Sunday, October 18, 2009

Breast vs. Bottle: Part II-- Tips

If you read Part I (13 Reasons to Breast Feed) of this 2-part series, you already know why it is important to breast feed your infant. Keep in mind that if YOU eat healthy, so too will baby, if you choose to nurse her. Now let's talk a little about how--some tips to make it a bit easier for the first timer.

We've all heard the stories about moms being asked to leave restaurants because someone noticed they were breast feeding their infant. It was bound to happen. Some people simply do not view breast feeding as the natural way to feed a baby. I sometimes wonder what these individuals would do if stranded on a remote island like Claire, in the hit TV series, LOST.

It is not that I begrudge these people their opinion. And perhaps some of these mothers are not as modest as they might be. The trick is to feed your infant so subtly that no one even notices what you are doing. Yes! It can be done.

When I was breast feeding my 3 babies, back in the dark ages if you ask them, a plan fell into place that worked its magic to allow me to avoid these problems. This is no big secret, mind you. There are plenty of other women who use these techniques to nurse in public. Just this weekend I witnessed two moms nursing in a restaurant, that I quickly figured out were not noticed by my companions.  Here's a few tips to make it work for you:
  • Always carry a large baby blanket or scarf in your bag, to be used to cover you and baby during baby’s mealtime.
  • Request a table in the back corner of the restaurant. In this way, you will be able to sit with your back to the rest of the patrons, while nursing. 
  • Wearing a loose-fitting top or one that easily opens in the front will make preparation easy, once the baby blanket and your infant are in position. 
  • One final tip. If you concentrate your eye contact on something other than the baby, your line of sight toward a book, TV or neighborly conversation will give the impression that baby is simply sleeping with a blanket over him. 
I cannot tell you how many times I gave an order to a waiter or had a conversation with someone on an airplane, all the while nursing my child. The person with whom I was talking hardly seemed to know what I was doing.

I still remember a gentleman on one flight saying something about how nice it was that I could keep the reading light out of the baby’s eyes while she slept. I did not tell him my secret, but merely nodded and returned to my reading.

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