Breastfeeding. Yep, I’m taking it there. Specifically, breastfeeding in public places. When you’re out and about and you’ve chosen to breastfeed your baby, you will inevitably face the issue of how and where to feed your little one in public. Or, perhaps, it’s not an issue for you (and if that’s the case, hurrah).
I remember very clearly the very first time I had to breastfeed my son, Eden, in public. King (my husband – yes, that’s his real name) and I had gone to a restaurant in north London for lunch. It was opposite a beautiful park we had gone for a walk in which had plenty of open spaces where I would have happily fed my newborn baby without feeling uncharacteristically shy and embarrassed, as the next nearest people were quite a way off.
My baby didn’t need feeding while we were at the park though. He needed feeding at the restaurant. I knew he would and I actually tried to delay going in, saying I’d rather feed him in the car, but King told me not to worry about it, no time like the present etc and, anyway, I could always use my new nursing cover.
The waiter offered us a table in the window – which I abruptly declined and asked to be seated somewhere a little less conspicuous. We found a nice little nook. Everything was fine. Then Eden began to squirm and put his fist in his mouth, which I knew meant we were about to embark on our first experience of breastfeeding in public.
So here it was. The moment had arrived. Out came the nursing cover which I slipped over my head as discreetly as I could, and, with nursing bra clip undone by nervous, fumbling fingers, I fed my son. I could feel that my face was hot. I was trying so hard to look as though everything was normal. Then it hit me: this IS normal. A moment ago, I had a screaming baby to deal with; now he is happy and content as he has his ‘lunch’ and the other diners can dine in peace.
Fast forward to almost one year later and I’m still going strong with breastfeeding, largely due to the fantastic nursing covers I use which make public nursing a no-drama affair. I discovered a small, mama-run nursing cover company called badjily.com (their tag line is “Mam-made in the Lake District” – love it) after initially looking for a Bébé au Lait cover at a reasonable price. Badjily’s covers are the same type as Bébé au Lait’s well-known design, featuring an adjustable strap you place around your neck and a section of curved boning inserted at the neckline which holds the cover away from your body a little, allowing you to see baby and check attachment while you feed and also helps keep baby cool.
They come in a wide range of designs and colours, they’re generously sized so they easily cover you and baby and they even come with a free reminder tag for you to pop on your bra strap to remind you which side you last fed from. AND they’re a fraction of the price of a Bébé au Lait cover at £6.95 each. I bought two and they combine postage. Result.
The only thing that could be improved about these nursing covers is that they are made of a 50/50 cotton mix instead of 100% cotton but they are durable and hardwearing enough to have withstood being shoved repeatedly into my changing bag for a year and still look great after many washes.
So, if you’d rather cover up than bare all, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better nursing cover – especially at such a fantastic price. Thumbs up badjily.com and thank you for helping to give me the confidence to nurse wherever I am.