Public Breastfeeding - Feedback Friday

There is a topic that, as a mother, you just can't avoid...

public breastfeeding.

Pro and Con views are discussed daily on Twitter

It's making headlines as Paul Frank store employees publicly express disapproval of the practice in their stores.

Newspapers are covering stories of "nurse in" rallies in public places.

The nightly news is discussing it as a mother is asked to refrain from nursing her toddler in the lobby of a school.

Facebook got in on the controversy by banning photos of women nursing within public profiles.

It's blogged about every day negatively and positively and now hidden TV shows are tackling this issue:

Mothers on both sides of this issue are passionate - where do you fall? Are you a male reader who has an opinion? Let's hear it!

**Since this discussion is still receiving comments, let me point out another resource to read on this issue that has exploded with comments regarding actress Julie Bowen from Modern Family**

It's Feedback Friday and it's your turn to tell us how you really feel about Public Breastfeeding.

Should mothers be uninhibited about feeding in public?

Should they practice discretion and modesty?

Should they move to a private spot or feed their children where ever they are?

Do you think it's natural or does it make you uncomfortable to be present?

Is there a difference between public feeding of an infant vs. an older child?

*Don't forget tomorrow will be recap of Tutorial Tuesday and a winner will be announced*


  1. Prior to having a child...it did make me a bit uncomfortable, but only if the mom wasn't very careful and maybe too much showed. Now that I have had a kid...I understand the necessity AT TIMES to feed in public...on the other hand...there are MOST always "private" areas you can feed so as not to share your business with the world. But to be honest...I don't really care all that much...of course...the use of a blanket isn't that big a deal right...I mean really...I think sometimes women are just trying to make some point and I think that is silly.

    That being said...I will admit to feeding my 7 month old while standing in line for Pirates of the Caribbean...no blanket included. Aside from my step-father looking a little shocked when he turned around...the teenage girls behind me got a bit mumbly...hey...it's either a screaming child or your knowledge that my kid is attached to my boob...if only I had a blanket:) of course, to distract from my breast feeding...my brother decided to jump on a large cannon and make inappropriate motions and comments...so that got the attention off me...oh the love of a brother:)

    Good topic Juniper...the ladies of the view would be proud!

  2. nobody thinks twice about about women feeding their baby a bottle in public. a baby has to eat, no biggie. i think it is totally up to the mother and what she is comfortable with, after all it is just a boob...that's what they are made for! i used a nursing cover sometimes, sometimes i didn't. i never felt akward or like i had to explain myself to anyone.

  3. I am 53 yrs old now but I breast feed both my sons. When I was in public I coverd for modesty and I would try to find a quiet place out of public eye for my self and other not to stare. Yes we have the right to feed our children but I still think we should keep other feelings in mind also.

  4. I think breastfeeding mothers have the same rights as mothers bottle feeding their children in public. If my child needed to eat I fed them. I exclusively nursed both of my children for over two years each. I nursed them in public, in private...when they were hungry they ate whether I was in a restaurant or in a store or at home. I think it is completely natural and, in my opinion, what breasts are for. If you think about it, bottles are a recent invention and 150 years ago, even 100 years ago, most, if not all, women had to breastfeed their children because them mostly likely wouldn't eat otherwise.

    However, that said, I ALWAYS covered up with a blanket when in public.

  5. I am totally fine with mothers breast feeding in public, as long as they use a cover-up. I mean, yes, boobs were made for breast feeding, but I really don't want to see your boob exposed. I don't think it's that hard to cover up.

  6. As a mother-to-be in less than two months, this is interesting to me. I guess I'm afraid of people harassing me about it. I'm very modest and won't be showing any booby, but I do feel it's my right to modestly feed my son in public. If nothing is showing, I can't believe people get offended by the very concept. Formula is a relatively recent invention!

  7. Its pretty ironic that its acceptable for women/girls to walk around with all of their "business" hanging out. But the second a woman starts feeding her child, everyone's uncomfortable. I breast fed all 3 of my boys...use a blanket or be discrete and everyone else can get over it ;)

  8. Come on. You won't let us nurse our babies but we have to watch you kiss your girlfriend??

  9. I breastfed both my children and when out, I would have a shawl or a cover on when I'm feeding them for discretion (and also so that the babies were less easily distracted).

    People should not be offended by nursing mothers. It's a free society and nursing is the most natural thing in the world.

  10. In OUR culture where women dress so 'sexy' and men mak lude comments often OUT LOUD towards women, why are we so offended over this? I am offended over my sons seeing a woman looking like a prostitute in the grocery aisle. I am offended having my sons hear things like 'I'd hit that! and 'OOH baby- look at that piece of ass!' in the mall. Its amazing that we live in an increasingily immoral world and THIS upsets people? If we had nude cafes, or cafes with nude servers, people would be lined up around the block to get in! Glad there are laws protecting women, and yes- a blanket IS nice, or a cover up, Or turning away to latch on baby to be considerate,I breasfead in public and wont ever apologize for it!

  11. This is interesting to me...Prior to writing this post, I researched a bit by discussing this matter with the nursing set on Twitter.

    Many of you mentioned modesty or the use of something to cover, but the women on twitter made the point that NO manner of breast feeding in public could be deemed offensive.

    Are some women trying to "make a point" as Mama Thompson mentioned and creating a stigma about nursing in public?

    The twitter women I talked with rebel against the need to cover up at all and when asked if it was possible to nurse in a way that could be seen as inappropriate for public view (playing devil's advocate) they said "No".


  12. Hi I'm new here. Love your blog Jennifer.
    I breast fed my twins, but was never a Nipple Nazi about it, still am not. I covered up when I did it and I respected others feelings (like Lady Bugs Garden said). I never got bad reaction. And I live in the uptight midwest! haha.
    PS. Love your blog. Its on my google homepage! I'm making the tshirt necklace TODAY!!!!!

  13. Wow! You are right, a very decisive topic. I breastfed both my babies for their first year. I did not have the fantastic wonderful experience that some moms talk about, but I felt it was the right thing to do for me and my family. So I feel that breastfeeding is perfectly natural and not something to be ashamed of. And to be honest, one of my children ate ALL the time. If I remained home or went to a quiet spot to let him nurse while we were out, I would have NEVER gotten to spend time with family/friends, talk with other grown ups, or do things my family enjoys. Besides, who wants to nurse in the public restroom or sit in the car during the whole meal!

    That said, I was always discreet and used a blanket or some other cover, for both my modesty and for others around me.

  14. Children need to eat and mothers have to either bottle or breast feed. I am not uncomfortable at all with either. My children would not nurse and so they were bottle fed. I got incredibly frustrated with the negative and rude comments I received about the way I was feeding them. I think moms just need to do their thing and support each other with love.

    That being said, discretion is a lovely thing. I agree that breasts were made to feed children, but it can be uncomfortable for some when a mom whips it out and starts feeding her baby. I've seen women nurse with and without a cover up and it was discreet and modest. I do not think women should have to go into a bathroom or a dressing room or remove themselves from a particular situation to nurse. They should be able to feed the baby wherever and whenever needed.

  15. I saw that "What Would You Do" show on ABC last week. It was very interesting to see how random strangers reacted to the various situations - with the mom abandoning her kids and the breast feeding ones being the most interesting.

    I think most women use common sense and if they're in public, either cover themselves or go to an area that is a little less crowded.

    However, with the legislation in some states, it is almost impossible to even challenge a woman breast feeding in public, so I think a lot of people just ignore it whether they agree or not.

    Personally, I say be discreet with your nipples and don't make a public spectacle out of it.

    As a side note, I work in HR and once investigated a situation where two ladies shared an office and one was uncomfortable that the other was using a breat pump in her presence.

  16. I think it is totally up to the mom. If she feels totally comfortable nursing with no cover then all the power to her. I on the other hand felt much more comfortable covering up. I nursed everywhere (church, park, shopping malls, resturant, airplane, etc) and a lot of the times people didn't even realize I was nursing until I was done and uncovered a sweaty passed out baby that had a nice full belly. I would hope that if you are nonchalant about it and are not making a big deal out of it neither will anyone else even if you are not covering up. I am still not sure what I would do if someone said something to someone else while they were nursing (like if they told her to cover up or something). I think I too would get defensive about.

  17. Feed your child whenever and wherever...but I do have to say, a woman should be concerned about HER modesty. If the situation doesn't allow a blanket or cover or a more private place, okay do what you can, but realize that your breasts may be giving your child nourishment, they still are your breasts and should be regarded as such.

  18. I got completely out numbered when I posted my views about this on a forum.....Part of it was my sarcasm that they didn't get because it's such a SERIOUS topic but I'd be here all day telling you exactly how it went down! In a Nutshell....I breastfed my babies....just not in public...

  19. Go ahead and feed your baby, but cover your boobie up! You wouldn't pee in public with everyone watching - that's why there are doors on women's restroom stalls. Be reasonable - your right to breast feed doesn't mean a free for all peep show. I breastfed 4 babies and none of them went hungry in public. You can still be a mom AND a lady.

  20. Nothing new here, I am completely fine with public breastfeeding with discretion. My hubby though... doesn't care to see it (let me first explain that he was all for me breastfeeding our children and does think it is benificial). Although he wouldn't say anything or make anyone uncomfortable. He would get uncomfortable when I would breastfeed in front of my family (my parents and siblings, not our own children or him) ~ with discretion. I guess for him boobs shouldn't have a purpose besides... well you know. HA HA!

  21. I breast fed both my babies. I was the one that was uncomfortable nursing in public, so I always found a quiet, private place to nurse when I was out and about. The car, bathroom, dressing room, etc. I think it's a momma's right to breastfeed where and when, I was just uncomfortable doing it in public...but I am in no way offended when moms do. So it was all me. :)

  22. I live in Humboldt County (marijuana capital of the USA...many people don't realize it's no longer 1969) so breast feeding in public is everywhere you turn. In fact, with my daughter's first child she was made to feel like a freak for NOT breastfeeding. All that being said, I personally really do appreciate a blanket or some other privacy cover. Thanks for asking! ;-)

  23. I don't have a problem with it. I think the more people raise a stink about mothers breastfeeding in public, the more those mothers will feel entitled to do so. People who are freaked out by it are making matters worse for themselves by turning it into a big deal and attempting to dictate when and where it is appropriate. That being said, I do think it's a little tacky to breastfeed in a restaurant. It just seems a little inconsiderate to bust out the girls while people are trying to eat, no matter the purpose.

  24. I'm a little late w/ this discussion, but here's my two cents. :)

    I breastfed all 3 babies and did it in public A LOT. BUT, I always covered up with a blanket or nursing cover. Yes, I understand that our breasts are meant for this very purpose, but I don't think anyone needs to see my breasts except for my hubby, nor should he see some other woman's. You can breastfeed all you want in public, I don't mind hearing it (my friend's baby nurses very loudly), so long as you have enough modesty to cover up.

  25. The women in the school is in my community so I've heard a lot about it. To me, the school is NOT a public place. The principal is responsible for the safety and PEACE in a school. It is my understanding that the students walking by, as this is an elementary school, were staring, discussing, and trying to figure out how to nurse on themselves as they walked through the school. Its one thing to nurse in public, at the mall, etc but its another thing entirely for a nursing mother to be disruptive in a school lobby.

  26. I don't think it matters what your stance is on breastfeeding. The fact of the matter is it makes people uncomfortable. And it is not okay to impose your beliefs on others to breastfeed in public. People out with their children can be put in very awkward situations. I think it is inappropriate to expose other people's children to it. I am in no way against breastfeeding. I am against people not using discretion when in the company of strangers and children. I would and have left a restaurant because a woman was doing it in public and not covering herself. It is not that difficult to throw a receiving blanket in your bag and cover yourself up. I shouldn't have to cover my five-year-old's eyes while at a restaurant.
    Not everyone dresses inappropriately or kisses in public, so not everyone should be exposed to your breasts. That is not at all a logical argument to this issue.


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