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The Creativity of Covering Up: Breastfeeding & Holiday Gatherings

Tis the season. Gatherings. Work parties. Cookie exchanges. New Years Eve parties. Preschool parties. Middle School parties.  The list goes on.

Add to that list the number of breastfeeding mamas attempting to attend these glorious events, feed their milk-crazed babies, forgot the bottles, and still need to stay sane. Oh. And also add to that list the tale of two onlookers. One with the eye-roll (when the dairy farm pops out from underneath the shirt). One with the supportive warm smile (also, when the dairy farm pops out from underneath the shirt). Once again, tis the season.

I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for 5 years now. My almost 3 yr old is nearly weaned, minus the occasional ‘mulky’ fix in the morning, though I have been removed from the public breastfeeding routine for quite some time now. For many of us, though, we are in the front row with backstage passes to this *what seems like* never-predictable event. Many of us mamas, both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, have a variety of views on ‘whipping out the big ole B’ in public, and I am not here to discuss those. I am here, however, to address something that I know I experienced during my public breastfeeding years, especially around the infamous time of non-stop holiday gatherings. 

the-creativity-of-covering-up

I personally was not comfortable just flinging out the girls, to feed my girls, in all situations. Around my husband, mom and sister? Yes. Around many of my girlfriends? Yes. Around my dad and father in law? ehhh…nope. We all have our varying degrees of comfort levels, and with those comfort levels comes the hunt for creative ways to cover up.

I was sitting in my BSF class today, admiring the adorable little chunk of a baby girl sitting next to me, with her mama. Before I knew it, my classmate lifted up this amazingly adorable poncho-top (which mind you, I thought was simply that), and started to feed her hungry little hippo. At the end of class I inquired if this was some sort of ‘new and improved’ shirt for breastfeeding, and to my glorious surprise, it was! Hence how this post was born. So I am simply here to share with you some creative ways you also can cover up, not only during everyday life, but during this busy and nonstop holiday season for so many of us. By no means is this a comprehensive list, or in any particular order, but I have included some pretty cool goodies, as well as the infamous tried-and-true.

  1. The blanket, burp cloth, random piece of anything method – that’s right. Something you find in your car, drawer, purse, diaper bag. Anything that covers the area of suckling babe. Use it. Fanciness not required.
  2. Nursing dresses – how cute are these? Nothing to wear to that work party? Grab one of these, your baby, and you are set!
  3. Hooter Hider  – this was about as fancy as I got with my girls. Tried-and-true. Minus the occasional side-flash you may give someone next to you.
  4. Infinity Nursing Scarf  – ok, adorable. Scarf turns cover-up. I just linked one, but you can find many of these on Etsy, Amazon, etc. (*** BONUS *** From now through 1/31/17, Plum Love Creations is offered our readers FREE shipping on infinity nursing scarves with the promo code: DAYTON)
  5. Ring Slings – yes. Ring slings are NOT only for carrying your little. I did not use my ring sling as much as my Boba Tweet, but you can definitely utilize both of these as cover ups/transportation devices. Try it! Ring slings and baby carriers come in multiple sizes, designs, styles, etc. In fact, check out the 2015 post from Monica, my friend & fellow DMB contributor, titled Baby Wearing: Ring Slings, Carriers, & Wraps Oh My!. Explore and experiment!
  6. Cover Me Ponchos – this is what my classmate was wearing today. Oh my, adorable. I want one.
  7. And last but definitely not least, an Ugly Christmas Sweater, specifically like this one.  Since sometimes us mamas like to bring extra holiday cheer to all of the eye-rollers.

Keep feeding those little squirts, mamas. No matter how you cover (or don’t), how you feed, or how you parent, we are all in this together! If you have any creative ways YOU cover up, please share! The more the merrier!

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3 Responses to The Creativity of Covering Up: Breastfeeding & Holiday Gatherings

  1. Jamie December 20, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    So many cute and creative options! I usually go with a cover-up or tie the corners of a muslin blanket around my neck (since I always have them on hand). Might have to try a few of these out!

  2. Kwana December 20, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    Cute, funny and insightful Stephanie! Definitely relatable. So happy I’m past all that. Whew!

  3. Carrie Chambers February 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    I love the poncho! My kiddo moves so much when she nurses now, I think that one could actually work.