public breastfeeding?

Hannah - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 171 moms have responded )

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should i just whip it out? legally, i am allowed to breastfeed everywhere i am admitted to be, but what do you think?

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Nicole - posted on 01/11/2010

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nursing is appropriate anytime, anywhere! giving your baby their birthright is nothing to be ashamed of. Here is a little gem of lactivist wisdom I came across:
The Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto


* I will nurse my child anytime, anywhere, no matter who is present or what I am wearing.
* I will bare my breast with pride and confidence.
* I will not apologize for nourishing and nurturing my child.
* I will not smother my child with a napkin or blanket.
* I will smile at everyone around me and ignore rude stares.
* I will know that I am giving my child the perfect infant food from the most efficient, ecological, and economical delivery system.
* I will know that I am giving my child the healthy start that is his or her birthright.
* I will set an example for women and girls, educate the public, dispel breastfeeding myths, desexualize the breast, and make the world a better place, all through the simple act of feeding my child.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2010

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I try to be discreet but I have long since given up on the covers. They scream I'M BREASTFEEDING!!! I have found that most of the time, no one notices. The only people who do tend to be older women or women who are also currently nursing. A lot of times, they will stop and say something to me. I've been thanked for not hiding it. Recently, an older woman stopped and told me she hasn't seen a woman breastfeed in public in a long time and told me I was doing such a good thing. Ironically, nursing in public is actually kind of uplifting when people are basically saying "Hey, you are a great mom for doing that!" The only thing I do is make sure what I am wearing when I go out will be easy to nurse in, but I generally only wear tops that are anyway.

Lakerra - posted on 01/16/2010

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i am all for breatsfeeding in public when covered!! i always felt its natural. but u also have to think about who is around. i was in a drs office when a woman just whipped it out and started feeding but there were young and teenage boys around who just starred and got in trouble. so i would just be cautious about who was around!

Candice - posted on 01/13/2010

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you are doing one of the most beautiful and natural things - i see no problem in breastfeeding in public - an employee at a bank tried telling me off about that - i reported her and demanded a public apology - needless to say she felt very "skaam"!!!!!!

Paige - posted on 01/11/2010

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i have nursing tanks i love and wear under evrything, and have designed my outfits around access, so most of the time people dont even know!!

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171 Comments

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Miranda - posted on 01/18/2010

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My son is almost 7 weeks old (he is my first) and I have been really hesitant to feed in public. I've tried to schedule outings so its between feedings, but now that I read all these comments I'm not going to worry about it anymore. It IS a natural, beautiful thing and for those who have a problem they can go to H***. I will NOT minimize my son's well being because other people are uneducated about breastfeeding or prudish, or still sexualize the breast. Its my son's source of food for then next year so people better just get over it :) Thank you everyone for posting and giving me the courage to tell other's where they can shove it :)

Karlie - posted on 01/18/2010

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the only reason people get weird about it is because the media have made boobs a sexual thing. god intended them to be used to feed and nourish our children and when we do it in public or anywhere people should be happy to see we are doing whats right by our child. would you wait to eat til you got home? then why should your baby. i hope this helps because really, the people that give you the dirty looks are just uptight and probably those mothers that think breastfeeding is yuck. good luck girl

Corrie - posted on 01/17/2010

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I am very modest and my own mother was amazed at how easily I could feed my daughter without a hitch. I have fed everywhere, even grocery shopping with a two year old a full cart and an infant. A sling helps with that one. Never again will I sit in a stall to feed my baby at a resturant because I didn't know any better the first go round. Be prepared for questions especially from curious kids and remember that it is natural and in other countries it's OK to see the side of someone's tata. What's the big deal? We all have them. But just in case you are a school age parent- Don't openly feed during the parent teacher conference unless you can be somewhat covered. I had a Mom from Mexico whip it out and leave it out during school hours and I was so afraid other students would come in and see, and then go home and tell. That's not the lesson I had planned for that day. :) Relax It's All Good. I got the award for best conference as a gag at the next teachers meeting.

Sarah - posted on 01/17/2010

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I've been breastfeeding for almost 8 months now, and admittedly at first I was nervous nursing in public. I soon realised I would much rather nourish my baby and quench her hunger then have a very unhappy & noisy attention-drawing baby........baby's needs first over anything.

Candice - posted on 01/17/2010

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Do eeet! You eat in public,right? So should your baby. You won't pointing and shooting with your boob( I do sometimes for a laugh) :p and all the bits are covered by baby anyway.

Kayla - posted on 01/17/2010

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Its whatever you are comfortable with. I know that I have gotten some looks, walking through walmart, or at a restraunt. But oh well. You have to feed your baby when he/she is hungry, that is a fact of life that everyone else will just have to get over. I have a nursing cover that I use. I am a modest mother, and I don't want everyone to see what I have. I have gotten several compliments on it. I found mine at walmart, but if you need and idea of what they look like, you can google search nursing covers. I love mine. I keep it in the diaper bag so I can feed my baby where ever we go. Society just needs to get over public breastfeeding. There is nothing wrong with it. If you have ever been told to go to the bathroom to feed your baby, then I know how you feel. You just politely tell them that next time they are out eating, to take their food and sit in the bathroom. I am sure they would love it as much as your baby would. Who would want to eat their food in a bathroom? Certainly not me, and neither will my child.

Johanna - posted on 01/17/2010

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I have a 13 month old that I still bf he never let me cover up, so I stopped trying.. of course i wear comfortable clothes that allow easy access but that's for my own convenience not because I was uncomfortable with bf in public at times he get's distracted and my boob just hangs out .. then he resumes the feed.. that's the only thing, i try to find a place where there isn't a lot of stimulation because he will let go of the boob and try to figure out what was going on.. and so on.. so it was a hassle but YOU ARE DOING A GOOD THING FOR YOUR BABY so do it proudly.. don't worry!!

[deleted account]

I am breast feeding at the moment and also breast fed my other 2 children , I still find it quite daunting to breastfeed in public however I make myself overcome this and just do it as there is nothing wrong with it and your baby is more important than what anyone thinks and the majority of people don't bother and if you do it descretly dont even notice , GREAT WORK !!!!! x

April - posted on 01/17/2010

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Use discretion. I would try to keep covered as much as possible. However, don't let anyone's gawking stop you from doing what's best for your baby!

Barbara - posted on 01/17/2010

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I say yes! but I have definitely gone to using a cover when out with my 2 year old and 4month old both without my husband. 2 yr old gets a little restless during feedings with her brother, so we usually all sit down and eat something. Most places have little coffee shops/snack areas. Much more fun that wrestling with toddler to keep her in a dressing room!

Rose - posted on 01/17/2010

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girl go a head my husband and i went to the movie and took the baby she got hungry and i didnt want to miss the movies so i just whipped it out and fed her i figure they should be watching the movie not me and if they are looking at me and dont like it dont look that simple ifpeople have a problem they dont have to look geez it natural

Natalie - posted on 01/17/2010

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Whip it out, girl! That's what breasts are for, an would you rather have a screaming baby or a nursing one? I used to be hesitant, but now I don't care. I nurse in church, in the mall, in the car, in the grocery store -- where ever the bean gets hungry, she eats. I'm lucky that I've never encountered any rude comments -- mostly people glance and smile -- especially little old ladies which is super nice of them. Do what makes you feel comfortable, but don't let others discourage you from doing what is natural and healthy for you and your child :)

Karen - posted on 01/17/2010

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It may help your confidence to join a group like La Leche League specially set up for breastfeeding mums - they can be a great source of confidence and information. I am still feeding my 10 month old daughter, and ave already breastfed two older boys until they were a year. I have gained confidence with each child, and now feel proud that I have given all my children such a great start. I have never encountered animosity, just very helpful, positive people (the only exception being Hong Kong park but I think even there they may be coming round to the idea more). Just make a start and the more you do it the more confident you will become. All the best for you and little one. xxx

Rachel - posted on 01/17/2010

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At first I was nervous. It seemed like everytime I went somewhere my baby needed to eat. I just got used to being creative. I use a blanket or wear an easy nursing top or layers with like a sweater. And instead of bathrooms(which I never did think was where nursing moms should have to go) I would sit in the dressing room or in the corner of the store or place. Using a sling or carrier comes in handy also. But whatever you feel comfortable doing, that's your cue. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Absolutlely just whip it out. I breastfeed my son wherever whenever - the mall, restaurants, even church. There is nothing sexual or indecent about breastfeeding, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. If people dont like it then they have the right to look the other way and stop watching it.

Miranda - posted on 01/17/2010

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I say do whatever you are most comfortable with. I try to focus on my baby while I am nursing her and not on other people who may or may not be watching what I am doing. If they have a problem with a woman feeding her child, that is on them, not on me!

Ashley - posted on 01/17/2010

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I pump sometimes and use a nursing cover sometimes... depends on where I am going or if I've had time to pump. I do recommend the peanut shell nursing cover. I'm not against "whipping it out" but I find my baby is less distracted when under the cover. It's great because it hangs loose around your neck and you can see down into it to see your baby. I find the only person that really notices is my husband (he's always tugging on it to cover me up more.... correction... he used to until I had to tell him not to about 10 times.

Julie - posted on 01/17/2010

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It's totally what you feel comfortable with, of course, but if there's a quiet place out of the way I usually go to it now because my little one gets easily distracted by all the sights and sounds. I really value the quiet time to bond with her. If there isn't a parents' room though I just go for it wherever.

Karlie - posted on 01/16/2010

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yup i would just feed you child when and where you please. i feed my son anywhere, the park, beach, friends places, restaurants, anywhere. if hes hungry i just pop it out and he feeds til hes done. noone has the right to make you feel insecure about feeding you kid the way nature intended. if people give you dirty looks just ask what the prob is lol

Janet - posted on 01/16/2010

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Peanut Shell makes a GREAT cover-up. It looks like an apron, therefore staying in place better than a blanket. At first my husband was a little freaked out by me being so willing to nurse in public, but when the baby is hungry, you do what you have to do. Besides, it's the most natural and healthy thing you can do for your baby, so WHIP IT OUT! Good luck! :)

Kristy - posted on 01/16/2010

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You need to do what your comfortable with if you arent comfortable nursing in public that you baby wont be and it will be a struggle. If people dont like it they dont have to be around you.

Serene - posted on 01/16/2010

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Yep! Bring it loud and proud. I do!



As foe me, I refuse to cover. Think about it, do you cover your fork when you eat? Could you eat well with a blanket over your head?





Also, Im in Australia and its too bloody hot to cover... But if people dont want to see my dangling left tit, they should stop looking.

Deeann - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have to agree with others...Do what your comfortable with. I have been breastfeeding my son for 7 mths now and I can say that I have never breastfed in public and I don't plan to. I have never needed to feed my son while in public places. I am far from a shy person but I do have a more conservative family. I guess I was just brought up in which nursing mothers bf either covered or in privacy.

Esther - posted on 01/16/2010

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Go for it! I had huge reservations but the baby has to eat. I just drapped a blanket over my shoulder. Baby is 8 months and we're still breastfeeding.

Autumn - posted on 01/16/2010

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breastfeeding in public is fine. I breastfed my son until he was eight months old. I nursed him in many different places. I often took consideration of who was around me. Like if there were children because not all kids were breastfed and understand it. But adults understand and our body makes the milk for a reason.

Crys - posted on 01/16/2010

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I do. I would rather feed him and let people stare then have him screaming and have people shoot dirty looks and open there mouths and spew stupidity. :D

Carlena - posted on 01/16/2010

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I breastfed my 4 other children and will be nursing the one I am currently pregnant with. I breastfed anywhere and everywhere. Baby is hungry, baby has to eat. I did carry a blanket or something to allow for my privacy. I just covered up.

Dawn - posted on 01/16/2010

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It is crazy at first because you think that everyone is looking at you, but their are not. Get a good blanket for the season, a light one for summer and a thicker one for winter. no one will see anything and as you get better you get more comfortable with it. It take lots of time and practice. I recommend practicing at home that way you feel better when your out.

Monsanette - posted on 01/16/2010

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I used to. I tried to be discreet for the people who were with me, because it seems like they were the ones who were embarrassed. If you child needs to breastfeed them you should allow them to.

Amanda - posted on 01/16/2010

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Do it!! Lol.. I was super modest at first, and only recently with our second child, have I just not cared what others think... It's a natural and beautiful thing that you're giving your baby...

[deleted account]

Personally, I have not given birth yet but I have already prepared myself for this experience. I plan on breastfeeding and yes, I plan on breastfeeding in public. I purchased and udder cover. http://www.uddercovers.com/ I only had to pay for shipping and I got the black and white one. I've tried it on while holding a baby the way I would if I were breastfeeding and I truly like it. I can still look down and see my baby while having the privacy of being covered to the public.

Jaclyn - posted on 01/16/2010

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wow you girls are brave! i have a 9 month old and still breastfeed but i cant do it out in public i cant cover him bc he pulls it off.. i see some girls do it with no shame but idk i guess im too nervous. i know i shouldnt care but eh. i think its ridiculous that people think we should have to do it in bathrooms.. but at some malls they have a special nursing room which is nice.

Anastasia - posted on 01/16/2010

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If your using a nursing bra and a t-shirt no one knows what your doing and your completely covered up from the baby . You control the top half for modesty . I personally have had no luck at all with covers. My children have all been people oriented so they whip off the cover and you don't make yourself modest underneath cause you have a cover.Very imbarassed I stoped using them. I'm descreet and nurse over a year with no trouble.

[deleted account]

I use a nursing vest top with a jumper over the top so that no extra flesh is on view but I must admit that I find it more uncomfortable breastfeeding in the UK. I had my first baby in Melbourne and found it much less of an issue over there. I've not had anyone comment on it over here but I do get looks.

Christi - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have done it in public lots of times, but I use a special cover when I breastfeed so I can see my baby and its more private.

Brandi - posted on 01/16/2010

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I dont know what you have decided or if you have yet but I nursed my daughter until she was 2, I always carried something to cover her up with. I nursed in public and yes I got looks from older people and some who dont think its right but most places dont have a special area to nurse and that only leaves the restroom and sorry but I was not going to nurse my baby in the dirty bathroom.If more places put a nursing room in for nursing mothers then I dont think people would have such a problem with public nursing.

Noreen - posted on 01/16/2010

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Girl, if you are comfortable whiping it out, do it!! We need more people in the world like you! :O)

Maira - posted on 01/16/2010

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I use the boobie cover and I do were the tank tops for feeding. its better then sitting on a bathroom floor.

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2010

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I do, discreetly. I mean, breastfeeding moms probably show less breast than some of the girls at the mall. Lol.

[deleted account]

I find that pulling up a loose t-shirt feels even less exposed than a nursing shirt a lot of the time. At a busy mall, I take a dressing room for 15 minutes. Too many teenage boys walking around so this is one place it feels a little embarrassing to "whip it out". At a restaurant, on a plane, or any outdoor place, I feel okay to nurse right where I am. At Babies R' Us, I use their rocker / glider section. At strip malls, usually the passenger seat of my car is easiest. I never used a cover.

Abi - posted on 01/16/2010

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throughout my pregnancy, i thought that I would never get my breast out in public, or infront of my partner for that matter; as soon as my baby boy was born, I didnt care anymore lol...my focus was on feeding him and sustaining him, not so much on my modesty...I breast fed in a restaurant the other week, thats how comfortable you get with it after a while lol

Mel - posted on 01/16/2010

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To me, its no diff to having your hand exposed... I do it in public with a light wrap over us both, if i get asked to move on, i tell them to go and drink their coffee in the toilet. they usually dont like that, and so i ask, why my child should drink his milk in the toilets then.... a few people who have herd me applaud me...

Jessie - posted on 01/16/2010

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i just breastfeed anywhere, the change rooms/nursing rooms here, are always smelly and i think that's very unhygienic i try and cover a bit but bub don't like when i do that, its a bit uncomfy at first but i then get used to the stares, do what ever makes you feel most comfy, xx

Sherwood - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have found the nursing covers to be rather cumbersome and tent-like, making them less discreet. The technique that I have settled on is a tank-top with the sewn-in sports bra and a loose t-shirt+ a long sleeve if it's chilly. If you have large boobs the tank-top sports bra may not provide enough support, I have several nursing bras, but I also find them to get in the way unless I am pulling the neck of my shirt down.

I spent a lot of unnecessary time and energy when she was little pumping before going-out, and wandering off to a nook or staircase- where others are just walking by. I guess because she was so fussy- It was embarassing to be attempting to feed this screaming maniac and fumbling to get things situated and her calm enough to just relax and drink. Now I just do it, the bigger deal it is for you the more obvious it is to others.

I recently heard the story of a woman who was feeding a baby in a park and when a man approached her to request that she cover-up; she handed him a receiving blanket and told him he was welcome to put it over his head if it made him uncomfortable- ha.

[deleted account]

Sure, it may be your body, but people shouldn't have to see your breast if they don't want to. I feel that it's inappropriate not to be covered. If I'm in public, I use a blanket or nursing cover.

Lizz - posted on 01/15/2010

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Other people eat and drink in public all the time so why shouldnt you feed your baby! I will be discreet but I will sit anywhere to feed my baby, If I can find a quiet corner I will but if not then too bad if it makes you uncomfortable it is the most natural thing!

Lorianne - posted on 01/15/2010

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I think you should do what you feel you need to do! Some babies dont like being covered, and I mean, there are some grown ups that I wish would cover their heads when they eat, but alas, can't make them, so don't be ashamed to nourish your baby!

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