One of the big challenges that comes with being a new mum is getting back to your normal life after birth. Going to restaurants, spending time with friends and even running errands becomes a little trickier when you have a hungry baby on your hip.
The good news is that you always have the right to breastfeed your baby in public in Australia. But that doesn’t automatically mean you’re comfortable feeding your baby in public spaces.
To put you at ease, we’re going to look at some of our best tips for breastfeeding in public and give you the confidence to get out and about!
5 Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
1. Know your rights
Breastfeeding in public is a protected right in Australia.
Feeding your baby is a normal part of everyday life. The Australian Government recognises that, which is why you have the right to breastfeed anywhere that you are legally allowed to be.
This means you can breastfeed in public places. You can breastfeed in public gathering places (such as restaurants and shopping centres). And you can breastfeed or pump milk at work.
You cannot be asked to leave places like restaurants or cafes just because you are breastfeeding.
2. Practise in front of the mirror
So, you have the right to breastfeed in public. That doesn’t automatically mean you’re comfortable with it.
The big challenge for some mums is staying modest while feeding. Pulling your neckline down could expose lots of skin, which isn’t always ideal. And it’s especially tricky to stay covered when you’re balancing a baby in your arms at the same time!
One simple thing you can do is practise in front of the mirror. Next time your baby is hungry, sit by a mirror and get comfortable with adjusting yourself and your clothing. This will also give you an idea of how much others can see, which is great for peace of mind.
3. Opt for an outfit that’s breastfeeding friendly
There are tonnes of options for pregnancy clothing on the market, but did you know there are options for breastfeeding mums too?
Breastfeeding clothing is specially designed to give you easy access at feeding times. This is usually done with cleverly concealed zips or flaps that can be opened without exposing more skin than you want to.
It’s likely that you’ll breastfeed your baby for the first 2 years of their life. Investing in a few pieces of clothing you can wear is an easy way to make sure you’re always comfortable (and looking good!) at feeding times.
If you’re buying clothes then consider choosing items you can wear beyond breastfeeding. That way, your beautiful new clothes will get plenty of use, and you can continue wearing them even after your baby is grown!
4. Research ahead of time
It never hurts to have a plan.
What will you do if your baby gets hungry? Is there anywhere to sit? How comfortable are you with breastfeeding in public, or should you look for a parents’ bathroom?
You probably can't do this much research for every venue you visit. But if there’s somewhere you go regularly – like a shopping centre, or neighbourhood cafe – it’s easy to scope out the situation and make a plan.
Remember – you have the right to breastfeed in Australia, including on private property (such as restaurants and cafes). You aren’t required to leave a venue if you need to feed your little one, but knowing the nearest quiet spot is good if you aren’t comfortable feeding in public.
5. Don’t be afraid to bring a breastfeeding cover
Breastfeeding covers are a tried and true solution!
A scarf or a light towel is all you need to get a little modesty when you’re breastfeeding in public. While you’re still nursing bub, it’s a good idea to have one or two feeding covers tucked away – one in the nappy bag, one in the car and one in your handbag.
Keeping a few breastfeeding covers means you’ll always have one nearby if you want extra coverage. That’s especially useful if your outfit wasn’t really designed for feeding time!
Get Comfortable Breastfeeding in Public with Clothing from Mad House Mums!
As Australians, we’re lucky to have the right to breastfeed in public. That makes it much easier to take bub out without having to worry about every feeding! If you’re looking for a bit of modesty and a lot of convenience though, having the right breastfeeding clothing can make all the difference.
Mad House Mums offers a range of specially designed breastfeeding clothing in Australia! Our clothes are all about giving new mums the confidence to feed bub, anywhere, any time.
We do that by including a discreet side zip in our clothes. The zip gives you easy access for feeding, but it’s hidden away the rest of the time, so your outfit won’t scream “I’m a breastfeeding mum!”
We’ve got a whole range of breastfeeding clothes. They were designed by mums, for mums, and we only use the softest and comfiest fabrics we can find. Whether you’re hanging around the house, running errands or heading out for date night, we’ve got you covered.
Explore the range online, or chat to us if you have any questions!