First you get comfortable nursing and then you have to do it in public, or with guests around! A whole new thing to learn. I loved my nursing cover for those moments. A good one that is large enough and has a nice little peek though hole around your neck so you can see down and look at the baby. (Used it to cover up when pumping in my classroom at recess too!). Another saving grace is an awesome nursing top called Undercover Mama. I have only found them online. It is a tank with hooks where the straps would be, and the hooks latch in/on to your nursing bra, so you can wear it under any shirt. That way when you have to lift up your shirt to nurse, you have a layer underneath to keep your belly and back covered. It turns any top into a nursing top. I didn’t want to have to buy a whole new line of clothing just to wear for a year. Most of my friends didn’t either. Some moms I know also wore a cami under their shirts and were able to pull the straps to the side with their bra.
Speaking of nursing bras. Get a GOOD one, or a few. The key to doing that is getting fit by someone who knows what a nursing mother needs. Lactation consultants can often recommend a place to do so. I was fortunate to have a wonderful resource at the hospital I delivered at: a store just for moms with all the breastfeeding needs and wants, and a knowledgeable person to help fit me.
I really enjoy the Bravado line of nursing bras. They are pricey (think Victoria’s Secret of nursing bras) but worth it if you plan to nurse for a long time. A quick word on underwire too: don’t do it. I am always surprised when a nursing bra has it, because it can only increase your chance of a breast infection or mastitis. I learned the hard way with this. I thought I was done breastfeeding and eager to jump back into a non-nursing bra, so I got a pretty one from Victoria’s Secret, and even though I had stopped nursing, my milk wasn’t totally gone, and sure enough, I ended up with mastitis as I was weaning. The Bravado line has a few pretty bras, a few very comfortable ones, and all are designed to provide nice shape for your chest too.
When I nursed my older daughter I was very modest and always used my cover, but after a year of nursing her, now when I nurse my younger daughter I am often more at ease just having my Undercover Mama tank on, and my shirt—it often minimizes what is exposed anyway. Slowly you will find what is comfortable for you when you nurse. The subject is very taboo, but if more people nursed in public, imagine how much easier it would be for women to breastfeed anywhere, and how much easier it would be for the daily lives of breastfeeding moms on the go, and in turn, how many more moms would probably breastfeed. Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now! Another reason to love Nordstrom—their mother’s lounge and/or cushy restrooms—but there isn’t a Norsdstrom at every shopping center, so you have to get creative about nursing, or get comfortable doing so in public. Again, over time, you hopefully will.