Dress for success. It’s best to be wearing a shirt that allows you to feed comfortably. Turtleneck sweaters and blouses that button up the back are likely to make nursing in public on the difficult side. You may also want to bring a specially designed breastfeeding smock or a receiving blanket to drape over baby while he feeds.
Try to ignore passersby. People will look at you, after all, people watching is a part of life. Still, what you’re doing – nourishing your child – is really none of their business. You are nourishing your child. But remember: people aren’t generally that attentive to detail. They may see you but not realize what you’re up to. How often does your significant other not notice your new haircut? And he (or she) sees you every day!
When you arrive at your destination, scope out good places to feed before baby lets you know she’s hungry. Many malls and other public venues now have designated nursing rooms. It’s best to find the place before it’s chow time. If a private room doesn’t exist, look for a comfy chair or a bench that allows you to spread out and relax a little.
Keep the diaper bag on hand. Sometimes you think you’ll be able to run in somewhere without the diaper bag and that’s when you need it the most! Spit up is inevitable when nursing baby so you’ll want to have wipes and burp cloths with you.
Take it all in stride. Stressing out is never good for you or your baby. Even with all the planning in the world, things can go wrong. You may realize last minute that you don’t have all the right gear with you or that the perfect place to breastfeed doesn’t exist, but that’s okay. Nourishing your little one is the goal. As long as you can satisfy baby’s craving then you’ve accomplished what you set out to do.
Melanie Herschorn is a journalist and founder of Udderly Hot Mama nursing tops, www.udderlyhotmama.com.