Breastfeeding is a wonderful journey to take, no matter how it looks when you take it. For some mamas, it looks like exclusive breast until a year. Others mix in bottles here and there, of formula or breast milk. Some exclusively pump; others nurse until their baby’s stop. Some go for years…others only breast feed a month.
Whatever steps a person takes on their nursing journey, I support. Personally, I’ve always been about breastfeeding until my kids are done(which is why I’m still nursing my two year old!) and nursing pretty openly. As a mother, I’ve never felt the need to use a nursing cover.
I, however, have had moments when I am nursing among people I know are less comfortable about simply “flopping” it out and I’ve had to nurse around people I personally feel more comfortable covering in front of. To me, that’s what breastfeeding is all about-feeling comfortable whichever way you choose to nurse.
In my time nursing two little ones, I’ve found three great ways to cover without actually going out of my way to buy a nursing cover. These three ways are things you have right in your arsenal, all the time!
Double Shirt-ing It!
I use this technique all the time now, even if I probably won’t be nursing out in public. It’s as simple as it sounds; wear an extra shirt underneath the shirt you’re wearing for an outfit. You just pull the top shirt up, lower the underneath just enough to latch, and voila! You can nurse without showing off almost any skin.
An Infinity Scarf!
I love to use infinity scarves to cover up my chest in shirts I’m not completely comfortable in and when nursing, it’s no exception. I prefer infinity scarves because they won’t fall off as the baby moves around. Scarves that aren’t connected fall off much easier than the ones that are. These are also stylish and popular nowadays, so wearing one is totally in the normal look. This is my preferred way to cover when we need to dress up for things such as church events or extended family dinners.
A Simple Baby Blanket!
Now, we all have these on us. If you’re like me, you usually carry more than one on you. These provide very little cover, but totally work in a pinch. Plus it’s something you almost always have, so it’s an option in any moment of desperation. Even more desperate, but works? A burp cloth, laid right over the side you’re nursing on. It’s not perfect, but it works!
And my bonus? Nurse the baby in your wrap! I love to nursing Bear in my Moby and Bug in the Mei Tei; I’m actually breastfeeding Bear as I write this! It gets more conducive once the baby can latch on completely on his own, but it’s a great way to nurse hand free and cover up as you’re nursing. I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of nursing Bear in our mei tei, but I’ve heard of people nursing in every wrap and carrier out there, so it’s an option. This is one I highly recommend practicing at home before trying to do it hands free out in the real world, because it is something that takes a bit of practice and can be tricky the first few times.
(Completely hands free!)
Remember mamas, you feed your baby the best way for you! If that means pumping and giving bottles in public, do that. If you’re totally okay with nursing without any cover, anywhere? You are totally allowed to do that! And if you want to cover, here are four ways to cover when nursing when you don’t have a cover.