Feeling self conscious about breast-feeding in public? Try nursing tops and these top tips!Author: LydiaDodd
Nursing your baby will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. While the choice between breast milk or formula is an extremely personal one, the bottom line is your milk is custom-made to suit the nutritional needs of your baby. A powdered dairy formula will have the same levels of nutrients during every meal, whereas breast milk will balance the content as your baby grows. There is a reason why baby milk formulation companies work to try and match breast milk standard, after all.
Despite this, a study by Mother & Baby magazine has shown disappointing figures. While 84% of new mums begin breastfeeding in Spain, 91% in Italy and 99% in Norway, just 78% of mums in the UK do the same. The reasons behind these figures are dominated by anxiousness and diffidence. 60% of respondents thought the UK frowns upon breastfeeding mums, and 65% of women claimed they felt too self-conscious to even try.
Feeling self conscious?
This is the 21st century, and new mums need to remember that breastfeeding is completely accepted. Of course, it's natural to feel self conscious when nursing in public (or even in private) at first, but after the first few times your confidence will grow. There's no reason your baby should miss out. There is new clothing available which makes nursing a doddle, for even the most modest mummies.
It isn't always practical to return to your car to feed your baby when out and about, and public toilets are notoriously unhygienic. Many find pumps, although convenient, uncomfortable or unsuitable. The easiest way to protect your modesty in public is to wear a breastfeeding top.
Beautifully designed nursing tops allow you to feed your baby when most convenient, while giving you extra privacy. Feeding tops are available in vest, t-shirt or wrap styles and with long and short sleeves. They look like stylish everyday tops, but contain hidden openings which give quick and easy access from the neckline, empire line or drop cup.
It's worth bearing in mind that maternity feeding tops aren't limited to the nursing stages; they can be worn during pregnancy too. The natural fabrics are comfortable and breathable, and stretchy materials grow with your bump – pinging back into shape when you do! Combination maternity/nursing wear makes pregnancy clothing far more cost-effective.
So if are worried about breastfeeding in public, don't let your shyness affect your baby's meals. Breastfeeding tops offer you complete privacy - in style!
A Beautiful Mummy offer a huge range of maternity and nursing tops, as well as other nursing and maternity clothing and accessories. Browse clothing by top brands like Mothers en Vogue, Annee Matthew Nursing Wear and Ripe Maternity in their online boutique. Click here
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How to Feel Confident Breastfeeding in PublicAuthor: Kirsten Baxter
Breast milk is the ideal baby food, and many new mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. Breastfeeding has all the nutrients your baby needs to thrive for the first six months of life, and research shows breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and baby. The best preparation for breastfeeding is good information – the more support and encouragement you have during the early days, the more likely you are to succeed in breastfeeding for as long as you choose. Breastfeeding works best when mums are feeling relaxed, so it’s important that you feel at ease nursing when away from home so you can enjoy being out in the world with your nursling.
When you have a baby you will find you spend a lot of time out of the house meeting up with friends, clinic appointments, baby activity classes and playgroups. Feeling that you have to hide away to nurse your baby will make it difficult to go out and breastfeed whenever your baby demands. It is very natural to feel a little hesitant about nursing in public, particularly when you have a hungry baby ready for a feed and you’re not used to using a nursing bra! The key to breastfeeding your baby whilst out is to practice feeding at home in the early days, until you feel comfortable and confident that you can settle your baby for a feed fairly quickly. Meeting up with other breastfeeding women, perhaps through an postnatal class or NCT group, gives you the support of other nursing mums, before trying trips out on your own. In the early days you might also feel more confident going out with someone who boosts your confidence like your partner, mum or a friend.
Many new mums use a muslin cloth, shawl or pashmina to provide extra cover whilst they are breastfeeding in public. Nursing covers are especially popular in the USA, and are quickly becoming an essential for nursing mothers in the UK too. Whether you prefer a patterned or plain cover, cotton or jersey fabric, a traditional “apron” cover or a poncho, there are lots of options available. Baby Bubu offer a wide range of traditional covers and modern ponchos, in a gorgeous variety of fabrics and patterns giving you the confidence to feed your baby wherever you like whilst ensuring that you are fully covered whilst doing so. The adjustable necklines of these designs allows you to maintain eye contact with baby as you feed. Another wonderful new accessory for breastfeeding mothers is the Mamascarf. Designed by a nursing mother, the Mamascarf provides support whilst feeding your baby, as well as ensuring that you are covered as your baby feeds. The Mamascarf folds neatly, is lightweight and can easily be slipped into a bag so you can take it out with you.
There is now some wonderful nursingwear available for new mums. Nursing tops offer you quick and easy access to the breast for nursing your little one, whilst keeping your chest, tummy and back covered. Many designs work well during pregnancy and afterwards for nursing, giving you fabulous value for money. These dual purpose tops (“transition clothing”) ensure you look fabulous from your first trimester to your fourth. Well designed nursing tops really help with feeling confident nursing in public. With a little practice you simply pull aside the nursing opening and feed your baby, without anyone being any the wiser. Different tops give different access – from pull over crossover fronts, double layers with vertical nursing openings to simple modesty panels – there is something to suit every nursing mother. Details like ruching and flowing fabric give a flattering fit on post-natal figures. Each type of nursing access has been skilfully designed and the nursing openings in the clothing are well disguised so you really cannot tell they are nursing tops at all.
Confidence is a major factor in ensuring you are able to breastfeed wherever you are. If mothers feel comfortable nursing whenever and wherever they choose, they will breastfeed for longer. Many new mums feel well designed nursingwear and breastfeeding accessories have made a real difference to their experience breastfeeding in front of friends, family and whilst out and about. Stylish nursingwear and accessories helps challenge the perception of breastfeeding as frumpy, and ensures breastfeeding stays fashionable.
The author Kirsten Baxter is Director of UK based online maternity and nursingwear store Bella Mama ( http://www.bellamama.co.uk )
Bella Mama is a stylish Breastfeeding and Maternity clothing boutique offering a fabulous range of stylish maternity and nursing dresses, chic breastfeeding tops, pretty nursing bras, gorgeous baby bags and other accessories.
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