We have boobs to feed our kiddos. Even in public.


Here I am nursing Juliana yesterday at a Science Center on a bench out in public.
Getting out in public has helped with the baby blues. Having a newborn in the winter is not easy. So, if I go out, I nurse in public.
The craziest place I have nursed Juliana? I would say standing up in a bathroom stall in a Crackel Barrel restaurant. The craziest place I have nursed Madilyn? That is an easy one. Sitting on the floor of Trump Tower in NYC. The place was packed and I am sure a few strangers saw my boobs.
If you follow me on Facebook, I recently posted the question, “What is the craziest place you have nursed your child?” and I got the funniest answers. Thanks to everyone who posted.
Last night, we were out to eat at a Thai restaurant. Juliana was completely asleep when we got there. As soon as we ordered our food, she starts crying. I changed her pants (on the booth next to me – don’t even get me started about the lack of places in public to change your kiddos…), and she just napped so I knew that she needed to eat. I looked around the restaurant and said to Brian, “Well, I guess I am going to whip it out!” He laughs and I nurse. Well, I tried to nurse. I really think she can feel it when I am anxious. When I am anxious she goes on a nursing strike. I tried again (and I think I showed even more of my boob to the other people there) and she finally nursed for a few minutes. She cried again. I gave her to Brian and he walked her around the restaurant.
So, why are there not more places in public to nurse? For those of you that live in the Washington, PA area like I do, know the Tanger Outlets. Now, they know what’s up. There have a room designated to nursing complete with a  changing table AND two rocking chairs so mamas are comfortable. It rocks and I shop there for that reason. Can you imagine not being able to nurse at a shopping mall? I came across this article where a mall in Costa Rica briefly banned nursing. Moms protested. Awesome!
When I nurse in public I am not embarrassed. Anxious? Sure. I know that nursing is one of the best things I can do for my child. I think I am anxious that I may make others uncomfortable. Why is that? All other mammals nurse their babies. Why can’t we do the same thing without getting strange looks?
Madilyn hated it when I had one of those covers on. So, I would try to get her to latch and cover up as much as I could with a blanket. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Juliana is pretty much the same way. She will nurse fine once she gets a great latch – most of the time.
I nursed Madilyn for 15 months. Even when she was big enough to walk around, I would stop her and nurse for a little. That’s how much I believe in the benefits of nursing.
First of all, us mamas have enough to worry about and for those mamas who don’t nurse, I still want to give you a huge virtual hug. Please don’t feel guilty about NOT nursing. You rock. Period. You are doing a great job. Say that to yourself 1o times.
For me, nursing just works. It doesn’t work for some mamas and that is totally cool. I like the convenience of just “wipping it out” and feeding my baby.
So, below are my top 5 tips when nursing in public:
1. Don’t worry about what other people think. Sure, some people will give you strange looks. No one has ever approached me about it but I have gotten my share of looks. Just smile back.
2. Be proud of yourself. Nursing is a big commitment. It is a commitment to your child. It is thinking about your child before yourself. I mean, you have to give up drinking…
3. Do the best you can. That is pretty much my #1 tip when it comes to everything about parenting but it applies to nursing too. Sure, nurse at home when you can for the most comfort but if you are out and you have to nurse, do the best you can.
4. Always remember to bring a blanket. Last night, I had to use my coat to cover up. Not ideal.
5. Look at your child. This way, you don’t have to see how others are responding. Who cares. At the end of the day, all that matters is what is best for your child and your family.
I found this pretty cool website with resources about breast feeding in public and of course, the La Leche League has plenty of resources.
Happy nursing!

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8 Comments

  1. Very nice article! As a first time mother it is very hard to get comfortable anywhere let alone in public! I wish there were more designated areas to nurse your baby! I try to go out and about when my baby is sleeping so I don’t have to feel the pressure of nursing her in public, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen! I get uptight and anxious also in public, only because I feel like I am making others feel uncomfortable! Why do I feel like that? I shouldn’t! I am taking care and providing nutrients to my baby! I wish people would understand that it is not sexual or anything.. You are feeding a child! I love nursing my baby girl it has given me comfort and special bonding between us! I am so glad that I choose this option! I hope to nurse for as long as I can! I hope one day I can overcome the pressure and anxiety I get in public! Your article says it all! I appreciate reading your blogs!

  2. Awesome! For B, she didn’t want to nurse after 6 weeks so I just pumped. For L, OMG…the kid wouldn’t take a bottle AT ALL until her awesome daycare teachers transitioned her over a day or two. But man, those first 12 weeks….I didn’t have time to go find a bathroom or somewhere to sit down (toddler and baby…the goal is to get in and get out as quick as possible) so I learned quickly how to push a stroller/cart and carry a nursing baby. I also rarely covered up because it was August and 90 degrees (but I wore tank tops you could pull down so it looked like I was just carrying her). I can’t tell you how many restaurants, stores, museums, zoos (DC, Zoo America and Pgh), or other people filled places I nursed because we had to. Not one person ever said anything to me….even as I’m nursing the baby checking out at Giant Eagle fumbling to get the credit card out or as she’s crying sitting in a restaurant. While I do agree there needs to be more places like at Tanger to nurse, breastfeeding in general needs to be more accepted so that you can do it in public without feeling embarrassed. The first week or two was definitely daunting but after a month, I had no problems “whipping it out” because I had no other option. If I was near the baby, she only wanted me!

    1. I know Kristin, it is crazy the places we have nursed! I love it. Neither of my kids liked the slings so nursing while walking around has never been easy!

  3. The only time I ever got a comment was when we stopped at a rest stop on the Hio Turnpike, and I used the truckers lounge to nurse my son because it had couches on it. A big burly trucker walked past, glanced over at what was going on, then came back and said “I just wanted to let you know that I think what you’re doing is great.” It was awesome. Totally made up for the time I flashed a bunch of people when I was nursing in a church meeting! (Those people didn’t even flinch though, gotta hand it to them!)

  4. Great topic! This is something that was discussed quite frequently amongst a group of my mommy friends when Cameron was little. I don’t know why there is such a stigma attached to nursing in public, but I do see some change in that respect recently. Cameron was too tiny to latch when she was first born so I pumped exclusively. I can still remember transporting those baggies of gold to the NICU every day/three times a day to make sure she was only on breast milk. She never did transition to the breast. I wish she would have!!! It would have been so much more convenient than pumping every three hours for six months. That’s the best I could do. That’s the most important part – do what you can and what you feel comfortable with because being a new mama or a mama with a newborn is the hardest thing a woman will do!!

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