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  • Olivia Batzner

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public can feel a little daunting. From confusing media messaging sexualizing the anatomical breast to a judgy onlooker at a restaurant, it can feel as though the cards are stacked against you. But with a little practice and preparation, breastfeeding in public can be a breeze!


Mother breastfeeding her baby


Know your rights

In the state of Wisconsin, statue 253.165 defines, “a mother may breast-feed her child in any private or public location where mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.” It goes on to clarify that no one may ask the dyad to move to another location or cover her child or breast while feeding. There are similar laws in many other states. 


Let’s get practical - practice at home

In order to feel confident out in the world breastfeeding, start in the place you feel most comfortable feeding baby. Think about how you can translate this out to the world. For example, do you always use a pillow to support your arm at home? Out at the park, you could rest your arm on top of the diaper bag, or the armrest of the park bench at your local playground. Always have a burp cloth over your shoulder ready to burp baby when she’s done? Maybe she can burp next to your nursing cover out at the restaurant instead (when the inevitable spit up may come). Just play with getting comfortable in a new environment.


Plan ahead if it’s new

It’s totally normal to feel leery of doing something new. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead. For example, if you’re headed to an outdoor summer festival, check the website ahead of time to see where you might be able to catch some shade while nursing to keep baby cool. Look up where you can refill your water bottle when that mid-nursing thirst strikes. Many public places including airports, zoos, stadiums have spaces designed to be baby friendly amidst a crowd. Do your research and ask staff for help.


Dress for the occasion

There are so many different ways to dress with breastfeeding in mind. A myriad of companies design clothing with flaps, zippers, and access specifically for breastfeeding, but buying from these brands is certainly not a requirement. The 2 shirt method, wearing a nursing tank top under a looser fitting top or tee, for example, is an easy way to feel put together without breaking the bank. With this method, mom lifts the outer shirt, and accesses the breast with a clip on the nursing tank while still giving coverage for her belly. Looser clothing that’s able to be pulled up can also be a good option. If you’re simply comfortable with more coverage (or trying to limit distractions for baby while feeding) a nursing cover worn over you and baby can be a good option.



The bottom line is the more we breastfeed in public, the more normal and supported it will become. So follow these tips to boost your confidence breastfeeding in public no matter how you choose to do it!



Need more help? Book a visit with Wisco Lactation! We offer home & office visit in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois. We also offer virtual visits worldwide.



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