Nursing In Public

You don't have to feel embarrassed, ashamed or self-conscious about breastfeeding in public. You’re feeding your baby in a normal, healthy way, just as women have for millennia.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that these feelings will never creep in. It’s normal to feel a little shaky doing something new, especially something that’s not always accepted in our culture.

Here are some tips for breastfeeding in public:

  • Bring a friend. Have someone else with you to chat and distract. If anyone makes a rude comment (which is very unlikely), your companion can also deflect.

  • Invest in some breastfeeding tops. Sure, you can always yank your top up or down, but these days, there are tons of companies that make clothing that makes nursing easier and more discreet. From hidden zippers in hoodies to snaps on sweaters, you’re bound to find something that will make you feel comfortable.

  • Turn away to latch. Most of the time while you’re feeding, baby’s head will cover up your actual breast. When latching, you can use a cover, turn toward the wall or otherwise cover up if you’re uncomfortable when your nipple is exposed.

  • Cover ... or don’t! A cover, such as a specially made breastfeeding cover, scarf, shawl or blanket may work you and your baby. Some babies, however, may not like having their view limited to just mama, especially as they get older. Don't feel obligated to cover up unless it’s what you want to do.

Most importantly, know your rights. Breastfeeding in public is protected by law in all 50 states. No one has the right to tell you to leave, cover up or stop feeding.

See also ...

•  Breastfeeding in public

•  Feeding on demand

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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