being out at Target and your baby starts to cry, he’s hungry. You’re thinking in your head, 'Should I go to the bathroom and feed him? Or should I just feed him right here? I don’t know if I can?'... you’re on the verge of tears, ready to book it to that dirty bathroom. Then you look down and read "Use your Voice Even if it Shakes" from your tee. All the sudden you remember you’re not alone. You have an entire community of breastfeeding mothers who have your back. Remember it’s your legal right to feed that baby.
So there you have it! If you’ve been struggling with feeding outside of the home, I hope this post was helpful. Remember you got this!
“Use your voice even if it shakes, we have your back.” - The Little Milk Bar