At Organic Baby Food Shop we 100% stand behind breastfeeding in public! Ylva, our mom in chief (pictured below with baby Philippa) is a huge advocate for this, and even if some women are still not comfortable in breastfeeding in public here are some tips and tricks that might help you breastfeed in public more comfortably.
But let's have a look at recent history first. Did you know that breastfeeding was not legal in all 50 states until recently? Utah and Idaho were the last ones to jump on the legal public breastfeeding train, and it did not come without an outrage especially among male lawmakers.
While there are still many that judge a mother feeding their child in public, associating it with unnecessary sexualization, there were also many women and men supporting and fighting for this cause, making this highly discussed topic viral with serval hashtags on Social Media such as: #breastfeedinginpublic. And while we all know that breasts are actually made for feeding a baby, and even if it is now officially legal to do so in public in the US, women are still being glared at, approached and even having the police called on them.
Yes, you have read correctly. Just 2 days ago a mom was at the beach in New Jersey and her two year old wanted to eat, so she did the natural thing and breastfed her baby, only to be approached by an employee of the recreational department, telling her that other beachgoers were offended. When she politely refused to stop feeding her toddler the employee called the police. When the officer arrived he sided with the mom, as breastfeeding was, just as the mom previously had stated, legal! Sadly, news like this show that there is still a long way for us to all to see breastfeeding as the natural thing it really is, both behind closed doors or out in public.
Some helpful tips if you decide to breastfeed in public:
As stated above, know your rights. It is 100% legal to feed your child through breastfeeding in all states in public, and no-one should approach you and ask you to cover up or make you feel uncomfortable. You have every right to do so!
Practice in front of a mirror. If you are concerned that you are showing to much skin, you will see when breastfeeding in front of the mirror that a nursing baby will cover your breast up efficiently. Usually, the moment of latching will be the moment where you will show must skin, if this makes you uncomfortable you can turn around and face a wall or cover your baby up with a towel or other clothing until it has latched.
Make sure you find a comfortable place that supports your back, this will make it easier for you and for your baby to breastfeed.
Use a sling or a wrap. ( Link to article breastfeeding techniques) After a bit of practice, you will learn to feed your baby wearing a sling or a wrap. This is great because you can actually move, walk or do other activities while breastfeeding and your breast and baby will be totally covered.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothes. If you are wearing an outfit that is tight it might be a bit trickier to give your baby access to your breast when hungry, especially if you are out. Choose clothes that you feel comfortable in and that can give your baby easy access when hungry.
Stay positive! Even if you get glares and stares, smile back! You are doing the right thing here for your baby. Prepare a response should someone approach you and ask you to breastfeed in the washroom, our favorite one is “No thank you, we do not eat in bathrooms!”
Today at the Organic Baby Food Shop we want to thank all of those amazing breastfeeding women that are doing so in public, not only is this great for you and your baby, but you are also helping future moms do the same! Happy free feeding everyone :)
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