opinions on breastfeeding in public?

Sharna - posted on 05/29/2010 ( 113 moms have responded )

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i recently got into a debate on facebook regarding breastfeeding in public. my post recieved over 140 posts!!! some people say that it should always be done in private, while i believe it should be more accepted and done where ever and when ever ur baby needs it. also... should the age of the baby make a difference? i feed my 14 month old in public (very discretely i might add). any thoughts?

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Sara - posted on 06/02/2010

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it is a shame that it is an issue at all....we really should be evolved enough to openly feed in public since we all openly eat in restaurants, in parks, on beaches or where ever we happen to be...why not extend the same freedom to babies? And a boob is a boob...just think of it as a subway footlong for a baby JEEZ....ha ha

Erin - posted on 06/02/2010

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If i take my daughter out in public, I have no choice but to feed her there as well. She is now 8 months old, and WILL NOT take a bottle to save her life. Ive never seen anything wrong with breastfeeding in public, as long as you arent flopping your breasts around for everyone to see. Sometimes, it is awkward, and sometimes I go to the restroom to feed her. But sometimes, i dont have that option, and if she is hungry, she doesnt understand why she has to wait to be home to be fed (nor do i feel she should have to wait). She is a baby! Sometimes they get hungry faster than others, and sometimes they cant wait. I have never felt guilty for feeding her in public, and i refuse to make her suffer so that other people can feel more comfortable. As long as I am being discreet about it, I dont see why it should matter where I feed my baby.

Nicole - posted on 06/02/2010

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I think that it is fine to feed your baby however long you feel he or she needs it but should try to wean him or her off by this age. Breastfeeding in public should definitely be more accepted, it is NATURAL! I believe that women should do it whenever their baby is hungry in public or private especially if you are being discreet. Do not let anyone discourage you from doing that, I breastfeed my baby in public all the time and could care less what others think about it!

BARBIE - posted on 06/02/2010

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I WAS THANKFUL MY SON STOPPED AT 3 MONTHS. IN PUBLIC I WILL NEVER DO IT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH ITS A PRIVATE THING BECAUSE PEOPLE DO GET THE WRONG IDEA. I MADE SURE I WASNT THAT MOTHER WHO DIDN'T BREASTFEED OUTSIDE OF HOME.

Jeannette Torres - posted on 06/02/2010

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As long as you are discrete who cares where you do it. I did it anywhere my son needed it. It is a natural process and a way of life why do people fuss about it, I'm over it there are bigger issues to worry about these days. Good for you keep it up.

Noreen - posted on 06/02/2010

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I agree with you Sharna! Breastfeeding SHOULD be more accepted and done in public. It amazes me that it's ok for women, teens, and young girls to show off their breast with lowcut shirts and in bikini's that barely cover anything but if a baby is nursing it's shameful. I don't get it.

I breastfeed whenever and whereever uncovered. I don't give a crap if you see some boobage. My breast are meant to feed my babies, not for sexual toys.

Romano- You crack me up!! I agree with you 100% though!

Angel - posted on 06/02/2010

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I breastfeed my son in public and I always cover myself up. You have to feed your child when he/she is hungry and there is no way that Im going to take my son into a dirty nasty bathroom or sit in a hot car to feed him. As long as you are covered up there shouldnt be any problems.

Michelle - posted on 06/02/2010

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I felt the same way about nursing in public - it was never as big a deal to me as it was everyone else around me! I have friends who will never nurse in public because they are emabrassed or the baby is very busy and wants to look around... so we started collecting the names of places with nursing rooms and eventually came up with a nursing room finder. We expanded to other resources as well, but if you'd like to find a nursing room near you (or in an airport you're traveling through) check out www.byebyewithbaby.com

Alledra - posted on 06/02/2010

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No one tells people where they can eat. So go for it. I nurse my son where ever and I dare someone to say anything.

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If your baby need fed then your baby needs fed, there's little we as mother can do about the time and place that the wee ones get hungry. I have recieved some strange looks for breastfeeding in public and I just turn round and say "You eat in public, Don't you??" and this seem to make people look the other way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your baby in public and you should do so until your baby is no longer feeding off you!!

Jeanette - posted on 06/02/2010

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i agree with you 100 %! more people need to join our cause to make breastfeeding more acceptable. thats what are breast are for.

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Whenver, wherever the baby is hungry. It takes 5 minutes to feed them and make them happy again and then carry on. Simple. :-)

And it doesn't matter what age they are. A baby has to eat, wether its a cracker or breastmilk. And law is on your side so don't let ANYONE ever say that you can't breastfeed someplace (covered or not!)

Melissa - posted on 06/02/2010

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Personally, I don't see a problem with it at all, but I rarely breastfeed in public because I know that there are people who are offended by it or uncomfortable with it. I wish it were more accepted. It's funny how acceptable/unacceptable things have kind of switched over the years... When my mother was a baby, I'm sure people wouldn't think twice if my grandmother were to breastfeed in public, and yet some things that were unheard of back then are common in today's society.

Kelli - posted on 06/02/2010

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I recently got into a heated debate on FB as well on this subject. I believe that any able women should be able to nurse their baby whenever & where ever they want. My son is also 14mos old so I am a little more discreet than I was when he was smaller, but I do not run off to a bathroom (would you eat your lunch on the toilet...lol) or feel like I need to hide in a car to do so. I've always worn layers, like a tank top and overshirt so that I can nurse him without showing the world my Ta-ta's. But that's my choice. If a women feels comfortable with public nursing, more power to her. It is our choice as passers-by to ignore this natural relationship or to stare in horror. Its amazing how people react so strongly on both sides of the subject, though.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/02/2010

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It is truly sad that our society is so close minded especially about something that is key to the healthy development of our children. I have struggled with this so much. I am a really big BF advocate and try so hard to promote NIP but it is hard when my hubby freaks out and well dealing with his pro-formula family leaves my daughter and I singled out to hide away from his family while my nephew was passed around and such. It is too a point where my daughter refuses to nurse if we are at his parents house because she does not like to have to leave. We need to push for the normalcy of NIP and BF in general; many woman choose not to BF for this very reason. I now at 20 months am braver than ever now and will nurse my Mady in public more. I was so proud of my best friend for telling me while at a restaurant to sit right where I was at and feed her! I have had my own mom tell me not to nurse in front of my daycare kiddos, which other than one child were all bf and their parents are pro feeding.My son thought for the first 6 months after my daughter was born that nursing was the only way to feed a baby and he still thinks and knows it is the only way which is key to him being a good supportive dad later in life.

Jessica - posted on 06/02/2010

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my son gets upset now that its summer and hot when i cover him up thanks for those inspiring words, to h..with others that have a problem with him im always worried what others think in the meantime my son cries cause he is hungry and wont take bottle not anymore thanks!!!

Jessica - posted on 06/02/2010

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i breastfeed wherever and whenever, its our right and its against the law to say anything about it!!!

Megan - posted on 06/02/2010

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I have always breastfed my children in public, they need to eat to andmy daughter would not take a bottle so I never really had a choice with her. But I did always cover myself. If people don't like it then dont' look.

Araceli - posted on 06/02/2010

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my son is 7mos old, and whenever we go out i always breastfeed him even though i'm in public place.. because i believe that there's no rules or law that breastfeeding in public is prohibited.. i don't care if people make faces or make me as their topic in conversation because of breastfeeding my baby in public.. this is my life and they don't have damn care about it.. my baby is hungry and needs to be fed.. i will not sacrifice mu baby's health just for their being judgmental ..

Jodi - posted on 06/02/2010

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I breastfeed my 14 month old in public, I have never used a cover. The few times I've tried using a cover, she kicks and screams and makes a bigger scene than if I just nurse her without it! I think it is totally up to the woman when and where and for how long she breastfeeds her child. Shame on anyone who tries to make her feel uncomfortable, out of place, unwelcome or wrong!!

Amy - posted on 06/02/2010

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I breastfed my 4 month old till he was 5 weeks we had some complacations so I had to stop or Id still be doing it now... but I think that breastfeeding mothers should be able to feed when ever they please... my lil boy had to eat every hour and when Id be in town it was hard to find a place to do it at... so I just covered up and fed him I didnt care wat people thought I wasnt gunna starve my child to make other people feel comfortable... now if i was around people that I knew Id always ask if it was ok and if they were uncomfortable with it id go in another room... I also think that every place anywhere you go should have a nursing station... I only know of two places that have it... Thats the mall by where I live and a mall an hour away... people who think its discusting should realize its a natural thing to do... I dont mind any mother breastfeeding in front of me that was even before I had my lil man... as long as they cover up or ask if its ok...
and with the age thing its up to the mohter on that... just like everything else that happends in the first couple years of the babys life is wat the mohter thinks is right for their child...

Dawn - posted on 06/02/2010

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Would the people who said bf'ing should be done in private only ever eat in private. FGS! Feeding your baby as nature intended should only be done in private? What would they rather have? A screaming hungry baby or one that is fed and content? I'll bet most of them have seen women bf'ing and never even known.

They are of course entitled to their opinion but if they try and impose that on a bf'ing mum whilst I'm around I hope they have all their facts straight as there WILL BE WORDS!

As for age, nobodies business except the mum and child.

Brittany - posted on 06/01/2010

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I feed my little one in public when the need is there. Usually I'll do it using a nursing cover as I am a modest person & if I am walking around I'll put my daughter in our front pack facing me to eat. If your child is hungry you should be able to feed him/her without discrimination. I see women bottle feeding their children all the time in public, usually with no age restrictions (I've seen 3yr olds walking around the store with a bottle) so I think it's perfectly okay to breastfeed your child no matter the age.

Breastfeeding is natural.....it really is sad that so many people are uncomfortable with it.

Deborah - posted on 06/01/2010

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I breastfeed my 9 month boy in public and have from the beginning. I do cover up with a wrap that is open at the top so he can see me. I simply decided that I would feed my baby whenever he wants it no matter where I am. If anyone has a problem then it is their problem, not mine, so it doesn't bother me. Don't let people's opinions bother you - do what you feel is right for your baby and you.

Ramona - posted on 06/01/2010

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Why are they sexual to you? To me, their purpose is to feed my baby! They may be of a sexual nature to you, more power to you! They are not to everyone!

Ramona - posted on 06/01/2010

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Who made them sexual? Men! Why? Because anything they can play with is "sexual." They were meant for food long before they were meant as playthings for men!

Teresa - posted on 06/01/2010

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Ramona your post made no sense! "They are only sexual because guys have the mentality of children"? And of course boobs are sexual, even though they do feed our babies.

Ramona - posted on 06/01/2010

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Boobs are sexual? Really?? I was under the impression that their purpose was to feed babies...and I'm fairly certain that's what they were made for by our creator!! They are only sexual because guys have the mentality of children!

Ramona - posted on 06/01/2010

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The law in every state says that a woman can breastfeed in any public place.Some states say in any public or private place. My opinion is that a woman should breastfeed and feel comfortable doing it where and when her baby is hungry!

Tricia - posted on 06/01/2010

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my daughter is almost 14 months and she does not nurse anymore she goes longer between.. but honestly no age should not matter.. we as adults eat in public and thats what your baby is doing.. i see nothing wrong with it..ppl just have problems now days..

Erin - posted on 06/01/2010

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my take on the subject is...my baby gets hungry when we are in public so she gets fed well we are in public, and it will be this way until she weans no matter how old she is. i think ifNIP will help normalize Bfing and make it easier for future generations to do so.

Zuleika - posted on 06/01/2010

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Oh boy - first of I was raised in another country...where bf is natural - I mean they can in the bus, park, clinic...where ever the women do not hesitate to feed their child and you don't see people making faces or staring...it makes my blood just boils everytime I hear someone say u should bf in private!!! Why? If my child is hungry I'm going to breastfeed...breastfeeding is natural - it's not being perverted; it's a not a woman trying to expose herself...must everything be classified as an insult??? Breasts are breasts and if my child is HUNGRY...I'm going to feed...I don't care who's around!!! We need to change our mentallity and draw the line...not everything should be classified!!!!

Teresa - posted on 06/01/2010

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As long as there is no boob visible I do it. I have a cover and use it all the time when out in public. No one wants to see boob! No matter what we all say- boobs are a sexual.

Aicha - posted on 06/01/2010

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Breastfeeding is a infants birthright and the mother should feed the infant whenever and were ever the infant needs feeding

Tara Lee - posted on 06/01/2010

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I am all for BF in public and have done so for the last 21 months. I personally cover up, with a blanket or my shirt but I see nothing wrong with not covering...I still remember the look on an old ladies face when she came up to me while I was bf my daughter in the mall...she actually lifted to blanket(thinking the baby was just sleeping) to see the baby and just stared at us for like a minute...lol...it was priceless...she finally backed away and studdered a "sorry, didn't know she was.....awake"...I just smiled and said "ya, she's just having a snack"...almost laughed my head off(once she was out of ear shot)...

Joy - posted on 06/01/2010

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The BEST thing to do when someone stares at you is look them RIGHT in the face and smile the VERY biggest sweetest smile you have and say Hi! Not only do they feel weird behaving like a jerk, everyone ELSE pegs THEM as the one doing something wrong. (How DARE you harass that GOOD mother with that SWEET baby!!!)

Joy - posted on 06/01/2010

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10 years ago when Katie was 2 weeks old we were refused seating at a Salt Grass Steakhouse (in the middle of the day when only 3 tables were taken) because I nursed and "they didnt serve our kind there".

Thankfully that is now illegal in Texas, and with Maddy I make a POINT of nursing when and where she needs to nurse. OR anytime I can just sit and nurse here (because as a mom of three I gotta take an chance Im given! grin)

I've had mom's come up to me and bring their kids with them and THANK me for nursing in public so their kids can SEE that it's okay. They say that their kids see bottles EVERYWHERE and they think that's the norm and they want them to know there is an alternative.

For us it's been kinda weird because Maddy was born weighing 9lb 14oz so by 6 months old she was the sz of a year old and now at a year shes the sz of a 2 yo. Its hard to be discreet, and Ive given up on the cover. Legs sticking out from under a blanket (Ive found) draws a LOT more attention to a baby laying across my lap with her mouth under my billowy peasant shirt! giggle

What helped ME was reading an article in Mothering about breastfeeding in Mongolia, where "the BEST" wrestlers are nursed until they are at least six!". That got me over my being shy, & now I'm comfortable enough in my decision to defend it if need be. grin

Jen - posted on 06/01/2010

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when my daughter was a new born i would feed anytime anywhere, now that she 10 months, i don't really feed her in public because she only nurses first thing in the morning once in the afternoon and at night....if she gets hungry i have no issues with nursing her in public but now i bring snacks and baby food for her to eat instead

Sarah - posted on 06/01/2010

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I think people against it need to mind their own business, it is called LOOKING AWAY and everyone can do it.

That said I nursed my daughter in public, though always trying to be discreet and I still got nasty stare, which I ignored. My baby is more important than their silly issues about seeing a little cleavage and the back of a baby's head.

Danielle - posted on 06/01/2010

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I don't see why people have a problem with other women breastfeeding!! I only fed my oldest in a public place one time because I supplemented with formula & could plan trips fairly well. My youngest (baby #4) has been fed EVERYWHERE, from the sitting room outside the bathroom at my church to benches in Disney World and chairs in Sesame Place.



I only nursed mine until they were about 1, but I don't think age should have much to do with the public/private discussion. I completely understand the decision to bf to around 2 (or whatever age), although that wasn't for me, and say feed your baby where ever YOU are comfortable! If someone else doesn't like it, they can go somewhere else!

Jodie - posted on 06/01/2010

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why would people act disgusted by something so natural what did they do before formula milk, if youve got a problem dont look! what are you suppose to do let your baby go hungry, its pathetic

Pauline - posted on 06/01/2010

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I did it anywhere ie whenever my baby needed to have it. There is nothing wrong in breastfeeding in public.

Cheyne - posted on 05/31/2010

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I think it should be whenever, wherever- as long as Mum is comfortable. I would rather my child be fed and happy than screaming because he is hungry.

Kassie - posted on 05/31/2010

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i think we should have a big convention!! all bring our babies and nurse in public!!! =) HAHA

Brooke - posted on 05/31/2010

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People that say breastfeeding shouldn't be done in public should be banned from eating or drinking anything in public. See how they like it.

My baby's father told me breastfeeding was weird. What is more natural than a mother breastfeeding her baby? What's weird is shoving a silicone nipple in her mouth and feeding her formula made from cow's milk byproducts or soybeans!

Minnie - posted on 05/31/2010

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BF in public- normal, natural, the way things should be, shouldn't even be an issue.

Jayne - posted on 05/31/2010

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I feed my daughter in public allll the time. If I'm by myself I go to the parents room usually, but if I'm with a friend or my mum or sister I just feed her wherever we happen to be sitting. Occasionally ill throw a bunny rug over my shoulder to cover my breast a little, If I've had to flop my boob out the top instead of pulling my shirt up.

I'm in aus as well, no problems so far, but travelling to the US next week, and I'm anticipating some level of awkwardness, ESPECIALLY from my daughter's father because I just know this is something he's going to be weird about. But I'm going to spend the plane ride memorising all my BF info so that I can be quick with the retorts! ;-)
Woe is anyone who tries to stop me feeding my baby.

She's only 3 months, but I plan to continue until she wants to stop :) public or private.

Hayley - posted on 05/31/2010

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I say good on u. i do 2. f pepl hav a prob tey can leave. f sum1 told me 2 leave i wud wen i had finishd feeding. its natural, and babies n toddlers need 2 eat when tey need 2 eat.

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