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Breastfeeding out and about

Breastfeeding is so convenient when you are out and about with your baby. You can shop and meet friends with your breastfeeding baby. There is very little to organise for trips, just bring a nappy change.

Since breastfeeding often looks like just cuddling a baby most people don't notice it. Wearing a top that lifts to let your baby feed will help you to feed discretely. Some mothers like to drape a scarf over their shoulder while feeding.

You are entitled to breastfeed in public places and you don't have to ask. Some places may offer a private area if you would like this, but you do not have to use it.

Your baby can look for food or comfort anywhere and at anytime. Feel free to offer your baby a breastfeed whenever and wherever he or she needs it.

When out and about remember:

Breastfeeding when out and about

  • You don't have to ask to breastfeed. You can breastfeed anywhere you and your baby want or need to.
  • Make it easier for yourself by wearing trousers or a skirt with a jumper, sweatshirt or T-shirt that can be pulled up from the waist. If possible wear a maternity bra that can be opened from the front with one hand.
  • Feed early. Don't wait until your baby gets too hungry or distressed, that way you'll both be more relaxed and feeding will go more smoothly.

Breastfeeding offers comfort as well as food, that's why breastfed babies are generally more easily settled.

To help build your confidence:

  • If you feel unsure about breastfeeding outside home bring your partner or a friend along for support until you become more confident.
  • You may want to choose a seat in a quiet corner where you can turn your back to the room, or you could  consider putting a shawl or baby blanket over your shoulder and baby.
  • Find out if there are any restaurants, shopping centres, hotels or other places in your area that particularly welcome breastfeeding mothers. The numbers of these are growing, as more and more mothers in Ireland are breastfeeding.
  • If you would prefer more privacy, ask if the restaurant, hotel or shopping centre has a private feeding room (not a toilet area) available for your use.

Breastfeeding makes it easy to go anywhere with your baby, particularly when you are travelling by car, bus, train or air. You don't have to carry feeding equipment or worry about keeping bottles fresh and germ free.

Take advantage of the freedom breastfeeding gives you by getting out and about or visiting friends and family.


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