Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

In the last two days I have nursed my baby while sitting on the floor at the Vancouver Aquarium, among the amphibian display, and the next day while perching on a display table beneath a leopard print thong at H+M. When my boy wants to nurse he is ready like now and quite dislikes the idea of waiting.

I have found it easy enough to just find a quiet spot and feed my hungry son. No excess blankets or drapes just my baby snuggled in my lap. I've found that after 10 months of nursing the whole process is pretty efficient and simple and there is no flashes of body parts or stress. It is all quite efficient and discrete and the two of us have our routine down pat.

I have nursed my baby all over the city and feel pretty confident breastfeeding public. I learned how to nurse with ease and comfort from watching my oldest sister nurse her little babies. There are some tricks to feeling calm and it took me a few weeks into Ben's life to get there. By the time he was 5 weeks old things were starting to feel easier and of course nursing an older baby is easier than nursing a little newborn. At least that was my experience!

So, here you go! A few tips from Mama in the City for feeling totally awesome while nursing your sweet baby in public:

1. As you wander the city your baby needs to nurse now! Find a hotel that has a large lobby with a scattering of armchairs. This is most larger hotel chains or even boutique hotels too. I have nursed Ben many times at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel downtown. It is excellent for this and especially so as it is connected to Caffe Artigiano! On the same floor as the cafe there is clusters of lush armchairs and tables. No one is ever hanging there because it is not the main lobby floor. You can shuffle the chairs to tilt away from any potential walk by traffic. I have nursed here many times and it is really perfect.

2. Wear a tank top and a loose sweater so when you lift up your tank to nurse the sweater will cover your side. I find that if I crunch down and put my shoulders closer to my lap you can cover up everything.

3. Cross your legs. You are a lady after all! Kidding! Crossing your legs brings your baby closer to you so you don't strain your arms trying to hold all their weight and worry your boob will flop into the public if your arms give out. This is a tip I learned from my sis. Thanks sis! It also creates less space for any tummy skin to flash.

4. Don't look down at your little one as he has his dinner. For some reason staring down at your baby nursing draws other people to do the same. They follow what you are looking at so keep your head up and look around. If someone walks by and you feel uncomfortable just smile or catch their eyes. Cause your nice? No because they won't really take in the fact your nursing but respond with a stare at your weird smile or smile back. Trust me! Try this one out.

5. If you are known to leak milk from the other side while you nurse ,and don't have any nursing pads on, my friend taught me to lift up the other side of your shirt while you nurse. Just shift your shirt away from your breast. This way if you do happen to leak the spot won't be directly over your boob and be super obvious while it dries. Instead it will be lower and shifted away. Thanks for this tip Bal!

6. Hang out with friends who support your breastfeeding and understand how it can be overwhelming at first. I had a few great friends who were so cool with helping me find a good spot to nurse Ben when he was just learning to latch. Some were not mamas but they were good friends.

So, do you have any tips for feeling totally awesome and relaxed while nursing out and about? Did you feel that nursing in public wasn't for you? I am interested! I have nursed hundreds of time out in public in the city and have only ever received kind smiles from the people who have noticed. Have you had other experiences?


Maria said...

Wow Mama in the city you have some good tips to give. i guess you must know some stuff from your work and from being a mom. i always felt a big nervous nursing in public but just got over it cause you have to. i think breast feeding is so good for our babies and glad to see a hip mama promoting it. thanks!


July 12, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
mama duck said...

andrea! you rule! it took me three babies to get to where you got in one! I love it that you feel awesome when you nurse. How long do you hope to nurse for? love erin

July 12, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Thanks Mama Duck! I have to say that I really do love nursing. I find it simplistic and rewarding and I love that calm chilled time cuddling with him. He is such a busy baby that it is so nice! I plan to do the full 12 months as recommended and will see what happens from there. How about you?

July 13, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Thanks for the note Maria! Nice to have readers comment!

July 13, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Amy said...

You really rock Andrea, one hip mom for sure. I like that you are so carefree and I agree with those tips. I guess the best thing is to have a sense of humor in motherhood and in life too.

July 14, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Bal said...

you rock Andrea!! you make motherhood look fun and easy!! i can't believe you remebered that tip:) nice to share it with other moms:)

July 16, 2009 at 9:45 PM  

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