Sandy Clark, who breastfed her twins for 28 months, is a huge advocate of the health benefits, for both mom and baby, of breastfeeding.
As Breastfeeding Awareness Month approaches, many moms feel they cannot leave home when they are breastfeeding due to public scrutiny. Clark wants to send the message to moms to get out and follow these three tips when breastfeeding in public.
“It matters not whether you’re shy and require privacy while nursing or simply don’t care who sees what,” said Clark. “The point is ... Just Do It. Don’t become a captive in your own home because you’re nursing every two hours around the clock. Get outside. Go to the beach, the mall, the park, birthday parties, Starbucks with a girlfriend, invitations to lunch. Do whatever it takes to make it happen for yourself and your baby. Having said that, I completely understand shyness when it comes to public breastfeeding (I needed complete discretion under a blanket while I nursed in public or even in front of friends in my own home). If that is the case, then consider something that offers discretion, like the San Diego Bebe(R) Eco-Nursing Pillow with built-in Privacy Cover(TM) rather than forego your nursing routine.”
Here are three breastfeeding tips when nursing in public:
1. Latch before you launch: Make sure mom and baby are both comfortable with nursing by practicing at home first. Don’t head out the day after delivery to brave the public eye before doing your homework and having a routine with your baby. Once you’re confident in your nursing skills, head on out! Did you know there’s a national goal to increase breastfeeding for all babies as part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative? Just think, by breastfeeding your baby in public, you’ll be contributing to normalizing breastfeeding for all new mothers!
2. Learn where it’s legal: Whether or not breastfeeding in public is legal really depends on where you live. In the US, 45 states have laws that allow breastfeeding in any public location. However, 28 states consider breastfeeding in public as breaking indecency laws. Check out the list of corresponding statutes at the National Conference of State Legislature website.
3. Go public with pride: Focus on your baby and don’t mind the onlookers. Be confident and proud of the most important decision a mother can make by offering the purest and best nutrition possible for her baby. Do it with conviction and smile.