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Breastfeeding in Vancouver: 5 tips from local moms

10/06/2014 09:00 EDT | Updated 12/06/2014 05:59 EST
Vancouver is a pretty welcoming place for breastfeeding mothers, but it can still be a challenge to find a place to nurse when your baby is screaming and you're out and about in town.

To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in Canada, The Early Edition gathered some advice from moms about how to feed in comfort and in public in the city.

5 tips from Vancouver moms

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Strategize your spot. Park benches, coffee shops and kid-friendly locales like the Roundhouse Community Centre are favourites of moms we surveyed, as are the cafés at Urban Fare and Whole Foods. But there are some places that mom Brie Aho avoids if she can. "I was on the SkyTrain once and it was a little awkward because it was packed," she says. "It's probably better just to hop off at the next stop and find someplace there."

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Get comfortable. Most moms we talked to use some kind of cover for their own comfort. Lindsey Petherick's favourite is the Hooter Hider. But mother of twins Rupi Gynane says with two, "modesty is out the door." Bottom line: do whatever puts you and your baby at ease. "Don't be afraid, just do it," says Sarah Samson. "And get comfortable. Bring a book, or bring an iPad, because you spend a lot of time doing it, especially at the beginning."

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Get backup. Other moms can be a great source of support, which is why parks and community centres are favourite locales. Dads can also help create a comfortable environment. Proud papa Sean Gynane says it's best not to worry about the people around you. "You may be a little concerned that others may be looking at your wife, just to sneak a peak," he jokes. "Well, it is what it is."

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Get confident. It's easier to nurse on-the-go if you know what you're doing. "Get your confidence up on breastfeeding for the first few weeks at home first, so you can easily get the baby to latch on, and you and baby aren't having problems," advises Lindsey Petherick. "Once you've nailed it... it's easier to breastfeed in public." Mom Connie Spear says the Vancouver Breastfeeding Centre was an invaluable source of help.

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Ignore judgment. Most moms we talked to say Vancouver is a very supportive city for nursing moms. But Rupi Gynane says things have changed now that her son and daughter are 18 months. "Now that they're getting a little bit older, you get some different looks," she says. "But honestly, I've just ignored it."

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