Just a quick note about breastfeeding in public. Last night, I was out for dinner with Marto and some of his colleagues in a restaurant which doesn’t take bookings, so we had to wait in the bar. Pip was asleep in her sling when I arrived but as per her routine expected to eat when she woke up. We were still standing up and so I had to feed her standing up, in a group of men. I found that wearing a jacket helps making feeding more discreet, and I simply turned away from the conversation towards the wall to get her latched on and then used my hand to stroke her head to make sure that no-one could see anything. I don’t think any of the party even noticed that I was feeding.
We then ate supper at high chairs at a high table, and I had to feed her again during the meal. It was a loud restaurant, so her little shout before feeding again couldn’t even be heard over the buzz. (the restaurant were so lovely – they cooed over her and even cleared a space on a table in their office to allow us to change Pip’s nappy as the loo didn’t have any kind of flat surface).
My tips for feeding comfortably in public include making sure you have a bra on which you can easily undo with one hand and which covers up a fair amount still when undone. My favourite comes from Topshop of all places. I like it for several reasons. First, when it is undone, it has fabric around both sides of the nipple, so when Pip is feeding all you can see is bra, not skin. Secondly, it is sort of frilly and less teenage or ‘practical’ looking than many others. It is see through (the one reviewer on the website found this an issue) but when feeding you wear breast pads which resolve that issue, if you find that an issue at all. I also liked that it came with matching pants which are much more towards sexy than any other maternity pants. I bought several pairs and have the set in two different colours. My other tips include wearing a vest which you can either lift up comfortably or pull down (I often wear the JoJoMamanBebe nursing vests in black which are plain and can be undone, either with or without a bra underneath). In the bar, I pulled up my vest which I was wearing underneath a buttoned shirt so I wasn’t revealing my tummy either. With a jacket/blazer, you can kind of tuck the babies head behind the jacket as well, which adds to the discreetness.
I would also recommend wearing buttoned items that you can easily undo with one hand. I learnt the hard way that struggling to undo buttons with a shouty baby is a fast way to getting stressed. If I’m not wearing something with buttons, I try and wear something that is quite soft and loose which will lift up easily. Cos jersey tops seem to work well, teamed with a cardigan, or tshirts with low enough v fronts that they can be pulled down.