Our children have the right to be breast fed anywhere and anytime. We, as mothers, should feel the freedom to feed them in public without the need to hurry off home which is often impractical and, especially for new moms, would have them chained to their homes for months on end.
There has been a large push to promote breastfeeding worldwide over the last few years. The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition has started a unique campaign to promote public breastfeeding. They use life-sized cardboard cut outs showing women breastfeeding their babies all over town and aims to get more acceptance for breastfeeding. The figures hold cards saying ” When breastfeeding is accepted, it won’t be noticed”. The cut outs debuted last week at the Village shopping centre in Corte Madera, California. The message is that breastfeeding in public is totally acceptable and is even protected by law in the US. They hope to spread the campaign throughout the country in the next few weeks.
The word is spreading that breastfeeding in public should be the norm. Below are videos highlighting how awful it must be for a baby to have to nurse in a restroom as this is sometimes the only dedicated place offered for mothers to breastfeed their babies. The first video is from Australia and shows how obsurd it would be for us as adults to eat our lunch in the restroom.
The first video is from Australia and shows how obsurd it would be for us as adults to eat our lunch in the restroom.
The second video is a public service announcement showing what breastfeeding in a restroom is like from the childs perspective.
Here are some tips to make it breastfeeding your child easier in public:
- Stay positive and know you have every right to feed your child when they are hungry. You don’t need to apologise for that!
- Find a comfortable place and create your own privacy zone. A friend can sit in front of you and you can turn away while you get the baby latched on and then turn back again. If you look up and around while your baby nurses most people will simply think he is sleeping. If you aren’t looking down at him, most people will assume he’s just sleeping. Smile at people around you and continue on with your conversations as normal.
- You can wear two piece outfits or special nursing tops. This allows you to be discreet as the fabric and baby’s head cover most of the breast. While out in public bring your baby close to you first and then open your clothes so that he can latch on.
- Bring a blanket to cover the baby once he is latched on and is nursing happily. You can also buy special nursing covers that are designed to help you be discreet and come in funky colors too.
- Start nursing your baby before he gets too hungry by paying attention to his hunger signals. Your baby will attract more attention when he is crying.
- Practice discreet breastfeeding in front of the mirror or with your partner who can give you feedback so that you’ll be prepared for when you venture out in public.
- Nursing in a sling or infant carrier is great for both you and the baby. This way you can have your little one latched on and can go about your shopping at the same time.
Take the time to thank other mothers who breastfeed their babies in public. It will encourage them and help to promote breastfeeding as a normal part of our world.