Breastfeeding – getting out and about

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A few weeks after the birth it is important for you to start getting out and about with your new pēpi (baby).

Breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding is a good way to feed your pēpi when you are out. Breast milk is free, fresh and requires no preparation. It is your right to feed your pēpi anywhere, any time and any place.

Some parents might be shy, but breastfeeding is part of everyday life — it is not something that should be hidden away. Here are some tips if you feel a little uncomfortable.

  • Be relaxed.
  • Get the support of friends and whānau. Ask them to sit with you in a café or on a bench in a shopping mall while you feed your pēpi.
  • Be comfortable. Before you start, make sure that you have somewhere to sit that is comfortable and has back support.
  • Practise before you go out. Try breastfeeding your pēpi in front of a friend or the mirror to practise your technique and see what works best for you.
  • Wear the right clothing. Wear a breastfeeding or nursing bra that can be undone with one hand. Tops that are easy to pull down or push up can also help.
  • If you want more privacy while you are breastfeeding you can cover up using a large wrap, muslin, shawl or blanket draped around your shoulders.
  • You could also try a baby sling or baby carrier. Make sure that your clothes are easily adjusted so that you can feed your pēpi without having to take the sling off.

Going out with your pēpi

Sometimes you will be away from your pēpi. This may be because you are returning to work or just going out. You can express breast milk so that your pēpi can feed while you are out. The Kidshealth website has more about expressing and storing breast milk.

Drinking alcohol

Alcohol passes through your breast milk to your pēpi, so you should avoid it while you are breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol:

  • can lower your milk supply
  • might make your pēpi irritable, unsettled or sleepy
  • might make them not able to feed well.

If you do have a few drinks, make sure you avoid breastfeeding for at least a couple of hours afterwards. You could use expressed milk instead.

If you choose to drink, make sure that your pēpi has someone looking after them who is alert to their needs and free from alcohol or drugs.

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