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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.