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Breastfeeding in Public: How I Became Brave

When my eldest son, Liam, was born, I decided to breastfeed. What I didn’t know is that it would feel as if I needed a master’s degree to learn how to do it properly. I had a tough time. In those first few days of figuring it out, I would literally break into cold sweats before feeding my screaming, red faced baby. Those early days were long and the nights late, but I didn’t want to give up. My mom encouraged me to check out a breastfeeding support group; it was there that I met some of my dearest friends.

We formed what we all affectionately refer to as “The Boob Group.” The power of those women gave me the courage to nurse discreetly in public, as opposed to hiding in my apartment. Without their encouragement and advice, I would not have been brave enough to do it. I armed myself with some nursing accessories and hit the streets of NYC. Here are a few of my favorite finds:

The Hooter Hider (gotta love the name) is the perfect nursing coverup. The boning at the top keeps the neckline open, allowing you to maintain eye contact with your baby. The cotton is airy enough for ventilation to keep the baby cool. These coverups make flashing at a park bench a non issue.

I loved the Glamourmom nursing tanks. They have a built-in nursing bra with excellent support. The tanks are long enough, so they cover the postpartum tummy. Genius!

I had every color of the Bravado Silk Seamless bra, and I found the Medela Seamless Softcup bra to be super comfy. I wore a lot of white button down shirts. I would simply unbutton from the top down. So easy! If you do decide to breastfeed your baby, The Nursing Mother’s Companion is a handy book to have on your bedside table.

I leave you with this, if you’re still feeling nervous or shy, “fake it till you make it”—you will build confidence the more you practice in public. Breastfeeding in public can be controversial; not everyone is comfortable with it, but rest assured, most states have laws that protect your rights to breastfeed. If you want to find out what the rule is where you live, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Do you have tips or stories about nursing in public? I’d love to hear them.


Tuesday 7th of February 2012

I do admit that I was very uncomfortable nursing in public at first, but NOT nursing in public takes the convenience out of breastfeeding! Breastfeeding provides not only great food for your baby, but the convenience for mom in not having to carry bottles around. Once you get over your fear of nursing in public, breastfeeding becomes EVEN MORE rewarding! -shun

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Saturday 26th of November 2011

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Friday 7th of October 2011

Great tips! I am going out and buying one of those Glamourmom tanks. I'm due in January, and definitely nervous about breastfeeding in public. But you're right, who wants to be stuck in their apartment all day, when baby is so uber-portable? ;)


Thursday 6th of October 2011

I wish I had of read this when I was nursing! Great tips I will pass to my pregnant friends! Thanks!


Wednesday 5th of October 2011

Great article, nursing was not an issue for me and I would go shopping, get my hair done and nurse when I had to. I have to say I didnt have anyone give me a hard time. I have noticed more and more places having a specific spot for nursing mums which is great and with all these ingenious ideas no need to stay in hiding. from your fan in T.O