Practical Parenting Ideas: Real Moms' Views on Breastfeeding in Public

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Real Moms' Views on Breastfeeding in Public

This was an article I wrote a while back that I find worth re-sharing. I feel like a breastfeeding mom should be able to feed her baby where and how she is most comfortable!

You're eating at a restaurant and your baby starts to cry-- he's hungry. What do you do? Do you breastfeed him right there or find somewhere else to go? Does it matter if other people notice? One thing is for sure, he'll let you know when he's hungry and you'll be anxious to get him fed.

Breastfeeding in public is one of the many parenting topics that is held with a wide variety of views. While many moms are comfortable with nursing 
in public and being around other moms that do, others are more private about feeding their baby. However you look at it, a mom should have the right to do what works best for her and her baby.
I wanted to find out other moms views on breastfeeding in public so I posted a general question in Cafe Mom (a social networking site for moms). I got nearly 100 responses and was intrigued by what they had to say. A common thought was that when the baby's hungry, you should feed them anytime, anywhere.
One mom, Maria who lives in Maryland replied, "Hmm my thought? You gotta do what you gotta do when your baby is hungry while you are out. I do it all the time I don't care what people think. I have to take care of my baby and i will do it regardless of where I am. I am not shy about it either."
While the majority of moms responded that they support breastfeeding in public, they expressed differences in the details. Some said it's best to cover up with a blanket or other covering. Ashlee from Ohio says, "I nurse in public, but I cover up! I'm uncomfortable with not covering up and I don't want to make other people feel awkward or anything."
On the other hand, some moms say it's easier to nurse without a cover or their baby doesn't like to be covered. Covered or not, the main consensus about nursing in public was to try to be discrete rather than distasteful about it so as not to show too much skin, especially for children that might see or others that may view it the wrong way.
Then yet other moms support breastfeeding but don't like to breastfeed in public themselves. They may try to feed their baby before leaving the house, in the car or other more private places, or may choose to bottle feed while out. Breastfeeding in public isn't something every mom needs to feel comfortable with. The most important thing is that mom is able to feed baby in the way and place that works best for her.

Please note: While I support breastfeeding, my intent of this post is not to say that it's the only best method of feeding baby for every circumstance. Whatever reason a mom may either choose or need to bottle feed her baby is entirely a personal decision. For me, I wish I could have breastfed my 2nd and 3rd longer, but it just wasn't working out for us. Thank goodness there is formula!
Original article posted on


  1. It bothers me when people say moms should cover up. That isn't always possible. Once my son hit about 3 months, forget a cover. It just was not happening. He wanted to be able to see everything around him. If you don't want to see someone breastfeed, look somewhere else. It isn't that hard to ignore. It's only as difficult as you, the watcher, make it.

    1. I'm glad you've figured out what works best for you both!