Breastfeeding in public is a very controversial topic that has been the subject of many debates over these years. In the United States, breastfeeding in public is legally allowed in 49 states. Most of these states have enacted laws to protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any public place where the mother and child are allowed to be. The only state that doesn’t protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is Idaho, but the state permits a nursing mother to postpone her jury duty until after she’s no longer nursing her child.
Now, even if majority of the states legally allow – or even encourage – breastfeeding in public places, some people just feel uncomfortable seeing a mother nurse her child in a restaurant, at the park or even in somebody else’s home. Others consider breastfeeding in public “indecent exposure” especially when the mother’s breast is exposed. The same sentiment is felt towards expressing breast milk in the workplace through pumping. But actually, according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, all women in the United States have the legal right to pump while at work.
So – given you’re not in Idaho – should you just go ahead and start breastfeeding in public? Well, if you do not want to be the subject of some uncomfortable glances or hot social media debate, there are ways for you to be able to nurse in public discreetly.
Get a full coverage nursing cover.
Look for a nursing cover like this one that can also be used as a poncho or an infinity scarf.
( 27 patterns ) 360° Full Coverage Multi Use Stretchy Nursing Cover Up For Breastfeeding car seat cover 4 in...
These types of nursing covers prevent “indecent exposure” because they conceal so well and cover not only your breasts but your whole upper body as well. They are usually made from lightweight material to make it more comfortable for you and your baby. And they can also be used as a stroller cover (for younger infants) and a shopping cart cover (for older babies).back to menu ↑
Use a baby sling to cover up.
These baby slings, like this one are so flexible that you can easily adjust the fit as much as necessary.
With a little bit of practice, you can also adjust the position of your baby in the sling so you and your baby can breastfeed comfortably inside the sling. The fabric can also be used as a nursing cover separately, without placing your baby inside the sling.back to menu ↑
Try wearing a loose shirt over a nursing tank (preferably one with a built in bra).
This is most useful for older babies who do not want to be hidden inside a nursing cover.
When breastfeeding in public, simply lift your shirt, position your baby inside your shirt, pull down your nursing tank, and latch. That way, you don’t expose your stomach as well as your breast, and your outer shirt serves as the nursing cover.
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Do it like Beyoncé does.
Yes, do it like Queen B. Use a baby blanket to cover your baby and a nursing hoodie to conceal your body.
This is the perfect strategy for breastfeeding in public discreetly when the weather is cool. Not only does it provide maximum coverage; it also keeps your baby (and yourself) warm and comfortable.
Checkout these nice baby blanket and nursing hoodie to keep you breastfeeding discreetly:
If you can’t breastfeed that publicly enough, a solution is to find a breastfeeding station.
Many establishments now have nursing stations in place so that mothers who do not want to breastfeed their babies ‘out there’ can do so in the privacy of a lactation suite.
Breastfeeding is a natural process and a baby will nurse when he is hungry or uncomfortable – regardless of where he is at. (Similarly for us, grownups, we eat whenever we feel hungry or stressed – don’t we?) Unfortunately, there are people who do not understand that. (Some even compare breastfeeding in public to urinating in public – can you imagine that?!) Perhaps we can avoid drawing others’ attention when we are out in public with our baby by not to waiting for our baby to get hungry before we start breastfeeding him. Because if he gets hungry, he will get fussy and we will not be able to nurse discreetly – do you agree? You know how harsh the world is when it comes to breastfeeding in public. Anyway, at the end of the day, all that matters is that you are able to provide for your baby and attend to his basic needs.