1. Know that it’s perfectly okay to breastfeed in public.
Breastfeeding is a very natural process of nourishing a baby. It’s just a baby having food when hungry. Also, the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore has confirmed that there is no law against breastfeeding in public. It does not come under indecent exposure or nudity and is not an offence.
Also, mothers in Singapore say that people are generally accepting or neutral about them breastfeeding in public. However, if you do get uncomfortable glances from strangers occasionally, don’t worry, mummy. Hold your head high and know that you are just doing the best for your baby. Most importantly, smile!
2. Wear breastfeeding-friendly clothes when going out.
Wearing comfortable clothing with nursing access can make you feel more comfortable while nursing in public. A maternity nursing dress has discreet access for nursing. They could have zippers, buttons, flaps, or layers to make breastfeeding easy.
Also, invest in a good nursing bra. Nursing bras complement your nursing clothing for making nursing access quick and easy. This way, your hungry baby doesn’t have to wait for too long to latch on and feed.
You can consider wearing a loose jacket or cardigan over your dress or use a nursing cover which will give you some privacy.
4. Find a place you are comfortable with.
It is important that you feel comfortable during breastfeeding. Thus, pick a place with comfortable seating. Ideally, you should have good support for your back. If people staring bothers you, or if too much noise distracts your baby from feeding, choose a quiet place to nurse.
If you don’t want to feed discreetly, pick a quiet corner and turn away from the crowd with your back to them. If you are travelling on public transport, pick a window seat so that you have minimum exposure.
5. Be a little more careful during the initial latch.
All mummies who have ever breastfed their babies know that these little ones can be fussy during the initial latch. This is especially true when the baby is young and hasn’t yet mastered the technique of latching in any position.
During that initial latch, you will need to expose your breast a little more and help your baby figure out the latch. If this bothers you, a nursing cover can come in handy. Or, you could ask the person travelling with you to help you cover up with a baby blanket or a nursing cover till the baby starts suckling comfortably.
6. Check if you have access to a nursing room.
Singapore has some great nursing rooms with diaper changing tables and sometimes even a waiting area for other family members such as Jewel @ Changi Airport and Takashimaya Shopping Centre. If you are planning to go out, you might want to check if there are nursing rooms nearby that you can use.
If you are travelling on SMRT Trains, you can breastfeed on the train or at the stations whenever you need to. For mothers who prefer more privacy, nursing rooms are present at a few interchanges. You can get in touch with the staff at Passenger Service Center for assistance.
7. Practice at home before you step out.
If you are worried whether breastfeeding in public would be comfortable for you, practice at home. Sit in front of the mirror and feed just as you would feed outdoors. Wear the nursing clothes you would wear outside.
This will give you an idea about how much skin you really expose and whether you are comfortable with it. Plan on getting a nursing cover or change nursing positions so that you feel comfortable.
It is your right to breastfeed your baby wherever you want. When you breastfeed your baby, you are making sure that you are giving the essential nutrients to your baby to help her grow stronger and healthier.
When you nurse in public, keep that smile on, mummy. You got this.
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