If you plan to breastfeed, you should be prepared to face a lot of challenges. Although you may already be concerned about the actual act of breastfeeding and whether or not it will hurt – a few other issues are awaiting your discovery. Once you will have your baby, get some breastfeeding experience under your belt, and are finally ready to take your baby out in public – you may encounter new issues that you may not have thought of yet.
The first time you will have to nurse in public may be a bit challenging. First, it is a very private and personal thing that isn’t always the most comfortable for brand new moms. Your best bet is to buy a few nursing clothes with easy access for breastfeeding and find a semi-private area, like a park, a booth at the restaurant, or a changing room at a store, to nurse your little one discretely.
After a couple of times, you will find the best places to nurse and what nursing clothes may work best for breastfeeding out in public, like a nursing top or apron). Also, you will quickly learn whether or not you even feel comfortable with the whole experience of nursing in public. If you discover that it’s too uncomfortable for you – you can always pump and bring a bottle with you when you are out of the comfort of your own home.
If you choose to breastfeed in public, the one thing you cannot control is people’s reactions – so be prepared for anything. Some moms may nod at you as if you shared something in common; some people will gaze with disapproval or make a comment or even ask you to go somewhere else. You should know your breastfeeding rights so you don’t feel threatened. Even though breastfeeding in public is legal, not everyone knows it, which may lead to complaints. If you experience discrimination when breastfeeding in public or have problems at the workplace, you can report it to the nearest police station.
‘How long are you planning to breastfeed?’ is a prevalent question people tend to ask during this stage of your life. As if you can predict if nursing will work out for you as well as for your newborn, or somehow you have foresight as to how long your body will produce milk. What is more challenging is when the questions are geared towards the judgment of your choices in breastfeeding. There will be someone who will judge you for nursing for too long, explaining to psychological implications of the act. But, at the same time, another will judge you for the exact opposite, grilling you for not providing those very needed neutrinos for long enough.
You may think this is an exaggeration. Hopefully, it will be in your case, and you will not experience any of these or other unpleasant incidents. But just in case, be aware, maybe even prepared with an answer, and don’t take anything to heart. You are doing the best for your baby, whatever your choice is.