Many mothers feel perfectly relaxed and comfortable nursing in public - as they certainly should! If you find that you are occasionally self-conscious or not relaxed doing so, here are 5 tips to help:
1. People will take their cues from you. Smile, look down at your nursling while you are lifting up (moving over, or whatever the case may be) your clothing to access your breast, and focus on what you are doing and how good you feel doing it. Do not worry if your skin is showing, or if your child's squirming exposes you - remember that you are feeding your baby in the way nature intended, and creating a beautiful bond. When you feel good about what you are doing and reflect that, people respond in kind.
2. Know your rights. Breastfeeding in public is legal now in all 50 states (though it is unfortunate that legislation is needed for this!) and you have a right to breastfeed anywhere. Knowing this should help reinforce your confidence.
3. Find a good spot to feed. Some nurslings get more distracted than others, and this changes as your child ages. If your little one is easily distracted, you will feel more comfortable for example, nursing in a quiet side table of a restaurant instead of in the center or entry where there are crowds, or people are coming in and out.
4. Remember that when you nurse in public, you make it more normative to do so, making it easier for ALL moms and nurslings - and healthier for society in general. Know that you are part of a greater whole of nursing moms, babies, families, and a society that will all be healthier when nursing in public is not at all atypical - this should help you feel comfortable and empowered nursing in public.
5. Dress for it. Buy yourself some beautiful tops and dresses that are designed for nursing, with easy-access, to make you feel beautiful, and also make quick access on the go so much easier.