To cover up or not cover up? I don't think I should be embarrassed about breastfeeding in public!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011
To cover up or not cover up? I don't think I should be embarrassed about breastfeeding in public!
Tue, 10-04-2011 - 2:52pm

I feel like this debate will never go away. Some women make a point of almost hiding that they are breastfeeding and only do it at home while other women are way more comfortable doing it wherever they happen to be when there baby is hungry. With my first baby I had major problems getting him breastfeeding to begin with, so at first I was shy about breastfeeding in public but I got over it (especially when he wouldn't take a bottle!). My daughter took to breastfeeding right away and I fed her at parties, in the food court of my local mall, wherever I pleased really.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2009
At first, I was a bit afraid to BF anywhere but at home. I just wasn't comfortable at all with any of the whole new mommy thing. It took about six weeks for me to get the hang of breastfeeding. I have never had any problem nursing in public. I'm discreet, though. I doubt anyone even really gave me a second glance. Or if they did, I didn't notice. I was too busy feeding my baby.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2011

My son doesn't like a blanket over his head, therefore while he's latching on, I cannot be overly discreet.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
I think it can be a lot more discreet to BF w/o a cover than with one - the cover screams "look at me, I'm BFing!" Whereas without a cover, you could just be holding a sleeping baby. I actually had someone come over to see my "sleeping" toddler this weekend, just before she decided she wasn't actually hungry and slid down off my lap. Fortunately I very discreetly pulled the shirt down over my breast before this grandma type got an eyeful ;)

While I was very nervous about NIP with my first, after unsuccessfully trying to get her to take a bottle from me, I just went along with her plan and went on to NIP all over the place. With #2 it was second nature to NIP.

I never got any negative feedback from anyone, and I think a number of people who saw me didn't realize what they were seeing. Evena fellow BFing mom didn't realize I was BFing while we were sitting next to each other chatting :)


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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

Welcome to the debate - and thanks so much for sharing this article!

When I had my first, I hid from everyone, including my husband. I hated feeling locked away from everyone, and it was part of the reason I quit so early.

When I was pregnant with my 2nd, I was determined to BF where I was, and not hide away. It was hard at first, I was so worried about someone saying something or seeing skin. But I practiced in front of the mirror, and that really gave me confidence that no-one would see anything.

I never used a cover-up, I found it less obvious to simply lift up my shirt. I nursed everywhere and anywhere, and never once did anyone say anything negative to me. Most of the time, no one even realized I was BFing.

I don't mind seeing the occasional nipple slip on others, it happens - babies pull off suddenly. What does bother me is when women pull out their full breast, completely uncovered, for a prolonged time, in a public place - like in the picture of the article you linked to.

A few of my friends BF this way, and it did make me uncomfortable. But that is my own discomfort level, and I am quite capable of turning my head away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2010