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figure8moms blog

TIPS FOR BREASTFEEDING DURING THE SUMMER AT THE POOL OR BEACH

by Jennifer Brenan (breastfeedingneeds.com)
As a mom to three I have been breastfeeding off and on for years, and every one of my babies has been breastfed at the beach or pool at some point. After lots of experience, I finally feel confident breastfeeding anywhere and anytime, including at the beach, pool, lake, or water park. These kinds of pool and beach trips change a lot after having a baby. Besides having so much more stuff to lug with you, you might feel nervous about breastfeeding easily while on an outing.

I am going to share a few of my tips to hopefully make it a little easier to breastfeed during the summer at the beach or pool.

1. Use clothes and lotion to provide sun and heat protection for your baby. Young babies should not be exposed to the sun, and usually cannot use sunscreen until about six-months-old. I like to always be covered with an umbrella or tent, and then dress my baby in lightweight natural organic baby clothing, like the ones by Finn + Emma. I also use a light blanket for any additional coverage. Little hats are great too, and can help your baby stay cool.

2. Find a comfortable place to sit down while nursing. If you are at the beach, bring a chair. Breastfeeding while sitting on a towel is doable in a pinch, but not comfortable at all. I have had back problems off and on since my first baby was born so I need a supportive seat while breastfeeding. I also feel more confident breastfeeding in public when I am not straining or uncomfortable.

3. A small travel nursing pillow can help. I have used one for years and find it great for travel, as well as using at the beach.

4. Wear your baby in a baby carrier. You can breastfeed while wearing your baby and it makes it easier to carry your gear and move around as needed.

5. Keep breastfeeding on demand. Even though you are outside and probably want to en-gage with your family and have fun, it’s important to still breastfeed your baby as much as possible. Especially in the heat, breastfeeding will be the only fluids a young, exclu-sively breastfed baby is getting.

6. Dress comfortably and wear clothing which has easy access for breastfeeding. It's not fun pulling hot sweaty clothes off your body to breastfeed a squirming baby in the outdoor heat.

Here I am wearing the The Boob Design Fast Food Maternity & Nursing Swimsuit with SPF 50+ Sun Protection This swimsuit is lightweight and breathes well, it dries quickly, and it adjusts from pregnancy to breastfeeding. It also has adjustable straps which give support as your shape changes after pregnancy. While I don’t believe a mom needs to breastfeed discretely at all, many of us feel more comfortable this way and this swimsuit makes it easy. The top of it can be easily pulled up to reveal another layer which you can pull down to breastfeed. I feel the most confident when I have a swimsuit which is nursing friendly. Taking a breastfed baby out to the beach or pool comes with its own challenges, but following these tips and having a nursing friendly swimsuit will make breastfeeding a breeze all summer.

Jennifer Brenan