Some mothers feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. But remember that you are feeding your baby. You are not doing anything wrong. And even though it may seem taboo in some places, awareness of the support new mothers need is building. There are also 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. But it is important to believe in yourself and your choice to breastfeed your baby. Remind yourself that you can succeed, and wear your confidence!
Some tips for breastfeeding in public include:
It helps to breastfeed your baby before he or she becomes fussy so that you have time to get into a comfortable place or position to feed. (Over time, you will learn your baby's early hunger cues.) When you get to your destination, find a place you can breastfeed where you will feel most comfortable.
If someone criticizes you for breastfeeding in public, La Leche League International offers a few different ways to respond:
Most of all, it is important to remember that you are meeting your baby's needs. It isn't possible to stay home all the time, and you should (and can) feel free to feed your baby while you are out and about. You should be proud of your commitment! Plus, no bottles mean fewer supplies to pack and no worries about getting the milk to the right temperature.
All material contained on this page is free of copyright restrictions and may be copied, reproduced, or duplicated without permission of the Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated.
Content last updated: July 21, 2014
Breastfeeding fact sheet
Your Guide to Breastfeeding
This easy-to-read publication has how-to information and support to help women breastfeed successfully.