Top tips for breastfeeding in public
1. Practice makes perfect
Try practising at home in front of a mirror so you can see what you look like while feeding. You’ll probably notice you’re not exposing as much of your breast as you might have imagined.
Visit one of the Beside You socials with a friend to get used to feeding out and about.
2. Dress for the occasion
.If you’re thinking about breastfeeding your baby in public for the first time, you may be wondering what to wear.
What you wear is down to personal taste. Be sure to wear something you feel comfortable in. For example, some mums like to wear loose tops that can be lifted up.
Others, who prefer to keep their tummy covered, wear two stretchy tops, so that the top layer can be lifted up and the bottom layer can be pulled down. A soft, non-underwired bra can be easily pulled up or down when you want to feed your baby.
The Get in touch with other stylish breastfeeding mammas online at Can I Breastfeed in it?
3. Do your research
Before venturing out with your newborn, make a list of good places to breastfeed in public near you, so you don’t have a last-minute scramble to find somewhere. Some shopping centres and department stores often have baby-feeding rooms, which are quiet and private with a comfy chair and changing facilities. Your local library or children’s centre will have a comfy chair and place to sit down.
If you run a café, pub, shop, cinema or any other business you can play a vital role in helping breastfeeding women feel comfortable feeding their babies out and about. Find out more in our supporting breastfeeding section.
4. Choose your space
Some people like to use a nursing cover for privacy when feeding their babies in public, and there are lots of styles to try. From simple shawls and ponchos to specially designed wraps or aprons with a semicircle of wire in the top so you can still see your baby while she feeds, there should be something to suit you both. There’s also the option of feeding your baby while she’s in a sling or carrier, which will support her, as well as giving you privacy.
Ultimately, however, you may find your little one makes the decision for you. Some babies hate being covered while feeding, while others get distracted if they aren’t.
5. Know your breastfeeding rights
You are legally entitled to breastfeed your baby anywhere, thanks to the Equality Act 2010. You cannot be asked to stop or move if you are breastfeeding your child in any public place. More information is available at Maternityaction.org.uk.