Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nursing in Public

Earlier I was trying to remember the last time I saw someone nursing in public (other than at a La Leche League meeting). It was March 2. I remember because we were at Dr. Seuss's birthday party at the Nacogdoches Public Library. Before that...I can't remember. I don't feel we should run away and hide to nourish our babies, nor do I think we should bare all. I've breastfed my babies at weddings, funerals, the library, WalMart, restaurants, school, church, the mall, picking peaches, garage sales, relatives' houses, friends' houses, anywhere we happen to be. It can be done discreetly. Here are some ideas to help you.

* Nursing covers are available from several sources. I haven't tried these. One reason is that I don't think Jesse would tolerate it. You could just use a receiving blanket.

* A plain ol' t-shirt works great. Pull it up enough to allow you to get the baby latched on and you won't show much skin.

* A nursing tank underneath a button-up shirt is a nice combination. You can use the button-up shirt to cover what the baby doesn't. It doesn't even have to be a nursing tank. You could use a regular tank and pull it down or up for access.

* Nursing tops are also available from several sources. I would not recommend the kind with two layers. By the time I get the layers separated and Jesse hits his target, he could've been halfway finished if I'd just pulled up my shirt.

* When wearing just a button-up shirt, try lifting it from the bottom (you may need to unbutton a few bottom buttons) instead of unbuttoning the top. It's easier to stay covered, especially if your baby gets distracted and pulls away quickly.

* Wear your baby while you breastfeed. Mei tais, wraps, ring slings, and pouch slings let you feed your baby while you wear him. Usually the baby carrier helps you stay covered.


  1. Great suggestions, Rachel! It helps to know of the alternatives to hiding away ;) My sister-in-law swore by the nursing covers when out and about. It had a strap that went around her neck to secure it on, and then the top rail had something in it that made it stick out away from her body a bit so she could look down and see baby, but no one else could see a thing. She loved it!

    My mother always just used a blanket to cover up with. And 9 times out of 10, those are pretty handy with a little one around ;)

    It's important to know that just because you're nursing doesn't mean you have to stay home, or run to the public bathroom every time baby needs to nurse ~ it can give a very liberating feeling!

    I'm a "bare all" kinda girl myself ~ but if covering up works for you and means baby gets to nurse and nurse longer ~ go for it!! ♥

  2. I have only tried to nurse in a bathroom at a restaurant once. It was so gross! I refuse to do that ever again. My baby should not have to smell such foulness or feel uncomfortable while she eats. The particular bathroom had a stopped up toilet with overflow into the floor. I was rudely interrupted nursing in the stall while men hollered, "Is it clear?"
    I discreetly nurse in public in a quiet place when needing too. I have found I have less attention nursing a baby then when she is crying & hungry.