How to BF in public?

Taylor - posted on 06/24/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I can't seem to get my son latched on under a blanket so I end up flashing everyone. He will let me cover him up after he is on and eating but while I'm trying to get him on the blanket usually falls off or just gets in our way. I'm supposed to go to a family gathering this weekend and I'm considering not going because I'm so nervous about BFing in front of everyone and I don't want to go just to sit in a backroom feeding the whole time. Any advice please??

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Angie - posted on 06/29/2010

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Sit in front of a full length mirror at home and practice. Honestly I always think it's much more obvious when you are nursing if you have a brightly colored nursing cover on than it would be if you just discreetly pulled up your shirt from the bottom. I always wore a tshirt type top on the top then I wore a nursing cami so my belly would be covered. I'd pull up the tshrt and then just unsnap the nursing cami and latch the kids on quickly. That way your belly will be covered and once baby is on you really won't be showing any skin. But like I said, practice in front of a mirror and see what others can see, I bet it's not much!

Erin - posted on 06/24/2010

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I like the pp response of having your husband or a supportive friend help. I also use a breastfeeding cover which goes around your neck so you don't need to hold it in place like you would a blanket, i can also see in by looking down but no one else can see what's going on. Here's a link to similar ones as mine (although I got mine for $8) http://about.pricegrabber.com/search.php...

[deleted account]

I went to a christening when my daugther was 3 weeks old and at the reception there was nowhere for me to go as I didn't feel comfortable flashing everyone in the room. I ended up going outside into the beer garden (which was empty) and sitting with my back to the conservatory. I think the feeding cover is a really good idea and will look into purchasing one :D

Charlotte - posted on 07/01/2010

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hi there, i havent had a chance to read all the comments so i don't kno wif this has already been suggested! i don't bother using a blanket, unless eloise has latched on and i want her to not get distracted by everything else going on! i tend to just wear two tops, the bottem one just to hide my tummy really, then wear a nice loose fitting on top and pull that one up and then it hides my whole breast. its so discrete that i've had a few males come and sit next to me for a chat and not even realise i am nursing! their faces when they notice are classic though! i tend to just casualy mention i'm going to nurse my baby aswell so that if anyone is offended they can leave! sometimes i think using a blanket actualy makes nursing more noticable and a lot more difficult! also, you baby may be picking up on your anxieties and thats why they are finding it difficult latching on! try and stay clam and enjoy it, don't worry about any one else!! good luck!

Jessica - posted on 06/30/2010

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I tried a cover up with my first child, but I found what really is the best (for me) was lots of practice and building a comfort level. It may sound funny, but practice latching in front of a mirror so you can see how much you are actually showing. When you are nursing at a family gathering, choose a comfortable chair with a pillow, and place the pillow on the side you will nurse on (this provides a little block to the view). Also, like others mentioned, choose nursing friendly outfits, that helps a lot too. If you find a cover up is the most comfortable for you, I personally used regular shawls instead of nursing wraps. They seemed to work ok, and if I forgot that I left it on, it was just clothing, KWIM?

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Becky - posted on 07/03/2010

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i went to the zoo yesterday with my son...i wanted to go somewhere private but there wasn't anywhere..the place was packed... i ended up picking a table in the corner of the restraunt adn nursing him in there.... i didn't even worry about covering up until i had him latched on... its too hard to do both at the same time.. i always wear a nursing cami under my shirts so my tummy stays covered.. only thing that possibly could get a bit exposed is a bit of teh breast but baby covers it up so quickly no one has time to see... then i just slipped a folded up light blanket over my boob so no one could see anything but the baby.. i got a few looks or small smiles but was mostly ignored due to how crazy it was in there..

i recommend practicing in front of a mirror... then go to a place where lots of kids are around... zoo, park, etc. adn practice there, that way if you are exposed a bit it wont be much of a deal because it's usually parents at those places and they've been tehre done that!

Taylor - posted on 07/02/2010

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I managed my first public feeding without a cover!! I wore a nursing cami under my shirt and sat in a corner at the swimming pool and just went for it! It was very empowering and I don't think anyone noticed what I was doing other than my husband and a little girl who was STARING at me the whole time. I just smiled and kept nursing! It felt really good to just go for it and not worry. We'll keep practicing!

Sally - posted on 06/30/2010

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If you want a less conspicuous way to hide your nursing, you might want to take up the art of baby wearing. A good sling will hide as much as a nursing cover and still let you see your baby. With practice, you'll even be able to nurse hands free. And being in close contact with mom most of the time is very healthy for babies anyway.
When my first baby was small, I was concerned about 'offending' someone by showing them my breast. I tried covering up with blankets when she ate in public. It was horrible! She hated it; I couldn't see if she was latched right; and our struggles made it obvious not only what we were doing, but that I wasn't comfortable with it. How could I expect other people to be okay with something that bothered me so much? Once I figured that out, I didn't worry as much anymore. With a little practice, I was walking through the grocery store with a baby attached to my nipple. If someone has a problem, they can look away. Besides you'll only show anything for a few seconds at latch on and let go anyway. The rest of the time, it'll just look like the baby is resting on your lap. Most people had no idea my daughter was eating until they pulled up my shirt to look at her. My second child will not tolerate my shirt touching her face so we have to show about a half inch of boob at all eating times. Thats much less than I show in my very modest swimsuit. Luckily, after 5 years of nursing 2 kids, I no longer care who sees how they eat and have been known to go out in public forgetting to put my breast back in my bra. Thankfully, I haven't forgotten to put it back in my shirt outside my home yet. :)

Jill - posted on 06/30/2010

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I bought a couple from Target, they look like shawls but are lightweight - they are not brightly colored, in fact one of them is just plain black, which matches a lot of my clothes - just another option. It was also only about $10 - $15. Good luck - I know it is hard in the beginning, it does get easier.

Nicole - posted on 06/30/2010

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I just found a corner or turned my back around in the chair. It is helpful if your significant other is there to help shield. I never used a shield or blanket I just pulled my shirt down over my breast as much as I could and nursed my babies. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I put the corner of the blanket under my bra. And when I have him latched I move it back but still have my breast covered. Or get a hooter hider.

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i sit or walk next to my husband while nursing in public he gives them the looks while i carry on not covered. why cover up what is natural. try feeding without a cover but away from people then as you get used to it move closer. if people see you are comfortable they wont question you, and if they are that rude tell them not to look - they dont have to. be strong!

Ramona - posted on 06/30/2010

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My oldest HATED to be covered while nursing, even the shirt coming close to her nose would send her into a fit. She was also quite colicky and many nursing sessions were a battle. Public nursing was an experience with her. My second didn't like to be covered beginning about 7 months, but she would latch easily and fairly quickly. So I could quickly get her on and even if I didn't cover her head a light blanket on her gave the appearance of her napping.

I agree with either getting someone you trust to hold a light blanket up while you latch, or have them stand close in front of you and engage in conversation while you latch. With a large enough gathering, no one is going to notice if you are chatting with someone while latching. I do understand your apprehension especially if this is your first.

Lydia - posted on 06/29/2010

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try a nursing apron. i have one it's light cotton, nobody can see trough, but your baby doesn't sweat underneath. you can look inside from the top. some of them look really cute, too. check out this website:

http://www.thenursingapron.com/



t's good to practice... if you feel comfortable and secure it's much easier to bf in public. also your thinking is important. it is normal and natural to breastfeed in public. i never made a big deal out of it. just sit down wherever i am and bf my daughter. if i hang out with girls i don't use a cover, when there are guys around i do. i never got any negative comments about it, only good ones like "wow you look so natural bf your baby"!

i think it's time for bf moms to be a bit bolder. you are doing the best thing for your baby to bf, you can't live in secret for a year or so just because of that. you don't need to give excuses for bf in public. basically it's just a little person eating... so what's so bad about it? everyone else eats in public, why not your baby?



unfortunately our modern world has degraded boobs to be somewhat of a sex symbol only, whereas actually their primary purpose is to nurture your baby... that your partner finds them attractive is just a nice side effect. i think we should return to a thinking of "nice boobs = good food for my baby" ;-)

[deleted account]

My suggestion is, wait till you're comfortable with breastfeeding before you venture out. Then make sure your clothes feel right - I always found that large tops that could be lifted up easily and discreetly were the best.

I've never seen a "hooter hider" (what a name!!) but I've had a look at some pictures, and I have to say, they look to me as if they're saying "Hey, look at me, I'm breastfeeding in public!"

Basically, do what you're comfortable with. The main thing is to remember that your baby needs you to feed.

Heather - posted on 06/29/2010

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I got the "udder cover" from my cousin and totally love it! I had a nursing wrap before, but hated it because there was no structure to the top so I couldn't see what I was doing.

Ashley - posted on 06/29/2010

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As you will learn, keeping the blanket on is an art form. I used to tuck my blanket inside the top of my bra strap and tuck the other side under my babies head. He always tried pulling it off, but i would have my husband help me hold it up until everything underneath was good. But definitley have someone you trust and who encourages your to nurse help you so that you dont get too nervous or frusterated. Just remember to relax! If you flash a little, make a joke and say that no one but baby gets a free show and that peek will be $5. ;) lol good luck!

Taylor - posted on 06/29/2010

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I will have to try the Baby Au Lait because the opening on my cover doesn't sty open well and I'm fighting with it the whole time I'm feeding him. I did just go out and buy a bunch of nursing camis to wear under tshirts. I just feel so exposed while I'm getting him latched on! I will have to practice in front of a mirror and maybe my hubby too so he can tell me how much I'm showing.

Heather - posted on 06/29/2010

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when i used a blanket, i had my husband hold it like a curtain in front of me while i got my daughter all settled in, and then he'd drape it for me. i had to use a nipple shield for the first 6 months, so it was impossible to do that solo w/a blanket. now i have something i bought online called Baby Bond. it's awesome. it's a wrap that covers you up, and you just separate the pieces a little bit to latch baby on, but baby's face is in front of you while you do that. the best part is that baby and you can still see each other while he eats. i love mine and wouldn't part with it for the world!!

Theresa - posted on 06/28/2010

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I never had that problem with the Bebe au Lait kind. They're pretty light weight and with the opening on top the heat can escape. They also work great to throw over the stroller when baby takes a nap outside because they're light weight and not so warm. Especially if you plan on having more children it's really worth the investment. I had one I had bought from Target first. It was much heavier and warmer, plus I couldn't see inside. I like the Bebe au Lait much better.

Taylor - posted on 06/28/2010

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I got the nursing cover and it was a little rough because it was soo hot my son looked like he was roasting under it and he wouldn't eat very long. We're new at the BF thing so we're still learning! Maybe in a few weeks I'll be comfortable enough to just go for it.

Kerri - posted on 06/28/2010

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Personally i never used anything if If I fed in public or at family do's.My partners family were very supportive and always offered me to sit with them whilst breastfeeding so I never had any awkward should I shouldn't I moments.My own family were the same.I had a milk shield in one side of my bra and fed with my top rolled so my daughter could breathe and i could see her, but the tops of my breasts were covered, I wear a lot of dress tops with leggings and cardigans so my sides were always covered and if they weren't they weren't, I fed a lot in public and never had anyone stare or question me so I never felt embarrassed.. and if anybody had dared to, I would of just told the to cover their head in a blanket it's natural and a lot of women have this urge to 'cover' up this process for other peoples benefit. My daughter would often come off the breast a lot and my milk would shoot out like fountains everywhere so I didn't want her being covered or me...I could easily prevent this from happening as badley by aiming my boobs so we both did not get soaked and use a towel to cover them while they leaked a lot...i produced a lot of milk in the first four months I had to use towels under my bra to stop the milk soaking me. For me it wasn't practical for her to be hidden...I would have ended up smelling of stale milk all day and we would both be drenched and have to change outfits all the time



If I was you I would talk to members of the family who are going, or just ask them when you arrive, that's what I used to do and they all would tell me it's fine or usually bring it up first and tell me if I wanted to breastfeed feel free to stay with everyone of use a room if I preferred. I would fairly openly breastfeed in front of all my friends and family.

Theresa - posted on 06/28/2010

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Get something called Babe au Lait (or the other name they're sold under is Hooter Hiders). They go around your neck so they can't fall off and there's a piece at the neck that sticks out so you can see down to your baby and he can see you, but no one else can see (unless they're standing above you). I know you can search it and buy them online. Otherwise I've sen them at baby specialty stores. They're a littel spendy, I think it was around $30, but so worth it. You can nurse anywhere with it without the flashing. :)

Kristina - posted on 06/27/2010

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personally i went to walmart and got a nursing cover for $11 and i use it several times a day you can see the baby through the top for easy latching and they cannot pull it off of you to flash everyone, when they get older remember to use your hand under their head to hold onto the wrap it will also keep you from flashing people those are my tips.

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2010

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I have a nursing wrap and it works great. I don't have to hold it up or be afraid it's giong to fall off and it makes BFing in public much easier for me. My daughter will leave it on, but I know many babies do not like to be covered up.
I agree with the previous post to find someone you trust to help you, if needed.

Erin - posted on 06/24/2010

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Is your son's father going too? If so, then sit next to him so that he can hold the blanket and shield you until you get your son attached. If not, ask a family member who is very supportive of you breastfeeding to assist in the shielding. I breastfed both of my boys for a year each and by the end of the second child, I didn't bother to cover up. I wore nursing shirts so the only time anyone could see anything was during the attaching, but my feelings were that if anyone had any problems with that that I wasn't forcing them to watch me. Good luck.

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