Breastfeeding in public?

Erika - posted on 04/21/2010 ( 121 moms have responded )

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Do you breastfeed you baby in public? what was surrounded people reaction to it? or did you use bottle with expressed milk in public?

I am first time mom with 1 month old boy, he is feeding almost every hour, so i find difficulty to go out with him for more than an hour.

I live in small town in UK for around 3yrs, and never saw here any lady breastfeeding outside.

would love to hear your experience or any suggestions

Thanks

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Denise - posted on 04/21/2010

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I breast fed my daughter in public. I used a nursing cover or a blanket. Some people would stare at me like I was crazy...but I don't care what other people think. Breast is best and its NATURAL. I get pissed off with majority of society today and their views on breastfeeding. That's why women have breasts, they are for feeding your offspring....NOT FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ! Every other mammal does it. I would get some women who would compliment me. Which is nice but happened very rarely. I plan to breastfeed my son, he is due May 8th. And I will breastfeed in public. I would recommend a good nursing cover...and if anyone gives you a hassle about it. Just speak your mind.

Celeste - posted on 04/21/2010

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I breastfed my twins in public quite often (separately). At first, I used a cover for my comfort. As they got older, I ditched the cover and started wearing a loose t-shirt. I live in TX and I've never had any kind of negative experience (thank goodness).

I would suggest practicing in front of a mirror. That will give you an idea on how you look, does that make sense? I think the more you do it, the more comfortable it will become. The first few times were a bit nerve racking but as I did it more, it became no big deal.

Rise - posted on 04/27/2010

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I always nurse in public. There is no reason you can't, and if anyone is weirded out by it then it is thier problem. Definately practice in front of a mirror. That way you can adjust how you manuver the baby and your clothing.

Angela - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hi Erika.

I am a mother of 3 wonderful and healthy kids all of which I breastfed. With each of them there was a time I breastfed them in public. When I had my first I was 19yr and had decided to breastfeed her way before she was born. I had never seen a mother breastfeed in public but that didn't stop me. My feeling is that my child is more important than my or anyone in views pride or embarrassment. If she is hungry, she must be fed. I know lots of people who go to the bathroom to feed there baby but a mother really needs to be comfortable to feed their baby. And I definitely would not eat in there.



I received mix reactions from people getting up and leaving to those who would actually come up to me and smile warmly and say what a wonderful thing I was doing.



It can be done discretely by using a blanket while feeding if that makes YOU more comfortable. I wish you the best.



Angie

[deleted account]

I nursed in public which got mixed reactions. Most people thought I was holding a sleeping baby and would get really close...and be embarassed when they saw I was nursing. No one really made a fuss but I also tried to be discreet by being off to the side or in back of a group and I always made sure I was covered. I used my belly band from pregnancy as a sort of undershirt so I wasn't showing off my saggy post-pregnancy tummy. I tried using a blanket to cover my daughter with as she fed but she enjoyed playing with it. A moving blanket attracted more attention than my shirt arranged funny and a babe near the breast.

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Tira - posted on 01/17/2013

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I was lucky with my first boy, breastfeeding was a joy.
My second pregnancy was hard, the birth was better because I had experience.
BUT BREASTFEEDING WAS SO HARD.
I was in tears and frustrated, how could this baby be so different. My first boy was 4 and wanted entertaining and adventures, I was petrified go to the park or the pool, because of how difficult breastfeeding was.
So Rather than stay hiding at home I made the first Milk Silk, so that at least I would be discrete and covered if he came unlatched constantly throughout the feed as was usual.
Unbelievable the silk soothed him in unexpected ways and he stopped fussing and settled for a decent feed. I used my milk silk at every feed now and found so many benefits and uses for it,
That I have shared it with all my friend’s and now I want to share it with all breastfeeding mums. This is not just a cover, it’s a calmer and a distractor and a marker and a hankie and a wash cloth and I have even used it as a hat when I was caught out on a hot day.
We have just started selling them and want to share the news, there’s a super new Feeding scarf like no other, petite and discreet. It’s not for hiding your breastfeeding it’s for helping.

https://www.facebook.com/MilkSilksNursingScarf

http://www.milksilks.co.nz/

Mandy - posted on 04/28/2010

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I have breastfed both my kids in public loads of time (I'm in Scotland btw). I've had a few funny looks but could count them on 1 hand. 1 woman complained in a restaurant but the waiter was lovely, came over to me and offered me another drink.
My daughter was a summer baby so I never covered her at all, just wore clothes that were convient for nursing. My son was a winter baby, so I felt the cold a little more, so I wore either a boob tube or vest underneath my clothes to help keep my tummy warm.
The majority of the time no one even noticed I was feeding, and I wore a J cup bra for the 1st 6 months of my sons life (we are still nursing now at 15 months though only in the morning). I would just get myself comfy, position the baby and get on with it. Not making a big deal and attracting attention, making it matter of fact really helps. You're feeding your baby, that's all that matters.
In the UK and the majority of US states you are protected under law regarding nursing in public, no one can stop you doing or ask you to move on.
I refused to be stuck in the house, or to only go out for a little while. You could buy a good sling that would allow you to walk around and nurse at the same time, giving you a lot more freedom. For me I was lucky enough to be able to express lots of milk, but not every mum can. It's also time consuming, I would rather be out enjoying life than attached to pump, so someone would be offended by me feeding my baby the way nature intended. For me expressing was a necessity because I had so much milk and also to build up a supply, just in case I was ever ill or I needed to be away from home.
Go out with someone who is supportive and join a local breastfeeding support group, build yourself up till you can just get on with it. Good luck x

Mary-Allegra - posted on 04/27/2010

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I breast fed my son while crossing the street once...usually, though, sitting down is more comfortable. ;-) Just do what you feel comfortable with...I use a cover, but mostly because it's cute (I made it myself!).

Erin - posted on 04/27/2010

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I too never had a problem with nursing in public. I used a blanket to cover up. Some people gave me weird looks, but most smiled at me. I think if some one has a problem with you feeding your child, thats THEIR problem. You baby is hungry, you need to feed them.

Rachel - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hi, i'm a first time mom as well, and i'm relactating. When I was breastfeeding my daughter I was embarassed to do it in public so I used to bring a bottle with me. HUGE mistake! If I was out for a few hours, my breasts didn't get any stimulation, and because I was not removing the milk it eventually decreased my supply. Now I have no issues with it, I don't even use a wrap, my daughter hates it so much, instead of eating she will bat at it until I take it off. Since you live in Europe (so do I) people will probably not care, they might stare at you, but I doubt anyone will say anything and if they do tell them it's natural and you have to feed your baby. Good luck!

Allison - posted on 04/27/2010

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I proudly breastfed in public. It is perfectly normal and I won't apologize. If you're offended by the sight of a mammal feeding their child, then put a blanket on YOUR head.

[deleted account]

I breastfeed anywhere my baby gets hungry! I've walked around the grocery store feeding her while my older two (4 and 2) put the groceries in the basket for me. I don't have time to care what people think, once you get that mindset it'll free you up to make more difficult decisions like "shower or bed". Those are the hard decisions!

User - posted on 04/27/2010

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My son didn't have a problem with the cover. I think mainly because since he was practically a newborn I used one. Once he saw the cover he would instantly pucker his lips in breastfeeding motion. It was very cute. I never had any problems in public. Start using a cover now if u feel uncomfortable. Since baby is so young, he will get used to it and not fight with it. :)

Angela - posted on 04/27/2010

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I breastfeed in public alot. I always have a blanket that covers us and for the most part no one knows. Most people think she is sleeping unless she starts moving around. I live in USA and the movement to support breastfeeding is high. We have malls that have areas for you to go that are 100% private. Sometimes I get people that are not okay with it, but I dont care much of what they think. My husband is also a little uncomfortable about it. But I just remind him of the benifits of breastfeeding and ask him how long he wants to wait for his next meal. Good luck.

Anne - posted on 04/27/2010

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I agree we shouldn't bother about people's reactions but I do know what you mean about not seeing anyone breastfeeding here. I am also in the UK and have never seen a woman doing that outside. I also felt self conscious.

Lauren - posted on 04/27/2010

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I use a nursing shawl in public so that I can still see my daughter but no one else can.

Megan - posted on 04/27/2010

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I was not comfortable breastfeeding in public, but I do not think there is anything wrong with it. I don't like it when women breastfeed in public and let it all hang out, but if you have a blanket or wrap covering yourself it's fine. I usually took a bottle with expressed milk or I would breastfeed in my car with a blanket covering. Some bigger and nicer malls around here even have nice benches in an enclosed area outside the restroom, and I felt comfortable breastfeeding there because it was fairly private.

Jennifer - posted on 04/27/2010

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When I first had the baby, and I was out in public, I would go to the restroom to nurse - then I started thinking "would I eat my lunch in here? NO WAY" I now nurse in public whenever my little one is hungry. I feel empowered! I was at a little league baseball game last week and was happy to see 2 other breast feeding moms out in public! Go MOMs!!!

Keri - posted on 04/26/2010

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I breastfed all the time in public but always opting to use a cover! I don't mind when mothers choose not to use a cover - in fact, I love that they're so confident and wish I could have felt less self-conscious. I felt so good about my choice to breastfeed I didn't care what anyone thought, and most often, no one even noticed. I would even walk around with the grocery store nursing my daughter! I felt in a way by nursing in public I was doing my part to advocate for nursing moms everywhere.

Tiffany - posted on 04/26/2010

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I breastfed my daughter in public all the time. She ate often as well. We just used a cover-up like a breast fedding cover up or one of her reciving blankets. Most people were very accepting it and others didn't even know i was doing it. they just thought I was wearing a shaw till they saw her feet. good luck with Breastfeeding and enjoy the time with your son while you can. I miss breastfedding my daughter unfortunately I dried up at 3 months with her. I believe though overall most people are accpeting as long as you cover up while doing it. By the way i live in the US so not sure on the difference in customs and acceptability though

Lisa - posted on 04/26/2010

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Hello Erika,

my name is Lisa I nursed two of my children and I did it in public as well. If they have never seen a woman feed her baby they need to get a life. women have been feeding babies this way since Eve. Just make sure your covered and don't worry about people around you just feed your baby. They grow up too fast and you will miss that time you bonded with your baby.

Becca - posted on 04/26/2010

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i have an "udder cover" and have no problem feeding in public. my son is 3 weeks and really haven't fed too much in public, but you gotta be confident about doing it. just cover yourself and pull it out, don't act like you are uncomfortable.

Robin - posted on 04/26/2010

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I nurse any where and anytime my daughter is hungry it is a feeding on demand when u breastfeed. i use a cover til i get her latched them i move the receivng blanket cause she will not nurse as well with her head covered. I joined a page on facebook that is "If Breastfeed Offends YOU Cover YOUR Head."DONT be ashamed of what other people think. cause BrEaST is best!!!!

Belinda - posted on 04/26/2010

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I breastfeed in public. I've never received any negative comments or looks, at least as far as I know. I did get a compliment from an older woman one time about how she's was glad to see me doing the best thing I can do for my baby. I've seen other women nursing in public with no cover. There's no reason to be ashamed or shy about it.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/26/2010

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Im a first time mom and I NEVER thought I would BF in public. First I BF in my car b4 going in somewhere, that got old FAST! and took to much time, so then I would use a cover, well we both got super hot and getting the cover out all the time was just to much when she was hungry NOW! ! I always wear a tank top under my shirts so now I just lift up the top shirt and pull down the tank and feed her like that! It covers everything! Some dont even notice I am feeding! I will walk around anywhere feeding her now! You will find some ppl will stare but that doesnt bother me at all! Dont worry how other look at you! Be Proud of it!

DESHUNDRA - posted on 04/26/2010

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Honestly i dont care wht people think...I've also thought about tha same thing.But just pump your breast an put your breast milk in a bottle an take it with u..Thats what i do.

Ashley - posted on 04/26/2010

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I don't really like to breastfeed in public I'm a little modest but I do when I have to my son is almost 4 months I don't do it much now he gets formula when we're out in public most of the time unless it's a friends house but I did a lot at first I always wear a tank under my t shirt just pull down the tank and pull up the t-shirt and just put a blanket over my shoulder (easiest with a larger receiving blanket) plopped out a boobie and popped him on there under the blanket that way your tummy is still covered and your chest is too in case he decides too pull off. people always just thought I was holding him & often people asked to see him I had to tell them I was breastfeeding.

Asti Renee - posted on 04/26/2010

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I hate seeing people breast feeding in public. But that is just me. I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable so I don't do it. But when the needs arises you need to do what you need to do!!! I have fed my son in the back seat of out car. We have really tinted windows and it was in a parking lot where there weren't a lot of people. I did use a cover in my car also. I always use bottles filled with breast milk. My son has never had formula so he is on breast milk only. So when we go out that is what i do. If you are comfortable with breast feeding in public then you shouldn't worry about what other people think!!! GOOD LUCK!

Meghan - posted on 04/26/2010

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Yes I do nurse in public and I have yet to have any problem! I am still a little uncomfortabke but it is getting easier! My baby is 6wks old and was born 8wks early. She has only been home a few weeks so I am getting used to nursing in public!

Gemma - posted on 04/26/2010

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I breastfeed in public i don't care what people think you gotta feed your baby when their hungary, i'm sure people would rather a quiet baby feeding away happily than a screaming baby.

Lisa - posted on 04/26/2010

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I always breastfeed in public if my son was hungry I sat there and fed him!. I used a coverup when he was older as he would get to occupied looking around and leave me drenched in milk, lol! I have had some looks but no one has ever said anything to me about it and honestly they can't there is nothing illegal about it! So feed him when he is hungry and don't let it bother you, and if anyone ever tells you you can't do it there tell them to show you the proof that you can't!

Charity - posted on 04/26/2010

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i think i have breastfeed my daughter about everywhere even under the cape when i got my haircut! i think the only place i haven't was while i was shopping,i have ahard enough time trying to remembe what i need and trying to bf while shopping would be way to diffict for me to rmember everything,plus having a 3yr old say moommy i want that a hundred times!i usualkly feed before we leave and hit the grocery store first,hope this help,just keep bf!!!

Charity - posted on 04/26/2010

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i breastfeed in public my dauhter is 7 months old,i try not to worry about what ppl think,it is a beautiful nd nateral proces of life.i do have a moth on meso if anyonewas to give me looks or come and say somting you can bet i would tell them where to stick it.so far i hav not gotten looks or asked to stop.i hink us moms worry more about it then what ppl actually do.my advice is feed your baby and do't let anyone tell you different,if they eat tell tem not to look.

Gabrielle - posted on 04/25/2010

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Its hard in the UK, you guys have some of the worst breast feeding rates in the worls.
I have fed all my kids in public & some ppl do get uncomfortable but I have worked out how to do it discreetly.
I layer two tops (and I can manage it without getting too hot in Australia so you should be right), one comes uo to cover the top of my breast & the other down to let it out but cover my body. Baby latches on & you cant see a thing.
There are singlet shirts you can get online that sit below your bust to offer body coverage & bra access under another shirt for feeding, maybe google maternity or breast feeding shirts?
Dont quit & dont stay at home, you'll go nuts.
Alot of shopping centres here have parents rooms for feeding & changing, something like that might be more comfortable.
Just keep it up & maybe look for a support group in you local area.
:)

Krysta - posted on 04/25/2010

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If my 4mo old gets hungry and we're out in public, I breastfeed him! I try to feed him before we leave or in the car once we get to that destination but your child is only a month old so he/she is eating more frequently. It takes some practice getting used to keeping a blanket or a cover over yourself while craddling your child and whipping your breast out but once you get used to it, it will become a piece of cake. Don't feel embarassed or ashamed!

Candise - posted on 04/25/2010

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I bf in public, I do tuck a muslin cloth in my bra strap as I prefer to pull my boob out over the top rather than under my top ifthat makes sense? My son is 6.5 months now and as he is getting nosier he pulls off more and I've been exposed a few times but I've never had any negative comments. It can be nerve-racking at first but does get much, much easier the more you do it.

Amy - posted on 04/25/2010

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i dont mind breastfeeding in public, but my son who is 7.5 month old is too easily distracted and if its not just me and him in a quiet place he mucks around too much.

Keisler - posted on 04/25/2010

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I've breastfed my daughter and now son in public but I always use a receiving blanket. Both kids pulled on the blanket but I still covered up. I've never had anyone come to me and say anything negative because they had two choices, feed the baby and keep them quite or let them scream the entire ride. Erika you do what you feel is most comfortable for you. Your son is quite young and may not be ready to be out in the public for long peroids of time. Good luck.

[deleted account]

when I go out with my 3month old I always make sure that I take a spare blanket with me so that I can breast feed when out in public. With my first I was very nervous about feeding him in public but this time with my daughter I've just said to hell with it I'm proud of what I do and if people judge me then that's their opinion (It took me most of my pregnancy with her to get to that stage as again I was nervous about it) So far no one has said anything to me thank fully. I can't express so I have no choice but to feed her too, not that I mind at all.
I also live in the UK in South Wales. x

Sally - posted on 04/25/2010

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Breastfeed anywhere you want, I do!! It is a totally natural thing & if people don't like they do not have to look!!!

Becky - posted on 04/24/2010

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I breastfeed in public. My son eats where and when he needs to eat. When my oldest was only a month, I wasn't comfortable doing it, because he took forever to latch and it was just awkward. but once we got it down, I was fine with it. I used to use a cover, but have recently stopped, when I realized that usually, I nurse without showing anything without a cover. Wearing a tank top under your shirt helps with that - I'm more self-conscious about showing my flabby, stretch-marked belly than my breasts!
I've never had a negative comment. I don't know about looks - maybe- but I don't even notice them if I do!

Melisa - posted on 04/24/2010

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I make sure I nurse in public as often as I can. I hope that it makes people realize that it is completely normal and natural. I don't use a nursing cover, but depending on what I am wearing, I may throw a small blanket just over the exposed top of my breast (a small mouth/head only covers so much of a DD breast).
Just today I nursed walking through IKEA and in queue -- baby was in her Ergo so that made it easy.

I think it is important for your own confidence to know what the laws in your area are so you can throw it back in someone's face. Just remember it is a violation of your human rights for someone to tell you to nurse elsewhere or in private.

Stina - posted on 04/24/2010

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I breastfeed in public. People generally ignore or don't notice. I haven't had any rude confrontations and consider myself pretty fortunate.

Depending on where I am, I use a cover... however as my dd has grown, she likes the cover less and less. It's to the point now where if I use it, it's just to provide extra cover for me. My dd won't have her head covered any more at all so I just discreetly lift my shirt and latch her on. At a year old, she's big enough that she covers most everything and to a passerby giving a casual glance, it looks like we are cuddling. She is also my third baby so I've had lots of time to get to the point where I am comfortable nursing in public.

With my first baby, it took a lot for me to get to a point where I would nurse with a cover at the park or in a store... At first I pumped milk to bring along with me or I'd go out to the car and nurse him there. I've come a long way since then with my comfort level and confidence in public nursing.

Elysia - posted on 04/24/2010

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I fed my son in public all the time. If he was hungry then he ate. We dont not eat in public so y should he have to wait. Im in australia and alot of the major shopping centres have mothers room that have bf rooms in them with a nice comfy arm chair, table etc and toys for any older children. I used these at time just cause it was a little comfier for me but if we were havin lunch at a restaurant i would feed him at the table whilst i ate. To begin with i used to just pop a muslin wrap over my shoulder to cover up then i started wearin a bf singlet under another shirt and would just lift the top shirt and feed him. I bf till almost 9months old and never had any bad comments or looks and I think if anyone had said anything to me i prob would of had somthing to say back. Its the most natural thing in the world and anyone that does get offended needs to get off their high horse in my opinion.

Daisy-Jan - posted on 04/24/2010

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Breastfeeding is the most natural form of nurturing your baby, please, please, relax, you can discreetly feed and have a coffee or lunch, with a friend, ensuring baby's needs are met and you are able to enjoy the company and support of friends....My children are grown and i never had any adverse comments! it is possible to feed discreetly.

you can get special tops, designed to shield baby and your dignity and any onlookers embarrasment as at the end of the day, it's their discomfort,not anything you are doing wrong. also a simple muslim cloth over the shoulder and over the babies chest area forms a barrier, of you feel you need it...birthingbabe....Daisy doula.....article coming up in bump 2 baby magazine (Devon & Cornwall)

Lisa - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm in the UK and i can confidently say that i never got a negative reaction to public breastfeeding. My first was bf for 13 mths. My second daughter was born with a few problems and couldn't latch and i was far more embarassed to be seen giving her a bottle (even though it was ebm) than i ever was to be seen BF.
It's definitely a confidence thing though. if it looks like you're trying to hide something then people will look, it's only natural! I definitely agree with practising in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable with the amount of skin you might be exposing. for my first time in public i found a bench in the shopping centre and parked my pram in front of me. I wish i hadn't bothered trying to hide as the pram attracted all the old dears who were in to collect their pension!!!! Had a lot of lovely 'well done' comments from them though. Keep going and be proud to be doing the best thing for your beautiful new baby xxxx

Toni - posted on 04/24/2010

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I live in AK. and breastfeed my 8 month old in public. I started using a nursing cover, but he didn't like it so now I just use a blanket to cover up with. I've ran into no trouble at all feeding him in public. In fact some lady that saw how I was feeding him did the whole 'Good for you' bit.

Aicha - posted on 04/24/2010

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I nurse my daughter in public I carry her in a maya wrap and the only way people know she is nursing is because she is a vocal nurser she grunts and makes smacking sluping noises

Nicole - posted on 04/24/2010

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I haven't read through all of the responses, but I did skim over them and there are always going to be different opinions on this one.

Personally, I feel it is cruel to ask a mother to deny her child their feeding, or delay it to find some obscure place to HIDE, just because they are in public. Also, since I live in Florida, where the humidity is overwhelming (even when you are naked!), I think it is cruel to ask a baby to try to eat under a blanket. No wonder so many pull them off! Have you ever tried to eat under a blanket? I find it MOST cruel to ask a mother to feed her precious baby in a germ-infested, stinky, and uncomfortable restroom! And, yes, I know that all women aren't comfortable breastfeeding without a cover, but that doesn't mean all women should.

When I hear other WOMEN claim that they don't want to see another woman's breasts (Oh..GASP! Breasts!!!), I wonder why??? Don't you have breasts? Don't you see breasts every time you undress? Do you find your own breasts disgusting? They are JUST breasts.

Babies have no idea how society views breasts. They just know that they are hungry. A baby has no sense of time or care that they are in public. They are just hungry.

Breasts primary function is to feed hungry babies. Although, sometimes they are used for sex, that was not their primary intention. Just because some women AND men use their mouths for sexual purposes, are we now supposed to hide when we eat? A bit extreme, yes, but to me, my baby being fed (and comfortable) is more important than someone else's confused opinions about what function my breasts are supposed serve.

*Side note* My husband's theory behind why women are bothered by other women breastfeeding in public is NOT because they have a problem with BREASTS, it's because they have a problem with THEIR man looking at the breasts! LOL He's so silly, but I love him!

Jenna - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have no problems with breastfeeding in public.. and I absolutely refuse to take my son to feed him in a bathroom or go out to my car. That is just ridiculous.
I do, however, believe fully in discretion. Use a nursing top or a shirt that won't leave you hanging out all over the place, or use a cover-up of some kind. A light blanket or a cover that was made specifically for breastfeeding in public is great. (Ok, so they are hideous but they work.)
For me, covering up is not about hiding what you are doing, because breastfeeding is a wonferful thing. It's about being modest. Besides, why would you want to share such beautiful bonding time with the entire mall? It's about you and your baby, and no one else matters. =)
(P.S. Maya Wraps, are FABULOUS for this. You won't even have to stop shopping!)

Rebecca - posted on 04/24/2010

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well there is always you r car or maybe a bathroom you could use. that is what I would do. I would use a bench in the bathroom or ask someone if they had a chair I f you are in the store there is always the dressing rooms too. Do what makes you feel better.. If not i would do it in the car.

Ali - posted on 04/24/2010

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I used to used to cover up with a blanket,but I think that it bring more attention. I've learned that nobody wants to look, so they turn away. i do fell awkward nursing in front of friend's husbands.

Laura - posted on 04/24/2010

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My son moves around A LOT while nursing, so I usually nurse him in the car when I'm out. He always flips the blanket off! I want to get one of those Hooter Hider nursing covers. They seem very practical. When he was younger, it was hard to go out because he nursed often. At that time, I would limit the time I was out shopping. Now I just ask my mom to watch him while I go to town to shop.

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