how old were your babies when you first tried feeding them outside the home? was it harder or easier than you thought it would be? any tips for making it a little less stressful? i'm not the type to go sit in a washroom to breastfeed, but i don't want to flash a ton of boob, and i don't want people to think i'm a crappy mom when it takes my LO 15 min to latch on and get settled. should i just put my latte drinking plans on hold for now?
I recall that I felt like breastfeeding in public in the first 3 months or so felt hard, so I did try to push it off when I was out in a way I wouldn't have at home. I always used a lot of pillows and both hands in the early days, and if the positioning wasn't good, it was hard to do. Plus I was very nervous about the whole latching her on process. My tendency was to go into a corner, turn toward a wall to get her latched on, but if it just wasn't working, I'd go sit in the car where I felt more comfortable.
I went to a long dress rehearsal for my choir when my daughter was about a month old, and I brought my sling and for the first time was able to breastfeed her in it, but then it was another couple of months before I could get it to work well again. I went out with a friend once when my daughter was around 4 months old and sat in a high-backed booth in a restaurant on off peak hours, and I breastfed in the sling while placing my order and eating. And then she came off the breast and I just held her in the sling, and I remember the whole thing felt very seamless.
Ultimately, my first daughter became a side lying nurser and I got very adept at side lying nursing in public, which is kind of funny.
My ds2 is 5 weeks now and we have nursed in the bookstore, starbucks etc. Just wear a lose shirt that you can pull up easily and can be draped over most of your exposed breast. Tunics are not helpful, learned my lesson the hard way on that one... One plus to nursing outdoors, I find my baby is far more alert nursing in the fresh air, at home he just falls asleep in minutes so we find ourselves in the backyard an awful lot lately.
1) Assuming you are concerned at all about "flashing" - which I don't assume you are because you don't have to be - practice in front of a mirror beforehand. You can quickly see any adjustments you might need, but I think you'll mostly find how surprisingly easy it is to do without showing anything.
2) You can get a nursing top, but you can also choose shirts you already have. I liked wearing a regular stretchy top or tank top or something with a button-up shirt over it (which I often left unbuttoned, like a jacket of sorts). The shirt gave me extra privacy, my whole side was "protected" and I could even sort of hold the shirt in front of the baby while latching (though I didn't bother to continue holding the shirt after the latch).
3) Above all, relax
The first time I NIP'd was at a park. Very low pressure but it was still a first. It was a little harder at first because latching on took effort and coordination. After a while there was nothing to it.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
But... the nursing room was in the ladies bathroom, and smelled like a fart. I was able to do it without any fuss... and so much easier than taking and pumping a bottle!
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
DS2 probably when he was just about 2 or 3 days old... I never really cooped myself up with him. And he was just SUCH a pro at nursing from day one it was amazing, really (I even nursed him laying down the first night in the hospital!!)
Baby Aerick is here! Born at 40+6 on 5/16/10
With DD, she was a whopping 5 days old...we were at my brother's wedding
I like the convenience of nursing tops/tanks...especially at first when you have to latch them on and it takes a little more time. It's easier later when they auto-latch as soon as they get in the general vicinity of the boob
Wife to J, SAHM to W (03/06) at 32w4d, C (10/08) , and H (02/11)
Do you have a local BF support group? That is a great place to try. Also, I BFd at church (not in BF room, etc) and at a coffee shop initially. I used my nursing cover at the beginning.
The funny thing is that I just went for it back then, but now that DD is 9mos, its a bit harder. LOL
Me and DH, parents to:
DD1 (06/09), Twin DD2 and DS1 (born 3/12- 6 weeks early due to IUGR)
It was awkward and I was nervous, but overall it was uneventful and it gave me courage to keep going and nip-ing
Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.
It took me a month to leave the house after my son was born. Otherwise I am sure it would have happened sooner.
Grandma to 4 beautiful little boys
I'm in Oklahoma (a pretty conservative place), so I expected a lot of grief over it. I mean, I've got a copy of the state law on public breastfeeding in my wallet. But I haven't had any. No one has said a word, and the worst I've ever gotten is a sideways glance.
All that to say, I agree with others. Relax and focus on the only person who matters in these situations -- your baby.
SAHM to Lucy , born 4/26/2009. Etsy shop owner. Lover of internet memes. Current and future unschooler.
I think of breastfeeding as an intimate moment relationship between my child and myself. I do not think about the "outside world" when I'm bfing. I do not let others' reactions or opinions come in the middle of that. I am providing nourishment for my child, not harming her or trying to make a flashy display of private parts. Ironically, the only person that has openly expressed negativity about my NIP is the baby's father, but that is due to his lack of experience being around a nursing mother. It is something he has to overcome, not something I need to change to make him comfortable. This is my first time bfing as my other children were my foster children and I was not legally allowed to bf them.
When my baby was only a week old, I had to take/pick up DD from school daily. I can't remember when exactly, but it was within those first few weeks, waiting in the school parking lot (where I'm also a teacher). I had my boppy for the car and my nursing cover. It is soooo nice and easy to nurse in the car with the boppy, much easier than nursing at home with my boppy even.
I think I nursed next at the perinatologist's office because I had to go back there a week and two weeks after my baby's birth. I know I pulled over and nursed in the CVS parking lot once on the way to the first peri's appt.
I also had to take baby into the pediatrician a week after birth and nursed in the exam room, but no one else was there until the dr walked in so I don't know if that counts as NIP.
Then I had to get an oil change, I put that off until baby was at least a month, but not yet two months and I nursed with a cover in the dealership waiting area.
I also nursed in the work room at my school because I took her to show her off to my co-workers and I forgot that she hadn't eaten in a while and of course she got fussy, so I just sat down with my nursing cover and nursed in front of my principal.
I never ask if anyone minds, no one ever asks if I mind if they eat in public. I just feed my baby. I do not require permission to feed my child. I'm not very open about it, but I'm not one to hide in a bathroom either. I do try to find a quieter, less populated area, sit where boob that I will nurse on is away from the crowd, use a nursing cover. I love nursing in the car and try to do that before entering a store/doctor's office etc.
I wouldn't be as comfortable nursing in public without my nursing cover. I also love having an extra boppy for the car and I wear tanks under my top shirt. I don't wear nursing bras or nursing tanks, just regular ones and they have worked wonderfully. Sometimes once we're situated, I pull my shirt all the way over my boob and use my hand to cover the rest of my boob and then pull the nursing cover away so that baby doesn't get too hot. Luckily, baby was born in the winter (still not too cold), but I think I should be very experienced with NIP by the time our 100 degree temps hit, because there is no way I'm using a nursing cover then.
as far as when i nip, dd1 was just a few days old the first time and i was 18. it was stressful, but we made it through. i didn't nurse her for long. dd2 was nip all the time because you can't stay home with an active toddler and being out means nip! i nip her at walmart @ 2 days old. my son was ep, so no nip. dd3 i nip at 3 days old. dd4 was in the nicu for 17 days and we were right at flu seeason when she came home. she didn't nurse until she was about 4 wks old and we didn't nip until she was 6 wks at my pp ob visit. she was a difficult latcher, but i paid attention and got her on there before she was in a panic.
Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and Amelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11
the first time really in public was just around 2 weeks though - we had to make an emergency run to the car dealership to fix DH's toyota, and I nursed there, with a cover. I just feel more comfortable with one, than without. I have only seen one person here nurse without one, with boob just plopped out there. Nothing wrong with it, and if I lost or misplaced my cover, that would be me! We have since NIP just about everywhere, the mall, sam's (this was the MOST uncomfortable! those cold metal benches are awful!) stores, restaurants, the car - I hate nursing in the car. I'd rather go in somewhere and find a comfy chair.
I'll admit, those first few weeks, I was pumping anyway to draw out my nipples and relieve some engorgement (which might have led to a slight oversupply, but I am not good at manual expression) so we took bottles of expressed milk with us everywhere. Now, DS only gets bottles when I'm not available, and when we've tried recently to do give a bottle of expressed milk, he is not happy about it! LOL I don't mind though!
Just relax, and focus on the baby and smile at people. betcha they'll smile back!
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011 and Theo03/11/2013- married to Wayne -
The first time really out in public, was the grocery store when he was about 2 weeks old. I was wearing him in his wrap, but I still didnt have the trick of nursing him like that, so I had to take him out, and hold him to nurse, making it very obvious. No one gave us a second glance, and I felt like super-mom!
I have NIP all over the place since then, and each time, I feel so proud of myself for it.
Funny side note, DH was visably uncomfortable that first time at the hospital. He didn't say anything, but he didn't need to either, I could *see* how upset he was that the (male) Dr saw my breast. I just ignored it. Fast forward to now, and DH is almost vehemently protective about my right to NIP anywhere! Yeah DH!!