I believe wholeheartedly that breastfeeding is the best form of nourishment for a baby. I don’t believe this just because it’s what I have been blessed to do. The research actually shows that the benefits of breastmilk are astonishing.
I realize that not everyone can nurse their babies and in that situation the next best option must be chosen.
A major consideration for me when nursing in public is modesty.
However, nursing outside the comfort of your home can compromise modesty if you don’t prepare beforehand.
Here are a few tips I’d like to pass on to you to help you feel more comfortable the next time you nurse in public.
Clothing: I buy lots of camis. Specifically, I like the ones from Costco. They aren’t skin tight, are inexpensive and come in great colors. They have a built in bra but I prefer to cut that out. This helps in two ways- 1) You can comfortably wear your own bra and 2) the neckline is much higher without the built in bra and can then be used under low-cut dresses and shirts. I wear a cami under almost everything. I didn’t do this when my first couple of children were born. With them I was always feeling uncomfortable because my back and side were often exposed. With a cami I can lift up my shirt and feel confident that I am being modest.
I love dresses but finding an affordable dress that isn’t specifically a nursing dress means a plunging neckline. Again, a simple cami fixes that problem. The Costco camis can easily be pulled down to nurse. This will expose your breast but with a nursing cover you can remain modest.
I haven’t tried them but I’ve been seeing a lot about Undercover Mama nursing tanks.** They attach to any nursing bra and you instantly have a nursing tank. I’ve read the raving reviews on Amazon but have yet to take the plunge. Have you tried them? Let me know how they really function and fit if you have.
Another great addition to a modest nursing wardrobe is the cardigan. I love cardigans! I have several long sleeved ones (I think I have every color Old Navy sells) but need to boost my short sleeved ones now that the heat is here. The cardigan covers my back and sides while I am nursing.
I just purchased 2 dresses off Zulily; although I have to add clothing to them (cami and cardigan) for my liking, they are super cute and nursing-worthy!
Nursing Cover and Pads: A nursing cover makes it easy to be modest. I remember using a blanket 11 years ago with Haley and boy was that a pain. I have three different brands of nursing covers and really they all work. Get a cheap one and store it in the car or diaper bag so you are never without one.
There is one situation where a nursing cover isn’t going to give you the modesty you desire. This happened to me recently and I was super uncomfortable. At church during worship I needed to nurse Finley. No problem. I put the cover on and began feeding. Then the congregation stood up to sing…I was sitting. The people behind me could have easily looked down and unintentionally seen my exposed breast. Something I would not have wanted and they would have been embarrassed. The neck ribbing is great for looking down to see your baby but during church remember to make adjustments to be discreet.
I am very excited to have a DRIA cover on the way to test out and review for you. It looks amazing and can’t wait to try it out!
Edit: yesterday while watching an informational movie in the visitor’s center at King’s Canyon National Park I nursed modestly without a cover. I personally don’t feel as comfortable in this situation but if your baby is hungry he needs to be fed!
Nursing pads are also a must if you leak. You don’t want to be out in public with a big wet spot on your shirt. Been there, I’m a big leaker.
One of my favorite cloth nursing pads are made by Bamboobies. While the regular pads are cute and thin I actually prefer the thicker overnight pads. I find they stay in place better in my favorite bras. If you wear a nursing bra the regulars will stay in place just fine.
After Finley was born I was gifted a Lucky Mama BoobieBox. What an excellent gift to give a new mom!
Check out the contents:
- Milkmakers lactation cookie
- Undercover Mama nursing tank voucher for $15 off their $25 tanks
- Bamboobies: 1 pair regular and 1 pair overnight pads
- Motherlove nipple balm and diaper rash/thrush ointment samples
- Simple wishes hands-free pumping bra coupon and 5 milk storage bags
- WishGarden Milk Rich Pocket Remedies (Happy Ducts, Milk Rich, Colic Ease) *MY FAVORITE ITEM IN THE BOX!
- Celestial Seasons tea samples and coupon: Metabo Balance and Sleepytime teas
- milk it kit Milk Labels: writeable, waterproof, freezer-safe
- Lucky Mama duo of hair ties
- Milk Money: coupons for mom-invented breastfeeding products worth up to $50
If you do forget the breastpads here’s a trick my sister-in-law’s mother taught me. When letdown occurs apply a firm pressure to the side or front of the breast you aren’t nursing on. Works perfectly for me but if you are prone to plugged ducts I wouldn’t advise this method.
It’s also important to know that most of you actually do have protection to nurse your baby in public.
For specific laws concerning your state check out this link on the National Conference of State Legislatures site.
Here are a few other helpful links:
**referral links are included in this post. please accept my thank you for supporting my family through any purchases you make.