Did you know that many moms are under the misconception that it is illegal to breastfeed in public? The reality is actually the contrary- there is legislation in place to protect women and their need to nurse away from home. Most states have protected women under the fact that you will need to feed your child away from home, and state that women have the right to breastfeed any place they are authorized to be.
Many women have reported that they feel uncomfortable, or as though they are doing something taboo when breastfeeding in public, even if they are covered up or being discreet. There are a few ways you can make yourself feel a bit more comfortable with this natural act.
- Wear clothes that allow easy access to your breasts, such as tops that pull up from the waist or button down.
- Use a special breastfeeding blanket around your shoulders. Some babies do not like this, though, so you’ll have to see what works for your baby.
- Breastfeed your baby in a sling. Slings or other soft infant carriers are especially helpful for traveling — it makes it easier to keep your baby comforted and close to you.
- Slip into a women’s lounge or dressing room to breastfeed.
- Practice at home so that you can ensure you are only being as revealing as you feel comfortable with.
As with most situations in life, you are liable to run into adversity with this subject, especially considering recent controversies over the topic. We all see the stories of women being asked to breastfeed in bathrooms, or being cat called by other people in public. If you find your self in this situation, La Leche League has a few suggestions in regards to a response:
- Ignore the comment or change the subject.
- Share information on breastfeeding with the other person.
- Make a joke about the situation or yourself to lighten the mood.
- Show that you are recognizing the person’s viewpoint by asking further questions without agreeing or responding to the criticism.
- Be empathetic — show that you understand the other person’s feeling and meaning.
If you find yourself needing to venture out without baby, and still want to breastfeed, consider pumping. Breastpumps can be expensive, but most insurance companies cover the purchase of one at little or no cost to the patient. Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you find out if you qualify for a free pump. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and one of our Breastpump Specialists will verify your insurance, contact your physician for your prescription, and contact you within 3-5 business days to discuss your pump options.
Keep in mind that you are not the only woman breastfeeding, and you are taking care of your child in the most natural way possible!