Breastfeeding in the Big Apple
<Originally posted on Mommy Nearest Blog on 6/27/13>
Breastfeeding is natural, so why doesn’t it come naturally for so many moms (myself included)? I powered through several weeks of pain, awkwardness, and frustration before baby and I finally got the hang of it. Luckily for moms who want to breastfeed but aren’t finding it as easy as they’d hoped, NYC is chock full of lactation support! Whether you’re dealing with a difficult latch, low supply, or downright cluelessness, you can get help from private IBCLC’s (international board certified lactation consultant), postpartum doulas, and local support groups aplenty (links below).
So let’s assume the challenge of figuring out the whole breastfeeding thing is behind you. Congratulations! But there is a new challenge looming ahead. You will at some point want to leave the privacy and comfort of your own home for a period of more than a couple of hours. Maybe not in the first few weeks when you can barely manage a weekly shower, but trust me, there will come a day when just have to get out. So you fill up baby’s diaper bag to the brim with everything you could possibly need, throw on your maternity jeans (yes, you’re still wearing those!), and out you go.
All is well until you realize baby needs to eat. But you’re out, in the city, in public! What to do!? Welcome to the new-mom city-dweller’s dilemma. You probably don’t have a car to run out to, like most suburban moms. Perhaps you pumped ahead of time and brought the milk in a bottle. Sounds good, right? Guess what… you’re still going to have to do something about those engorged monstrosities you’re lugging around in that brand new nursing bra! Nothing a little hand expression in the bathroom won’t take care of. Have fun with that!
Or maybe you’ve given up on the pump and have decided to just put baby to breast wherever and whenever baby is hungry. To this I say “Good for you!” But, you still have a decision to make: to cover up or not to cover up. I am a modest gal, and cannot even begin to imagine just whipping it out in the middle of a restaurant (this is just a personal preference; I have no problem with other moms doing it!). And they have such fun and stylish options out there – from the Udder Cover to the Hooter Hider - to help you maintain a bit of privacy and also minimize distractions for your baby. Some moms just throw a burp cloth or small blanket over themselves, and others forgo the cover altogether. To each her own!
It took a few practice runs of feeding my little one in public before it felt natural to me. It was frustrating constantly seeking out a private room to nurse in, and sometimes meant missing out on half of the dinner with my friends while baby and I were sitting in the corner of the ladies’ bathroom! If you’re like I was and are seeking out a private spot, Mommy Nearest has got you covered – just search the “nursing-friendly” category and the closest places with a nursing lounge or private space like that will pop up on the map for you! Most of the baby and maternity shops have something available for nursing or pumping moms, some restaurants have a comfy couch or chairs in the women’s bathroom, and don’t be afraid to ask in any clothing shop if you can use one of their dressing rooms for privacy (if they say no, give ‘em the stink eye and leave a reply on this blog)!
Thankfully, I’ve graduated from the need for private space and I pride myself on the cornucopia of locations where I have fed my little one. On a plane, on a train, on a bench outside of Macy’s in Herald Square… I asked some of my mommy friends where their most interesting nursing or pumping locations were and got some pretty great answers: in a Penn Station bathroom (broken lock on the stall, no less!), on the shoulder of the BQE and LIE, at a Dead concert at Madison Square Garden, in Katzs Deli (no, she didn’t get what Meg Ryan ordered), and the best (or worst) was STANDING on the F train!
Find a lactation consultant
Find a postpartum doula
Find your local La Leche League group
Find a breastfeeding support group
Just when my baby was going on four months I traveled by plane with him to go visit my parents. The trip was very long and I knew I would need to be feeding him frequently. I brought with me a nursing cover and was so happy that I had packed two receiving blankets in my carry on bag. My son did not like having to be tucked under the cover. So I had to use the blankets as extra protection for myself. I too am modest. I love being able to breastfeed but I do not want everyone looking at me doing so :)
10/5/2013 05:14:59 am
Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity.
Leave a Reply.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)