Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
Guess what? It’s still World Breastfeeding Week (always the first week in August), so I thought I would break down some casual rules for nursing in public (NIPing). Obviously, the last thing you want to do is offend anyone with your milk-filled breasts, so it’s good to go into this endeavor with eyes wide open.
- Always have a cover available – You never know when someone may accuse you of indecent exposure when trying to feed your baby. Always have a cover handy, such as a receiving blanket or flexible car seat cover. If a stranger becomes uncomfortable, you can give this to them to place over their own head. The goal is to be accommodating, so if you’ve forgotten any kind of cover, kindly suggest that they close their eyes.
- Loudly announce that you’re only breastfeeding, not seducing – Before you begin to feed your baby, announce to any other people in the vicinity that you’re getting out your nipple explicitly for feeding your baby. Some people get confused and might think you’re trying to lure husbands to their deaths, like a siren. Let everyone know you aren’t homewrecking, just NIPing.
- Give staring strangers frequent updates – If someone is looking in your direction, they must want to know more about NIPing and how your baby is doing. Turn to the gawking stranger and let them know whether your nipples are still sensitive or not and how well the baby is latching today. Feel free to talk about other details liked any clogged ducts you’ve been struggling with and how smelly breastmilk poops are. If they’re staring, they must want to know everything about your breastfeeding journey.
- Always offer to share – If someone is really in your business, such as standing too close for your personal comfort yet demanding that you stop breastfeeding, or still staring and not engaging in conversation, offer to share. They must want some breastmilk for themselves and are too shy to ask. Squirt some in their direction as an open invitation. You can always arrange to bring pumped milk later.
NIPing can certainly be daunting, but with these tips, you should have no problems whatsoever. It can be daring to offer your baby the food and comfort they crave while in public, but you can move forward with full confidence. Breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of or worried about, but sometimes full disclosure for the general public is necessary to avoid confusion. Good luck breastfeeding in public and have fun!