When my eldest son, Liam, was born, I decided to breastfeed. What I didn’t know is that it would feel as if I needed a master’s degree to learn how to do it properly. I had a tough time. In those first few days of figuring it out, I would literally break into cold sweats before feeding my screaming, red faced baby. Those early days were long and the nights late, but I didn’t want to give up. My mom encouraged me to check out a breastfeeding support group; it was there that I met some of my dearest friends.
We formed what we all affectionately refer to as “The Boob Group.” The power of those women gave me the courage to nurse discreetly in public, as opposed to hiding in my apartment. Without their encouragement and advice, I would not have been brave enough to do it. I armed myself with some nursing accessories and hit the streets of NYC. Here are a few of my favorite finds:
The Hooter Hider (gotta love the name) is the perfect nursing coverup. The boning at the top keeps the neckline open, allowing you to maintain eye contact with your baby. The cotton is airy enough for ventilation to keep the baby cool. These coverups make flashing at a park bench a non issue.
I loved the Glamourmom nursing tanks. They have a built-in nursing bra with excellent support. The tanks are long enough, so they cover the postpartum tummy. Genius!
I had every color of the Bravado Silk Seamless bra, and I found the Medela Seamless Softcup bra to be super comfy. I wore a lot of white button down shirts. I would simply unbutton from the top down. So easy! If you do decide to breastfeed your baby, The Nursing Mother’s Companion is a handy book to have on your bedside table.
I leave you with this, if you’re still feeling nervous or shy, “fake it till you make it”—you will build confidence the more you practice in public. Breastfeeding in public can be controversial; not everyone is comfortable with it, but rest assured, most states have laws that protect your rights to breastfeed. If you want to find out what the rule is where you live, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures.