Reality star Kim Kardashian recently made waves when she posted on Twitter about a mom breastfeeding in a restaurant at the table beside her. The June 18th tweet read, "EWW Im at lunch,the woman at the table next 2 me is breast feeding her baby w no coverup then puts baby on the table and changes her diaper."
We agree that changing a diaper at a restaurant table is not kosher, but in most states (42, in fact), breastfeeding isn't just something that women do -- it's a legally-protected right. And for the women doing it, it's not about you -- it's about the baby they are feeding.
Nonetheless, that got us thinking here at SheKnows about how to make the breastfeeding experience a little easier on mom and baby.
Of course you are worried ... but as they say, don't let 'em see you sweat. "Be a nursing Jedi. If you are calm, relaxed and casual, no one will notice you are breastfeeding. If you are acting strangely, panicked because your child is crying, you only draw attention to yourself. The best way is to treat it like it is, the most natural thing in the world," says Kari Erickson-Valenzuela, a mom who nursed everywhere from fancy dinners to airports and owner of Mama Made It, LLC.
If you are worrying about how much you are exposing yourself, then find out -- in a safe place. "Practice at home. Have someone watch you get your baby latched on. You may be surprised to realize that you don't show much skin at all. You can also toss a receiving blanket over your shoulder for when you latch on and then remove it once the baby is covering your skin," says Audrey Ettinger, a mom of two who nursed both kids regularly in public.
Hopefully you never have to deal with it, but sometimes it happens -- someone makes a not-so-nice comment about your breastfeeding in public. Handle it gracefully with a sense of humor. "Sometimes feeding in public can't be helped...so I just arm myself with a sense of humor and a witty or smart retort, depending on what is necessary at the time," says Tamara Komuniecki, a breast-feeding mom and editor-in-chief of the new Delish Mag. "Fact is, we breastfeeding moms can carry all the contraptions in the world invented to cover this function up, but sometimes an errant nipple slip happens and a good thing is to know how to deal with that."
Really, it's up to you whether you want to cover up or not -- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you are among those who are more comfortable when you conceal what you are doing than having the right gear to help is key.
A nursing coverup option is the Bebe au Lait (bebeaulait.com, $35). These clever breastfeeding covers are full enough to ensure that you are always covered, but have an awesome neckline that protrudes out, so that you can always see baby and vice versa. Plus, they come in a variety of pretty fabrics, so you will never feel like a frump.
Want something that doesn't scream NURSING! Check out the cute coverups from Bizzy Babee (bizzybabee.com, $39), which look more like chic wraps. They come in a selection of solid colors.
Other moms swear by having the right sling or wrap to hold baby. The popular Moby Wrap (Mobywrap.com, starts at $39.95) is a flexible, comfortable (for mom and baby!) baby carrier that can be used for nursing on the go. It's discrete and totally functional.
Also check out: Best clothes for breastfeeding in public
Shy about breastfeeding in public? Here's everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
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