BREASTFEEDING In Public: Can You Do It?

Many countries support breastfeeding in public

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Hello Mamas. Are you bold enough to breastfeeding public? Many countries do not accept the fact that breastfeeding in public is ok. I think it really depends on the beliefs of the mother or father to choose doing it. Breastfeeding in public is an act of putting the baby to the breast in public places which can be just any place where people are- males or females. I have four children and I did breastfeed them, but not in public. I never felt comfortable doing it, but I do not condone people who have done it, as long as it was done respectfully .e.g. mother properly covered while baby is breastfeeding.

Is it hard to breastfeed in public?

There are laws that protect breastfeeding mothers. If you find it hard to breastfeed in public, you can try some of the tips below for breastfeeding discreetly. Wear clothes that allow easy access to your breasts, such as tops that pull up from the waist or button down. Fortunately, there are laws in all 50 states , in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that make it legal for your little star to dine straight from the source. And there are plenty of tips and tools that can make feeding in public places easy and comfortable. I wish I knew these tips when I had my children.

Thirty states have even taken this a step further and exempted breastfeeding from public indecency. This means if you live in one of these particular states, you don’t need to cover up while nursing. Basically, if you are legally allowed to be somewhere (not trespassing), then you are allowed to feed your baby in that space. This means you can nurse your baby legally in stores, restaurants, schools, airplanes, and anywhere else you find yourself.

The 30 states include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The laws are written slightly differently depending on where you live. If you’re curious to learn more, consider reading the breastfeeding laws by state

The Evident Pros Of Public Breastfeeding:

There are laws in some countries to protect women for breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in public has some benefits.

  • You probably have places to be, groceries to buy, and older siblings to cart to school and other activities. Your baby doesn’t always get the memo and gets hungry on their own schedule.
  • And forget the word “schedule” because during growth spurts, it may feel like your baby is insatiable at all hours of the day and night.
  • Not only that, but pumping and carrying around milk isn’t always possible or desirable.
  • If you’re traveling, for example, it might just be quicker and easier to feed directly from the source. Your baby may not even take bottles. Or they may want the breast purely for soothing comfort. The list of reasons goes on and on.
  • So, what do you do when you’re out and about and hear the cries of a hungry baby? That’s where breastfeeding in public comes in. “Public” can mean anything from a designated nursing area at a store to a park bench at the playground to a couch at your friend’s house.
  • The convenience – you don’t need the additional tools, don’t have to stop your activity
  • The baby gets what she needs right at the moment and is not stressed with waiting
  • The people may become a part of the sacred ritual of breastfeeding and enjoy the beauty of the picture
  • Breastfeeding itself is highly promoted through the right image of it

Fans of public breastfeeding say that they protect the right to freedom of movement and the right of the child to be fed on demand. But let’s discuss some not so positive points of public breastfeeding.

Few Cons Of Public Breastfeeding:

  • First, Calmness of nursing mother, her composure are very important for lactationStress and psychological disorders, in turn, can cause a reduction of volumes of milk or even its termination. Breastfeeding in a crowded place may distract the baby from the process. Though it’s a matter of habit, breastfeeding is an organized action, where both participators should have comfortable conditions.
  • Second, don’t forget about the weather conditions! The breasts are very sensitive at lactation and you have to take care of your breast, covering it from the aggressive environment, while breastfeeding in public. Wind is never good for the breasts. Sure you don’t bare your breasts, when it’s snowing, but you should still mind the weather conditions.
  • Third, the view of female breast is likely to be of interest not only for male passers-by but also for children. If driving attention to the act of breastfeeding is an act of promotion of breastfeeding itself – then you’re doing everything right, but you simultaneously demonstrate the bare breast in public, which is sexy, no matter what you have been told about the breast. So you have to be ready for the reactions, that are fairly predictable in the modern society. No matter – whether you are feeding your baby – you are baring your breast at the same time.

Breastfeeding Is Intimate

“Breastfeeding – is a sacred and intimate process, which is not supposed to involve spectators in order to be performed properly with a better efficiency.” The most arguments, however, come from the “no covers” issue. People don’t mind seeing a breastfeeding woman, but sometimes they mind the view of the partially naked breast, that is, as we’ve mentioned, a secondary sexual feature. Thus, if you want to get rid of those indignant sights – you may use the cover. Some of them are designed the way that your baby is not disturbed while breastfeeding and you may fully control the process

What percentage of women breastfeed In Public?

A survey by Start4Life found that 72% of people support women breastfeeding in public. The more it’s done, the more normal it will become. Here are some ideas to help you get started: Know your rights. You shouldn’t ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public.

Breastfeeding in public can mean breastfeeding in front of a relative or friend in your own home, or in a public place, such as a cafe or shopping centre.

During your baby’s first few days, you may prefer to breastfeed only where you feel most comfortable. But, as you get more used to doing it, you’re likely to feel more confident about breastfeeding in front of other people when you’re out and about.

Most people support women breastfeeding in public. The more it’s done, the more normal it will become. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Get Your Confidence With Breastfeeding In Public

Knowing your rights is key when breastfeeding in public

Here are some great tips to help you get started.

  • Know your rights. You should not ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. It is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport.
  • Plan ahead. Before you go out, it can help to think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding when your baby gets hungry. Ask breastfeeding friends for recommendations.
  • A midwife, health visitor or peer supporters at a local breastfeeding drop-in will also know of good places in your area where you can feed your baby.
  • Clothes and bra. (paid link)What you wear when you’re breastfeeding is a matter of personal taste and what you feel comfortable in. For example, some mums like to wear loose tops that can be lifted up.
  • Others, who prefer to keep their tummy covered, wear two stretchy tops, so that the top layer can be lifted up and the bottom layer can be pulled down. A soft, non-underwired bra can be easily pulled up or down when you want to feed your baby.
  • Baby slings, scarves and cloths. (paid link) Some baby slings are designed so you can breastfeed while your baby is in the sling. Some mums feel more comfortable putting a scarf or muslin cloth over their chest while they’re breastfeeding.
  • Take someone with you. (paid link). It can help to go with a friend who has an older baby and can take you to places that she already knows. You could go with someone else, such as your mum, partner, sister or friend, so that there’s always someone to talk to.
  • Avoid public bathrooms. (paid link). Do not feel that you should sit in a public toilet to breastfeed. You would not eat in there, so do not feel that your baby should be fed there.

Breastfeeding in public can be intimidating for many women. No one should be discriminated if they opt to breastfeed in public. However, breastfeeding in public has both advantages and disadvantages. It is a personal choice. Knowing your rights is paramount in making the choice to breastfeed. Planning, wearing convenient clothing, and most of all your confidence. All of these points are keys in helping you master the art of breastfeeding in public. How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Let me know how you feel about it and about your experiences.

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Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

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