Breastfeeding is natural and your milk will provide more than enough nutrients for your child, without having to spend all that money on baby formula. This is why moms need to be more active in breastfeeding their children.
But with the stigma that comes with breastfeeding especially in public, moms will rather buy the formula than have to suffer the judging stares and comments of people. If you are unsure on what to do and how to react when you are nursing your child in public, then let this article be your guide.
How to be more comfortable with breastfeeding
First time moms are usually skeptical of breastfeeding especially because of the stigma that comes with it. What they don’t know is that breastfeeding is better for your child’s development compared to baby formula. Not only that, it is also a lot more economical especially for families who are looking to save more money on other necessities. Here are a few things you should know that will definitely make you feel more comfortable with breastfeeding:
- Better Brain Development – Recent researches have proven that breastfed children are more likely to succeed in academics. What’s more, children who were exclusively breastfed until 3 months of age are said to have better developed emotional function.
- Creates Early Bonding with your Child – You can never start building a connection with your child too early. There is a special bond between a mother and her breastfed child, which is most likely the result of all the cuddling you give him as he feeds.
- Convenient – Baby formula takes more work to prepare. You need to put a specific amount and make sure that the bottle has the right temperature before giving it to your child. Whereas with breastfeeding, it is always fresh, the right temperature, and the only preparation you need to do is getting your child to latch on to you. No bottles, no equipment, no hassle.
- Helps to keep Mom Healthy – Aside from the nutrients your child gets from breast milk, breast feeding itself can keep mom healthy. Research has found that breastfeeding offers a level of protection against certain cancers like ovarian and breast cancer. It can also help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy as milk production uses up a lot of calories.
- Saves the Family Money – This is very important especially for mothers who are just getting by. Baby formula costs money, and you will find yourself running down to the store every week or so to get a fresh can for your child. Breast milk on the other hand, is always ready and does not cost families a lot.
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Breastfeed in Public without the hassle
One thing you should always remember before going out with your child is that breastfeeding is completely natural. However, some may not share this point of view. To help you avoid the stares and to make you feel a little less awkward about showing some skin in public for your child, here are a few tips:
- Choose clothes you’ll feel comfortable in – Before you go out, choose the clothes you want to wear. It can be a loose-fitting T-shirt that can let you breastfeed your child comfortably without having to lift up your clothes, or it can also be a button up shirt. Anything that can give your child quick and easy access to your breast is a good choice.
- Use a breastfeeding Cover – You can also try a breastfeeding cover. There are a lot of varieties of this product online and they come in different designs and styles to choose from. Use it to cover yourself while breastfeeding your child. This way, people will have nothing to look at.
- Choose to wear an easy-access bra – Bras are a necessity when going out, and for situations where you need to breastfeed your child, it is essential to wear a bra that you can easily take off for your child. Mothers recommend stretchy sports bras just for this purpose as it doesn’t require any hooks to be undone.
- Pick a Discreet Spot – When your baby starts crying, try to find a spot to feed him where most people can’t see you, and has enough back support. If you are in a restaurant, choose to sit on the inside part of the booth so that only your companions can see you. Or choose a spot that faces away from most people. Outdoors, you can choose benches or under a tree where you can sit comfortably under the shade of the sun.
- Turn away to latch – Hold your child and turn to away for a bit while he latches on. This helps prevent people from seeing too much. This can also be done when it is time to unlatch your child.
What to do in case of unsolicited advice
Even if you take all the precautions in the world, someone is always going to have an opinion of you no matter what. And when that person has had enough of standing around and saying nothing, they will most likely approach you with a piece of advice you did not ask for. Here are a few things you can do in case you are faced with a similar scenario.
- Plan a response – In public places like restaurants, you might find yourself talking to a manager how a fellow customer has complained about your activity and will ask you to leave. Plan a response beforehand and practice it in front of a mirror. If this happens, you can simply tell the manager to ask that customer to move places so that he doesn’t have to look at the ‘disgusting’ thing you are doing.
- Know your rights – It is completely legal to breastfeed in public. Nowhere in the law says that you can’t do what you are doing, or that you have to move somewhere where most people don’t have to look at you.
- Smile – Most of the time, people won’t say anything. But instead they will look at you from a far with a look that suggests you have done something very inappropriate. When you catch someone’s eye giving you that look, instead of saying something snarky or mean, just smile at them. This implies that you are not bothered by what they think, and might even help to lessen the tension.
Breastfeeding in public can be a real challenge, but hopefully these tips and pieces of advice can help you decide to breastfeed your child, and what you need to do once you are in public and it is time to breastfeed.
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