While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed baby, many mothers feel nervous about feeding in public. In fact, a recent study by Lansinoh, who has been supporting breastfeeding mums for over 35 years, found that three quarters of mums feel more cautious about breastfeeding in public, as a direct result of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions.
To help mums feel more confident about breastfeeding in public, particularly post-lockdown, Lansinoh has teamed up with midwife and antenatal educator, Marley Hall, who shares her top tips for new mums. You may want to refer some of your customers to the following tips if they ask you anything about breastfeeding…
Go out with a breastfeeding mum
Now that lockdown measures allow mums meet up with several people outside their household, they could try going out with a friend who is also breastfeeding. As the saying goes, there’s ‘safety in numbers’, and being with another breastfeeding mum can help to give the confidence to mum to feed her little one in public for the first time.
Alternatively, if she don’t have any breastfeeding friends living nearby, you could suggest she visit a local baby-friendly café, where there’s more chance of being around other breastfeeding mums.
Knowing mum's rights
Many new mums who have given birth in the months since March will have never breastfed their child in public before. So it’s important for them to understand their rights.
The UK law gives mums the right to breastfeed their babies in any public place, such as shops, hotels and restaurants. Mums are also covered by the law to feed in cinemas, theatres, petrol stations, and hospitals.
Planning what to wear
Mums should make sure their clothing is as comfortable as possible, whilst also being easily accessible. Planning what to wear beforehand can make breastfeeding in public much more convenient, and also a lot more discrete for any mums feeling slightly nervous.
Tops and dresses with buttons or zips, wrap cardigans and stretchy tops, which can easily be pull down and back up again. A good breastfeeding bra with clips can also help to make breastfeeding easier.
Drinks on hand
When mum is out and about, it is important to have a drink and snacks handy. Breastfeeding can be thirsty work and there’s nothing worse than being thirsty or hungry when not in close proximity to a shop.
If mum is questioned...
While it’s extremely unlikely that anyone will question a mum for breastfeeding in public, this can often be a cause of worry for mums who have yet to breastfeed in public. By having a response prepared, mum can then feel more confident knowing that she has a plan for dealing with the hypothetical scenario.
Practice makes perfect
A good latch is vital for achieving a smooth breastfeeding experience, and this comes down to practise. Finding a comfortable position for both mum and baby will help to ensure that they are getting enough breastmilk and prevent sore nipples.
Some mums prefer to raise their baby to breast height, whilst other mums prefer to hold their babies diagonally across their bodies. Its all about what is best for mum