Tips For Nursing In Public

How To Breastfeed Discreetly Around Other People

Breastfeeding In Public
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Some women feel very comfortable nursing in public areas. For others it can be uncomfortable and stressful to venture out in public with a breastfed child. If you are concerned about nursing in public and being discreet, here are some tips to keep you covered and comfortable when you are out and about with your baby.

  • Nursing cover ups can provide privacy and make you feel more confident while you are breastfeeding in an area where other people are present. A receiving blanket placed over your shoulder or a light sweater or jacket will also work well.
  • Wear nursing clothes and nursing bras that have easy access panels in the front to allow your baby to nurse without having to expose much of your skin. If you don't have nursing clothes, a button down blouse or loose fitting top can be also be used.
  • Find out if the public place that you're visiting has a breastfeeding area. Many places now designate a quiet spot for nursing mothers to feed their children.
  • You can nurse while carrying your infant in a baby sling. Just be sure to choose a product that is safe for your baby and follow all the instructions and safety precautions included with the sling. You may also want to practice this a few times at home before you venture out. It may take a little while to get the hang of it.
  • When in a restaurant ask for a table or a booth in a corner where it will be easier to nurse unnoticed.
  • If you are out shopping at a clothing store or in a mall, you can bring your baby into a dressing room to take a break and breastfeed.
  • If you are traveling by car, you can nurse your child in the privacy of your vehicle before and after your outing. You can also return to your car to breastfeed during your outing.
  • Once your child is 4 to 6 weeks old and your milk supply has been established, you can pump and collect your expressed breast milk to feed to your child while you are out. You will just want to be sure that your baby will accept a bottle.
  • While you are breastfeeding on one breast, your other breast may start to leak. To keep leaks under control you can place nursing pads in your bra and apply pressure to the leaking breast when you feel the let-down reflex begin. Wearing tops with patterns can camouflage any wet spots that make it through while jackets, sweaters and vests can help cover up unexpected leaks.
  • There are laws to protect women who breastfeed their children in public places. You have every right to feed your child when you are out in a public area. Do not let anyone try to chase you away or make you feel like you're doing something wrong. If someone is bothered by breastfeeding then that's there issue, not yours.


American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New York. 2011.

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Sixth Edition.  Mosby. Philadelphia. 2005.

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