When you are new to breastfeeding in public, it can be nerve-racking. You can always start at friendly places that will give you the comfort and the confidence you need to do it with peace, such as your local friendly cafe or a breastfeeding group.
Keep in mind that if you are choosing to breastfeed, you have the right to do it wherever and whenever your baby needs. Most importantly, it’s against the law to discriminate breastfeeding in the UK - click here to read more advice on this from the NHS.
Before going out and about, you can research for suitable areas that will provide a happy and cozy environment.
One of our favourite pieces of advice from the NHS website is this: "Avoid the loos. Do not feel that you should sit in a public toilet to breastfeed. You would not eat in there, so do not feel that your baby should be fed there." Quite right!
If you want to be more discreet while breastfeeding, you can use a breastfeeding cover if you want more coverage and privacy.
Why buy a breastfeeding cover?
Most of the maternity tops in the market are breastfeeding friendly, but if you want to keep using your old wardrobe, these covers will be an excellent addition to your daily life.
They're quite simple - they literally cover you and your baby while you breastfeed, acting like a shield to give you privacy if you so wish.
You might not know that there is more than one type of breastfeeding cover:
- Nursing shawl: the most common one is just a large piece of fabric that you can easily DIY it with any muslin.
- Nursing poncho: this will cover not only your front but also your back becoming the right solution for colder days.
- Nursing scarf: as the name says, it can be worn around the neck when you’re not nursing.
- Nursing apron: it isn’t designed to be worn as regular clothing pieces as it looks like aprons that tie around your neck and drape over the baby.
Are breastfeeding covers safe to use?
Yes - specifically designed breastfeeding covers are safe for you and your baby to use; although, always make sure your baby has plenty of room to breathe, and that air can circulate underneath the cover.
You also want to make sure you are comfortable while feeding, and that you don't overheat either. Breastfeeding is hot business and wearing a cover can make you feel warm, so always make sure you are happy however you're feeding. Never feel any pressure to cover up - it is your choice, and your decision how and where to feed your baby.
If you would like to try a breastfeeding cover, here's our selection of favourites:
Made in the UK, this breastfeeding cover gives more coverage than many other brands. It's made from 100% cotton fabric, resulting in a lighter, looser, and more comfortable cover. We love the polka dot design; it has a boned neckline, allowing you to keep eye contact with your baby while they feed.
One downside is that the neck strap isn't adjustable, but it is a good length at 18 inches.
This multi-use cover was the Silver award winner in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Travel Product Under £30.
It can be used as a breastfeeding poncho, a blanket for your baby, or a sunshade - a handy product if you're travelling.
Tested by mum Ellen for the 2020 M&B Awards; she said: "This product allowed me to breastfeed my daughter discreetly with ease. I see myself as a confident breastfeeder, however, I do find at times, usually when I'm wearing a top that requires me to completely expose my breast to feed my daughter, that I still feel uncomfortable nursing. Cover Me provided me with the privacy I required to feed my daughter."
Read our full review of the Cover Me Multi-Use Cover here
Seraphine’s essential breastfeeding cover is the perfect way to keep you and your little one covered while you feed. It's stylish as well as practical, and the fabric is hypoallergenic with antibacterial properties.
It's made from an eco-friendly Bamboo wool blend, with poppers at the shoulder - we love the way you can wear this as a shawl or scarf with no one knowing it's a breastfeeding cover.
This cover is made with 100% premium cotton. The rigid neckline means you can have eye contact with your baby at all times while feeding, and the strap is adjustable so it's easy to find a position that's comfortable. There's also a handy little front pocket - ideal for a lip balm, or your essential purple tube.
This breastfeeding scarf is quick to put on and take off - essential when you're getting ready to feed a hungry baby. You could also wear it as a regular scarf. The neckline is semi-rigid, allowing you to keep eye contact with baby. It's recommended to hand wash this.
A one-size-fits-all apron, easy to roll up and carry with you wherever you go. It features two pockets, to pop in your phone and other stuff, and the strap is adjustable. It's machine washable, and comes with a little bag to store it nicely away too.