to cover or not to cover...that is the question!

Conni - posted on 11/15/2009 ( 39 moms have responded )

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Do you cover when you breastfeed in public? Why or why not? And if not how do you NOT cover without completely flashing those around you? I HATE my cover...it's a pain in the bum but I use it because I still get anxious over the possiblity of accidently flashing all of my chest to others around me.

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Sarah - posted on 05/15/2012

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when i fed in public i did cover up a bit but not for my benefit but i didnt want to enabres anyone.but a few times, esp in summer, i would just have one boob covered and the feeding one on show as it were. One time i was in starbuck and my toddler boy was sitting by me and wanted a feed, i slid off one should strap of my top and let him latch on, a woman and her friend, plus three kids two boys and a girl ages about 9 to 10 all looked. both women commenetd to me how nice the image of me was, my son swapped boobs and i was then exposing both boobs. the counter assistant came over to collect cups and said to watch out for other customers if they complained, again i can undertsnd that, but me facing away from the door and having an audience it felt great.
Eventually after 20 mins of talkign with the kids and their mums about feeding my son had finished. I was satn there for a coupel of mins both totally exposed.

Claire - posted on 11/19/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

I breastfeed both my kids and love other moms that also choose to. If you want to breastfeed in public that's awesome, I've done it to, just have a little respect for those around you and cover it up. Maybe I don't want my son exposed to your breast. Maybe my husband doesn't want to see your boobie while we are out with the family. I know that it is a natural thing to do, but my vagina is natural and you don't see me changing my tampon in public. I'm glad that you feel comfortable with breastfeeding and with your bare chest in public. I do not appreciate that you only care about how it makes you feel and not those around you. Be a little more considerate of those around you and cover it up.



I actually find this comment offensive, I think it's hugely innapropriate to compare breastfeeding to changing a tampon! I don't know what you think we (meaning breastfeeding mothers in public) are doing, but I have never seen a mother 'exposing' herself.The vast majority of mothers are discrete when in public, as Im sure you yourself are. Most mum's attach their babies quickly, without fuss. God forbid your son or husband gets a one second glimps of my breast whilst Im attaching my baby! I don't mean to be rude Jessica

Stina - posted on 11/17/2009

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I think this is a personal choice. When I see women nursing uncovered- I generally can't see anything.

I nurse covered and uncovered- more and more uncovered because my 6 mo will often not latch on with the cover or blanket over her.

How I stay as discreet as possible: Before lifting my shirt, I undo my nursing bra, or pull my breast out of the bra while everything is still covered. Then, I hold my dd in the position to nurse- and lift my shirt just enough to expose my nipple. Since she's right there, my nipple is only exposed long enough for her to latch on... and the only people that might see anything are those who are right next to us. From accross the room, they would see nothing because her head blocks the view of my exposed breast.

Often, I am wearing a moby wrap- wich helps keep me covered because if she pulls away, the fabric easily covers my exposed breast. Sometimes I wear a nursing cover but don't cover my baby with it, if she pulls away, I have the cover available as fabric I can quickly pull down over my breast while I burp her without needing to fix my shirt and bra right away. A blanket can be used in the same way- I like to tuck a light weight blanket into my bra straps sometimes and then if my baby doesn't want to be covered, I keep her face exposed and but still have the extra fabric to cover my breast. This works well at the beach with a bathing suit since I can slip my breast out of the suit and not feel overexposed because the top of my breast is still covered.

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39 Comments

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Becca - posted on 12/05/2009

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i never covered, still dont at 14months. if someone else has a problem with me breastfeeding then they shouldnt look, to me its as simple as that.

Erin - posted on 12/05/2009

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I do not cover anymore. You wouldn't cover a child that was eating out of a bottle, this is perfectly natural and nothing shameful that should be hidden. If we are in a very public place like church or the mall I might put a burp cloth over top of me but I wouldn't distract my daughter by covering her up and disrupting her meal.

Hannah - posted on 12/04/2009

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if you dont like your cover you can also use a blanket ... i cover with a blanket.. i have a cover to but i hate it as well. im accually on the hunt for a sling i can breastfeed with..

Johnny - posted on 12/03/2009

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I don't cover. My daughter won't put up with it and I find it to be a pain anyway. I use two shirts or wear one long one. More because I don't want to show my flab than because I don't want to show my boob (although I don't want to flash anyone either). I believe that in 16 months of nursing I've only mistakenly flashed someone once. My daughter rolled over suddenly as a teenage boy passed by and he got a good eye full. But he seemed pretty happy about it, LOL. But I try hard to keep it all on the down low, nursing is natural, and should be seen in public, but it's not about having boobs swaying in the wind.

And seriously, where do all you people live that you see women wandering around nursing with their boobs hanging out? Where I live, most women breastfeed, it's very common. And very rarely do women use covers. But I have never, ever had a "boob show" from any other mom. Even from moms who can latch their kid on while in line in Walmart. And I"m personally thankful not to have to listen to them scream. Do you live near a nudist camp or something?

Claire - posted on 12/03/2009

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Quoting carla:



Please dont compare me feeding my baby to people urinating, moving their bowels or changing a tampon. You eat in public, dont you? Is that disgusting? What people are forgetting here is, ITS NOT ABOUT OUR RIGHT AS MOTHERS TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC.... ITS ABOUT OUR BABIES' RIGHT TO EAT WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY!!! That is a basic human right and a basic life giving function. I'm sorry if your child asks a question about it, or your husband is embarrassed about it but if my baby is hungry, I will not be making him starve. Try explaining to your child that ladies bodies are very clever and that they make milk in their breasts to feed their baby. If we made it less tabboo and more natural and every-day now we will be making life much easier for our daughters and granddaughters. As for your husband, well he's being rude if he's looking. Nobody is asking him to.



Fantastic comment, you summed it up perfectly!

Julienne - posted on 11/29/2009

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The easiest way I have found is to pull up my shirt - which protects the top from being seen then once latched on my arm under her neck and nursing her covers the breast from the side. Of course her head covers the nipple. I definately don't use a cover because it is a pain

[deleted account]

The only 'public' nursing I did of my twins (almost 8 now) was in the car cuz it was what was easiest and most comfortable.

I have nursed my son anywhere he has wanted (setting limits now, but he's 20 months) that I could sit comfortably. I used a cover up maybe a handful of times in the beginning since I wasn't used to public nursing... Not since then though. I am small chested and am only 'exposed' (his head is blocking unless you are intent on searching) for about 2 seconds while he latches on. My shirt and his body cover the rest. :)

Amber - posted on 11/28/2009

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I try to cover in public but its such a pain because my DD just trys pulling it off and hates it . I will feed her in the car where "I" am comfortable or in a dressing room so I cna let it all hang out ha ha .. but she is 7mo old now and her nursing is less often so we plan trips around her nursing .Also I am getting more comfortable in public and now I nurse at the movies uncovered ha ha ha I gotta start somewhere .I am trying different places as time goes on .Im just trying to get more comfortable doing it in public.But I am so very proud to breastfeed my child and if I were in public and she was hungry and started screaming I would just whip it out and not care .

Ashley - posted on 11/26/2009

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I do cover in public or when certain visitors are over. I have an amazing hooter hider the has an opening at top that's lifted out so you can still have eye contact. I do cover when certain visitors are over like my brothers or friends with their husbands but because I would feel uncomfortable going coverless. In public I cover but will feed my child anywhere whether I'm grocery shopping or eating at a restaurant. People do sometimes look uncomfortable when I'm in public but I assume if their child was hungry they wouldn't hesitate to pull out a bottle so I'm not going to stop what I am doing to find a secluded place to feed my child. I am sorry if they feel uncomfortable but they can't see anything and honestly even if I didn't cover I think that people should praise breastfeeding mothers rather than make them feel uncomfortable. We are doing a beautifully amazing thing for our children and it should be recognized as just that. Breastfeeding mothers should not have to feel embarrassed and the decision to cover should be based on what makes the mother comfortable. Society needs to be more accepting. I understand that some people don't want their children seeing boobs or their husbands seeing boobs but if society was more accepting we wouldn't feel that way. If society was more accepting your kids and husband wouldn't feel the need to stare and you wouldn't feel the need to be offended.

[deleted account]

We go coverless! My daughter hated it at a very early age, so it never worked for us. I sympathize...they are a pain! She is now 1 year and we are still breastfeeding in public. At first I was so worried about how other people would look at me...and trust me they look. But the reality is I am PROUD that I am still breastfeeding my baby, and we have gotten really good at making sure things are covered from all angles (layering your shirts it a great way, or a breast feeding tank top as an undershirt). Good Luck!

Hazel - posted on 11/26/2009

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No, I dont really cover. I don't flash them around, but I am discreet so as not to make people uncomfortable.

Carla - posted on 11/26/2009

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I dont cover, if I do my son thinks we're playing peek-a-boo, pulls the cover off, pops off the breast and gives me a big milky smile. As cute as it is, it means I spray milk everywhere and everyone gets an eyeful of bare boob.

Instead I wear two tops, one I pull up and the other I pull down (I would hate people to see the stretch marks more than I would the boobs, lol) so nobody sees anything, its more discreet as people dont even realise unless theyre watching him latch on. Depending on where I am, I may use a muslin cloth draped over me for the initial latch on, less so now that hes bigger and latches on straight away.

Please dont compare me feeding my baby to people urinating, moving their bowels or changing a tampon. You eat in public, dont you? Is that disgusting? What people are forgetting here is, ITS NOT ABOUT OUR RIGHT AS MOTHERS TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC.... ITS ABOUT OUR BABIES' RIGHT TO EAT WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY!!! That is a basic human right and a basic life giving function. I'm sorry if your child asks a question about it, or your husband is embarrassed about it but if my baby is hungry, I will not be making him starve. Try explaining to your child that ladies bodies are very clever and that they make milk in their breasts to feed their baby. If we made it less tabboo and more natural and every-day now we will be making life much easier for our daughters and granddaughters. As for your husband, well he's being rude if he's looking. Nobody is asking him to.

Minnie - posted on 11/23/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

I didn't find your comment offensive and I actually hate to compare changing a tampon to exposing your breast while breast feeding in public. Women just seem to be so dramatic about it that it seemed to deserve an absurd response. I don't have a problem with public breast feeding. I have a problem with the way some women do it. I mean latching your baby on while in the wal-mart check out line, seriously? I just hate it when people don't even try to cover their breast at all. All I hear is "it's natural." Yeah it is but that doesn't mean that women should expose themselves they way some do. Some don't even try to be a little discrete. That really pisses me off. I just want women to try to be a little discrete. If I can breast feed in public without anyone ever seeing my breast, so can anyone else.



If my daughter wants to nurse in the Walmart check out I'll nurse her in the checkout. Your nor anybody else's opinon do I hold in higher regard than my 13 month old's. 



Why does it 'piss you off' if a woman chooses not to cover while nursing her child? What would make ME angry is a woman refusing to tend to the needs of her child and not being sensitive to him or her.  Not the amount of skin shown in the process.

Dawn - posted on 11/23/2009

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Nope, I do where my pregnancy bump band though as I don't mind you seeing a bit of boob but don't want my flab on show!



You can't see much anyway with a babies head in the way.



As for other people, I'll stop bf'ing my way in public when people who *really* shouldn't be showing off their flabby stomachs etc stop doing that.



Oh, and I've never had a problem or any unkind remarks either.



dxx

Claire - posted on 11/22/2009

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Fair call, thanks for clarifying. I have to say I've never seen a mother breastfeeding in public who was not discrete, like the wallmart checkout for instance! Maybe the aussies are more discrete?

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2009

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I didn't find your comment offensive and I actually hate to compare changing a tampon to exposing your breast while breast feeding in public. Women just seem to be so dramatic about it that it seemed to deserve an absurd response. I don't have a problem with public breast feeding. I have a problem with the way some women do it. I mean latching your baby on while in the wal-mart check out line, seriously? I just hate it when people don't even try to cover their breast at all. All I hear is "it's natural." Yeah it is but that doesn't mean that women should expose themselves they way some do. Some don't even try to be a little discrete. That really pisses me off. I just want women to try to be a little discrete. If I can breast feed in public without anyone ever seeing my breast, so can anyone else.

Crystal - posted on 11/19/2009

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Well, I suppose if depends if you mean "in public" as in "in the stadium at the Superbowl" or as in "at home when company comes over, or at a family members home". I rarely breastfed in as public a setting as the first situation, simply because my daughter would never pay attention to actually nurse, she'd get all cranky and upset. So I would find a quiet(er) place to go to nurse. If I knew I would find myself in a situation like this, I would wear a top that was lower cut, or was made for nursing, and I would simply lift my breast out the top of my shirt (with my hand over the nipple) and bring it to my baby. No one ever saw anything more than they would've seen if I'd've been wearing a bikini, except maybe a brief flash of areola, and my daughter's head covered the rest while she was eating.

If it's the latter case, and it was someone at my home .. well, I figure they know what to expect coming over to my house while I'm a breastfeeding mom, so I just had no shame lol.

Jessica - posted on 11/18/2009

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The best sign i have seen posted about breast feeding is WOULD YOU EAT IN THE TOILET!!!!???. N i agree with it 100%. Breast feeding is completly natural. Huge thumbs up to women who breast feed in public :) i think when u c a woman breast feedin in public give a little smile of encouragement as i think the more we do it, then more women will feel comfortable n women will breats feed for longer. no1 else will feed our babies when they r hungry!! so if people around are uncomfortable DONT LOOK AT US WHILE WE ARE TENDING TO OUR CHILD'S NEEDS!

if u r uncomfortable feeding ur child in public bub is goin to feel uncomfortable n u will probably find u will have more difficulty in tryin to latch bub on. so do wat feels right for u n ignore everyone else at the end of the day bubby comes 1st

Sally - posted on 11/16/2009

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I feel more comfortable covered up, if others are around me while I am out. If I am at a store or the mall, I will go into a dressing room to nurse. It works out great! At home, no I do not cover up. Some people are just uncomfortable, so I try to be respectful of that.(while out). I am very happy that I am able to bf my daughter. I find it difficult to not cover when lots of people are around. The baby is distracted and wants to look around, so she keeps coming off, and BAM there's my boob! I don't want people to see me exposed! If I see a woman nursing with no cover, I say good for her!! But it's not for me.

Amber - posted on 11/16/2009

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It depends on where I am if there are a lot of kids and parents I cover just because I have had lots and lots of kids come up to me and look and ask ? and it makes there parents weirded out to me I don't mind but I have 3 kids of my own and they all have asked me what I was doing. I know that other people mind so i try to make as respectful to others as myself.

Jessica - posted on 11/16/2009

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I breastfeed both my kids and love other moms that also choose to. If you want to breastfeed in public that's awesome, I've done it to, just have a little respect for those around you and cover it up. Maybe I don't want my son exposed to your breast. Maybe my husband doesn't want to see your boobie while we are out with the family. I know that it is a natural thing to do, but my vagina is natural and you don't see me changing my tampon in public. I'm glad that you feel comfortable with breastfeeding and with your bare chest in public. I do not appreciate that you only care about how it makes you feel and not those around you. Be a little more considerate of those around you and cover it up.

Heather - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Andrea:

I definetly cover. In fact, If i'm at someone elses home I go in a seperate room alone. I just dont feed in public at all- I just stay home. At home I don't cover. I think breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby- and it is natural. But so is having a bowel movement or urinating and we dont leave our stall doors open at the mall for everyone to see. I just wouldnt feel comfortable with someone else seeing me. That said, it doesnt bother me if others do, just not for me.



I agree! It doesn't bother me at all when other do, Infact, I think it's awesome! It's just not for me though.. #1 - I am very uncomfortable w/ being that exposed. I have all brothers, plus my dad and grandfather.. Who I'm sure all don't want to see it anymore than I want them to! haha.. #2 - now that Isaac is 4 mo. old he's so interested in everyones voice that I can't keep him eating, no matter how hungry, if he's not covered!

Janice - posted on 11/16/2009

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I wear two shirts...a thin tank underneath my regular clothes...You can easily pull the tank down position baby close to your breast and then pull up the top shirt. You are covered with out having to throw a blanket over you. None of my kids liked to be covered up like that because they'd get to hot and sweat. I'm covered enough to suit myself and it actually draws less attention than using a coverup. Most people don't even realize what you are doing. Good luck!!

Mariah - posted on 11/16/2009

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I have a nursing shaw. It was great for when I was out in public and didnt have the nursing atire. It covered me all the way around and was thin enough that my son could breath.

Minnie - posted on 11/16/2009

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Quoting Andrea:

I definetly cover. In fact, If i'm at someone elses home I go in a seperate room alone. I just dont feed in public at all- I just stay home. At home I don't cover. I think breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby- and it is natural. But so is having a bowel movement or urinating and we dont leave our stall doors open at the mall for everyone to see. I just wouldnt feel comfortable with someone else seeing me. That said, it doesnt bother me if others do, just not for me.


I respect your choice to not nurse in public, and am thankful that it doesn't bother you that others don't cover in public.



But I just have to address the comparison of breastfeeding one's child to having a bowel movement or urinating.  I hear that a lot from people who are opposed to breastfeeding in public, and it bothers me- I can't see how feeding one's child (with a substance that has immunological properties) can be compared to the removal of offensive bodily waste.

Stephanie - posted on 11/15/2009

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Quoting Andrea:

I definetly cover. In fact, If i'm at someone elses home I go in a seperate room alone. I just dont feed in public at all- I just stay home. At home I don't cover. I think breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby- and it is natural. But so is having a bowel movement or urinating and we dont leave our stall doors open at the mall for everyone to see. I just wouldnt feel comfortable with someone else seeing me. That said, it doesnt bother me if others do, just not for me.


 



 



So no offence, but I cannot believe you're comparing breastfeeding with useing the bathroom. 



 



I never cover in public. I tried for a while, but my little one won't eat covered up, and I don't feel she should have to.  I don't eat with a blanket over my head, and neither does my child.  My moto is "If you have a problem with my breastfeeding, feel free to put a blanket over your head."

A - posted on 11/15/2009

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I definetly cover. In fact, If i'm at someone elses home I go in a seperate room alone. I just dont feed in public at all- I just stay home. At home I don't cover. I think breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby- and it is natural. But so is having a bowel movement or urinating and we dont leave our stall doors open at the mall for everyone to see. I just wouldnt feel comfortable with someone else seeing me. That said, it doesnt bother me if others do, just not for me.

Jessica - posted on 11/15/2009

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I used to cover w/ a receiving blanket, but now that he's older it's a fight to cover so I don't bother. A fair amount of my breast that he's nursing on is visible, but I don't really care anymore. I just use a regular nursing bra & a v-neck shirt...I pop out my boob from the top of my shirt, so only one is visible...my hubby tries to cover me up though! lol! He doesn't like other ppl seeing my boobs! lol!! So we only cover if we're out in public w/ hubby.

Claire - posted on 11/15/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

Not!

I believe that covering sends the message to everyone around that breastmilk comes from a dirty area of my body. That's just going to perpetuate the perverted view that western culture has of the breast and breastfeeding.



I couldn't agree more...



I never covered up when breastfeeding my son, but of course I was discrete about it. I saw a woman the other day BF her very young baby in the middle of a busy cafe, she was clearly not fazed at all and wasn't making any attempt to cover up. I smiled at her and thought to myself good on you! I wish I saw it more often!



BF is normal and natural - do you put a cover over your head when you eat your dinner? I think not!

Amber - posted on 11/15/2009

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With my first I tried to use a cover and it didn't work. I hated it because blankets and the covers that I had just didn't work for me and they made it difficult to feed as it would get too warm and she wouldn't feed. So I didn't feed in public very often with my first. I then found a new kind of cover called uddercovers (www.uddercovers.com) that have been a huge blessing. It helps me be discreet when I need to be and is very thin and light weight. Of course when I am at home with just my family I don't cover up. I think that breastfeeding is the best thing for a baby. When needing to feed my child in public I do cover up. I certainly don't mind explaining to my child what I am doing at home but I don't want to have to explain to them what someone else is doing. Yes it is natural and while it is great thing to do and nothing to be ashamed about, thinking about modesty and how comfortable other people are with public breast feeding is important. Maybe some parents don't want to have to explain to their children that someone is breastfeeding their child. Modesty and being descreet are the biggest things for me.

Shaina - posted on 11/15/2009

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I dont cover. My son gets distracted by the blanket and tries to pull it off. To not flash everyone I put a thin blanket over my cheast so that I can lift my shirt up and take my nursing pad out. With my breast exposed under the blanket I pick my son up hold him in a way thats confortable and bring the blanket down. It ends up pinned between my son and I. Unless your standing in just the right spot and looking to see my breast you cant see anything. I do it ALL the time. Grocery shopping, doctors office, all of it. Then when hes done eating I pull the blanket back up to burp him, set him back down and put my shirt back in place. It work great for us. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 11/15/2009

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I am not a woman offended by seeing another breastfeed. I actually find it very sweet, if that doesn't sound weird. And even though I like to stand up for what I believe in, I do recognize that it makes some uncomfortable. I couldn't cover when I breastfeed. I must be an idiot because I could not get the hang of those cover-ups, and I didn't like smothering my baby with a big blanket. I invested in nursing shirts that kept as much of me covered as possible, but that still allowed me to stare down into my baby's eyes while I was feeding her. Out in public, I would only put a blanket over my breasts when I was getting situated, and then once she was latched on I would arrange the shirt so that nothing was showing.

Mandy - posted on 11/15/2009

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i dont cover

my son wouldnt feed if he was coered. i have never had anything said to me about it and am ready for a fight if they do!

Laura - posted on 11/15/2009

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I no longer cover. DD just won't tolerate it. I wear nursing tops. only the lift up kind though. pull aside ones are too reavealing. This way once DD is latched on no one can see anything. Even with the cover everyone know what you are doing so why hide, just be discreet.

Minnie - posted on 11/15/2009

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Not!



I believe that covering sends the message to everyone around that breastmilk comes from a dirty area of my body. That's just going to perpetuate the perverted view that western culture has of the breast and breastfeeding.

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