Tips on Overcoming Fears of Breastfeeding in Public

Many expecting mothers really look forward to breastfeeding their baby. However, for many mothers this expectancy is tinged by a fear of breastfeeding in public. The following tips will help show you how best to nurse in public and help build your confidence.

Breastfeeding is a right every mother has but sometimes you would think this was not the case. What was once an every day occurrence and which was celebrated has, in recent years past, become a bit of a taboo; breastfeeding your child in public. Breastfeeding is now being actively promoted by the health profession and just about everybody now accepts that breast is best. However, there does seem to be a paradox when it comes to breastfeeding. On the one hand you are told to breastfeed but, on the other, you are not exactly encouraged to breastfeed when and wherever you want. Things are changing, slowly. It is up to mothers to continue this change in attitude.

If you have reservations about nursing in public then your first step is to become comfortable breastfeeding your baby in the privacy of your home. You want to have the skills of ‘latching on’ down pat before you brave the public. Also, you can practice discreet feeding at home. You can practise discreet breastfeeding in front of family members. If they have a problem with you breastfeeding your child in front of them, then you must explain that breastfeeding is something natural – it’s not a disease or some socially unacceptable habit. If they still feel uncomfortable, then ask them to leave the room whilst you breastfeed. It is important that they leave and not you – you need to be assertive about your right to breastfeed. Once, you and baby are at ease with breastfeeding you can now venture outdoors.

In may sound obvious but before venturing out you should wear suitable clothing. Wear a top that is loose and is easy for you to open (or easily allows baby access to your breast). If you wear a very loose top you can even slip baby underneath so that no unbuttoning is necessary and your breasts remain covered up during feeding. Slings are another good idea. They free up both your hands and you can place baby in such a way that no one would know that you’re breastfeeding.

Feed your baby as soon as you know he wants to be feed. It’s important to stay in tune with your baby’s wants when outside your home. When your baby gets hungry he will do everything he can to get your attention; the longer you ignore him the more he going to try and get that attention. You don’t want a screaming baby when you’re trying to breastfeeding in public.

There are public places and there are public places. When first venturing outdoors, find somewhere where there aren’t too many people. Go to a park – or somewhere else where it’s fairly quiet and relaxed – and find place away from people. Feeding when there’s no one around is a good start. Bring your partner of friend with you. They can provide support and by talking to them as you breastfeeding you’ll even forget that your in public.

A breastfeeding mother can be made to feel very uncomfortable when she notices someone staring at her. The trick is to return their gaze; don’t back down. They’ll always look away and move on. More upsetting than being stared at, is when someone will openly let you know that they disagree with mothers breastfeeding in public. Just ignore them; these people are not worth making yourself or your baby agitated.

They say practice makes perfect, and after a few feeds you’ll soon be confident enough to breastfeed just about anywhere. Remember breastfeeding is your right and, more importantly, your baby’s.

Robin O’Brien is the founder of a site where you can learn to overcome your fears of breastfeeding in public and where you can read articles about such things as, breastfeeding and alcohol and fenugreek and breast milk.

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This Just In…Breastfeeding Great for Creativity!

Natalie Merchant’s newest cd Leave Your Sleep  was written while she was breastfeeding…

“I was breastfeeding six hours a day, and I felt this burst of creative energy,” she explains in an interview for The Scotsman. “In my mind I had all these visions of projects I wanted to do and things I wanted to make, but I couldn’t leave my chair, and I had my hands full. So I just put a tape recorder next to the chair where I was nursing, and I would start singing into it, and that’s where the first songs came from. I didn’t really have time to focus on writing lyrics.”

Love, love, love her voice! If you’re a fan, you’ll love this new cd!

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Breastfeeding and Milk Supply

Why do some mothers seem to be overflowing with milk and others barely keep up with their babies? The answer to that questions remains a mystery. We do know, however, which practices enhance milk production and what may decrease milk supply.

Newborns need to eat frequently. All that early suckling before your milk “comes in” helps set the tone for later milk production. Think of as your baby placing an order to be filled at a later date. On the other hand, restricting breastfeeding in the first few days may lead to decreased milk production overall. 

You’ve probably heard that milk production is based on supply and demand. That means that the more milk that is removed from your breasts, the more milk you will produce. If more milk is consistently removed from your right breast, your right breast will consistently make more milk than your left. If baby regularly sleeps from 10pm to 4 am, but breastfeeds every 2 hours during the day, you will eventually have less milk in the middle of the night than during the day. 

How do your breasts know that your baby is growing and needs more milk? Very simply; the baby asks for it! Your baby will breastfeed more frequently when he needs more milk. After a few days of what may seem to be constant eating, your breasts catch up and all is well. When your baby gets older and doesn’t need to breastfeed as often, your milk supply will naturally decrease. 

So let your baby be your guide and your milk supply will take care of itself! 

See also: “How do I Increase my Milk Supply?“ 

Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com

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Breaking News: Boobs Are For Breastfeeding, Too! | The Frisky

Shocking, I know, but I had to break the news some time: Our fabulous funbags are actually biologically designed to feed hungry babies, not just to look tasty in a Body by Victoria C-cup. Alas, some Neanderthals can’t handle such a bombshell about breasts — namely, folks in corporate America who’ll do everything from tweet (and delete!) to kick a nursing mother out of a restaurant at the slightest hint of a snacking infant.

After the jump, two recent breastfeeding incidents that make us think we could all use a Biology 101 refresher course.

  1. The Paul Frank store in Los Angeles was in hot water last week after an employee tweeted, “Having your whole boob out and breastfeeding in our store #NOTOKAYATALL.” The offensive tweet was deleted off the @PaulFrank_LA’s Twitter feet almost immediately, but it was furiously re-tweeted by angry fans. @PaulFrank_LA then posted an “apology” tweet: “all we can do is apologize, it made other customers and ourselves uncomfortable. Sorry…” Hmm. That doesn’t sound like an apology! As Roxanne Hack, staff writer for The Orange County Register put it, “It sounds like they still think the breastfeeding mama was in the wrong.” Boooo, L.A. Paul Frank store! Finally, one day later, the store got a clue and tweeted a more sincere apology: “We are very sorry for the recent tweet. As a family company and brand, this does not reflect our opinion in any way.” That’s better! [The Orange County Register]
  2. But what went down in Paul Frank’s L.A. store was just monkey business compared to high-octane drama at the Old Country Buffet in Maplewood, Minnesota. New mom Bethany Morton told MyFox9.com she was breastfeeding her son during an Easter Sunday meal when an employee asked her to cover up with a blanket. Morton declined and a manager came by their table to ask her to cover up again. Apparently that’s when Morton and her fiancé “became vocal,” which I think means they wanted to enjoy their buffet instead of get hassled by the manager. Morton says they were asked to leave. But Old Country Buffet was in for a nasty surprise: Turns out, Minnesota state law says a mother can breastfeed her child anywhere, public or private. YES, EVEN IF HER DIRTY, SINFUL, LUST-INDUCING NIPPLE IS SHOWING. Now over 1,000 people are Facebok fans of the group “Boycott Old Country Buffet” and recently a dozen moms organized a “nurse-in” at the restaurant. Oh, snap! [MyFox9.com, MyFox9.com]

Hey, Frisky moms, have you ever gotten hassled for breastfeeding your child in public? Let us know in the comments!

Breaking News: Boobs Are For Breastfeeding, Too! | The Frisky.

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WonderWoman Wednesdays…Shane Shirley-Smith President of Environmental Booty

This week’s WonderWoman is Shane Shirley-Smith, President of Environmental Booty. Shane believes that our future largely depends on our knowledge and actions. For this reason she created Environmental Booty, the green online community dedicated to helping society make conscious choices today that will change our health and the health of our world tomorrow. 

Here’s how she did it…

How did you decide to create Evironmental Booty? Was there a “lightbulb” moment?

EnvironmentalBooty.com was created because I wanted a way to help people learn to live healthier lives and create a healthier world.  My goal was to give people Eco-information, products to green their lives and a way to gather and share information about going green, caring for our earth and each other.  I created my blog to spread the message of healthy choices through Eco-conscience consumerism and looking out for our planet.  A few months after I started the blog,  my daughter took part in a play about pirates at school.  As she practiced her songs at home and told me what she was learning about pirate booty, the name Environmental Booty just popped into my head.  I  thought it would be a cute play on words to provide Environmental Booty for people as a way to green their lives.  Environmental Booty is about protecting the treasure that exists in yourself, other people and our planet.

How did you get the community started?

The Environmental Booty site is a social networking community for people and businesses traveling the path to green. It was an integral part of the concept behind Environmental Booty to have a place where people could come together, make their commitment to treasure self, people and planet and network with other green minded individuals, bloggers and business owners.  The only way to do this was through creating an online community.  I did some research online and, as I did not have a lot of capital to invest in creating my own community platform, I created the Environmental Booty  Community using the free Ning platform.  Initially I invited a few friends, sent out a few Tweets, promoted EB on my blog, main site and our Environmental Health-Wellness-Beauty Facebook Group and now we are getting new members every day.  My goal was to create a site that belongs not to me but to the EB Members and I think I have accomplished that.   

There’s the great Margret Meade quote about nothing ever changing until communities come together to change them. How has that influenced you in your work at Environmental Booty?

 The quote is, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   I live every single day with that as my guiding principle.  It truly doesn’t take a large group of people to create change.  Just look at the work of Erin Brokovich and you will see that if you have people who desire to create positive change, they can move mountains.  My goal each day is to reach at least one person with the message to think about the choices they make in relation to how it impacts their health, and the health of our environment.  I feel if I can do that, then the people I affect will affect change in those they meet.  It truly is about disseminating information when trying to affect change.  The more information people have, and the more they share with others, the more positive change can be created. 

Your community is run on servers that are 130% green, how is that accomplished? Do you think green servers will eventually become the norm with education on the subject?

The main EnvironmentalBooty.com site is hosted by HostGator which has servers which are 130% wind powered.   They are not just neutralizing their environmental impact, they’re reversing it. HostGator accomplishes this by purchasing certified renewable energy credits representing 130% of the electricity used to both power and cool every last one of their shared and reseller servers.  In real terms this is the equivalent of removing 444 cars from the road for a year, powering 321 homes with clean energy for a year, saving 5,654 barrels of oil, or protecting 551 acres of forest for a year.  I am no soothsayer and cannot say if all servers will someday be green.  I do hope that companies will have a desire to do all they can to lessen their impact on our environment.

What is a typical day like for you Shane?

Let me just say that every single day is full of putting out fires in both my personal and professional life.  Isn’t that how all women live each day?  I have 3 daughters (4, 10 and 13), a sweet little Chi-Poo and a very demanding husband so I have days which start before the sun comes up and ends just as the next day begins.  Every morning I always try to get in a workout, get myself together, turn on the computer and get the girls going.  On a good day I make a hot meal for the girls and on a bad day they have OJ and organic pop tarts!  Then I get my 3 girls to three different schools within a half hour and get to work.  I spend the day meeting with clients (I provide Social Network Marketing Consulting) over the phone, writing blog posts, doing research on green trends, working with suppliers for my Environmental Booty OpenSky Shop,  updating my websites and networking on various sites.  Once I get the kids home from school, it’s time for homework, dinner, baths, prayers, bedtime for kids, more work and laundry!   It is exhausting as every mom knows. 

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed Environmental Booty? What’s your best marketing tip?

The most effective ways I have found to promote EB has been through word of “mouth” via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Our EB Members do a great job of spreading the word on their sites and networks as well.  As far as offering my “best” marketing tip, that is a tough one.  Each business is different and the road to success is different for all.  I think if I had to give my best piece of advice for online marketing it would be to get involved in the conversation and be genuine in your interactions with others.  Don’t just join networks like LinkedIn, never show up to interact and complain that you are not getting anything out of it.  Join groups, make connections, have a desire to help others without asking for anything in return and be consistent.  If you blog, post 3-5 days a week.  If you Tweet, offer valuable information each day or every other day.  If you have a Facebook account, check out what others are doing and comment. 

What advice would you give someone else looking to create an online community based on a cause?

That’s simple…don’t get discouraged, provide updated content, get to know the needs of your members and protect your members by blocking spammers immediately without guilt. 

What goals do you have for Environmental Booty this year?

My main goals this year are to grow our membership, find ways to promote the green message to our younger generations, provide green suppliers with a platform to showcase their products and continue to spread the word about green living products we offer in our Environmental Booty OpenSky Shop.

What have you learned on your business journey that you’d like to share with other business owners?

Don’t let your passion to grow your business interfere with your life.

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Facebook furor as nursing mother paintings censored

Even the Vatican doesn’t have a problem any more with paintings of a semi-dressed Virgin Mary nursing the infant Jesus.

But it looks like Facebook might.

Long criticized for banning photos of members breastfeeding their children, the popular social networking site last month repeatedly removed three paintings of nursing mothers posted by B.C.-based artist Kate Hansen.

Part of her “Madonna and Child Project,” the series was twice bounced off a Facebook group for portrait and figure artists.

At first, Hansen, a 33-year-old mother of two, was puzzled.

“So I posted more of my work and, sure enough, it went missing (for a third time),” she said Monday, on the phone from her home on Vancouver Island.

Then, to Hansen’s shock, on April 7, an email from “The Facebook Team” arrived:

“You posted an item that violated our Terms of Use, and this item has been removed. Among other things, content that is hateful, threatening, or obscene is not allowed, nor is content that attacks an individual or group. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in your account being disabled.”

Hansen responded, but has yet to hear back.

Meanwhile, late Monday night, Facebook replied to the Star‘s queries, saying Hansen’s paintings were “accidentally removed.”

Accidentally, three times.

Hansen has reposted the paintings, but what confounds her is that the group page from which her work was deleted is filled with representations of nudes.

“They’re full nudes that show the entire breast and nipple, far more explicit than anything I have done myself,” she says, adding that she doesn’t want to see them censored as well. “I wonder if Facebook is seeking out breastfeeding work.”

Breastfeeding moms have been busted by Facebook for years.

Which explains why there are more than 260,000 members of a group called “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene.”

What really gets these women is, if they enter earthier terms for female breasts in Facebook’s search box, all kinds of pneumatic photos pop up.

Facebook seems to be soft on soft porn, but firmly against what the medical community and even the Church acknowledge as the right thing to do to promote both mother-child bonding and health.

What could be more family value-oriented than that?

Maternal health experts working in less-developed countries promote nursing because it fends off the often-fatal diarrhea and malnutrition that plague babies where expensive formula is diluted with disease-ridden water.

As for the Vatican, it recently announced that it wants to uncover centuries-old art of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus at her naked breast. From the earliest Christian times until the late Renaissance, such paintings, dubbed Madonna del Latte, were common – and made sense.

Nursing is what poor women did. And the holy family was impoverished. But, during the Reformation, more puritanical ideas took hold – and Mary’s breast went under wraps.

Even in the West, nursing is seen as the healthy thing to do. Just this month, the journal Pediatrics published a study suggesting that the United States could save $13 billion and more than 900 newborn lives every year if women could be encouraged to breastfeed their children for more than six months.

Not that American society makes it easy. There’s not much support on any front, medical or cultural.

Over the past few years, for example, there have been “nurse-in” protests at chain restaurants that have sent women and children to the washroom to breastfeed.

Meanwhile, Facebook members held a “virtual protest” by posting photos of themselves doing the deed.

Now even very modest paintings are getting deleted. “I can’t think of any other species of animal that harasses its females for nursing their young,” says Hansen. “The whole thing does make me angry.”

Facebook furor as nursing mother paintings censored – thestar.com

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New Law Helps Breastfeeding Mothers

 

Working mothers have had to tailor their schedule to pump breast milk during the day. It is hard to find the time and more importantly, a place, for this while at work. 

Life should get a little more comfortable for working, nursing mothers thanks to Obama’s new healthcare plan.  CNN reports page 1239 of the health care bill requires employers to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”

Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the nonprofit research organization Families and Work Institute told CNN, “It reflects both a shifting attitude, a shifting reality, and also the impact of research that shows that it’s healthier for the kids, and therefore good for the company, good for the family.”

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that breastfeeding newborns during their first six months could save almost 1,000 lives and billions of dollars annually.

Item Courtesy Modern Mom

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