Re-entering the world as a breastfeeding mom

Re-entering the world as a breastfeeding mom

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You’ve had your baby. You’ve passed through those first few days and weeks of breast feeding and are now confident that your gorgeous newborn has happily latched on. As you emerge from that newborn bubble, you are beginning to look around at the world again and realise that perhaps it is time to venture out, meet other mom friends, and start to introduce the world to your baby, and your baby to the world.

However, when you’re in that bubble at home, breastfeeding is a simple action. As soon as you leave the confines of your own four walls, you set yourself up for judgement, inconvenience and discomfort. A little forward planning and preparation can make all the difference to having a satisfactory and stress free time out with friends, and feeling awkward and stressed and heading for home.

As a result, we have prepared a practical guide to what you need to prepare for when heading out into the world with your newborn for the first time, when you are breastfeeding. Don’t forget, breastfeeding is really the cheapest and most convenient of ways to feed your child. What you don’t have to worry about is packing sterilised bottles, portioning out powder, and lugging them around with you. You have everything you need, all the time.

Check on the venue if there are any feeding rooms

You will probably gravitate towards cafes and meeting venues which naturally cater to moms and toddlers anyway, but if in doubt do checkout their websites to see if they have any policies around being breast feeding friendly, or if there are any specific facilities that might allow you to feed in a more private environment.

There are laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in a public place, and you have the right to breastfeed your baby wherever and whenever your child is hungry. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process more comfortable for yourself and for those around you.

Dress for convenience

The last thing you want to do is to restrict access by awkward, button upped clothing that requires time and effort to undo. Often this process is accompanied by your baby crying because it is hungry, adding to the overall sense of stress and unwanted attention.

A breast-feeding friendly wardrobe consists of comfortable and convenient clothing that allows for easy access to your breasts. This could include nursing bras, tops, or dresses with discreet openings. Even at the swimming pool a fuller bust swimming costume will ensure that you could quickly and discreetly feed your child without encouraging unwanted attention from others.

Often a shawl or piece of muslin will also act as any additional form of protection, keeping yourself from being exposed if your baby is being grisly or fussy. Maintaining an element of modesty and decorum will help you maintain an overall feeling of calm and serenity.

Seek out a supportive network

There are probably hundreds of women just like you in the community in which you live, and reaching out to like minded mothers who are experiencing the same challenges as you will give you that sense of empathy and belonging that will make you feel more comfortable as you navigate this now landscape in which you are no longer one, but two.

There is safety in numbers – and these women are probably going to be with you throughout your child’s life, and beyond, as you pass through each stage of parenthood.

Take care of yourself!

Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet to support your milk supply and your own energy levels. You’ve probably not been out and about for a while, so your energy levels may not be as robust and resilient as you’re previously used to. Feeding your child while out and about may deplete our own stores, so be sure to replenish them.