Breastfeeding in Public
For breastfeeding to be successful, you will need to nurse your baby frequently and sometimes at a moment’s notice.
Babies get hungry and need to nurse often, which means it’s likely you will have to breastfeed baby in public at some point. We recognize that not every mom is immediately comfortable breastfeeding baby in public, so here are some tips for increasing your comfort level:
- Nursing-friendly clothing - easy access is key, and many nursing bras and tops allow modest access to your breasts.
- Nursing carriers – some carriers today are designed so you can breastfeed easily, while offering a considerable level of privacy.
- Practice at home – have some practice sessions to get comfortable with the process of feeding baby outside of the house, using whatever systems or covers you may be considering to get the level of privacy you prefer.
- Prepare the host – if you’re visiting family or entering a public venue, communicate about what your plans are during your visit, ask about the best options for a place to nurse, and agree ahead of time on an arrangement that will work for you, your baby, and your host.
- Oops moments - Want to cover up but forgot your cover? Burp cloths or blankets work great as well. Worried about leaking? Carry extra nursing pads in your diaper bag to wear on the side your baby is not nursing on.
- Relax! - Babies can sense tension, so keep calm and carry on.
- Know Your Rights – A mother’s right to breastfeed her baby is protected by state law. If someone comes up to you, be educated on your rights and be prepared to defend those rights. It’s very unlikely you’ll have any confrontations while in public – most women find that people won’t say anything and if they do, they’re supportive.
Remember, it’s no one else’s decision – or business – how and where you feed your baby. You should do whatever makes you and your baby comfortable. Whether that’s covering up or letting baby nurse in the open, do what works for you. Breastfeeding is about nourishment, bonding, and providing the best start possible for your baby. Be proud, stay cool, and breastfeed with confidence.