Breastfeeding when out and about is something some mums don’t even think twice about. However, others worry so much that they don’t go out, or they try to rush out between feeds. Here’s how to make breastfeeding really quick and discreet when you’re out and about
How can I breastfeed discreetly?
There are several things you can do to breastfeed discreetly in public:
- Some mums wear a loose t-shirt or jumper that they can hitch up for breastfeeding. (If you’re worried about showing your tummy, you can cover it up by putting a scarf over it or wearing a maternity bump band)
- Another option to make it more discreet is to use a muslin cloth or breastfeeding cover-up to help shield your baby
- There are also loads of breastfeeding tops available nowadays, designed so that you can breastfeed without people being able to see your breasts or stomach
- Keep an eye out for places that display a ‘breastfeeding welcome’ sticker – these sites have made a commitment to welcome breastfeeding mums and may even offer somewhere private for you to breastfeed
- Some baby cafés and most nursery retailers have breastfeeding zones, so you can always plan to feed there if you’re on the high street or at an out-of-town retail park
Do I have any legal protection if I would like to breastfeed in public?
In the UK, you have the right to breastfeed in public under the Equality Act 2010, which states: ‘A business cannot discriminate against mothers who are breastfeeding a child of any age.’ This means that nobody can challenge you and throw you out of anywhere for breastfeeding.
Actually, you can often breastfeed without anyone even noticing, and it’s much less disruptive for everyone to have you quietly feeding your baby than it is you trying to comfort a really hungry baby while they’re crying!
Sharon, mum to Amy, four months
“I was very self-conscious with my first child about feeding in public, but this time around, I dress slightly more appropriately so that Amy can feed easily. With my son, I used to make sure he was full before we’d go anywhere, then we would race around and be home again before he needed feeding. I had this perception that everybody’s watching what you’re doing rather than anything else around them, but I’ve now realised that most people don’t even notice what you’re up to. If you’re trying to calm a screaming baby that’s hungry, you attract a lot more attention to yourself than if you just feed them.”