Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural act that nurtures both you and your baby. It establishes a deep emotional connection while providing optimal nutrition and immunity for your little one. However, as nursing mothers, we may face challenges when it comes to public breastfeeding or breastfeeding away from home. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of normalizing breastfeeding in public spaces and provide practical tips to help you feel comfortable and empowered while nurturing your baby, no matter where you are.\n\nThe World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Breastfeeding\n\nBefore we jump into tips and tricks for successful public breastfeeding, it’s important to know that you have support along the journey. The World Health Organization (WHO) plays a vital role in promoting breastfeeding as a global public health priority. Recognizing the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding for both breastfed babies and mothers, the WHO actively advocates for the normalization and support of breastfeeding, including public breastfeeding. Here's how the WHO supports and encourages public breastfeeding:\n\nPromoting Exclusive Breastfeeding\n\nThe WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. This means that infants should receive only breast milk, without the introduction of any other liquids or foods. By promoting exclusive breastfeeding, the WHO aims to ensure that infants receive the optimal nutrition, antibodies, and immune protection provided by breast milk, leading to improved health outcomes.\nAdvocating for Breastfeeding-Friendly Environments\nThe WHO also encourages the creation of breastfeeding-friendly environments, including public spaces. It emphasizes the importance of society's support in enabling breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed comfortably and confidently, regardless of their location. By advocating for breastfeeding-friendly environments, the WHO aims to remove barriers and promote acceptance of public breastfeeding as a natural and normal act of a woman breastfeeding.\n\nEstablishing the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)\n\nThe WHO, in collaboration with UNICEF, has implemented the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). The BFHI supports hospitals and healthcare facilities in providing optimal care and support for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. This initiative promotes breastfeeding education for healthcare professionals, encourages skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth, and ensures that breastfeeding support is provided throughout the hospital stay. By creating breastfeeding-supportive hospital environments, the BFHI fosters a positive start to breastfeeding for both mothers and infants.\nThe World Health Organization plays a crucial role in shaping global policies and initiatives that support breastfeeding, including public breastfeeding. By promoting exclusive breastfeeding, advocating for breastfeeding-friendly environments, implementing the BFHI, and highlighting the health benefits of breastfeeding, the WHO works towards creating a world where breastfeeding is supported, protected, and valued.\n3 Tips for Breastfeeding in Public\n\nChoose a Comfortable and Supportive Nursing Bra\nA well-fitting nursing bra is essential for comfortable public breastfeeding. Look for bras specifically designed for nursing moms, as they provide comfort, support, and easy access for breastfeeding. Opt for adjustable straps and breathable fabrics that will help you stay comfortable throughout the day. A comfortable nursing bra not only supports your breasts but also boosts your confidence while nursing in public.\nUse Nursing Covers or Scarves\nIf you prefer added privacy while breastfeeding in public, nursing covers or scarves can be a helpful accessory. These items provide coverage and give you more confidence while nursing your baby. Look for lightweight and breathable options that allow air circulation and ensure your baby's comfort. Practice using them at home before venturing out, so you can feel comfortable and adept at using them in public settings.\n\nConnect with Other Breastfeeding Moms\n\nOne of the best ways to feel confident about breastfeeding in public is to connect with other breastfeeding moms. Join local breastfeeding support groups or online communities where you can share experiences, exchange tips, and receive encouragement. These groups provide a safe space for a breastfeeding woman to discuss challenges, seek advice, and gain insights from experienced nursing moms who have successfully breastfed in public. The support and camaraderie of fellow breastfeeding moms can be empowering and boost your confidence and help you feel comfortable breastfeeding outside the home.\nRemember, each breastfeeding journey is unique, and what works for one mom may not work for another. Experiment with different techniques, positions, and accessories to find what makes you feel most comfortable and confident while public breastfeeding.\nBeing Prepared to Breastfeed Away From Home\nPack a Nursing Bag\nWhen venturing out, it's essential to have a well-prepared nursing bag. Include baby feeding essentials such as nursing pads to prevent leaks, burp cloths to keep you and your baby clean, extra clothes for both of you in case of any accidents, and breastfeeding-friendly accessories like nursing covers or scarves for added privacy. Having these items readily available in your nursing bag ensures that you are prepared and equipped to breastfeed comfortably wherever you go.\nKnow Your Rights and the Law\nFamiliarize yourself with the breastfeeding laws in your area. Understand your rights as a breastfeeding mother to feel confident and empowered while nursing in a public or private location. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has played a crucial role in promoting breastfeeding and ensuring that breastfeeding mothers receive the support they need. It acknowledges the significant health benefits of breastfeeding and strives to create an environment where nursing mothers can breastfeed confidently and receive the necessary resources to support their breastfeeding journeys.\nThe ACA also includes provisions that support breastfeeding in the workplace. Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable break times and a private space, other than a bathroom, for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The space must be shielded from view and intrusion, and have access to a working electrical outlet to plug in the pump. The Federal statute covers mothers for one year after the birth of the baby. This support enables working mothers to continue breastfeeding even after returning to work, ensuring that their babies receive the benefits of breast milk. Knowing that you are protected by breastfeeding laws can provide peace of mind and allow you to assert your rights if faced with any challenges or discrimination.\n\nTake Breaks and Express Milk\n\nIn situations where you may need to be away from your baby for an extended period, remember to plan for breaks to express breast milk. Expressing milk ensures that your baby continues to receive the benefits of breastfeeding even when you are not physically present. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can express milk using a breast pump or hand expression techniques. Having expressed milk readily available allows you to maintain your breastfeeding routine even when away from home. If you’re looking for the best way to store expressed breast milk, check out our comprehensive guide to prep you for efficient feedings on-the-go.\nPlan for Breastfeeding-Friendly Spaces\nResearch and identify breastfeeding-friendly spaces in your area. Look for public locations that offer comfortable seating, privacy, and possibly dedicated nursing rooms. Shopping centers, parks, community centers, and breastfeeding-friendly cafes can be great options. Knowing these places in advance allows you to plan your outings with ease, knowing that you have access to suitable locations for breastfeeding.\nCarry Water and Snacks\nBreastfeeding can be thirsty and hungry work. Keep yourself hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go. Staying well-hydrated ensures that you can continue to produce an ample supply of breast milk. To enhance your milk supply while staying hydrated, try adding one of our Milkflow drink mixes to your beverage. That way, you and your little one will get the most out of your feeding session! Additionally, pack nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels up during breastfeeding sessions. Nuts, fruits, granola bars, or lactation cookies can be convenient and nourishing options.\nThe Importance of Being Able to Breastfeed Away From Home\n\nSupport for Breastfeeding Women\n\nBeing able to breastfeed in a public or private location alike is essential for the well-being of both breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Normalizing breastfeeding in public spaces provides crucial support and acceptance for nursing moms. When society acknowledges and embraces the act of breastfeeding in a public or private location, it creates an environment where breastfeeding mothers feel comfortable, confident, and valued. This support is vital for promoting the overall well-being of breastfeeding moms and fostering a positive breastfeeding experience.\n\nPromoting Infant Health\n\nBreast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for babies, offering numerous health benefits. When breastfeeding moms can comfortably and confidently breastfeed away from home, they can provide their babies with the best possible nutrition, regardless of their location. Breast milk is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of infants, providing essential nutrients, antibodies, and enzymes that support their growth and development. By promoting breastfeeding in a public or private place alike, we contribute to improved infant health and well-being.\nFlexibility and Bonding\nBeing able to breastfeed away from home also allows breastfeeding mothers to maintain a flexible schedule and engage in various activities while nurturing the special bond between breastfeeding moms and their babies.\nCreating Inclusive Spaces\nNormalizing breastfeeding in public spaces helps create inclusive environments where a nursing mother, regardless of her location, can exercise her right to breastfeed. This inclusivity reduces the stigma and barriers faced by breastfeeding moms when they need to nurse their babies outside of their homes. By recognizing and accepting the natural act of breastfeeding, we contribute to a society that values the needs and choices of a breastfeeding mother, fostering a sense of empowerment, confidence, and belonging.\nBreastfeeding in a public or private location should be celebrated and supported. It is a beautiful act that nourishes your baby and strengthens the bond between you both. By normalizing breastfeeding in public spaces, we create a society that will value and encourage breastfeeding mothers. Remember your rights as a breastfeeding mother, connect with support groups, and feel confident in your ability to provide the best for your baby, no matter where you are. Let us continue to promote breastfeeding, share the benefits of breast milk, and create a supportive environment for all nursing mothers. You are doing an incredible job in nourishing your baby and contributing to their long-term health and well-being.