Learn the Basics

Feed Your Baby Wherever You Are: Nursing in Public

This is #4 in the “10 Pitfalls to Breastfeeding Enjoyment” series.

You can’t stay inside your house and never go anywhere for the next 12-24 months. And, if you dare go out, I guarantee that little baby of yours will need to nurse before you get home. So, what are you supposed to do??

Well, you should just nurse your baby, of course! You have a right to nurse wherever you have a right to be, but you do not have the right to nurse in the bathroom (says me) because I don’t fix a sandwich on the toilet seat, so you shouldn’t fix your baby’s milk there.

You nurse where you feel comfortable. That may be with the baby under a cover. It may be in the backseat of your car. It may be right in the wide open with no cover at all. It may be in a nursing mother’s room if you happen to be so lucky to be at an establishment that cares enough to provide that.

Where you choose to nurse your baby is only dependent on your comfort level. You will never make everyone else comfortable, so don’t even try.

Also, I highly recommend putting on your game face while nursing in public. Believe it or not, I never had one person say something to me while I was nursing Lucy in public and I think that was because I perpetually had a “don’t f**k with me” look on my face. I was all like, “I triple dog dare you to say something.” Alas, I never got to use any of the 600 smart-ass comebacks I collected in my mind.

Most people don’t know you are allowed to nurse in public, so they may say something to you in a tone like they have caught you urinating behind an elementary school.

“You can’t do that HERE!

(Reply: “Why yes I can, as a matter of fact. Would you like me to pull up the law on my phone?“)

“Maybe you would be more comfortable in the bathroom.”

(Reply: “Maybe you would be more comfortable with me in the bathroom, but I am perfectly comfortable right here.”)

“Ma’am, if you are going to do that, I am going to have to ask you to leave” (says the store manager).

(Reply: “Well, if you are going to have to ask me to leave, even though the state of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Maryland provides me with the legal right to do this here, I will just let my large community of breastfeeding friends on Facebook know about this incident. I am sure my friends and I will see you here again in just a few days).

Of course, you don’t need to be as snarky and borderline disrespectful as I tend to be, but you get the point. If you aren’t liking breastfeeding because you feel like you can’t go anywhere, start practicing.

You know a really great place to go to practice breastfeeding in front of other people?

Breastfeeding Support Group.

All the mamas just whip out their boobs and nurse like it ain’t no thang because it isn’t. Consider it a desensitization program. The first few times you go, you are all like, “Woah. That is the most boobs I have ever seen in one room at a time” and then by the third time you go, you don’t even notice the number of areola visible.