Title:
Self-contained privacy cover for caretakers of infants
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible modesty cover sized to cover an infant and caretaker during breast-feeding is described. In one embodiment, the flexible cover comprises folding patterns to allow the flexible cover to be folded into a compact article, an integral pouch portion of the flexible cover configured to receive a substantial portion of the flexible cover to form the compact article, a flexible member configured to form a portion of the cover into an opening between the caretaker and infant. The opening is configured to allow the caretaker and infant to see each other, while the opening still blocks views of the infant and caretaker's exposed body portions from the general public.



Inventors:
Holland, Julie Anne (Fairfield, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/082574
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
04/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/48, 2/104
International Classes:
A41D13/04; A41D1/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEONARD TACHNER, A PROFESSIONAL LAW (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A privacy cover-up apparatus comprising: a flexible cover sized to cover an infant and caretaker during a caretaking activity; wherein the flexible cover comprises folding patterns to allow the flexible cover to be folded into a compact article; a pouch portion of the flexible cover configured to receive a said folded flexible cover to form the compact article; and a flexible member configured to form a portion of the cover into an opening between the caretaker and infant, wherein the opening is configured to allow the caretaker and infant to see each other, while the opening is sized sufficiently to block views of the infant and care-taker's exposed body portions from others.

2. A cover-up for providing privacy to a nursing mother during infant breastfeeding in a public place; the cover-up comprising: a substantially planar fabric cover of sufficient size to cover the infant and the breast of the nursing mother; an edge portion of said fabric cover being made of a shape-retaining material which can be formed into an arch extending outside the plane of said fabric cover to provide an air flow passage to the infant; and an adjustable strap for securing said fabric cover to the mother's neck.

3. The cover-up recited in claim 2 wherein said edge portion and said strap are juxtaposed along the same position on said cover to permit said air flow passage to enable the mother to see the infant.

4. A flexible modesty cover comprising: a substantially planar fabric portion having an edge area along at least a portion of its perimeter; a neck strap connected to said fabric portion along said edge area; a shape-retaining material being sewn into said edge area to permit formation of an arch in at least a part of said fabric portion to provide a ventilation passage.

5. The flexible modesty cover recited in claim 4 wherein said neck strap and said shape retaining material are located in adjacent relation along said edge area.

6. The flexible modesty cover recited in claim 4 wherein said planar fabric portion further comprises an integral open pocket for receiving said fabric portion in a folded configuration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application takes priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/933,323 filed on Sep. 10, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of infant care, and in particular to apparatus and methods for covering a nursing infant and caretaker during breastfeeding.

2. Background Art

Generally, nursing is an intimate and private time, typically between the mother or caretaker, and one or more infants. Unfortunately, infants often want to be fed at importune times, leaving the mother with a modesty problem when the infant wants to be nursed in public.

Caretakers and mothers often use conventional cloth cover-ups, blankets, towels, clothing, etc. in an attempt to cover themselves while nursing an infant in public. For example, conventional cover-ups such as described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 20070094764 published May, 2007 to Wakefield et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,893,171 issued April, 1999 to Ries; U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 20030135909 published July, 2003 to LaTorre; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,479,662 issued January, 1996 to Runco, describe cover-ups used to cover the caretaker and infant during nursing. Unfortunately, such conventional cover-ups, towels, etc., are hard to store, are relatively complex and often fail to allow the mother and child to view each other without exposing the mother. Further, to maintain privacy, conventional cover-ups and cloth covers may impede fresh airflow to the infant, thereby adding stress to the mother trying to maintain privacy, while making fresh air available to the infant.

Therefore, what is needed is an improved nursing cover-up allowing a caretaker to nurse an infant with privacy and comfort.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention provide privacy to the user while feeding or caring for an infant. In one embodiment, the cover-up is configured to provide a shape-retaining pliable member in a position to form an arch and thus allow a user and infant to visualize each other and for an infant to receive adequate ventilation during the caretaking activity. The cover-up is configured to fold easily into a compact and stylish article enclosed in an integral.

These and other embodiments of the invention are described in further detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The aforementioned objects and advantages of the present invention, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will be more fully understood hereinafter as a result of a detailed description of a preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of the cover up of the invention configured to be worn by a user;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the privacy cover up lying on a flat surface;

FIG. 3 is a diagram showing how the privacy cover up hereof folds and converts into an integral pouch; and

FIG. 4 is a view of the cover up fully folded and in the pouch state.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 2 shows a rectangular piece of fabric 100 that has finished edges and comprises the majority of the privacy cover-up. Encased in the central portion of the uppermost seam there is a stiff yet pliant strip 106 preferably made of polyester bone which bows out from the user 107 allowing visualization and ventilation for the infant 108. The long portion 102 of a neck strap is sewn to one end of the pliant strip 106. A D ring 105 is sewn to the free end of neck strap portion 103. The short portion 104 of the neck strap is sewn to the opposite end of the pliant strip 106. The two pieces of the neck strap are connected by the D ring 105 which allows the strap to adjust lengths. At the bottom corner of the rectangular piece of fabric 100 a pocket 101 is sewn. An additional pocket 102 is sewn directly on top of the inner pocket 101.

Operation

A user of the privacy cover-up unfolds it from the pouch state. The user connects the long portion 103 of the neck strap to the short portion 104 of the neck strap by slipping the short end into both rings of the D ring 105. The user then directs the short end 104 over one ring and under the other then pulls on the strap to tighten. The user places the neck strap over their neck and either loosens or tightens the neck strap to adjust the length. The user straightens the rectangular piece of fabric 100 to provide maximum coverage to herself and the infant. Next, the user adjusts the pliant strip 106 of the upper seam to provide an arch and slightly elevated passage in order to easily visualize the infant. The pliant strip 106 also allows the infant to see the user and fresh air to flow easily in and out of the cover-up. The user can easily gain access to the items stored in either the inside pocket 101 or outside pocket 102 by simply reaching to the lower corner of the rectangular piece 100. Both pockets will be right side up whether in the cover-up state FIG. 2 or in the pouch state FIG. 4. Items in the pockets do not have to be rearranged when converting from pouch to cover-up.

After the user is finished with the cover-up, it can be easily and compactly stored within itself. This transformation is accomplished by the user completing a series of folds shown in more detail in FIG. 3A-K. After the last fold has been completed, the user reaches inside pocket 101 and flips the folded cover-up inside out forming the pouch FIG. 4. The pouch can be used to store various items and can be easily and discreetly packed away. Not only is the pouch stylish and compact, but it also enables the user to stow a clean item since any soiled material will be folded up and contained on the inside of the pouch.

Embodiments of the invention provide several advantages over conventional cover-ups:

    • Folds effortlessly and neatly into a self-contained pocket;
    • Converts into a stylish and compact pouch;
    • Can be used by either a man or a woman;
    • Is more versatile;
    • Provides a large area of coverage;
    • Is extremely easy to stow away;
    • Contains multiple pockets for storage of baby items or other items;
    • Is compatible with any type clothing;
    • Can be worn by any size person;
    • Has an adjustable neck strap;
    • Provides a shape-retaining edge portion which can be elevated into an arch shape to form an air flow and vision passage.

The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereunto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention.

A recitation of “a”, “an” or “the” is intended to mean “one or more” unless specifically indicated to the contrary.

All patents, patent applications, publications, and descriptions mentioned above are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes. None is admitted to be prior art.