Back in January, this post evoked some STRONG emotions! Some people were quite angry with me and my stance on breastfeeding in public. One thing that was misconstrued about my blog on breastfeeding in public was this it was simply meant to discuss the various different opinions surrounding breastfeeding in public since clearly it is a very debatable topic. In no way was it meant be offensive, but comments got very “heated”. Nonetheless, my opinion is what it is… JUST an opinion and in no way do I think women shouldn’t be allowed to breastfeed in public. The point was that it’s just not something I understand since I didn’t do it and not that other people are wrong for doing it. With that said… here’s today’s THROWBACK THURSDAY on breastfeeding in public! Enjoy 🙂

To breast feed in public or not to breast feed in public, what did/would you do?

The day Lincoln was born brought on lots of firsts… first baby, first time to have labor pains, first lost mucus plug, first c-section, and first time to breast feed. The lactation consultant came in with her little plastic nipple, but that thing was just weird and awkward so thank God Lincoln knew what to do, because I was clueless. I’ll never forget all the friends and relatives coming in and out to visit me in the hospital. I was so stressed out trying to make sure to feed my kiddo every 2 hours, dealing with paperwork, testing on Lincoln, eating my own meals, and then trying to figure out how to be polite in asking people to leave so I could breast feed. I was not comfortable AT ALL breast feeding in front of anyone other than my mom, sister, and husband. And since I wasn’t very good at it I felt like I was either exposing my goods for everyone to see or suffocating my newborn under the sheet. Because of my personal feelings about breast feeding I find these recent “nurse ins” extremely interesting. In case you haven’t heard about the recent Target story, click here to read about it in its entirety. Brief synopsis: A mother was at a Texas Target store breast feeding her infant in the women’s clothing section when a couple of employees asked her to move to a fitting room and then other employees began walking by and rolling their eyes at her and giving her dirty looks. The mother contacted Target’s corporate office, went on a social media frenzy about her story, and now she’s receiving national attention and even sparked a nurse-in at the Texas Target store with approximately 50 other women.

In all of this I never questioned a mother’s right to breast feed in public. I breast fed my son and after months of doing it I became less shy and more care free about who I did it in front of. I never sat at an Olive Garden table breast feeding and eating my lasagna, but I did breast feed at a friend’s birthday party barbecue sitting behind everyone and had no shame standing in the bathroom at Maudie’s breast feeding because all of the stalls were full. Sometimes a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do! I guess my main thought is that yes, it’s completely natural and very much normal to breast feed; however, so is urinating and we do that in private.

As a disclaimer I’d like to say this blog is less about the specific Target story and more about breast feeding in public as a whole. I just don’t understand if there is a private location to utilize for breast feeding like a dressing room, bathroom, etc then why want to sit out in the open? I just don’t get it. Yes, it’s boring as heck to sit in a bathroom or dressing room for 30 minutes alone but at least you don’t risk accidentally exposing your breast when you are switching sides or force other non-breast feeding people to listen to the gulping and sucking noise from your child. I hope I don’t offend any publicly breast feeding mothers out there by having this opinion, but I JUST DON’T GET IT!!!!!!! I would never roll my eyes or gasp at the site of a woman breast feeding in public, but internally I “might” be. I remember being at Buy Buy Baby and watching a new mom walking up and down each aisle as she breast fed with absolutely no cover or anything with the bottom of her breast exposed. You better bet I was completely and utterly shocked especially since they have a room DEVOTED to nursing moms!

This isn’t the first “nurse-in” as similar stories have happened before and of all places, Whole Foods. So obviously this Texas Target patron and her 50 other comrades aren’t the only 51 people in the world to feel this way, but am I the only breast feeding mom that feels totally opposite? I’m not condoning eye rolls, dirty looks, etc, because that is wrong and unfair especially if there was literally nowhere else to breast feed. And I wasn’t at the Target when this happened so I don’t know all of the circumstances, I’m just going off of what I read in the media. For all I know, every bathroom stall was full and so was every dressing room. I just know for me, I’d breast feed in the car or stand in a restroom before I’d ever breast feed in a public place with complete strangers to look at me. But maybe I care too much about public perception/opinion.

So what are your thoughts? Do we have any breast feeding moms out there that did so in public and can shed some light on the situation? Or do you feel how I do, no way no how?

And here are just a FEW of the MANY comments from the first time this blog ran… What would you like to add?

Deahni: “While it’s been awhile since I’ve breastfed (my baby is almost 11), I look at things much differently than I did back then. I was very much a “secret nurser” and nursed in every bathroom in Texas but I’ve since realized- it’s gross to sit in a public toilet stall to eat! I vowed to never do it again. So while I believe public nursing is ok and needs to be accepted, I also believe it should be done modestly. Sure it’s natural, sure it’s what breasts were made for… but trust me, no one wants to see your nipple. We do constantly see oversexualized images around us, but not “full nudity”, that is a choice. We can choose to open a magazine or watch a movie with nudity in it, but we know that walking down the street we won’t be subjected to naked people. Nurse your baby wherever you want, but do so modestly, that’s how I would do it if I did it again. That’s my 2 cents:)”

Kelley: “You care too much about public perception/opinion. Nobody is watcing, nobody cares. Bathrooms are disgusting. Would you like to eat in a bathroom? I seriously doubt it.”

Kesa: “I agree completely with you! Now I have a nursing cover in my diaper bag should I ever need it, but it would be a last resort deal.”


  1. Who knew this would be yet another polarizing issue in parenting? I didn’t nurse Lucy for very long but when I did and I was in public, I used a cover. I believe it’s up to each individual what works best for them. People are going to stare if they see exposed breasts; same as we stare when that drunk dude is urinating in the parking lot of Chuy’s.

    • Polarizing is a great word to use to describe the breastfeeding in public topic. I take it you’re getting to see all sides to Austin?! Welcome!

  2. I loved my cute nursing cover and nursed anywhere and everywhere (restaurants included!). Moms have to multitask! 🙂 But as for urinating in public, I saw a family pull out a travel potty at a park here in Boston and let their obviously potty-training 3 year old use it, but then left the pooh sitting in there in the CLEAR plastic baggy. Come on now, even my dog bags are BLUE! Blech!! We need a post about potty-training in public!!!

  3. I wouldn’t feel comfortable nursing exposed nor seeing someone else do it. But I wouldn’t eye roll or be rude. I always used a cover in public. I nursed in a dressing room, but I don’t think I’d nurse in a bathroom if I could nurse under my cover at my table (in your restaurant example). I totally agree that breasts are made for nursing, but our society has decided breasts should be covered. I don’t want to expose my ta-tas and I don’t want to see yours!

    • Haha… I agree, I don’t want to see them either. I guess I made that clear though 🙂 For the record, I never stood in a port-a-potty and nursed. I was always in REALLY nice bathrooms that had great set ups for nursing moms. And like Katie mentioned, I LOVE Nordstrom’s bathroom!!! It deserves it’s own award.

  4. OH no … you didn’t just compare breastfeeding to urinating, did you? ; ) I breastfed both of my kiddos … I nursed on demand and nursed until they were done. I didn’t nurse on a schedule, we did baby-led weaning and I loved every minute of it. It worked for us and our family.

    I breastfed when they wanted, where I wanted and didn’t worry about the world around me. My husband would tell you that, “all of Austin has seen my breasts.” I didn’t use a cover because I didn’t feel it was necessary. I would never dream of nursing in a bathroom … because I think it’s disgusting for me (unless it was the bathroom like Nordstrom with the couches and where it feels more like a living room).

    Like every other parenting topic … it’s a hot one … much like birth photography or cry it out or stay at home moms vs. the working mom. Why can’t we all just respect each other and our own decisions to do what’s right for our family?

    • If by “compare” you mean, I used the analogy that they are both pretty normal things to do in general, but that I’m not “personally” comfortable with either in public, then yes, I compared the two 🙂 But obviously there’s a big difference between feeding your child and using the restroom… it’s just the analogy I chose to use. And I got a lot of flack from a friend (on Facebook and on the blog) for it, but chose to keep it in the blog for today’s purposes because honestly, I still feel the same about the analogy. Regardless, I respect all parent’s decision to parent how they see fit and I don’t judge those decisions, but I do write about them whether I agree or not. Some things just aren’t “for me”.

  5. I am on the same boat as Katie, that is exactly how I nursed my babes and would do the same with any more that we have. I think Brandon was always nervous that while nursing in public someone would ask me to go nurse in a bathroom…he was nervous because he knew I would lose my $%^& on anyone who suggested it. I would seriously freak out.
    I am all about each parent making their own choices that are right for them and their family, that is the way it should be. I don’t understand why people freak out about moms who breastfeed in public, whether they are exposed or covered up. First because that is what breasts are for. Second, they are NOT on our bodies to hold up our clothes or for men’s entertainment, although many men may argue that point haha….I am often curious if those that get so bothered by seeing moms breastfeed in public – are they bothered by Victoria’s Secret magazines, ads, billboards…or any thing of the sort where you can see boobs for days in a lace bra or swimsuit? Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Maxim, Playboy, Jersey Shore LOL? What about low rise jeans with butt crack hanging out? Eeeew.
    **None of this is directed at you Allison….just throwing it out there 😉

  6. When I had Hudson, I was a nervous nelly about breastfeeding. I wanted to do it so badly, but wasn’t very good at it, got discouraged easily, and was embarrassed to nurse in public. I did it a few times (including walking through a California Pizza Kitchen in Kansas City – I had a blanket covering us up, but I was nursing and walking (and later eating) the whole time.) Around 2 months, I started supplementing in public. Which meant we didn’t last very long on the whole breastfeeding thing. This time around, with Finn, I am in the same boat as Ashlee and Katie. I nurse anywhere and everywhere. I will not nurse in a bathroom unless it’s a nice setup, and dressing rooms are boring. I also have Hudson with me most of the time and he would hate to sit in a boring dressing room for 20 minutes. We are frequent visitors of the Target snack bar where we can each get a drink and a snack and nosh right along with Finn. I have actually gotten more moms stop by and say “Been there” or something along those lines. I’m happy to live in a city where, for the most part, breastfeeding is celebrated and not hidden away. I swear by my Udder Covers Nursing Covers (because I’m still a little shy about exposure), but am glad that we’ve made it this far. 🙂

    Now then, peeing in public….eeek! It’s one thing to pull over on the side of the road when your potty training kid needs to go and let him pee outside, but a potty chair in the middle of a restaurant or something – that is seriously unsanitary!


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