Advantages of Breastfeeding and How to Breastfeed in Public

Breastfeeding is one of the activities that mums have to learn or master after having a baby. When parents buy the necessities they need to take care of a baby like sheets, blankets, onesies, etc, they also by Breastfeeding Covers to use when they are out and need to breastfeed. Many people argue that mum’s don’t need to cover up when they breastfeed in public. Regardless of what spectrum this debate swings, what’s important is the mum doing what’s most comfortable for her and the baby.

Advantages of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is very important and has many advantages. Research has shown overwhelming evidence that children who are breastfed as infants tend to have fewer health problems. They have a greater cognitive functioning and better communication skills than children who aren’t breastfed. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother. New mothers who breastfeed are also likely to have fewer problems with postpartum depression and fewer difficulties bonding with their children as breastfeeding is a great bonding activity and lowers the risks of ovarian and breast cancer for them.

The World Health Organization recommends that children be breastfed exclusively for the first six months while being slowly weaned off after one to two years of age. Despite this directive that is backed by proven research there still seems to be some pushback from people as many mums choose not to breastfeed. Worldwide, only an estimated 38 percent of children are breastfed exclusively for the first six months, and in the United States alone, that statistic drops to 13 percent.

In an era where more alternatives are available, including commercial formulas advertised as being just as nourishing as mother’s milk, many women are encouraged to stop breastfeeding early, despite these recommended guidelines. As a result, researchers are taking a closer look at what this can mean for later development.

There also seems to be some controversy over how long a child should be breastfed, and whether there are benefits to continuing with breastfeeding after the first few weeks of life there seems to be surprising resistance to these common-sense directives.

But this resistance is not so surprising when you look into it more closely. Big capitalist companies who produce and sell baby formula try to discourage breastfeeding and get parents to breastfeed for as short as possible and then switch to formula so they have more sales.

There are long-term benefits of breastfeeding and more research is looking into finding more benefits.

One particular benefits being investigated is maternal sensitivity which is the responsiveness that mothers have to their babies, including their ability to read the various cues that babies give off to express their needs and desires, as well as whether they respond to those cues appropriately. As children grow older, this maternal sensitivity evolves as well and often shapes the relationship between mother and child throughout adolescence and beyond.

While breastfeeding is encouraged as a way to build maternal sensitivity, actual research looking at how breastfeeding affects the emotional bond between mothers and their children has been lacking up to now.  That doesn’t mean that this bond does not exist, it, in fact, undeniable to moms and to kids. However, people still question it because science still hasn’t proved it.

But a new research article published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology may provide some answers. The article published in the journal presents a study that observed children for the first decade of their lives Using data taken from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (link is external) (NICHD), 1,272 participants and their children were evaluated for the purpose of this study. The article was written by Jennifer M. Weaver of Boise State University.

Breastfeeding in Public

As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, breastfeeding in public can be quite the controversial topic. Let’s explore some ways mums can breastfeed in public without feeling uncomfortable.

Know your rights

Despite the fact that people object to mums breastfeeding in public, it is very legal to do so. No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.” Make sure you know your rights and be safe.

Use breastfeeding covers

Despite the fact that you can breastfeed openly in public, it might take some getting used to. You might feel shy or self-conscious or when some creepy guy is staring at your boobs you can use breastfeeding covers.

Practice at home in front of a mirror

If you’ve been concerned about showing a lot of skin, this will probably reassure you that it’s not likely to be an issue. You can also practice with a breastfeeding cover to see how best to use them. A nursing baby covers your breast rather efficiently. You can try nursing in different outfits to see which ones work for you and your baby. Experiment to find your best options.

Turn away to latch

When you latch it is the time when you are showing the most skin and you probably have to fidget with your bra, shirt, and boobs for a while till you get it right. You can turn away when you latch so you don’t have to feel self-conscious with people watching you.  You can do the same if you need to unlatch.

Choose an easy-access bra

There are bras made for breastfeeding that are easy to latch and unlatch. If you don’t have this, you can find a stretchy sports-type bra works well for them; rather than having to undo a snap or other fastening, they can simply pull the cup of the bra down under their breasts to feed the baby. If you are using a nursing bra where you need to lower the cup, it might help to practice undoing it one-handed at home (and doing it up again after) so that you’re confident about managing it out in public.