Breastfeeding is one of the most natural connections between you and your baby, so it’s no wonder many moms choose to breastfeed in public. However, breastfeeding moms sometimes experience criticism for making that decision. It’s important to stay confident and know your rights about breastfeeding in public.
Laws About Breastfeeding In Public
49 states (as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands) have specific laws supporting breastfeeding in public, some of which offer additional protection. Feel free to review the laws for your specific state, as it may bring added comfort in knowing the government supports your baby’s needs.
Responding to Breastfeeding Criticism
Unfortunately, public breastfeeding criticism does still exist in our culture, but don’t let that stop you. Here are some ways to respond if someone criticizes you or simply has a question about what you’re doing:
- Explain the benefits of breastfeeding and your commitment to providing the best nutrition for your little one (pssst – we have a long list of breastfeeding benefits).
- If someone is being rude or disrespectful to your baby’s needs, it’s okay to entirely ignore them. You know you’re doing what’s best for your baby, so don’t feel obligated to explain yourself.
- Calmly discuss differences in opinion, without accepting their criticism. Disagreements happen, so don’t be afraid to defend your values.
- Explain the demands of breastfeeding and how often you need to breastfeed in order to provide for your little one.
- Tell them that every family is different and this is what works best for your family.
Tips for Breastfeeding In Public
Some moms have questions about how to discreetly breastfeed in a public place. Here are some suggestions to try:
- Experiment with different loose-fitting shirts that allow for easy access to your breast.
- Try a breastfeeding blanket if it makes you more comfortable. Many wrap around your shoulders and cover your breasts while feeding.
- Keep your baby close with a baby sling. Many slings keep your baby in a natural breastfeeding position making it extremely easy to start breastfeeding on-the-go.
- Practice how you would breastfeed in public in the comfort of your home. Once you feel familiar, you can begin breastfeeding in other places outside of the home.