Unfortunately, nursing in public (even when you’re covered up), is a controversial topic in our over-sexualized society. Because nursing an infant in public is somehow more shameful, and more uncomfortable to witness, than a woman showing an obscene amount of cleavage, right? But despite the negative, discouraging attitude held by some people in society, proud mommies everywhere continue to stay positive, and nurse their babies in public, as we should. Of course, this doesn’t always diminish the slight anxiety that can bubble up when we end up having to nurse in a restaurant, or in a setting where we may feel that everyone will be starting at us. Nursing in public can be somewhat of a challenge, but that definitely should not stop us from continuing to do it, nor should we feel ashamed or embarrassed in some way.
With my first baby, it took some time to get used to nursing in public, and to feel comfortable doing so. After a little while, I began to feel less nerrors abut it. It also becomes easier when your baby is able to latch on (and stay on), without needing much assistance. Another thing that, I personally think makes a difference, is what you are using as a cover while nursing. Blankets can be hot, and difficult to keep in place without slipping. Thankfully, new mommy-friendly products have been developed in recent years, that our mothers could’ve only hoped for when we were infants.
Nowadays, many nursing mothers invest in some type of nursing cover, which can be very helpful. The cover that I had when my son was nursing, however, was not very ideal, in my opinion. It was the common nursing cover that I see many mothers using – the kind that sort of look like a short, wide cooking apron. In my experience, this kind of cover did not keep me covered up, especially on the sides, which is the area that needs that most covering, right? The adjusting strap that goes over-head also would not stay tight enough to keep the cover from caving in. At the time, this was the only type of nursing cover I was aware of, so I just ended up using thin blankets, because the cover was not sufficient.
Thankfully during my second pregnancy, I came across a different type of nursing cover that instantly screamed, “MUST HAVE!!!”. This unique nursing cover, that I love love love, is a nursing poncho. It is rightly called a “poncho” because it covers on ALL sides, rather than just a portion in the front, like other nursing covers. Also, because it is worn like a poncho, it does not need to be tightened or adjusted, to keep from caving in, or falling off. It is long enough in the front, sides AND back to keep you modest and comfortable, and is also light-weight, stretchy, and breatheable. I’m not sure if there are other brands out there that make similar products, but the one I have is from milkmaidgoods.com. In addition to the nursing ponchos, they also have adorable swaddling sets, made from the same stretchy, breathable material, among other products. I love that the nursing ponchos (which can double as a blanket and carseat cover) and swaddle sets, are available in several beautiful prints! The ponchos are affordable, and also one-size-fits-all, so guessing game, or worrying if you ordered the right size.
I will forever be grateful that I found this product, and definitely recommend it to all nursing and/or expectant mommies! It may seem like I’m being dramatic about how much I love this product, but this nursing poncho has made it so much easier to nurse in public, without feeling uncomfortable or exposed. It also helps because I do not have to hold it up (like a blanket), so my free hand is actually free, and I don’t have to worry about it falling off, or opening up on the sides. Of course, babies get to the age where they start moving around more and will probably try to open up the cover, but it is easier to keep closed and covered up with this cover, compared to the apron-like one.
As I mention in most of my posts, this is just my personal opinion and experience with these products – if you have found another product that works well for you, by all means, stick with it. But, if you are struggling with nursing in public, partly because you are finding it difficult to stay discreet and comfortable, I would highly recommend trying this type of product or someting similar. Better yet, if you’re crafty or have a sowing mschine, you could even make one!
Anyway, the take-away from this is, regardless of how you find ways to nurse comfortably in public, don’t let stares or nasty comments discourage you!
What helps you feel comfortable when nursing in public? What negative experiences have you overcome?
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