Does Breastfeeding in Public Offend/Embarass You?

I am breastfeeding my son who will be a year old on Saturday (Oh My God!). Now it is rare that I have to feed him while out and about these days but it does still happen and the looks I get are priceless, from surprise, curious, and downright disgust. I am VERY discreet and you would never see the nipple unless you are specifically looking for a nipple but there are times when you can see the side of the breast because he doesn’t like to have my shirt on his face.

The ones that throw me are the people who act like I have no right to feed my son on a bench at the mall. I should go hide in the smelly public bathrooms or something (like I want to eat MY lunch in there). Most times it just looks like I am cradling my baby. The one I will never forget is the older lady, around 60ish, who came up to pat his head and wanted to coo over him and when she figured out what I was doing literally dropped her packages and practically ran away.

So do ya’ll see alot of breastfeeding in public and does it bother you?

Where are you located, DarbyV? I’m in Illinois and have seen someone breastfeeding in public around here maybe 5 times, tops. When we went to Seattle in 1998, though, there were plenty of bf moms everywhere and the whole climate was very supportive.

I’ve breastfed (well, the baby is 5.5 months and of course still nursing) both of my children wherever I’ve been and have never received rude remarks. Breastfeeding is legal everywhere that the mom is otherwise entitled to be. I’m damned if I’m going to feed my baby in a nasty restroom. Do you see anyone ELSE eating there? People sure like to suggest it though.

What would people prefer we do? Let our kids howl and scream the place down, or discreetly pop them on and keep it down to a dull roar? :wink: I wear nursing tops or loose shirts and seriously, no one can tell what I’m doing.


It doesn’t usually offend me, and I have seen women who sort of drape a receiving blanket over their child to make it less obvious. I will say that I dislike this woman at church who insists on breastfeed during Mass. She breastfeeds up til the age of two or later, and I think that after the age of about 6 months she’s using it more as a pacifer for the kid than an actual feeding. There are quite and private places to go in the church rather than sitting in the pew suckling her child.


I haven’t seen it for a while (I don’t do a lot of shopping), but …

In the manner that you describe, I have no problem with it. I appreciate the effort some go to to be modest. OTOH, there are those that feel free to hang free and open. While this does not offend me since I know what is going on, these types perturb me in that they seem to know that they are going to shock some people. This is uncalled for.

The upshot is that people will stare at whatever is out of the ordinary. The sight of breasts in public in this society (speaking only of the US of A), is a rarity.

Short Answer: Ya gotta do what ya gotto do – just don’t make a show of it. I think you are doing just fine. Don’t let jerks bother you. In this context, a jerk is one who stares for the purpose of making you uncomforatable.

God Bless,


Breastfeeding is a natural aspect of life. It is one of those things that are apart of being a mammal. People often see the breasts as sexual organs. They are ALSO very important for the care of our young. I think people who give you weird looks are just being narrow minded etc. I wouldn’t let them get to you.

Nope, it doesn’t. Having been breastfed as a baby, I don’t have de quoi to complain about. (Look at the big strong stud it made me into. :slight_smile: ) As long as you’re not doing it exhibition-style, you’re fine.

Having been breastfed myself, I’ve got no problem with it. So long as whoever breastfeeds doesn’t wear a sign saying “will be switching from left to right in five minutes … stay around for a showing of my nipples.”

Having been breastfed myself, I don’t much care who does it so long as said female doesn’t wear a sign saying “will be switching breasts soon . . . stay around for a peep show.”

Anyone who has a problem with a public feeding simply doesn’t have to look. It’s not like there’s going to be a jumbotron up focusing on your privacies.

Tygre, I’m in upstate SC and I really don’t see alot of other moms breastfeeding around here. The Baby Superstore has a special nursing room but that is the only one I have ever seen.

iampunha, I have got to get me one of those signs!! Maybe start asking for a cover charge :slight_smile:

I was breastfed. My three siblings were breastfed. So long as there’s no jumbotron focusing on whoever’s nippls or whatever, I don’t care.

imapunha were you breastfed?

I do not see the problem with women breastfeeding in public. I don’t care if they are not overly concerned about showing their nipples either. It should be no big deal. The world will not come to an end if someone sees a nipple. As for women pacifying nursing children at mass or other occasions, THANK YOU!! Thanks for not letting your child scream! I see no need for a woman to excuse herself and go someplace private if she is in church. She is there to listen and worship and presumably can do that with an infant nursing. Anyone who has a problem with that should look to their own soul and try to think more about their god than someone habving lunch.

But i must say I have eaten my luch in the bathroom more than once. At the rec club an the Air Base i went to high school at the cafeteria was so crowded the nights before rehersal me and some female friends of mine in the local Drama Club would go to the bathroom to have dinner. there were several comfy chairs there and a sofa and a coffee table. It was quite nice and comfortable.

damnit, I hate this connection. sorry for that triple post . . .

The very best thing I can post right now is this link:

I very very very highly recommend it; it’s informative and hysterical.

And I breastfed all three of my kids at the mall, in the middle of the airport…

Heck, that’s what breast are for, isn’t it? If you’re in public, and the baby needs to be fed, well, the baby needs fed. It doesn’t bother me in the least.

First of all, YOU GO GIRL. My son weaned at 13 months–I never could have predicted how sorry I was when he did.

I always supplemented and because of modestly and a perceived (probably false) sense of public disapproval I rarely BF in public. I’d use bottles then. I hate myself for that, in retrospect.

It’s ludicrous to me that there are some who effectively condone a system whereupon if two babies, out in public, are crying from hunger, the bottlefed one can be soothed right away, but the breastfed one must be whisked away to some other locale. That’s nuts.

Now I am pretty psyched to see someone nursing in public because the more people who make it the norm, the more other moms will feel comfortable–and the more slack-jawed idiots will get used to it and NOT make such a big deal.

I have a number of stories from other BF moms who were told not do “do that” in public. grrrrrrrrrrr.

Hell yes I breastfeed in public! But I try to be discreet. I do agree that the breast’s main function is the nourishment of my child (maybe that’s why my husband hasn’t seen much of it lately…). As for public breastfeeding in SC Darby, I would imagine that the south is more conservative about these things, but that might be a stereotype.

I live in SoCal, and you would think that a little flash of a boob would be beneath notice in this wild & crazy place, but you’d be wrong! I can only guess that it’s because we so rarely see bare breasts in the US, compared to Europe. In France or Spain, you could be in a corner cafe with everything on display and you might not get a second glance, which is probably the way it should be.

I have seen women breastfeeding on benches outside of stores, in parked cars before they shop (I try to do this whenever possible- good window tinting helps). A good bet if shopping in southern California- Nordstrom has the worlds best ladies rooms! Usually there are a couple of nice comfy couches, a separate changing room with extra diapers for the short-handed, and beautiful decor. At South Coast Plaza, women wil come from all points in a huge mall to breastfeed there.

The worst for me is baseball games. At my stadium (the Bid Ed), when they remodeled, they removed the benches from all the ladies rooms, so now there is nowhere to sit (except on a toilet, which will never happen). So I go down to First Aid, and they are very nice and give me a curtained-off bed in the back with a chair, and I can nurse in relative peace.

Ladies, be proud of what you are doing for your children (mine is almost 9 months and still going strong on the breast)! Anyone who is offended should mind their own business (unless you are shaking them hootchie-cootchie style with the infant trying to catch a nipple in his mouth!)

Does Breastfeeding in Public Offend me? Absolutely not.

Does Breastfeeding in Public Embarass me? Well, sometimes. But I like the delivery system so much I do it anyway.


Really, I am.

I am completely fine with breastfeeding in public. As has been noted, and male conceite aside, that’s what the damn things are for. It has never made me uncomfortable. I was in a client’s house one time, and she wrapped herself all up in a blanket to feed the baby, and I mentioned, “Y’know, that dosen’t bother me at all” and her response was “Thank God!” as she threw off the blanket and just fed the child. I’ve always thought, what could be more natural?

Mundi m’man, you’re a riot! That’s my first good laugh today, and I thank you.

As for the OP, I guess sometimes it’s a bit awkward for me when I see a woman breast feeding in public. But I realize that that’s my problem not theirs. Unlike many people, I can look past the awkwardness I feel. I mean, if I had the choice not to see it, I wouldn’t. But I’m not going to begrudge a woman of the right to breast feed her baby, whenever and wherever. That’s just one of those facts o’ life.