Nursing Covers in the Beginning
When I had my oldest daughter over 15 years ago, I had to figure out how to breastfeed in public while wrangling little feet and a blanket so the “girls” didn’t make an epic appearance at just the wrong time. If nursing covers existed, I had no idea. It was a season of leaving the room and joining in on conversations from afar. I felt weird talking to “nobody” and even more weird that I was joining in on a conversation that I wasn’t even in the room for. Talk about feeling like a creeper.
Breastfeeding in Public: Free the Tatas
More than feeling awkward though were the times I slipped away when I was in public and fed my sweet babes in public restrooms. The thought of it now just makes me feel sick. I know what some of you are thinking. Breastfeeding is natural. It’s the primary function of our breasts – although our husbands may think differently. It is a beautiful (and powerful) thing to be able to provide nourishment to our sweet babies. I agree! And if you want to liberate the “girls” and boldly proclaim that you will breastfeed your baby in public without a cover (and heaven help the person who dares criticize you for it), more power to you. I wouldn’t even blame you if you proclaimed (Fried Green Tomatoes style): “Free the Tatas!”
This girl likes her “girls” covered though. And that should be okay, too.
The Next Generation
When my (almost) 5-year-old was born, I was enlightened to the next generation of nursing covers. Or for me, the first generation. What were these glorious things that allowed me to hold my baby and have my other hand free to eat?
My husband bought me two different versions of what appeared to be a large fabric with a plastic half-loop used to peek in and navigate the breast-to-baby move while staying mostly covered. I did love that nursing cover. And I still use it from time-to-time.
Of course, I still had to watch out for tiny feet and heaven help me if there was even a small gust of wind. In addition to that, I had to carefully plan my wardrobe. Inevitably, I’d have to pull my shirt up to feed my baby but that meant exposing my less than stellar abs and back to strangers. Way more skin than I’m comfortable with. After all, if I wanted to expose that much to strangers, I would just wear a bikini top out in public.
I could have worn a top that could easily be pulled down in front instead of lifted up but these “girls” always sensed a chance at freedom and would jump to it before the proper time. What was I to do?
My Dream Nursing Cover
And then came baby #5.
I pulled out that old nursing cover again, dusted it off, and headed to the baseball field. This time, not only did I have to contend with little feet and wind, but now I had a 19-month-old toddler curious about what was going on. Talk about anxiety. I only have so many hands!
Then, I saw it. The nursing cover of all nursing covers. For this multi-tasking mom, it was a dream. The moment I saw it go from nursing cover to car seat cover I was smitten. God bless my sweet husband for seeing this bright-eyed girl with her jaw dropped and instantly going to Amazon to buy one for me. And when I realized having one to wear when I needed to wash the other would be better, he surprised me with another!
I just slip that bad boy over my head and stretch it down so it covers my entire torso. Aside from wearing a dress, it leaves me with no stress about what to wear. I slide my sweet boy under the cover and it hides all of him. I am a public-breastfeeding ninja now. Oh, glorious day!
And to top it off, it
doubles quadruples as a car seat cover, grocery cart cover, and even a stylish infinity scarf. Holy Multi-tasker, Batman!
Don’t get me wrong. Any of the nursing covers I’ve used have been great. These just “take the cake.” And my 5-year-old loves my old nursing cover too. When it is worn backward, it is the perfect cape for an over-imaginative girl with a penchant for being a superhero.
What have you found to be the best way to breastfeed in public and keep the “girls” covered?