Let's explore the topic of breastfeeding in public, what is your opinion?


In a recent hot topic thread, public breastfeeding was lumped together with provocative dress and aggressive behavior in females. I am not sure the poster of that thread meant simply a mother who breastfeeds her baby in public, but rather those that bare their chests and dare others to challenge them on their perceived ‘rights’. Unfortunately, that poster’s thread was totally derailed by the mixup of breastfeeding and other behaviors in modern women that some perceive as less acceptable. So I thought I would try to bring the discussion to its own thread, and let the poster of the other thread have her thread back! :smiley:

So, what is your opinion on this topic?


When baby's hungry baby's gotta eat. :D:shrug:

I have never noticed anyone doing it in a blatant manner. :shrug:


I am only posting to say how sorry I am. This thread will get ugly quick. It has never failed to before. :o :hug3:

I am for breastfeeding in public, modestly of course. This is easy enough to accomplish with a receiving blanket or the right clothing. :slight_smile:


[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:2, topic:197133"]
When baby's hungry baby's gotta eat. :D:shrug:

I have never noticed anyone doing it in a blatant manner. :shrug:


I agree with this.It is a natural thing after all.I kind of think its funny how some people get so upset about breastfeeding in public.I've never noticed a mother doing it unmodestly.


Wow, really?! Whoops! It was going well on the other thread, but it was derailing the OP’s thread totally. I was just thinking that since this topic was such a good one to explore (I mean, breasts make milk for babies and babies get hungry, right?) then I would start a new thread. I do hope we can all still be kind and charitable in our discussion. And I want to thank everyone in advance for their participation. I think the more people talk about breastfeeding as the natural way God intends, the easier it will be on everyone to accomodate hungry infants, whether it is the mother who needs to breastfeed, or the couple in a restaurant on a date who happen to sit near a breastfeeding mom, or the children who want to learn how breasts make milk for babies. We all need to be educated and supportive, while also respecting the social boundaries of the cultures in which we live. :thumbsup:


I voted that a woman should be able to breastfeed wherever she needs to and without a cover if she chooses. It doesn’t mean that I think it’s okay to just expose a bare breast to the world! You can nurse a baby without a cover and still be modest about it.


I think she should be discreet...but, I honestly don't care if a woman breastfeeds in public. Even if I were to inadvertently see more than I'd like, I don't take offense.


I think a woman should be able to brestfeed her baby whereever she is. If she’s in Applebees and little Chrisopher wants to have dinner at the same time, he should be able to do so.

As for covering, I don’t think it should be MANDATORY, but I think it would be in good taste of the mother to try to be discreet. I mean, you don’t have to go whipping it out right in the middle of Denny’s to get the job done. It’s not hard to hold your child and clothes in a demure way.


I’m for breastfeeding anywhere, anytime the child needs it. It’s a life issue to me. Cows drink cows milk, babies drink mommies milk. Sure their are artificial substations and they could pump and put it in a bottle but then the infant and the mother are missing out on the bonding experience.

What I have found is that most women are very modest about this and have a “hooter hider” like my wife did or their nursing shirt fits so that you would be hard pressed to tell they were nursing unless you stared or made it your business to do so.

The few that flaunt it… well maybe those individuals will help people won’t don’t understand the benefits do some research and find out.

Last thought… The greatest generation, those who fought in WWII were probably the last generation which was primarily breastfed in the United States. Formula became insanely popular and the “in thing” (only poor people BF in the 50-70s) after the war. Now regardless of health issues, I believe that is a factor as well but I have no data, I would dare to suggest that the “me” generation and definitely some of the problems in our society for the last 50 years is due to a lack of trust. And although it may be a small part of it, I believe the lack of breastfeeding, the lack of that bonding time with their mothers made a difference. I also believe Dr. Spock’s ridiculously terrible and incorrect book made an impact as well in regards to the trust issue (letting kids cry themselves to sleep, less nurturing, no co-sleeping etc…) but that’s another issue.

So to me it’s more than just about milk… it’s about what is best for baby and best for mom… and possibly best for our society as well.



I'm going to go ahead and say this.

People who have problems with public breast feeding are hypersensitive prudes and need to get over their sterile attitude toward life. Grow up and get over it.


I said “with a cover,” but of course that’s not a bright line rule. It’s a case-by-case basis sort of thing, and it doesn’t bother me at all.


I believe a woman should be allowed to breastfeed in public. While I try to cover up as much as possible either with a cover or with the clothing I am wearing, I don't think using a blanket or cover should be mandatory. Sometimes it just doesn't work.

I remember taking my little one to Mass one Sunday, he was only 2 or 3 weeks old, and we were still establishing the nursing relationship. Well Jonathan wasn't very content during Mass and started crying. So I tried to feed him but was unable to get him to latch on and stay covered with the blanket that I brought. I probably had some embarrassing slips. Anyways, with using my screaming baby to hid the fact that my bra was unhooked ready to feed, I escaped to the very last pew in the back of church. Well if you are at all familiar with Catholic churches :p there were probably more people back there to see a bit off skin while I tried to nurse the baby. So in even greater shame, I hurried out to the vestibule where I had to sit on the steps to the organ loft. Nursing my 2 or 3 week old baby in a drafty room where homeless men often walk in during parts of Mass to get off the street.

Anyways, I thought this story might be illuminating to those who don't think breastfeeding should be done in public and scorn all women if they let a bit of skin show while they are feeding the baby. (Just to clarify, this was after I had fed the baby right before leaving for church, and the church had no where else to sit except in pews or on the stairs or floor of the vestibule).





I BF in public all the time… but I’m a HUGE proponent of doing it modestly. I always wear a top cover-shirt… and usually try to have another blanket or something for extra privacy…

I’ve seen “blatant” BF’ing in public… obvious shows… and it’s, well, disturbing. Like they’re “showing off” their ability to produce life-giving milk for the world… :rolleyes: usually hippy-like, all-organic, long-flowing flowery skirts (forgive my generalizing - yes, I know - but I’m just sharing my experience of seeing this…) :o


I voted for “with a cover.” I don’t think it should be a LAW that women should cover up, but mothers should have the common decency to respect others around her that don’t want to see her bare all to the world. Especially in places like restaurants and food courts.

And by “cover” I mean anything that means covering up an exposed breast. When the child is latched on, you can’t see anything anyway. But those moments before latch-on and just after latch-off can create a lot of awkward situations. Just throw a blanket over yourself, or arrange your shirt in such a way that you aren’t giving the world a glimpse of the goods. They also have these awesome modesty cloths with a wire in them that keeps the top open so the infant can look at mom’s face, and keeps the blanket for the most part, out of the way. My SIL had one of those and if God ever sees fit to bless me with a child, I intend to get at least 2 of those: one for the diaper bag and one for home (in case of company).

I have encountered women who think it’s their right to whip out their boobs anywhere they want, and it creates awkward situations and hostile attitudes. I don’t know of too many people offended by breastfeeding or the spectacle of it happening in the open. Where I have seen awkward situations is when the woman just whips her top up, undoes the bra, and gets mad at anyone who doesn’t want to see her fully exposed breast when they are out with their husbands or kids.


As was expected, some of those who participated in the poll were opposed to women breastfeeding in public. Yet they did not post their opinion in the thread or their reasons. I guess maybe they were worried about getting a lot of angry responses? Anyway, for those who have a dissenting opinion, and who oppose public breastfeeding, could you kindly give your reasoning? I think it would be helpful to the discussion, but I would ask all the poll participants to be charitable in their responses to the brave souls who decided to post. I must admit I am curious about what formed the opinions of those who oppose breastfeeding in public.


I always thought the argument against bf’ing in public, in regard to the women just exposing themselves, showing off, etc, was a bit silly - only because I didn’t think it ever really happened, or if it does, that it is extremely rare! I can’t believe that some of you have encountered this!

Anyway, I know a LARGE number of women who breastfeed - and many of them are the ‘hippy-type’, very liberal, organic, ‘eat local’ type crowd (lol - again, it is generalizing, but you have to admit you know what I’m talking about!), and not even they just expose themselves - they’re quite modest about it as well…

As far as the cover, etc. It is really difficult for anybody who has never struggled with nursing a baby (it is very awkward at times - mom and baby both have to learn how to do it - it’s not just instinctive) to understand the challenges even a simple cover can present for a nursing baby. Babies get hot. Some babies don’t like being covered up. Some get too distracted with a cover over their head. It can be difficult to get a baby latched on while trying to use a cover, etc.


I voted for with a cover because to me it means less use a specific type of cover and more be polite and discreet about it. Most women I have seen are very discreet and you barely notice them.

On a side note, I have found from personal experience that nowadays you are more likely to be scorned by the public for feeding a child something other than breast milk in public. I have been accosted by strangers twice when buying formula in the grocery store and twice while I was mixing up a bottle for my daughter.

In my opinion we should all stop freaking out about how people are feeding their kids from birth to a year, recognize that motherhood is hard and support each other. In the grand scheme of things how you raise your kid morally, what type of education they get, and their character development are much more important factors in determining the type of adult they will become then how they were fed as a baby.


I agree and understand… but when I’ve been in those situations, I’ve left the “public”… I’d either go into my running, air-conditioned car, or find a secluded room that’s dark…

Believe me… it’s *always *possible. We’re Disney addicts… even Disney has a quiet, private nursing room! We get out and travel all the time with young kids… busy establishments, museums, etc… there’s *always *a way to feed those “fussy” nursers in a less-public way…

Just my experience and opinion… having been there…


I nursed DS in public all the time without a cover. He hated the cover. But of course I didn’t just whip out my breast. I would wear a camisole under a shirt and then lower the camisole top and drape the shirt on top over his head so you could never see anything exposed. The one time I did expose myself was when we were using a cover! I was on the bus trying to feed my fussy baby (I think he was about 4 months old) and arrange him under the cover and he grabbed it and pulled it right off of me. How embarrassing! :blush:
I think every baby has the right to be fed wherever and whenever it is hungry and with or without a cover as mom sees fit. I’ve never known any breastfeeding mother to be immodest about it. I’ve seen like 100 times more young girls wearing clothing that shows much more than any breastfeeding mother even the less modest ones. I never understand the debate in these threads because everyone seems focused on the type of woman who just whips out the breast to breastfeed and that is in my experience extremely rare and furthermore even if such women exist, teenage girls expose that much breast all the time without the excuse of a baby to feed :shrug:

My MIL is uptight about BFing and won’t let her mildly ASD son see any breastfeeding so when we went to visit I always had to leave the room to nurse. I did out of respect for her and not wanting to rock the boat, but I never understood it. I really don’t show much of anything while nursing. I think it is the idea behind a baby sucking on a breast that upsets so many people. And that’s a shame!

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