Nursing in public – you don’t need to hide

In light of the recent case of breastfeeding in the spotlight – this time with close-minded and unapologetic Applebee’s (if you haven’t read about it yet, be forewarned – it might make your blood boil to hear how Applebee’s handled a complaint that a woman was nursing her baby in the restaurant –…the company responded with a letter stating “we are considering keeping blankets in the restaurants for use by breastfeeding mothers that may not have them readily available,” with the intent that mothers will be forced to “cover up”.), I thought it’d be fun to share a video I found with tips to make moms more comfortable with nursing in public. While many moms don’t have any qualms about feeding their babies, others feel more shy about it and could use some helpful suggestions to get them over their fears.

After you watch the clip, if you have some advice to offer other moms, please share it in the comments. Let’s make a great resource for new moms to turn to to help them feel at ease with feeding their baby wherever they might be.

My tips for nursing in public:

1. Instead of buying an expensive nursing tanktop, wear any old tanktop underneath your shirt. You can lift up your top shirt and pull the tank down to expose your breast. This keeps your tummy and back covered up, which are honestly the parts of me I care about people seeing. Who cares if they see a little boob, I just want my belly and back fat covered. 😉

2. Carry a “license to breastfeed” card with you in case anyone questions your right to feed your baby and know what the breastfeeding laws are in the state where you live (or wherever you are visiting). The law is on your side. 🙂

3. Don’t be afraid to look around at other people while you are nursing. Smile, carry on conversations. You don’t have to hide or be apologetic.

4. If you see another mother nursing in public, be sure to give her a smile to show your support. 🙂

Please add your own suggestions/tips in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Nursing in public – you don’t need to hide”

  1. Good idea Amy…
    My best tip is if you’re out & about, sit down and feed your baby before he gets too hungry. It’s easier to have a pleasant NIPing experience when bubs isn’t distressed or crying with hunger.

  2. But I learned from Applebee’s (really the epitome of great companies) that those license to breastfeeed cards are a sign that you’re looking for a fight 😉 – yet another reason I’m angry with Applebee’s response!

    I was going to say something a bit the opposite of you, which is that if you’re worried about bad reactions then don’t make eye contact and you’ll never know how people are reacting to you 🙂

    I also find it helps to BF in public expecting a positive outcome, rather than expecting to be attacked. Most of the time people are incredibly positive about seeing you BF in public and they’ll pick up on your confidence and positive outlook 🙂

  3. I was unable to breastfeed Jonah due to a medication I am taking. I wish I would have been able to though. I can’t believe that Applebee’s would suggest a “reusable” blanket to offer mother’s BFing their babies in their establishments, that is insane! I’m glad Mom’s are standing up for what they believe in, I give them my support 100%!

  4. thanks for the suggestions, ladies. keep them coming!

    sarah – thanks for pointing that out. i corrected it. 🙂


    Another thing I want to add is that most people are so wrapped up in whatever they are doing, that they don’t even notice you feeding your baby. Honestly we are all pretty self-absorbed and think everyone is watching us, when in fact people are just too busy dealing with their own stuff themselves. 😉

  5. Man… I’m not going to read it because it will make me mad. 😉

    I’m lucky – I’ve never had any adverse reaction to feeding in public. As you say – most people are so wrapped up in themselves they don’t even notice.

  6. What a great video — I am actually a little jealous of that woman for all those videos she has of herself nursing…I have no video and very few photos…

    I have nursed all over the place, my favorite was walking through Macy’s and the attached Metro station in Washington, DC. I don’t think anyone else even knew what was going on.

    I always felt that if I covered up with a blanket it was more noticeable than if I just nursed without…but I’m with you, Amy, I never wanted my back to show. I’d much rather flash my breasts around than that cute little roll of flesh around my waist…or worse…my stretch marks:-)

    Thanks for a great post on this topic.
    P.S. I never eat at Applebees, so how do you boycott a place you don’t go? I almost want to eat there so I can say I won’t….which is just weird.

  7. Great tips 🙂 Wish I could hear the clip but I messed up the sound on my computer lol, I’ll have to come back and watch it. #4 is a great tip, it’s so nice when someone actually is nice when you bf in public. I was driving 3hrs with my boys when baby was just a few months old and he screamed most of the way. I stopped at a gas station to nurse in my car and a lady came over, tapped on my window, and asked if I’d like her to go in a get me some water while I was taking care of the baby. I had a drink already so declined but was so appreciative of her thoughtfulness.

  8. I actually made a point of nursing in public from the beginning. Of course I ended up exclusively pumping after a few weeks, but the few times I did nurse in public it was a total non-event. And I was not modest AT ALL.

  9. It is amazing how close minded some people are still. I guess I never had a bad reaction to my bf in public. I bf all over the place, too. I was never very good with the no blanket method, but had a few blankets that worked better than others. I also was at a wedding once and I just wore a top that I could pull down and a pashima shawl to use as a nursing blanket. It was nice and light and just the right size!

  10. I actually used to bf my kids IN their carseat while hubbie would drive down the road. I am fairly small-busted, so it worked out great. My idea of multi-tasking. LOL

    I actually prefered to nurse in the back of my Jeep. Not bc I had any problem with NIP, but I could not physically chase my toddler with the baby chomping at the tit. I found if I nursed him in the backseat of the car, my daughter could jump around in the tailgate and have a BLAST, I could have my drinks and snacks nearby and we were all happy.

  11. I just feed my baby where ever we are when she gets hungry. I walked through walmart with her on the breast just today because she was hungry now and I did not have time to sit and feed her. We were running late so she got her lunch to go. My husband said ” Wow, you are not only her 5 star restraunt but her favorite fast food joint too.” I thought it was cute!

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