Breastfeeding in Public: Thoughts, Tips, and Information

breastfeeding in public text
Image adapted from iStock

In a room full of people on Thanksgiving, my sweet cousin asked, “Do you guys mind if I feed my baby right here?”

And while putting her nursing cover on, she said, “I’m so sorry. I forgot her bottles—I left them at home.” 

Sad. Sad that she felt like she had to ask for permission to feed her baby in front of family and friends and apologize for not having bottles. It makes me wonder how not only she, but other mothers as well, feel when they have to feed their babies elsewhere like at a park, in a store, or in a waiting room.

I did not breastfeed in public, but upon listening to and reading about the experiences of other mothers, I have learned that while breastfeeding in public is easy for some, it is not easy for others.

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Today's roundup of public breastfeeding blogs and articles are to offer support, comfort, and encouragement.

Image via iStock


From public nursing in the news to personal stories and tips, here the must reads about breastfeeding in public: 

1. This post about military moms receiving criticism for breastfeeding in public received many comments and is definitely worth reading.

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2. From Mom, Myself, & I, Stef Daniels expresses her thoughts and experiences of breastfeeding while calling all mothers to embrace and support each other – no matter how they choose feed their babies.

{ MORE: 4 Tips for Making Breastfeeding Work }

3. From tips on what to wear, how to find your comfort zone, and how to deal with inconsiderate people, this article offers helpful advice.

{ MORE: How to Properly Store Breast Milk }


Image via iStock

4. Chaunie – mother, OB nurse, and supporter of breastfeeding – shares her reservations about breastfeeding her children in public, as well as how she tailored her public breastfeeding experiences on order to feel more comfortable.

{ MORE: 3 Things That Have Made My Life as a Triple Feeding Mom SO Much Easier }

5. A spur-of-the-moment experiment revealed that a breastfeeding mother attracts more negative attention than low-cut, revealing tank tops. Read Cherish's story here.

{ MORE: What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding? }

6. What could be better than tips from a CLC? Sara shares her thoughts on breastfeeding in public, or not breastfeeding in public, what to expect from considerate people, and how to let go of the opinions from people who suck. 

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In addition to helpful advice shared by EverydayFamily writers, you can find more insight in the breastfeeding forums, where community members share their thoughts, questions, answers, and more. 

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We all have something to learn from each other, so please share your advice and experiences with us in the comments below.

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What do you think?

Breastfeeding in Public: Thoughts, Tips, and Information

Melanie Denney lives in the smallest of towns, with her two little darlings. She has a Bachelor's degree and happily works as a full-time mother and a freelance writer, specializing in sociology and recreation leadership. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Linda says:

    I breast fed 30 years ago and received criticism even when covered. I once was in the mall nursing and covered when I was told by security to go in the bathroom to feed my baby. I refused telling him that I was covered and if someone had a problem it was to bad. He left and by the time her returned with Another security guard, I was finished. So nothing else was said

  2. Alanna says:

    People are so judgmental. Either way, I am not completely comfortable with exposing myself in public. I may need to get one of those capes.

  3. Heather says:

    I personally do not breast feed in public, but do not feel it is wrong or inappropriate to do so. The biggest reasons I do not do so myself have to do with looks and stares I get with nothing attatched to them, so it makes me self concious to do so with others around. Also, my 2 year old doesn’t understand that Mommy’s stuffs should not be displayed for all the public to see. But, at home, I feed the baby freely, aside from certain company, if it is just family, I don’t have a problem with it. And I do not feel any woman should, as it is natural and healthy for the baby.

  4. Lisa says:

    I agree that being discreet is key

  5. Bethany says:

    It’s natural and so healthy for baby. I see no problem with breastfeeding in public. Of course being discreet is always courteous!

  6. I see nothing wrong with public breast feeding I do however feel that public boob flashing is tastless and inappropriate

  7. Mary says:

    At first i was nervous and found a dressing room or (yuck!) the bathroom to feed my son in to avoid the staring eyes. Now, thanks to a few wonderful people I now have the ability and confidence to feed my 16 month old wherever I happen to be. I also don’t use a cover the majority of the time. I just practice at home in front of a mirror to see how much I’m exposed and then adjusted my hold until I was comfortably covered. most of the time, people will carry on a conversation with me and not have a clue what my son is up to. you are allowed to nurse your child without a cover anywhere you are legally allowed to be with that child. Have some respect for the other people around you and be discreet, but don’t let being caught without your cover embarrass you. Nurse with pride!

  8. Samantha says:

    I am all for breastfeeding, when a child gets hungry you may not be in the best location but just be prepared with a wrap or blanket to cover yourself and the baby. As long as your breast isn’t hanging out there is nothing wrong with it.

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