Have you had a chance to read 50 Reasons for Breastfeeding Anytime, Anywhere from PhD in Parenting yet?
It's a great list that examines reasons from human rights to just because in encouraging women to breastfeed their babies in public.
Though I no longer have a nursling in my brood, the topic of how to handle the logistics of breastfeeding in public continues to engage my interest. Earlier this week, a friend who has just given birth to her second child asked me for a recommendation on nursing tops. Though I've breastfed two children into toddlerhood, I've never owned a single piece of nursing clothing, so instead, I shared with her this article I wrote back in January 2009 on how I managed the logistics of nursing in public:
One thing I never did get the hang of when I was nursing Dacey was how to do the whole nursing in public 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 breastfeeding in public 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 or 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 your 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 breastfeeding in public - 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 then 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? I don't get it. Anyway, a little extra material for some extra coverage is a nice bonus.
I know some people prefer a nursing cover. In the early weeks, it might be helpful to have, especially if you have the overabundant supply or overactive letdown issues that I had in the early days with both girls. But as we all know (and this video perfectly illustrates), there comes a day when that wee one refuses to be blanket-ed! And I think using this cami-underneath-system works so nicely when you can't or don't want to use a blanket or nursing cover.
The simple camisole is a simple solution for mamas who are nursing in public.
What tips for nursing in public success do you have to share?
photo by Tim and Selena Middleton