|Back to Back Issues Page|
Quick Breastfeeding Tips for On-The-Go Nursing Moms
July 22, 2014
Hello and thank you for joining BreastfeedingQuest.com. I hope this summer treats you and your baby well!
In this issue...
Surviving Public Breastfeeding
Whether you are an old-hand breastfeeding mother or just a beginner, you are bound to go out into the world with your baby sooner or later.
Be it work, errands, travel or just a walk in the park. Especially with summer in full swing, it is fun to be out and about!
Sadly enough new breastfeeding mothers tend to confine themselves and the babies to their homes for longer than formula-feeding mothers.
It seems like breastfeeding is a serious no-fun matter, and how much cooler is it to use a stylish bottle to mix the formula in or a cool bottle-warmer, right? WRONG!
If anyone should go out with their babies, be cool and have fun feeding them, it’s the nursing mothers!
Breastfed babies have stronger immune defense system and can be taken out into the world earlier.
They have a better chance of fighting infections and they are generally more content. But I’ve been there – breastfed there, so I know how hard it may be to set your mind to be open about breastfeeding in public and on-the-go.
What is even harder is to block the negativity or even the aversion that may come from others.
Well, let’s first take care of the legal part of it:
Moreover, most states have provisions protecting your right to breastfeed in public. And if you go ethical about it (no need to become an extreme exhibitionist– just do what feels right), you will get nothing but approval from the public.
Still, if your internal self refuses to feel comfortable when feeding your baby in public, here are the two things that helped me personally when I was re-entering the world with my breasts full of milk and my mind full of doubts:
Thinking about it helped a lot in dealing with looks and stares from men passing by.
In our society sexuality is still the first thing that comes in mind in relation to women’s breasts. But believe me, no matter how sexually-minded a person is, ask a father to choose between breast milk and formula, and formula has very slim chance.
This helped EVERY time I sat down to breastfeed my baby-boy at any public place.
They are just the passersby, bystanders, casual observers… They literary have no relation to you or your baby.
They have zero significance in your lives. They just happened to be here. They came, the passed by, they disappeared. Their comments, stares and facial expressions never last.
In fact, they cease to exist the moment they see the next “20% off everything” sign in the mall! So how dare we take their split-second presence so close to our hearts?
I hope that will put everything in a different perspective for you, as it did for me. The truth is, the moment I let go off of my self-conscientiousness about giving my baby breast in public was the moment when everyone around me did too!
Quick Practical Tips for On-The-Go Nursing Moms
With all that being said, there are little good-to-knows that can make breastfeeding on-the-go a little more comfortable for you and the baby and simplify your life as a nursing mother. These are some practical tips that helped me:
If you ask me at what age kids are the easiest to travel with? I’d say – at the “breastfeeding age”. No bottles, no cans, no blenders, and no picky-eating – you have all you need with you…or in you, to be exact.
Breastfeeding while traveling has a handful of benefits:
It saves time. You can breastfeed while your partner is driving (you don’t even have to take your baby out of the car seat, just lean over – it takes practice, but it’s totally doable!).
It provides extra comfort for the baby. Especially when traveling by air. Breastfeed at takeoff and landing to prevent discomfort to baby’s middle ear and reduce pain that may be caused by rapid pressure change. Remember, babies don’t know how to pop their ears. Sucking on the breast does the trick!
It is also convenient for a mother. Asking for water, waiting for it and mixing up the formula on a bumpy flight can be tricky and takes time. And have you ever missed your flight and had to spend the night at a local hotel? Did you know to bring all the extra formula with you?
We’ve moved beyond the awkward-looking clothes for breastfeeding mothers. Today there is a whole industry of nursing moms' fashion. Whether you choose to spend money on it or use whatever you already have, choose clothes that go well with breastfeeding.
Choose two-piece outfits over dresses. They are easier to get in and out of.
Two layers worked best for me. My “rule of breast” was that I needed to have an easy access to my breasts (something like a top that I could unbutton, roll up or the one with built-in flaps) and something light on top to cover my body and the breasts while my baby nursed (something like a beautiful scarf, shawl or a cardigan sweater).
Go for nursing bras. Some say that specially-designed nursing bras are a little overrated. I came to realize that a couple of comfortable nursing bras are worth the price you pay for them.
Pick the ones that help you access your breasts with just one hand. You won’t have the luxury of having two hands free for that matter.
Try on different ones. I loved the ones with a drop cup where the upper layer of the cup fabric rolls down and also the ones opening in the front.
Choose the ones made of cotton. And stay away from polyester and any other material that locks in moisture to prevent leaking. Your breasts need to breathe.
Also, avoid underwire bras, as they may cause duct clogging.
Multi-colored or dark-print clothes conceal stains the best. Perfect in case your milk starts leaking at one point.
Slings are real life-savers for moms on-the-go! Don’t confuse them with carriers, even though I’ve seen many women breastfeed successfully in a carrier.
Sling is basically a wide piece of cloth that you wrap around your neck and shoulders. It is flexible and "grows" with your baby.
Positioning your baby in a sling changes as your baby grows, so a good sling lasts several years. Among other great features, slings are perfect for breastfeeding while doing other things.
Sling provides comfort for both babies and moms, motivates babies to eat on demand, which is a great solution for low-weight babies. It also frees mom’s hands to do things with older kids. Slings are perfect for discreet nursing.
Sling-carried babies are more content and survive colic better. And since you can take your baby in a sling anywhere you are, his/her cognitive processes never stop.
Babies can nap in a sling too, no need to hurry home for the nap time.
Try on your new nursing clothes at home. Try different breastfeeding positions and pick your favorite for nursing in public. I know breastfeeding your little one should go naturally, and it will…with practice.
Don’t force yourself to go out and breastfeed just because you feel like you have to. Follow your gut and mood about places and times when you want to nurse out or stay in.
It is all about the comfort of the two of you. Your lifestyle may not necessitate breastfeeding in public. If not, then why force it?
When you are breastfeeding in a public place, there is a great way to divert the looks and stares of people passing by.
When someone stares at you, you become self-conscious. Return the “favor” and stare back at them. This will divert their eyes away from the area of your breasts and will make them self-conscious. Always worked for me!
There is a learning curve to everything. So when starting going out with your baby, start small. Go to a place close home, so you can always make it back before your baby is hysterical, if breastfeeding doesn’t go well. You will become a pro – one sip of milk at a time.
Good Read on the Topic:
I have just updated "Books" section of our store and added several great breastfeeding books there.
They are all useful reads, but this one - "The Baby Book" from the Sears family - has lots of material about one of the topics of our discussion - babywearing.
It covers all the basics of babywearing, talks about the benefits for mom and baby, and gives detailed instructions on how to use a sling for carrying and breastfeeding.
I consult this baby encyclopedia on almost every breastfeeding matter. Amazon has a good price and allows you to look inside the book, so take a peek:
Exclusive Reader's Discount
Take advantage of this great offer for BQ readers only and get a Nurse Purse at 20% off!
This stylish and functional pumping bag is designed to room your pump, cooler, pumping accessories and your personal items.
Moreover, it easily converts into a personal use bag, diaper bag or tote, when you are done pumping.
Durable, spacious and easy to clean. Choose from 4 chic colors and pump in style this summer!
Go to NursePurse,com , pick the color you like in products section, then go to cart and enter code BFQUEST20 before checking out. Enjoy!
Related Product Review:
This is indeed the smartest thing I ever bought for my son. It is a suitcase and an activity toy that can be ridden, pulled along by the child or the parent, used for storing toys, or carried over the shoulder.
You can get it for your older child. It will keep him/her occupied during traveling while you take care of your baby.
You can also buy it early for the baby. For now you will have a stylish super joyful suitcase that you can use for your baby's clothes and toys, and later as a toddler your baby will love it!
It is called Trunki Ride-On Suitcase. It is very functional, steady, secure and fun to travel with.
Its size qualifies it as a personal item (better than carry-on!) when traveling by air. It is very light and has a great design.
You can read my review and order any color you like directly from Amazon. I am sure you will love it, as much as we did!
Questions and Comments:
I try to organize my newsletters around your interests in breastfeeding or concerns that you may have.
If you have an interest in a specific breastfeeding topic or would like me to review a particular breastfeeding-related product, let me know here. I will research, review and share with you. You can also submit questions and comments by responding to this newsletter.
Feel free to forward this newsletter to other moms. The more, the merrier!
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.
|Back to Back Issues Page|