Nursing in Public (NIP)

A lot of people tell me that they find breastfeeding impractical and inconvenient. I find this odd, as there can be few things less convenient than having your baby feeding apparatus ready at anytime for your child to latch onto!

However, I get that nursing in public is a hurdle that most people can't get over, so here are some tips from my experience through the years:

  • Use nursing wear or improvise on your own wardrobe to make them breastfeeding-friendly. One way to do this (short of actually cutting open your clothes), is to layer a tank top underneath another top. Pull the outer layer up, and the inner layer down, and you've got a make-shift nursing outfit. You can also do this vice versa if the outer layer is more low-cut than the inner layer. Wearing a nursing tank under a cardigan is also discreet - just pull the cardigan to hide any boobage you don't want seen.
  • Invest in a good, supportive, easy-to-unclasp nursing bra or just wear a strapless bra. Now, I've had it pretty lucky in this department - my boobs did not gain much weight in the years I've been breastfeeding, so I can use my old strapless bras. Unfortunately, its very hard to find nursing bras in my size so I only use the ones from La Leche League, but you can find all kinds of brands here in Malaysia. If possible, try them out first so that you can decide if its suitable for you or not. Apparently, you can also convert your normal bras into nursing bras, as demonstrated here. I'm planning to try that soon.
  • If you're using a sling, you can breastfeed your child in the sling, or use it as a cover-up even if you're not actually wearing your child. Speaking of cover-up, a lot of people use nursing covers. I have nothing against them (I even have one myself), but the truth is that although it covers you up physically, its not exactly "discreet". Its like wearing a sign above your head saying "I AM NURSING MY CHILD HERE".
  • Be confident. If you are overly conscious about whether people can see your boobs, you might start adjusting too much and inadvertently reveal that which you did not want to reveal. I should also mention, your baby can tell when you're nervous or uncomfortable, which will likely annoy or confuse them. If you're too stressed out, it can even inhibit your letdown. So, just act like you would in the privacy of your own home. The key, I suppose, is to practice a lot at home first.
Also keep in mind that sometimes the general public may get more than what they bargained for. I once accidentally flashed some people walking past a sushi restaurant, but that was while I was putting my baby in a sling (I didn't realize my nursing bra's drop cup was still...err...dropped, and my nursing top decided to open up at just that moment). They just turned away, I just blushed, and the moment was over and done with. No big deal!

If you're doing it right, people won't even notice you're nursing. And if they do, its up to them if they want to turn their head away. You are feeding your child - if they find it obscene, they are the ones with the problem, not you!

There is so much more I can say about NIP (nursing in public), but that's all I've got for now. Here are a couple of other links with tips for NIP:
Rules of the Road: Tips for Nursing Discreetly and Publicly
NIP tips by HoboMama

I really hope these tips help you in gaining confidence in nursing your child whenever and wherever!


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  2. i so agree with you! alhamdulillah i hv no probs in NIP! ;)

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