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.
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.
When out and about remember:
- You don't have to ask to breastfeed. You can breastfeed anywhere you and your baby want or need to. It is your right.
- 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 nursing 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.
Some mums say they feel a little self conscious breastfeeding out and about the first time, particularly when latching baby on. 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. Since breastfeeding often looks like you are cuddling a baby most people don't notice it.
- Wearing a loose top over a strappy / vest top, you can lift up the outer top and pull down the strappy top. Wearing a nursing bra helps, as you can quickly click it open and latch your baby on. Some mums call this the ‘2 top trick’!
- You could try putting a light scarf or muslin cloth over your shoulder and baby, to give you some privacy while latching baby on or feeding if you’d prefer. As you get more comfortable latching your baby on you won’t need these. Some babies don’t like to be partially covered, so do what works best for you both.
- 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.