Google+ Authentic Parenting: NIP Tips

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NIP Tips

Nursing in Public can be a pretty scary venture for a new mom. After giving birth, you're already in a vulnerable state, and with all the fuss about nursing in public, it's enough to give any woman cold feet.
Most often, fear or hesitation to nurse in public is more about a feeling indeed, and these can be highly improved by taking just a few simple measures.

Wear the right clothing
You will quickly find out if you’re more comfortable nursing over or under. Personally I am an over the top nurser, and I can’t bear to have to show my belly when breastfeeding. Dress according to your nursing style, so you won't be shy of nursing.
Nowadays shops offer a multitude of breastfeeding wear, that come in all designs and prices. You can either go to a shop that specializes in nursing gear or find stuff online. Even big stores (like H&M) hold nursing tops, though sometimes their selection is limited.
But you don't need special clothes to breastfeed successfully and comfortably in public. You can shop for regular clothes and make sure that the neckline is extendable, or you can choose to wear two tanks, so you can lift one up and pull one down.

Find a comfortable spot
If you're not sitting comfortably, you probably won't feel inclined to nurse as long as your child desires. You might even be worried that your uncomfortable position may attract negative attention. So when your child gets hungry, find a chair, a bench, a stool, or even a spot where you can sit on the floor with your back against a wall or a tree. Don't think you'll just quickly get it over with, because your child may have other intentions.

Image: viralbus on Flickr

Don't worry about what other people think
This may be the most valuable tip I can give you: it matters little what strangers think of you breastfeeding your child, what matters is that you are tending to your child's needs and you are giving him comfort in what may be a stressful situation, and this is the most beautiful and caring thing a mother can do.
Many women shy away from nursing in public, because of stories they have heard, but there are more positive stories than negative ones, they just don't get the same attention.

Get support
Surround yourself by breastfeeding enthousiasts to gain the strength and shed the shyness. I wouldn't be the loud and proud breastfeeder I am now, if it wasn't for all the wonderful women who have led the way.

Wear a scarf
Wether it's winter or summer, you will always find a scarf that fits the season. Scarfs are very convenient for the nursing mother. They can offer some coverage for the fiddling hand that inappropriately whips out the other boob. They can give a little warmth where you feel exposed, and they come in handy for babywearing or covering you or your child when you get chilly.
Now I'm not saying you have to cover up, but you can if that helps you nurse.

Find the right position
Every child has a position in which he loves to nurse, so does every mother have a position in which she is most comfortable. Try out every imaginable position at home and opt for the safe ones outdoors. If you are getting professional at nursing, after a while, this will come naturally, and you'll even find yourself nursing while standing in line.
If you are nursing an older child, an upright position might be most comfortable for the both of you and draw less attention then the cradle hold. (but again, if the both of you are most comfortable in that position, go ahead).

Be confident
This might need a little training, a little experience, but a confident breastfeeder raises much less 'suspicion' than a women who is desperately trying to hide. People tend to think that if you are trying to hide then it must remain hidden, even though you might just be hiding for your own comfort.

Every little thing is gonna be alright
Madre Guarani - Carla antonini
Last but not least, don't fear. Nursing in public is very rarely confrontational. Our fear of people's reactions is heightened by our own insecurity and with all the attention negative nurse in public experiences get, we feel as if they are prevalent. This isn't necessarily true. Women are breastfeeding there children all over the world in every possible setting without it raising an eyebrow.

I hope these tips help you to become a proud and fearless breastfeeder, and if you happen to have a positive NIP story, email it to me: mamapoekie at yahoo dot com

PS These are just tips, not musts. By no means do I think a nursing mother must fulfill all these requirements to nurse in public, you are free to do whatever makes you feel comfortable.



  1. Excellent tips! (I love the title) Im pleased I found your blog--I really like the content. Im a new follower, looking forward to checking back in.

  2. Thanks for the post. I am still NIP my two year old toddler! My goal was to keep going until two years... And now it doesn't make sense to stop because it is going so well! We cover up here in South Africa, and I usually take a blanket with me! I will try the scarf suggestion, because I sometimes forget the blanket. I have also found that if I do not make a fuss, but just latch and carry on with a conversation, nobody even notices! They usually thinks the baby/toddler is tired!

  3. I am a confident NIP'er, but I know some people who aren't, I will be forwarding this brilliant list to them, thank you! :)

  4. Thanks for following, Michelloui


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