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Thread: Breastfeeding in public

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Breastfeeding in public

    First, I don't think this is in the right category to post this to but I didn't know where else I should ask. Feel free to move this if need be.

    I have been breastfeeding my son who is now 6 weeks and have been using a nursing cover when I am out and about. I know this is not the subtle way to nurse in public but I haven't mastered the art of nursing in a wrap yet. I also do not believe in having to hide to do so, I am not going to do it in the restrooms just to please people. This is a natural thing to do, and so many women are uncomfortable doing it that I feel like I have to show the example. It is alright to breastfeed in public.

    So far, I haven't gotten any negative reactions but there has been two kinds of people I have noticed: The ones who look at me with a strange look of disapproval and other moms who congratulate me for having the guts of doing it when i'm out and about.

    The federal law and state law are on my side and I plan on printing them and carrying them in my diaper bag just in case, but I was wondering... If someone has something negative to say or you are asked to leave the premises and that showing the law paper is not enough to convince them that you are in your right here, what do you do? I really feel like people need to be educated on this... and if someone is mean I certainly won't feel like being nice. Do you call the cops? Do you just leave and admit your "defeat"? I'm not going to sue everyone either, lol. So really, what is there to do to enforce that law and make it easier for other moms aswell?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    If you experience the worst case scenario, where someone is demanding that you leave despite you being legally entitled to stay where you are, the first thing to do is to assure your safety and the baby's safety. That's more important than making a point. If you feel like you are safe where you are, here are some avenues to try:
    - Tell the person that you understand their objection, and that you will be done in a few minutes. If you're in a restaurant, tell the person who is bothering you that you expect that your meal will be comped.
    - Ask to speak to the manager/boss- they may be more reasonable than the employee.
    - Ask the person who is bugging you to call the cops. They'll probably back down to avoid having to do that.
    - If you are forced to leave, call your local La Leche League and the local news outlets. "Nursing Mom Bounced from Local Venue" is always an eye-catching headline, and most businesses are very loathe to generate that sort of publicity.

    That being said, you'll probably never get more than a disapproving stare. I always nursed in public and never had anyone say one negative word- and I wasn't particularly discreet, either!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I also have never gotten more than a rude look, nursing an infant or toddler.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    I think other people's reaction to a mom nursing in public will always be the same, especially those who are not well educated about this. But nowadays, I think many people are being open-minded about it and well, do not mind anymore.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sapphyre View Post
    If someone has something negative to say or you are asked to leave the premises and that showing the law paper is not enough to convince them that you are in your right here, what do you do?
    This has never happened to me. I've actually always been surprised by how LITTLE I've been noticed, even when I'm in the middle of a really public place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Breastfeeding in public

    Good for you for being out and about and nursing at 6 weeks! I think you're right that the nursing cover draws more attention than the lack of it. I have used a scarf only rarely, when I was outside my usual city/country and concerned about exposure in a more conservative culture, same as I would dress a little different to be respectful and not invite problems in the same places. (I.e., if I am somewhere that the female norm is to keep my shoulders covered and not show my legs, it seems prudent to be a little more circumspect with the nursing than usual).

    I have yet to have a single negative interaction with random strangers, or even a dirty look. I have nursed in many touristy places in my city, in airplanes, on trains. Planes are the most awkward! Yet most worth it, b/c nursing baby = quiet baby! I was totally ready to be the NIP crusader, but it's been such a nonissue. You, too, may never get the opportunity to fight the Man on this one.

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