PAXmommies weigh in on Breast Feeding

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Awhile ago PAXmommy Jillian posted a question on PAXbaby.com’s  facebook wall:

“What are your biggest difficulties or concerns about nursing in public? All of us PAXmommies at PAXbaby.com have breastfed our babies, and we are here to help you ?”

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SO… true to our word, we are BACK and with answers!

We asked the PAXmommies to weigh-in and give us the low-down.

Just like you all, we have had ups, downs, struggles and triumphs along our adventures in breastfeeding.

We all have different body types, with different views, different personalities, and different levels of comfort.

We have bottle-fed, pumped, nursed preemies, nursed toddlers, nursed twins, tandem nursed, wet-nursed, donated milk, received donated milk, given up, started again, coached, talked and helped one another along the way.

Combined we have fed a LOT of babies.

Brings tears to my eyes.

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paxbaby

So let’s get started:

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Q: For those of you with over supply issues/heavy let down/milk leakage issues, what do you do when you have milk spraying EVERYWHERE???

PAXmommy J: Leaking, spraying, & dripping is totally normal! An extra blanket tucked under the feeding breast can help catch the excess.
PAXmommy M: I tend to take a big muslin swaddle with me whenever I am out nursing in public… Or one of those double layer thick muslin bibs and hold it under my breast while I am nursing.
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paxbaby

Q: How can I modestly nurse in public?? Especially whilst in a carrier?

PAXmommy C:With a ring sling, the tail makes a great coverup. In a wrap, you can use the passes to keep everything discreet – FWCC and FCC especially.
PAXmommy L: I usually wear one shirt over a tank top or nursing tank top so I’m able to easily keep my tummy and upper breasts covered. I practiced this “two shirt method” at home to make sure I was confident, then added a carrier to the mix.
PAXmommy K: I LOVE the two shirt method too. I try to always dress modestly and that’s whats worked best for us.  None of my littles have ever been ok with a nursing cover but luckily in my church there were many other very modest ladies nursing at the same time as me so when I went to the nursery to feed my littles I saw them feeding in much the same way. Some struggled with covers but most didn’t and although I could tell what they were doing I couldn’t see which I think is as good as it gets in this circumstance.
PAXmommy S: I found a cover MUCH more awkward than using 2 shirts! With an SSC, I found that wearing a wrap-front or button-up dress was also helpful, as I wasn’t trying to pull my t-shirt up out of the waistband of my carrier.
PAXmommy J:  Dress to breastfeed! A tank layered under a tee means that you can discretely pull up the outer layer, push down the under layer, and expose only the nipple! Watch yourself in a mirror at home and you’d be surprised how little you are revealing! Most people probably won’t even notice what you are doing!
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Q: What do I do when my baby/toddler is easily distracted and keeps pulling off and on?)

PAXmommy L: My daughter was easily distracted at this age, but my method was to either keep the hood up in a mei tai or soft structured carrier, or bring use the tail of our ring sling to shield baby from what was going on around us. I also wore a nursing necklace, and if necessary, would go somewhere more quiet if we were out someplace crowded, loud, or busy.
PAXmommy K: This is easy you have to get them in the carrier then they’re somewhat tied down. Make the room as uninteresting as possible so that may mean the big kids need to sit down and read for a bit to keep from being too fun and distracting to the baby
PAXmommy A: I didn’t nurse in public much at that stage because it just didn’t work, he squirmed out of hoods and covers an in carriers arched his back to see. We tried to go to quiet boring places to nurse.
PAXmommy S: I think “distracted’ describes most babies at this age! Quiet nursing place, and focusing intently on my babies helps them to stay focused. Humming a new song to them, or whispering while making eye contact help mine focus on “us” rather than anything else that may be going on.
PAXmommy J: It’s good to know that this is a very common stage for babies to become “too distracted to eat,” but don’t let that get you down! Keep on offering, and if baby needs to latch on and off 20 times during a feeding, just know that they WILL go out of it
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Q: How can I become braver and not care what others thing when I am bf-ing in public??

PAXmommy C: Finding a playgroup with other nursing mothers – you’ll gain some confidence by first nursing in front of other like-minded moms, and you’ll then feel more comfortable doing it in public in general. Especially when you see that there’s not much to see when others are nursing – it helps you realize that you feel more exposed than you actually are.
PAXmommy M: With my first I was very shy and always nursed under a cover, the second, she wanted to nurse ALL the time so I learned to take babysteps… first I nursed in front of my friends, then family, then at the park, then at the mall etc. I found at first I had to PRETEND I was super confident, and then as I got used to it and did it more, the real confidence followed
PAXmommy S: Surround yourself with other moms who NIP. Practice being discreet at home. Go about your work at home with baby latched on so they get used to the activity and adapt to your movements. NONE of my four babies would tolerate a nursing cover as it made them uncomfortably hot and sweaty! But it took until #4 for me to confidently NIP…after the wonderful examples in my local babywearing group
PAXmommy J: Dress to breastfeed! A tank layered under a tee means that you can discretely pull up the outer layer, push down the under layer, and expose only the nipple! Watch yourself in a mirror at home and you’d be surprised how little you are revealing! Most people probably won’t even notice what you are doing!
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Q: Best positioning for nursing in a carrier for women with large breasts

PAXmommy B: Put a rolled up prefold under your boob! I’m am F cup right now, and that’s how I make it work! Once baby is 6-9 months old, they will figure out how to support your breasts with their hands, and you wont have to worry about the prefold anymore.
PAXmommy C: I try to use my shirt and/or bra to support my breast when I nurse in a carrier. Sometimes I’ll leave my nursing bra clipped and just lift my breast over the top of it. One baby is older its not as necessary. They figure out how to make it work on their own
PAXmommy S: I used a prefold or muslin swaddling blanket.
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paxbaby

Q: How can I nurse comfortably in a wrap/carrier when my breasts are so low?

PAXmommy K: This is totally my problem. I can’t seem to nurse ‘hands free’ I always need one hand propping my breast up to the baby. Im not comfortable bringing her low to my breast. Its not all that bad though, you’ll be amazed at the amount of stuff I can get done with one hand
PAXmommy S: Low/heavy/large breasts Using a ring sling is a big help for me! I still support my breast with one hand, but in a ring sling I do not have to worry about the waistband of a SSC or wrap slipping down over my hips and becoming a fall hazard. I love my wide WCRS for the cradle carry. Baby’s bottom is safely secure in the pocket of the sling, and I can support her head and my breast comfortably! It takes time, but like PAXmommy K: said, I can do almost anything with one hand. (even wash my hair…slowly :-P)
PAXmommy B: Same as the answer to the large breasts question – the rolled up prefold solves all! As long as baby has a good latch, the prefold supports well, and I could nurse D hands free that way by around 3 months. Still haven’t perfected it with C, but she still has a very weak suck.

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Q: What can I do or say to help my own family be more comfortable with my decision to nurse in public?

PAXmommy L: I think sometimes it takes quite a while, leading by example, for a family to come around. If they’ve had generations of bottle feeding, it can take some getting used to. I found the more confident I was, and the less I tried to cover myself up, the more at ease everyone else was. You don’t necessarily need to “whip it out” as they say, but nurse baby in a carrier and go about your business talking to family, helping with an activity, like it is no big deal. Because it isn’t, it’s normal and natural.
PAXmommy C: If they still act this way after that many years, theres probably nothing you can do or say. You’ve done all you can by just sticking with it! Maybe Try nursing in a carrier and they might not even realize that baby is nursing in there
PAXmommy S: By continuing to nurse in front of (hopefully only a few uncomfortable) family members, you are providing a very valuable example to younger members of the family who might otherwise be discouraged from even attempting to breastfeed! Remind them that breastfeeding is how all mammals feed their young, that it is always the perfect food for them, how it is MUCH more advantageous for their health and your finances, and how convenient it is that you never have extra dishes to do because of washing and sterilizing bottles. Not to mention lowering their risk of infection and allergic reactions And if they continue to ignore sound science, do what you already do best – love your baby.
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Q: How can I nurse in a carrier? I am left handed, does that make a difference? Do you have any tips?

PAXmommy C: You have to just try it. Get baby at breast level, pull your shirt down and let baby go for it! An upright position works just fine if baby has good head control, there aren’t any special carries you need to do or anything.
PAXmommy L: It can seem really daunting to nurse in a carrier when you’re still getting nursing down in general. As you become a more confident nurser and baby gains some head control, it will be much easier for baby to find the breast and you won’t have to offer much, if any, assistance. It comes down to practice. If you’re not quite confident yet, practice at home, look in a mirror if you need to.
PAXmommy A: Yes! I also practiced wearing only the carrier at home a bit.
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Q: Have you ever been asked to nurse elsewhere? How did you react? What should I say?

PAXmommy K: Ive never been asked to NIP elsewhere and Ive NIP in every state from California to Connecticut. If I did ever get confronted trying to feed my baby I would definitely say something to the effect of “Im sorry, did I just hear you break the law by asking me to cover up or leave” Most people are so threatened by a nursing mother who knows her rights they’ll back right down. Take it one step at a time
PAXmommy C: I went to a breastfeeding class taught by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and she suggested saying something along the lines of “the law allows me to nurse my baby in any public place…you are violating my civil rights by asking me to leave, may I please see your manager.” She also passed out those handy little cards that cite the specific civil codes that allow for breastfeeding in public. You can probably download them online – then there’s no need to say anything, you can just hand over the card
PAXmommy L: I tend to try and make light of it, because I don’t think it is a big deal and want that to come across. I don’t want to come across as hostile, but instead confident. Some lines I have used are “a kids gotta eat!” “Would you like to eat in the bathroom/closet/car?” “It is my right to feed my child wherever I choose”. Smile and move on.
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Q: How can I position my baby in my WCRS or BECO to nurse?

PAXmommy A: I loosened the carry and then lifted my boob up a bit to his mouth, once he was latched on I tightened everything back up
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Q: How can I increase my confidence while I am NIP? Tips?

PAXmommy C: It takes time. With my first, I always used a cover, and when baby started protesting being covered up, I avoided nursing in public. With my second, I used a cover in the beginning, and then joined a playgroup where NONE of the moms used any kind of cover, which helped give me confidence to do the same. Now with my third I really could care less my baby is hungry and I have 2 other children to tend to, I don’t have time to worry about what anyone else is thinking
PAXmommy K: I think putting yourself in situations where you KNOW no one could possibly be speaking poorly of NIP would do you a lot of good! It will help you recognize that those negative voices are typically not from the people around you but within yourself. Go check out a LLL meet-up or a babywearing group to help you nurse in public confidently

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Q: What do you do when someone is making you uncomfortable while you are nursing(for example, creepy men staring)?

PAXmommy K: Ive nursed 3 all in public and I’ve NEVER had this happen. More often then not you’ll get people who are completely humiliated they saw you NIP.

PAXmommy C: Nursing in public doesn’t necessarily mean whipping out your entire breast. I don’t even use a cover, just 2 shirts – one up, one down. Hardly any skin shows, and someone would have to be really close to me and looking really closely to be able to tell what I’m doing. From anyone else’s point of view it just looks like I’m holding me baby.

Q: How do you make nursing in a carrier work when you have small breasts?

PAXmommy L: Because it’s ideal to have baby higher on your body, you can nurse upright in a ring sling or soft structured carrier, or even in a wrap in a front wrap cross carry can be done. If you need to you can lower or adjust baby into position. Practice and you will get the hang of it.

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Were there any questions we left out?
Need more information?
We would LOVE to help.

Either leave us a comment, or drop us a line at:
help@PAXbaby.com

THANK YOU!!

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*happy babywearing*

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