Breastfeeding In Public

Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Breastfeeding in public is in most countries, by law, perfectly acceptable to do, although many mothers find that they are still made to feel inadequate when nursing their babies.  There are many countries, such as New Zealand, where breastfeeding in public is more acceptable than bottle feeding (more information can be found here).  Just remember, the more that women do this, the more it will become just another perfectly normal everyday act.Breastfeeding on a public bench

In the UK you are protected and are allowed to breastfeed in public places.  These include public transport such as buses, planes and trains.  You are also allowed to breastfeed in sporting and leisure centres, public buildings such as libraries and also restaurants, shops and hotels.  You should also be aware that you are permitted to breastfeed in theatres, hospitals, cinemas.  Another place, which might seem a bit strange, are petrol stations although I would advise against doing this on the forecourt due to the fumes.

In the meantime, if you, as mother, want to nurse your baby in public and want to lessen the possibility of getting weird looks or snide comments, there are many things that you can do to prepare.  Below are a few tips to help you get started.

Forward Planning

Use your social network such as friends with babies, family and your health visitor if they know where there are breastfeeding acceptable places that you can visit.  Many stores and cafes are nursing-friendly and also have changing facilities where you can breastfeed in private if you wish.  When your baby gets hungry, it is important for you to feel comfortable so planning ahead will make it easier.

What to Wear?

There are many purposely designed items of clothing and bras that will suite this purpose.  It is all a matter of personal taste.  Some mums might wearBreastfeeding in a sling a stretchy top that can be lifted up or pulled down on one side easily; other mums might like to wear a looser top.  There are many nursing bras available on the market, but many mums prefer to use a non-underwired bra that can easily be pulled down when they need to feed their baby.

If you want to, you could always use a baby sling which will support your baby.  Your baby could be next to your body under your top whilst feeding.

Strength in Numbers

If you are a bit uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust to accompany you.  Having another mum who is breastfeeding in public is a good way of supporting each other.  It will be more relaxing for both you and your baby.

One thing I would advise against is feeding your baby in a toilet.  This is very unhygienic and after all, you wouldn’t eat your meals in a toilet so why should your baby do it.  You should always be allowed to feed where you are comfortable and you should know your rights too.  Please refer to the top of this article where I included a link to a site which has all the necessary information regarding breastfeeding in public in your country.

Below is a short video from a couple of mums about their experiences with breastfeeding in public.

If you have any experiences, good or bad, please feel free to comment.  I welcome any comments from a male perspective too


Share the joy
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

6 Comments on "Breastfeeding In Public"

  1. HI Dinh ,as i read your post you made me remember the 4 most beautiful years of my life,because I did breastfeed my 2 kids for at list 2 years each one.I remembered that when I was breastfeeding in public usually I was covering my breast with a scarf and that way I was never feeling uncomfortable .Breastfeeding is the most natural and its the best thing you can do for your baby .

    • Hi Alexa,

      Thank you for adding your comment. Speaking with my grand-daughters, they are very weary of breastfeeding in public unless they are with friends. I agree that it is the best thin for your baby for many reasons as stated in my article, and I hope one day that this taboo in many countries is finally put behind us – Martyn

  2. Hi there,
    What a nice article, I really enjoyed reading it.
    I have two beautiful children and I remember that I was a shame to breastfeeding front strangers in the beginning. So, what I did is I put a sheet to cover my breast and it was fine, even after a while I got used to it and was breastfeeding without using anything, just naturally and I was really comfortable with it! I was so comfortable that I have breastfed for about three years 🙂 I loved it and found myself even addicted to it. I also found it hard to stop and felt like a separation. However, now my kids are big and healthy.and very happy!
    Thank you for this helpful blog

    • Hi Daniella.

      I pleased that you found this article helpful. It seems that there many others who initially find the whole public exposure issue a bit daunting, but then do get to grips with it? Did you find it easier with company or did you just bite the bullet and get on with it?

      Martyn

  3. Interesting debate about breast feeding in public!
    I am a mother of 3 and breast fed 2 of my kids (my first kid just refused to be breast fed!).
    I found it quite difficult to breast feed to in public and would plan around their feeding times before I went out. I am not opposed to women breast feeding in public but I would rather that they cover up with a blanket or something. Not everyone is comfortable with it and I am not comfortable with baring my breast whilst feeding my baby to the public. I know it’s a natural thing to feed your baby but I would rather not see it. It’s better to use a room that is designated for that purpose if it’s available. Otherwise just cover up!

    • Hi Dinh. This is quite a widely discussed subject here in the UK and many mothers still feel persecuted or embarrassed. Of course, I believe if it is allowed, as it should be, that women should be made to feel comfortable. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinon but they should not take away a woman’s right to nurture her baby when the need arises – Martyn

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


*