I love breastfeeding. I absolutely LOVE the bond that I’ve been able to build with all three of my babies through it, how they get everything they need from it for so long before they start solid foods and do SO much growth from my milk alone. It’s simply a beautiful thing. There is so much I love about breastfeeding but let’s not forget to mention how convenient it is! Being able to feed my little one anytime and anywhere is just a perfect design… BUT… there was a time with my first son when it wasn’t all roses. That’s where my past with public breastfeeding anxiety comes in and I’m here to share my 7 tips to help ease the stress!
Honestly, I didn’t think too much about what it would be like to breastfeed before I became a Mom. I never sat around imagining myself doing it, I just knew I really wanted to do it! I couldn’t have foreseen that I would be breaking out in sweats at the thought of having to nurse my son anywhere other than in the comfort of my own home.
At the thought of having to go somewhere for an extended period of time, I would just feel the anxiety building as my mind wrapped around not being able to get back home in time to nurse him before he would get hungry again. Even though I used a nursing cover, I still felt uncomfortable and extremely stressed! Have you ever felt like you could feel people’s eyes on you and practically hear what they were thinking in your head? I know it sounds weird but that’s how anxious I was about nursing in public!
These were not the feelings I was supposed to be having while nursing my sweet baby boy… anywhere! I couldn’t stand it and decided I had had enough and started doing my research to help me get past this horrible anxiety. I didn’t want it taking anything else away from my son and I’s experience.
The good news is… my research paid off! It took a little bit of time, but I was able to overcome my public breastfeeding anxiety and continue nursing my babies stress-free, anytime… anywhere!
If you are currently going through what I went through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! You are not alone and I’m here to share the tips that helped ease my public breastfeeding anxiety. So, here’s my list!
7 Tips To Help Ease Public Breastfeeding Anxiety
- INVEST IN A GOOD NURSING COVER
I highly recommend ones like these. The kind that covers all the way around you and your nursing baby. I made the mistake of starting with one that looked like an apron and I just didn’t feel comfortable! Shoot! A gust of wind could have blown that thing wide open for the world to view my milk maids! But then I got the gray striped one and it’s lasted through all 3 of my kids. It’s been great! And as you can see, this type also doubles as a car seat cover! Win. Win!
2. PRACTICE AT HOME
Get comfortable with your nursing cover at home instead of juggling your crying, hungry baby and pulling the nursing cover down in public for the first time. The more you practice at home, the easier it will be.
3. DRESS ACCORDINGLY
Wearing the right thing can make all the difference! You don’t want to be caught wearing something that’s not that easy to navigate when you have more important things to focus on. Nursing Camis are great because they are so versatile. Throw a sweater on top of that little beauty and you’re good to go. Dresses designed specifically for breastfeeding are awesome too… cause we all know it’s impossible to breastfeed in a regular dress…
4. BRING YOUR NURSING PILLOW
Don’t be afraid to do this if you can! Reducing public breastfeeding anxiety is all about being comfortable. I love my tried and true Boppy pillow and I always bring it if I can.
5. REMIND YOURSELF EVERY DAY HOW AMAZING BREASTFEEDING YOUR BABY IS
Okay, so this one may not seem like a “tip” but it really is! It helped me realize that I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to apologize for. Nursing your baby is THE most natural thing ever and you are providing nutrients to your baby for his growth and survival! You have every right to nurse him in public as your do in private. Babies need their lunch too!
6. WEAR THE RIGHT NURSING BRA
Not only is this important for comfort and supports good breast health, but there is nothing worse than having to fumble when settling down to feed your baby. Find the right one for you!
7. PLAN AHEAD
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare to go out for an extended period of time. Make sure you have everything you need to succeed and feel comfortable. Pack your bag like a pro and being mentally prepared is just as important too!
I truly believe in these 7 Tips to Help Public Breastfeeding Anxiety. They helped me overcome my stress and have a more beautiful experience with my babies… the way it was MEANT to be! I hope they help you too, Mama! Now get some sleep…
“A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.”-Grantly Dick-Read