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Using a Breastfeeding Cover in Public

Many women feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in public, so they use a breastfeeding cover to maintain their modesty. Whatever your level of comfort, there’s no reason not to feed your baby whenever and wherever the baby needs to be fed, regardless of your location. You’ll find that some public places have set aside places where mom and baby may breastfeed in relative privacy, but a breastfeeding cover can create your own little island of privacy wherever you may be. Privacy can also be important for babies who are easily distracted and need to focus to nurse successfully.

A breastfeeding cover can come in many different styles, whether it’s an improvised breastfeeding cover or a product designed and purchased specifically for breastfeeding. The simplest way to cover yourself while breastfeeding is to place one of your baby's blankets across your shoulder on the side where baby is nursing, covering both baby and that side of your chest.

However, blankets have their limitations. Commercial breastfeeding covers sometimes have weights in the part designed to fit over your shoulder to help keep the cover in place when baby moves. Others have a loop or strap that fastens around your neck. Several other styles of nursing covers have rigid necklines that are designed to allow you to see your baby more easily as she’s nursing. A few covers are designed to attach to your bra strap to keep them in place, and there are some that provide coverage for both the front and the rear of your body. There’s even a brand that consists of a loop of fabric with an opening that allows you to cover your breast without covering the baby.

In addition, there’s another type of nursing cover that’s designed much like a spaghetti strap tank top that’s cut to fully expose your bra. This is worn under your regular shirt so that when you pull it up for nursing, your midriff stays covered.

If you want to use a breastfeeding cover in public, you may want to practice with it at home first. In this more relaxed setting, you and baby can both become accustomed to how the cover works, preventing any uncomfortable slip-ups when you’re out in public.

For obvious reasons, it’s important to choose a breastfeeding cover that’s machine washable. Some styles even have pockets attached for storing things like breast pads, or you may want to choose a reversible breastfeeding cover so that you have more options.

Commercial breastfeeding covers come in a variety of materials, from simple mesh with privacy panels to organic cotton and silk. Choose a fabric that works for your environment. Obviously, a lighter weight cover will be more comfortable for you and baby if the weather is warm. You can choose from simple, solid covers that will blend with your clothing, or many different patterns that can serve as attractive accessories.

One breastfeeding cover that you shouldn’t forget about is the sling. A sling not only holds your baby in place for nursing, but also provides a great deal of privacy for you and baby. Many slings have “tails” which can provide additional coverage – these can be a great choice for new moms who are just getting the hang of breastfeeding.

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