When Dacey was born (four years ago today!), I knew I was going to give breastfeeding a try. I wasn't any kind of advocate or lactivist back then, I just knew that we were broke and breastmilk is, well, free. Two years later, I had become quite the pro which was a nice reward considering our rough start with the whole thing.
One thing I never did get the hang of when I was nursing Dacey was how to do the whole nursing in public (NIP) thing. When she was an infant, I had overactive letdown and overabundant supply issues, and those two things combined made those early weeks and months a big, milky mess. Even when my supply evened out, my concerns over modesty combined with a lack of confidence kept me from attempting to nurse her outside of our home.
However, when Aliza Joy was born, I found I didn't have a choice. We had to be at playgroup and prayer coffee and church and the library and all kinds of other places outside of our home at precisely the times little AJ needed her mama milk fix. Thankfully when I was still pregnant with her, one of my mama friends shared a little tip with me that made a huge difference in my NIP success the second time around.
The secret? A plain old ordinary camisole. Much like this one from Old Navy.
Here's how it works:
1) When baby needs to eat, find a comfy spot and settle in.
2) Unbutton your top or pull up your shirt (I'm almost always in some kind of t-shirt, long-sleeved of short, because I'm glam like that), but leave the camisole down against your body.
3) If you are wearing a nursing bra (I recommend it in those early weeks), unsnap it and pull you breast out of the top of the cami. Latch that baby on and you are good to go!
I love the cami underneath because in all honesty, it's not so much flashing a bit of breast and nipple that concerns me when I am NIP - it's the thought of the prolonged exposure of my unsightly mama middle to friends and passers-by who didn't sign up for that kind of trauma when they left the house that day.
Now, you can spend the big bucks for the "official" kinds of nursing tanks out there today (or better yet, let your friends and family buy those for you!), but really, an $8 cami from the local discount store works just fine, too. If you can find a cami with a shelf bra, all the better because as we nursing moms know, those nursing bra cups are made with inappropriately thin material. Why? Why do they do that to us? Four years after I began my breastfeeding journey, that's a question I still can't answer. Anyway, a little extra material for some extra coverage is a nice bonus.
So, the simple camisole is a simple solution for mamas who are nursing in public. Making breastfeeding a little easier definitely works for me.
What tips for nursing in public success do you have to share?