4 Best First Places to Go While Breastfeeding
Cabin fever can hit hard when you have a newborn, but growing accustomed to life with a little one doesn’t necessarily mean that you both should stay indoors all day! As you and your baby find a daily routine of feedings, naps and playtime, you’ll discover that venturing out of the home becomes less difficult. Sometimes a little pre-planning and creativity is all it takes if you’re craving some fresh air and new sights.
There are several great first places to go while breastfeeding and many may be closer to home than you think. Whether you’re looking forward to window shopping at your favorite store(s), grabbing a bite to eat, or simply soaking in your surroundings, there are many nearby options that can be great choices.
Of course, if you’re nervous about where to breastfeed in public, that’s okay (and totally normal). Nursing your baby is one of the most natural things in the world, but feeling comfortable doing so outside of your home can take time. Try feeding or pumping in advance and venturing out for short, nearby trips with your little one first if you don’t feel at ease right away!
Places to Go While Nursing
- Window shop (or splurge a little!) at your favorite stores.
Whether you plan to window shop just to get out for a while or you have some must-do shopping, heading to the store can be a great way to get some fresh air while grabbing any necessities along the way:
Target, for example, has a company-wide policy that says nursing mothers should never be approached and if requested, she should be offered a dressing room to breastfeed or pump, even if there is a line at the dressing room. In some of their newest stores, Target has even implemented dedicated mother’s rooms in their fitting room areas.
Buy Buy Baby features comfortable nursing/pumping rooms for breast milk feeding moms on the go.
Many higher-end retail stores, such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, have ultra-comfy lounges inside some women’s restrooms that are wonderful for nursing or pumping moms.
- Finally, many shopping malls (like the Westfield malls) also feature designated family lounges with nursing and/or pumping areas. The likelihood that your local shopping mall has a family lounge is high, but you can always call ahead to confirm if you’re not sure. Malls are a great way to get out of the home and browse with your baby at your own pace, no matter the weather.
- Relax at your local coffee shop.
Most coffee shops feature a quiet, relaxing atmosphere that is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat or something to drink while soaking up the ambience with your little one. Best of all, many patrons are usually focused on things like studying or working, so your local coffee shop may provide you with the perfect balance of private and social.
- Enjoy the outdoors at a neighboring park, lake, beach or nature path.
It’s no secret that fresh air and sunshine can do what feels like wonders sometimes! Taking your baby for a leisurely stroll along a local nature path or beach or simply spending time outside at a park together can be as rejuvenating as it is relaxing.
- Plan an afternoon out at the nearest museum.
Many museums feature private nursing and pumping rooms among their amenities, as well as breastfeeding-friendly policies, though you can always call ahead to be sure. Visiting different exhibits and pointing out interesting things to your little one along the way, such as artifacts, art, and other historical items, can be fun. You never know what might pique a baby’s interest, but rest assured that museums will have plenty to draw their attention! Bonus tip: Many museums have free or heavily discounted admission during a designated day of the week to make an afternoon out even easier on your wallet.
If you feel self-conscious at first, bring a sling or wrap for extra privacy while feeding your baby. You can also use your car to pump while on the go or if you don’t feel comfortable nursing in public. Tinted windows and/or strategically-placed window shades can prevent passerby from seeing inside while giving you the privacy you’re seeking. Car organizers that slide over the backs of your seats often provide plenty of compartments for supplies, allowing you to create a makeshift nursing and/or pumping space whenever and wherever you or your baby may need it. For extra back-up, you can also order a vehicle adaptor to charge your pump’s battery if it starts running low. Even going on a relaxing drive with your baby during non-rush hours while listening to your favorite music can make a world of difference and get you both out of the home for a short time.
Where to Breastfeed or Pump? There’s an App for That
The rise of mobile apps means that more information is at your fingertips than ever before. There are a few apps that can be especially helpful when traveling or if you’re in a less-familiar area:
Moms Pump Here allows moms around the world to share pumping and nursing locations near them.
The Mamava mobile app shows the location of every Mamava suite as well as many other nearby nursing and pumping spaces.
Finally, Feed Finder, ideal for those living in or frequently traveling to the U.K., allows moms to also share and review nearby breastfeeding and pumping locations.
There are a ton of great ways to get outside and many friendly first places to go while breastfeeding, so don’t be afraid to venture out and start enjoying the world through your baby’s eyes. You may even encourage their early sense of exploration! If you have a fun suggestion that didn’t make it onto this list, share it with us. We love hearing from our moms around the globe.