Tuesday, August 25, 2015

For Supermoms: Five Easy Guides To Breastfeeding In Public

Having a child changes one’s perception about many things. I used to say I would opt for a caesarean section as opposed to natural birth because I didn’t want to feel the pain. I also use to say I wouldn’t do exclusive breastfeeding for whatever unimportant reason, but all that was before I got pregnant.

My doctor’s visitations and the several scans I had changed my perception. I developed a great bond with the creature that was growing inside me and all of a sudden, I forgot all I used to think and say. I became focused on being and providing the best for my baby. Breastfeeding was something I embraced after listening to all the goodness that came with, plus it was very much in line with my vow to do the very best of all that was within my power for my child.

It was a month after giving birth to my child when we had our first major outing. We visited a public library for enquiries and also to enjoy a good mother daughter time (that turned out to be a wrong call). I was only just getting familiar with many things like responding to her cries which served as the prompt for many things but most times, was for feeding.  I was told by some older women to try and train her by feeding her at certain hours so she could get easily acquainted to those hours but the medium pitched cry for food in a public library showed I had no success at that gimmick.

It had started raining a few minutes to when she started crying and the crowd seemed to be building up in the library, which served as a shade from the rain too. School children were on a break thereby making the crowd even larger.

Her cries was becoming really embarrassing and I knew I had to find a place to feed her. For the first time, I was confronted with one of the problems nursing mothers face which was how does one breastfeed a child in public?

In some cultures especially in Nigeria, this is not a subject for discourse as nursing mothers can be seen tending to their children in really public places.  But even in places like this, some women still find it hard to publicly breastfeed.

I was shown to the back of the library which was less populated by a security guard. I handled my business but it wasn’t without lessons learnt. For new mums that may find themselves in a situation similar to mine, I suggest;

·         Remember that there are no laws in many countries banning women from publicly breastfeeding, so if you feel comfortable with baring it out, please do. An Argentinian lawmaker did in the parliament house recently and she was lauded for it.

·         There are different nursing clothes and underwear that unhooks easily that makes breastfeeding a whole lot easier. These clothing also cover the major part of a woman’s breast. Get yourself some of these.

·         Express milk in a bottle for when you are out. I resulted to this after that encounter and it worked. I know we were told latching on to the breast while feeding increases the secretion of oxytocin which is the hormone that strengthens the bond between mother and child. But the little moments when it is not comfortable to latch on, a bottle can serve as a good option. Just express the milk and you are good to go.

·         Try and feed your child very well before you leave the house. This can sustain the child for a while and if you are not away from the house for a long period, you might not have to breastfeed outside.

·         It is nothing to be embarrassed about, it is a natural call. If you feel the need to breastfeed in a public place and you don't feel comfortable whipping it all out,then ask the attendants of the place if they have a breastfeeding room or a private place where you can get your business done.Most public places have such places now. 

Do you have other suggestions,kindly share. let us all learn together. Cheers.

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