A nursing cover can make it more comfortable and convenient to breastfeed or breast pump when away from home.
There are many different designs with different features, but all of them are designed to make it easier for a new mom to nurse and care for a baby while balancing convenience and modesty.
Different types of nursing covers are used in different ways, so let’s look a little closer at how to use a nursing cover.
How to Use a Nursing Cover
The Nursing Poncho
Nursing ponchos look just like traditional ponchos and aren’t usually designed very differently from them.
They can be a great option in cool weather because they keep both you and baby fully covered and warm during breastfeeding.
How to use a nursing poncho:
- Place the baby in your lap and drape the poncho over both of you
- Position the baby in your arms, with their head in place against your shirt
- With one hand, reach under the poncho, lift your shirt, and unclasp your nursing bra
- Use your hand to help baby latch on
- Hold the baby with one arm beneath the poncho while they feed
The Nursing Shawl
A nursing shawl looks and is worn just like a traditional shawl. They provide full coverage, but typically aren’t as long as a poncho, and can be worn fashionably.
How to use a nursing shawl:
- Position the baby in your arms, with their head in place against your shirt.
- Drape the nursing shawl over the baby, covering both of you with the shawl.
- With one hand, reach under the shawl, lift your shirt, and unclasp your nursing bra.
- Use your hand to help baby latch on.
- Hold the baby with one arm beneath the shawl while they feed.
The Nursing Scarf
A nursing scarf looks and wears just like an ordinary scarf, and is a great fashion accessory. It doesn’t cover you or your baby completely, it simply drapes enough to act as a nursing cover; many moms prefer a nursing scarf in warmer weather.
Nursing scarves are also incredibly versatile in the ways they can be worn and used.
How to use a nursing scarf:
- Because they provide less coverage than shawls and ponchos, it’s a good idea to practice using a nursing scarf at home, so you are comfortable using it in public.
- Drape the scarf once around your neck, leaving a long, loose portion of the scarf draped over your chest and torso.
- Position baby in your lap.
- Reach under the scarf and adjust your garments and undo your nursing bra.
- Lift baby beneath the scarf and help them latch on.
- If you choose, you can use the loose portion of the scarf to drape over the baby’s head or leave the scarf draped just over your chest, with the baby’s head free.
The Nursing Apron
Unlike the other nursing covers, a nursing apron is specifically designed for nursing and doesn’t double as another type of garment.
A nursing apron has a distinctive apron strap, so it hangs from your neck down over the front of your body, like a blanket with a neck strap. A nursing apron also has a wide top opening that is held open with internal structure.
It provides full coverage of your chest and torso, but the wide-open neck allows you to look down and see your baby at all times, rather than draping them in fabric with other nursing covers.
Many nursing aprons also have pockets so you can keep small items close at hand. The extra visibility and storage of a nursing apron is a great advantage when using a breast pump.
How to use a nursing apron:
- Drape the nursing apron over your neck and let it fall over the front of your body.
- Hold the baby in position in your lap, and cover them with the apron.
- Reach beneath the apron and lift your shirt and undo your nursing bra.
- Use your hand to help baby latch.
There are many different designs and features in nursing covers, and each has its advantages for moms and babies with different preferences.
For new moms or babies who are easily distracted or confused, a little practice at home is a great idea. It will help both of you get used to using a nursing cover and make the right choice for you.