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Your Baby Week Nine

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Updated May 21, 2012

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Breastfeeding in Public
Often, when a mom is breastfeeding in public, many people around her don't even realize it.

Often, when a mom is breastfeeding in public, many people around her don't even realize it.

Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD
Breastfeeding in public is a surprisingly controversial topic.

The controversy should be that some people are bothered by a mother breastfeeding her baby when her baby is hungry, whether she is at a restaurant, the park, or a store.

Breastfeeding in Public

In addition to the fact that it bothers some people who are not supportive of breastfeeding, the other main issue about breastfeeding in public is that some breastfeeding mothers simply aren't comfortable doing it.

As breastfeeding mothers begin taking their babies out in public as they get older, breastfeeding in public is something that can make these outings more convenient. Otherwise you have to rush home, go to your car, give a bottle, or find a hidden spot to feed your baby.

Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

Until you get more comfortable breastfeeding in public, which sometimes doesn't happen until your baby is five or six months old and you are out more, it can help to:
  • practice around friends or family members who are supportive of breastfeeding
  • practice in front of a mirror
  • have a friend hold the baby or talk to you
  • consider using a wrap sling or nursing blanket
  • wear clothing that helps you breastfeed discretely, even without a blanket, such as a loose-fitting shirt that you can easily lift up or a nursing shirt
  • find a discreet location away from people until you are more comfortable being in public

Breastfeeding Laws

Is it legal to breastfeed a baby in public?

Fortunately, yes it is legal to breastfeed a baby in public in most states, with some courts even defining it as a constitutional right. Breastfeeding laws in Texas, for example, state that "a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be."



Sources:

Tex. Health & Safety Code Sec. 165.002 Right to Breastfeed.

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Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

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