Why Can’t You Just Nurse With a Cover? An Answer in Photos

I have been a nursing mom for 2 years and 10 months. I was unaware of the nursing-in-public debate prior to that time, assuming there was one, but I do feel that I can say with confidence that these last few years news outlets and mom blogs, spurred on by social media, have been covering the debate with steady momentum.

Among these articles I have not come across one begging mothers to stay hidden while nursing, but I have seen comments in pro-NIP articles that make me say a prayer for the world in which our children are growing. When you read enough of these comments you end up reading the same dribble against nursing in public over and over again.

Those to which I exercise no energy are the ones that think nursing is just plain gross to see, to talk about, or even imagine. While others think nursing is an okay thing to do, if that’s your jibe, but just really wish mothers would respect their fellow man and keep the act of nursing out of public view. A closer step to judiciousness is another group who answer this debate with attempted political correctness. They acknowledge the benefits of and sometimes admire mothers for providing their children with breast milk, and it’s even okay for a mother to leave her hole and nurse in public, but if, and only if, you would please cover up.

I once described to a friend an outing where my nursing was responsible for making a table of five adults leave their seats at an ice cream shop and her response was, “Well, I mean, if you didn’t have a cover, I understand.” What I’ve come to understand is that the real misunderstanding is the reality of nursing with a cover.

This is my hungry baby. We are preparing to nurse with a cover in the comfortable, quiet environment that is our living room. We nurse in this exact spot at least once a day. He falls asleep in my arms here. He loves it here.


I love his cute little face!

Here we go.


As soon as the cover goes over his head he looks at me confused. He started swatting at it with his arm and pulling it off of his face. I couldn’t even get my shirt over my breast to hurriedly distract him with nursing. So I thought I would get my clothes ready first and then try again.

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As you can see, we had the same outcome. So I tried coaxing him to my nipple. I knew he was hungry and even ready for a little nap. He latched on for half a second and then unlatched and looked at me with a furrowed brow.

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I tried humming, rocking, and gently guiding his head toward my chest. It never worked for more than a few seconds. Nursing mothers know that a constant latch and unlatch can be pretty painful.

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This was not a silent protest. He was fussing and crying and letting out high pitched screeches.

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These cries and flailing of limbs would surely not go unnoticed in a public setting. Not to mention the bustle of life would distract him that much more and a hard chair for mom would mean we are not as comfortable. So we are looking at best case scenario here.

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Needless to say this was all very frustrating for both me and my babe.

I took the cover off and he latched immediately without letting up again and nursed himself into a much needed nap. I nursed with a cover out in public with both my son and daughter until they rejected it as depicted above. It happened around four months for us.

Even if you personally and magically were somehow able to nurse a baby past four months old under a cover with no issues, please, I beg you, stop telling moms to cover up. It’s unfeasible. Even if you ignore the legitimate arguments about babies continually breathing their CO2 or getting too hot for comfort under covers, look at my experience and realize that I would draw much more attention to myself by attempting to cover up than to just quietly nurse my child in the open air.

While you’re at it also spare us the argument that I should find another location in which to nurse: such as my car, the bathroom, the rare nursing room, purgatory, etc. Even at 11 months my baby will nurse anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. Sometimes I can hold him off until we get home, sometimes he is just not in the mood. These little people are very unpredictable and sometimes the older child cannot feasibly tag along to nursing exile. The point is, if you really feel mothers should relocate to nurse, then you are basically telling me I should remain here on my couch all day.

So, to the uniformed question of “Can’t you just use a cover?” The answer is indubitably, “No.”

587 thoughts on “Why Can’t You Just Nurse With a Cover? An Answer in Photos”

  1. Couldn’t agree more with you. I would also suggest not to cover while nursing. For us moms, we may find it comfortable to cover while nursing but unfortunately most babies don’t feel the same way. During the time when I was nursing my child I only cover the upper part of my breast and don’t include my child. And it’s true if you don’t want to do nursing in public, find a place where you can comfortably nurse your child without covering him.

    1. Yes, I do the same. I try to wear clothing where I can basically cover most flesh save for the part the baby needs!

      1. I nursed my babes (I had 7… it’s okay you can gasp) and a couple of them lasted until between 18 and 20 months. I was born modest and so I always used my t-shirt to cover the essentials. If we were in public I would ask my husband to do a quick check to make sure we were covered. (Seems like there is always a triangle of flesh that peeks near their forehead toward your arm.) My babies were used to a t-shirt against their faces. But, that might not work for everyone. I know how stubborn some babies can be. I had one who would pinch my neck as she’d drift off to sleep. Okay, I really should have gotten on that when she was tiny and her pinches were soft, but I was tired and she was just so cute. Babies come with personalities, Mommas have personalities too. We all do our best and do what we can cope with. My child bearing years have passed now, and I look back and cherish that time. It was such an amazing time of my life! I was so tired, but it was so amazing. I say let’s love and support each other and do our best to raise happy healthy families.

        1. I have 7 too and nursed about that long as well. I pulled my shirt up to nurse and then pulled the shirt down so it was covering everything and like you my shirt was touching the baby’s face and he/she was always fine with that while nursing. For my last couple of children I discovered some helpful products like the Undercover Mama nursing cami and another half cami called Blush. That helped hide my back and sides. I personally wasn’t comfortable sharing my post partum muffin top with everybody. :)

          I think where some people run into trouble is when they opt to pull their shirts down to nurse or unbutton from the top down to nurse. It may be harder to be discreet this way and they may feel uncomfortable especially if they are particularly modest.

        2. I agree, “let’s love and support each other and do our bet to raise happy healthy families” even when the kids are screaming at the store, or running around happily while you try unsuccessfully to coral them. Let’s not judge each other but do our best to help each other.

      2. At the risk of having some angry responses I felt that I should point out that your proof is not very encouraging. The test is with a child that is very obviously not a newborn and has had a routine that he is used to and comfortable with. Of course he’s not going to be happy if you switch it up. Starting with a newborn would be exponentially simpler. Especially since a newborn is used to being enclosed and in the dark for the babies entire life. So being covered up for most newborns is pretty easy and once the pattern is established most babies will never fight you about it and would have the same reaction of fighting and refusing to nurse when you change it up on them.

        The other issue I’ve been experiencing is children that start becoming very curious about their bodies. And when they don’t realize the importance of privacy they can end up in trouble with that curiosity. So I’ve been stressing the importance of privacy and when we come across a mother with absolutely no discretion and they let their boob hang out while they get their child all situated, my 7 year old wants to understand why “the lady” doesn’t get in trouble but she does.

        Now I have been a nanny for 10+ years and have worked in multiple child cares and having had eleven children of my own I feel like I have a very good grasp on children and their behaviors. All eleven children nursed with a blanket without any trouble. However, my experience with children is that they are all very different and one thing could work for 99/100 children but there is always that one that is different. So if you feel you have no options with your child, please please please be as discreet as possible. I have seen mother use a burp cloth to cover themselves for their child to latch on and then remove it once they are. I appreciate the discretion. However it works for you and your child there is still other people that deserve consideration so please make the best of the situation.

        To all those out there that feel you need to leave, point out or frown upon breastfeeding mothers. Show some consideration yourselves, and understand that being a parent means there are going to be times you just can’t help the situation more than you’ve already tried.

        Can’t we all just get along?

        1. Feel free to eat whenever YOU want with a blanket over YOUR head!! See how you like it! You like to see whats around you when you eat. Let the babies too!!

          1. Or the other suggestions made by the freak out groups, go eat in the restroom. Now that is about as appetizing as it gets. My retort would likely be, “no thanks,we’re comfortable, but if you feel the need, YOU can go eat there, so to be spared the drama of this natural need”.

          2. I completely agree. I have two sons whom I nursed for 3 years each. They never liked being covered up and so I nursed them in public and it was fine. They are well adjusted college grads and this is a problem for the voyeurs only, not the mom’s and babies…This is natural and the best thing for the baby. Get your priorities straight.

          3. Tamara why in the Hell would you breast free a 3 year old child that is hopefully eating food , standing and walking ?????? There is nothing natural about feeding a half grown child that will be starting pre-k what in a year… wow I had a child to she was drinking from a cup the minute she could walk and sleeping all night because she had food before she went to bed , so please don’t use excuses . As a mother of a COLLEGE graduate also , I find feeding past 1 1/2 yrs is disgusting , if you need something or some one to suck on your breast , which im guessing 3 yrs you must like it , im sure your husband would be better at that then a 3 year old child whom should be drinking from a glass as well as eating solid foods all by them selves..

          4. You can never please people. These same people who criticize mother’s for nursing in public are the same people who roll their eyes at a fussy baby! Kudos to ALL mom’s who nurse and care for our children! Keep doing what you’re doing!!

          5. Diane, the world average for weaning is 4 years old. I find your attitude disgusting. To imply that she is nursing her child for sexual reasons is perverse. You and your judgmental attitude about how someone chooses to nurse is despicable!! Nursing a child that long does NOT mean that he isn’t eating table food and drinking from a cup. You sicken me as a mother and as a person in general.

          6. Actually she stated in her article that they started to refuse to be covered at around 4 months

          1. breastfeeding 3 year olds are not breast feeding exclusively anymore; but they are getting valuable antibodies to local viruses and bacteria. since the immune system is not mature till age 6-7, it would seem nature planned for this suplimentation. if you support vaccinations, you should support prolonged breast feeding. it also assists the young body in responding quickly and efficiently to immunizations. as to covering up, we learn our socialization skills from observing our mothers faces up close while we are br fdg as they interact with us and their friends, family and strangers. I am a breast fed in the ’50’s child a mother, grandmother and neonatal intensive care nurse.

          2. Diane…. YOU’RE AN IDIOT! There’s nothing HALF GROWN about a 3 y/o! Wow, pure ignorance displayed! I actually got a good chuckle from your lack of knowledge & stupidity, instead of being angered. I actually pity u & your kids.

        2. Yup, it’s just so easy to be a new mom (with all those frustrations) to simply have a newborn latch properly workout you being able to see what’s going on. Right.

        3. I started out with a cover from a very young age with my first child. He was fine with that for awhile. He got to an age, maybe around 6 months, where he would no longer nurse with it on. He did pulled it off just like in those pictures. He was no longer having it. Just because you start young doesn’t mean it will stick. I thought I would use a cover all the time since I am a modest person but I didn’t want to be left out when in public or visiting friends if my son wouldn’t nurse with a cover. Also, when you have a child asking questions about why it is okay for someone to have their breast out, why don’t you just be honest. Tell the kids that the mom is feeding her baby and that it is normal. Women don’t have their breasts out otherwise. It would be a perfect learning opportunity to normalize it in the eyes of children (who grow up to be parents!).

          1. My son was the same way. We started out using a cover. I try to be discreet as possible, but for someone to say to train them with a cover early on, is just ridiculous. That really upsets me.

          2. I love your comment.i would also like to add that i see mor boob and clevage from non nursing woman then i do of a nursing moms.and even when covered up i get nasty looks or smart remarks…and even asked to leave a store.im shy..and i nurse discretly..but if im to be shoved in a room to nurse then the bottle feeders should have to stop thier day and do the same..bottle feeding is a choice like breast feeding…why should i be shunned for giving my child the best when half of your body is spilling out of your clothes including your butt!i nursed my son and i just had a daughter who is nursing..i was very shy in public with my son…now when people say something rude(mind you im covered)i ask if the want to see or i just laugh because then they get upset and walk away.lol

          3. Exactly. My 7 year old came into the nursing mothers room at our church tonight. He and I discussed that all mammals nurse their babies and it is completely normal. He had his class’s stuffed area turtle, looked at me and said “he just nursed now I will change his diaper.” If we focused more on the functional use of the breast, the natural purpose, instead of sexualizing the breast- things would be much more pleasant.

        4. Can’t you just explain to the boy that “the lady” is feeding a baby? It’s not like she is just parked on some bench at the park with her breast hanging out reading a book, she’s feeding her child. A 7 year old is old enough to understand the difference, why can’t you?

          1. Your comment wins!

            To Renae: If you don’t spaz out and flail around about it, most young children will accept a calm explanation. (I have 5 so I’m not just parroting opinions of others) So, if you feel it necessary to require NIP mothers to be discreet but don’t shield your child from the half naked women(and young girls) parading around in public… you just climbed onto the hypocrisy bus and taken hold of the steering wheel.

        5. I am in complete agreement with you. I am not one to typically chime in on these types of discussions, especially when it’s on a topic that people generally have no desire to “discuss” (but rather argue)… but I can’t stand that you are getting these comments. It is especially frustrating that some of these replies are being said in a nasty way when everything you said was respectful and intelligent. Common sense seems to be a thing of the past. There is a time and place for everything. It is sad that no one seems to have considerat. Since everyone else is splitting hairs, I will too: breastfeeding is as natural as peeing. People get arrested for peeing in public all the time because it is indecent. You are kidding yourself if you think my husband would be allowed to pee in a jar in public.

          1. You realize this wonderful past you talk about where people were considerate to each other, is also a past where woman weren’t shamed for public breast feeding. This is a taboo created in the 80’s after mass media sexualizing the breast to an extreme, which has only gotten worse, I can’t watch t.v. for 5 minutes without seeing super low cleavage or side boob, however this is considered ok, but not breast feeding in public? You can see a nearly nude woman on a giant sign driving down the street, but breast feeding in public is wrong? The issue is for most people when they see breast they think of sex, and sex in public is considered inappropriate. However breast don’t exist for sexual pleasure, they exist for mothers to feed their children and until the last 30years they were allowed to feed their children without being treated like they are acting like strippers. Just because breast make you think of sex doesn’t mean that public breast feeding is sexual in nature. It’s food, and if you don’t want to see some side boob, don’t look. The same way I change the channel when I see something I don’t like. Don’t blame other people for your own uncomfortablities, their your problem, not the mother just trying to provide nourishment for her child.

          2. I don’t understand your comment about there is a time and place for everything. So if my screaming child is hungry, and we happen to be out somewhere, that is not the time and place to feed him. Makes no sense to me. I try to be as considerate as I can, and I keep my shirt down covering as much of my breast as I can. But to say that is not the time nor place to feed my hungry child. And to say that I am inconsiderate because I would rather feed my child then subject everyone to his screaming because he is hungry. Ha! Makes absolutely nonsense at all.

          3. Did you REALLY just compare feeding a child to peeing? Let that sink in for a minute. You just compared FEEDING A CHILD to PEEING in public. That has to be one of the most ignorant comparisons I’ve ever read, and I read A LOT of these comment threads. You’re right… there IS time and a place for everything… and the time and place to feed a hungry baby is wherever and whenever they become hungry. The point of this post was to show that it is LESS CONSIDERATE and draws MORE attention to try and use a cover in many situations. Would you prefer that I force my screaming baby to wait until a more convenient time before I feed her? Sure, you’d probably complain about how I’m an awful mother who “lets her child act that way in public”, but at least you wouldn’t have to be offended by the sight of my collar bone. You know who seems to have “no consideration”? People like you who make ignorant comparisons and alienate an entire group of people for doing what is absolutely 100% natural and normal and didn’t become taboo until our culture decided that breasts are for the pleasure of men instead of providing nutrition to infants. Indecent? Breastfeeding mothers show less cleavage than an average BATHING SUIT these days, but two triangles and some string are enough to be called “decent” on a beach. Do you also become offended at the sight of older children/teens/adults eating their lunches in public? Say, for example, in a restaurant? It’s the SAME THING. I neither know nor care how old you are… but grow up.

          4. 1. Your husband would be arrested for peeing in public because it’s against the law. (Assuming it actually is against the law. In the state where I live, it’s not.) On the contrary, the law protects a mother’s right to breastfed in public. So there’s one difference.
            2. Your husband is a grown-ass man that can wait until he finds a bathroom. My baby is just that…a baby. Sometimes he can’t wait. Believe me, mothers would rather nurse where it’s comfortable (ie, at home!), but sometimes, that’s not possible.
            3. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look. I don’t want to see a 15 year old girl’s navel. But when I’m out and about, sometimes I have to. I choose not go look. It’s her parents responsibility to deal with that, not mine.

          5. Except that peeing is excreting waste from your body and breastfeeding is nourishment for a growing child, with a very tiny stomach that needs frequent feedings to maintain said nourishment.
            I don’t know why I bother to reply to such ignorant statements.

          6. Last time I checked nutrition was not provided by urine. So comparing breastfeeding to peeing publicly, is not reasonable. The law in most states, thankfully exempts breastfeeding mothers from indecency laws. If you would not tell a bottle feeding mother to cover up or go elsewhere then you shouldn’t tell a breastfeeding one to hide away either. She’s just feeding her baby. Period.

          7. So is your husband planning on feeding that “pee in a jar” to your child at some point? If not then this analogy doesn’t work. Analogy are comparisons of like things, bodily waste and nutrition are 2 COMPLETELY opposite things. Nice try though.

        6. Look, don’t you dare criticize a mother on how she decides to raise her baby. Mothers work their asses off to care and raise their babies. Sorry that you think a piece of flesh is inconsiderate to the people surrounding a nursing mother. It’s a plain MIRACLE that mothers are even able to feed their babies without buying them food! Don’t you dare criticize a woman that is doing her best to keep her baby as comfortable as possible. Babies are curious, they want to know what’s going on around them. If you want to cover up, cool cover up. If you don’t, then don’t. Don’t you dare try and make it harder than it is for mothers. It’s disrespectful and rude!

          1. Thanks, Grace. I thought the whole world had gone crazy until I read your comment! Everyone should just shut up and marvel at what their body is capable of and be glad that theirs works! My daughter was born premature and I tried, but never really got her to nurse on a regular basis. She was too small and sleepy. I feverishly pumped as much as I could, and I WISH I could have nursed… anywhere, by any means. I would have nursed naked in Times Square if it meant I could have fed her my milk instead of Nestle junk in a bottle. If I see a woman nursing in public now, all that comes to my mind is that she and her child are lucky.

          2. I am a grandmother and I totally agree with the ladies who indicate that breastfeeding is a natural function that provides nourishment to your child. When I am at the mall or at a store I have always seen women be as discreet as possible. And no, I would not be happy eating with a blanket over my head. My child (28 years old) was always dressed comfortably and weather appropriate because I always thought that if I was uncomfortable in tight jeans and ruffled tops then my daughter was uncomfortable. The same goes for nursing. The baby’s comfort is critical to her intake of nourishment. If anything, I would not want to sit in a mall and nurse because I would have to look at people with clothing that is really inappropriate.

          3. What a mother or any other person does in public affects all the people who are present. Consideration for others is not limited to the others.

          4. Sally you are an idiot. And I’m going to need you to wear a veil in public because I’m offended by your mouth. Although you need it to breath, I’m also afraid you use it during sex, so it is inappropriate for you to show it in public.

          5. I am 47 years old and I nursed my 2 daughters for 30 months each. They made it to adulthood and now have to worry about all of these stupid people making such a big deal about nursing babies, that is if they chose to nurse their babies. If they do, I will stand behind them shouting from the roof tops that they are doing the best thing for their babies. 25 years ago, there wasn’t the internet making this such a big deal about nursing babies. Babies were born, the hospitals pushed formula, “just in case”. I had my first pediatrician encouraging me to nurse for as long as possible because my first daughter had an allergic reaction to dairy. My second pediatrician was so worried about me not supplementing, so I found a more proactive pediatrician and we nursed a long after that time.

            There are so many people that are more uncovered in everyday life than an exposed breast of a mom and nursing baby. Children see their parents without clothing and for now, that isn’t a crime. Nursing moms are doing what they feel is the best thing for their babies. This isn’t a concern for anyone other than her!! If you are uncomfortable, leave! I tell every breast feeding mom I see, “thank you for doing what is right for you and your baby”. Nursing is the best thing for both mom and baby and it easy for some and difficult for others. We don’t walk around trying to shame people that feed formula to babies.

            This is the United States of America and we have the freedom to feed our babies from our breast if we chose! If you have a problem with it, CLOSE YOUR FREAKIN’ EYES!!

        7. You said exactly what I was thinking! And right away, you got a rude comment. Unbelievable! I agree with you, Renae. I nursed four children, and always threw a little receiving blanket over us if we were in public. They never minded, and actually were calmer nursing with no distractions. There was always plenty of air, for heavens sake, it’s 100% breathable cotton and only for 15 minutes or so. Everyone, please be respectful.

        8. or.. you know… you could just not look… or tell your child staring is rude… or actually explain breasts are for feeding babies not showing off…

        9. Did you even read her post? She breastfed her son & daughter with a cover in public from when they were newborns, but they began rejecting the cover around 4 months. Bravo to you for nursing 11 kids with covers, but her story actually DOES prove that it’s not feasible for every kid.

          Regardless, the argument against breastfeeding in public because of public indecency is just rubbish. Coming from women it is rubbish because we all have breasts and are pretty familiar with them. Coming from heterosexual men it is rubbish because I’m guessing 99% of men enjoy pornography and brief topless scenes in movies. So I guess the only demographic of people who could possibly have an objection would be homosexual men (LOL). The message we’re sending by asking moms to cover up or breastfeed in private is that it’s only ok for a woman’s breast to be bared if it is bared for a sexual purpose, not for a functional biological purpose.

          1. [email protected] says:

            The bottom line is, breasts were primarily designed by God to feed babies, not excite men or offend anyone else. I am a 71 year old grandma and can’t believe the uproar this has caused in recent years. I remember when I was young and nursing my babies it was not even an issue, at least where I lived. Sure, be as modest as you can but with all the nudity allowed in public nowadays to object to a nursing mother and baby is ludicrous!

          2. Most of the opinions against breastfeeding in public start with jealous husbands. It took me forever to come to terms with it. Didn’t like everyone seeing , at the time I considered them mine and not for public display. Now I realize , but at the time I thought I was doing it(complaining) for all the right reasons. I do suggest to ignore the idiots such as myself, but know that I have changed and do enjoy knowing I have….

          3. Bravo Bob! I love to hear stories of growth and enlightenment. We should all be as honest as Bob.

          4. I don’t understand why Breastfeeding advocates are so mean!! Every time I read anything about it when struggling to breastfeed my son it made me want to cry. I stayed home with my son until 2 months and at 9 months we schedule outings around his feedings. Why can’t you do that? I personally believe staying home to feed my kid is a sacrifice, but that’s what parenting is about. I am not offended by breastfeeding in public but those that do this I feel like are just trying to make a statement and the only reason I feel this way is because of breastfeeding advocates that talk down on people. You know what if I don’t want you to breastfeed in front of me that does not give you the right to insult me. I think you have a right to breastfeed but I have a right to not have to see it. We have to make compromises. If there is a nursing room and you flip your boos out in public anyways you are what’s wrong with this country.

        10. Its 900 degrees outside. If you have a problem with me not putting a blanket over my daughters face while she is eating, put a blanket on your face. If she were bottle fed and I covered her it would be called child abuse.
          You can go ahead and explain to your 7 year old that the reason “the lady” doesn’t have to cover up but your 7 year old does, is because the lady is using her breasts to feed a baby. Your 7 year old is not.

        11. I appreciate everything you said, you stated everything in a very respectful and sensible way. Shame on those who don’t have the courtesy to reply in same.

        12. My son is 7 mos old. From the day we got home from the hospital we used a nursing cover while out and about and when we had visitors. It did work well while he was0-4 or 5 mos. Now he screams with a cover. Also I have a crazy let down so while i use the 2 shirt method (undershirt covers bottom of breast and the rest of my abdomen, top shirt covers any portion of breast above baby’s mouth) he has to unlatch frequently at the start of nursing so that he doesn’t choke. Should I stay home? It isn’t so easy for everyone to be discrete. I also teach my 5year old that modesty is important, but she views breast feeding as an act of feeding a baby. She walks around with her dolls “nursing”. She has too asked about a person showing lots of skin, but never asked about a nursing mother. She knows what they are doing. I have tought her to that she can only control herself and her actions. I teach her not to worry about what her peers are doing with themselves and that we should do what is we feel isright even if we see that others are doing something else. She is very aware that an exposed breast ready to feed a baby isnt exposure or lack of modesty in any way.

          1. You sound like a great Mom raising a great kid. She will grow into a much happier adult with respect for other’s ideas and actions while still maintaining her own self-respect and self-reliance on her own terms, whether they match someone else’s or not. Bravo!!

          1. I’ve watched a young mother nurse all 5 of her children in church in the front pew and she is covered and the children don’t struggle or have issues. So it can be done!!!!

          2. Key word….watched. I’m going to need you to wear a veil in public because I’m offended by your mouth. Although you need it to breath, I’m also afraid you use it during sex, so it is inappropriate for you to show it in public.

        13. Perhaps it would be better if we started teaching our small children that breasts are for feeding babies. As a society we have sexualized breasts and that is the whole problem. The proper function of the breast is for feeding children. If children are taught this and recognize this…they will not view it as a “private part”. As they become adults they will still hold this view. Problem solved.

        14. Why in heavens name would that bother you!!! I just don’t get it..I cannot wrap my brain around any good reason why not to do it…Are you afraid of your partner looking, and you are jealous ? Is it the sound of babies nursing that bothers you? Babies must eat,, who the heck cares how they eat,,as long as their getting nourishment ,, what bothers me more is watching mothers buying their kids slurpies, or pop, or any transfats with sugar..now that’s a issue you should be offended by..! To me , a nursing mom with child, is beautiful and a miracle !!

        15. I would never feel comfortable trying to “teach” a newborn to eat under a cover, because those are the babies most at risk for rebreathing CO2, and the least able to fight off a cover when they become compromised.


          Jeez, lighten up. Your life must be hard, being so repressed. Do you tell men to leave their shirts on at the beach, too?

        17. Wow, Renae…just wow.

          I used a cover, for my comfort and those around me, for about 6 months. My daughter then started moaning, complaining and trying to take it off.
          She was USED to it. She just got to a point where she was no longer comfortable with it.
          A man left his table even though I was covered up.
          You can’t please everyone.

          You, Renae, are a disgrace. How dare you be so bigoted about your own gender.
          It may seem like I am angry while typing this, but I am not. I am laughing my head off, all the while feeling very sorry for you, your kids, your charges and your grandkids…

        18. I feel that covering with a newborn is hardest. You have to try to get a good latch and when covered its hard to see and it gets really hot if you have summer babies (even when in the ac). There is a good time to cover when they can basically get a latch with a swipe of their tounge. But with both my babes there is a time about 4 months they fight the cover, and when not around family i dont use a cover. If offended either look in any other direction or move.

        19. “I appreciate the discretion? ” But why is anybody looking that intently at a breastfeeding mother to see whether or not they choose to cover baby or not? That’s what I don’t understand. You would have To He STARING at a breastfeeding mother to see any part of her body. If you can tell a woman is about to breastfeed, which there are normally signs, then look away.

        20. I have friends whose children had no issue with covers but my three children from the time they were born always refused to nurse while covered. I tried to keep bottles of breast milk with me but trying to pump enough and make sure it would last the whole outing was easier said than done to say the least.

        21. No angry response here, Renae. I have nursed all 5 of my kids between 2.5-3yrs each and plan on doing the same for my new one due in 2 months. All have nursed under a cover for MY convenience. As a newborn it has served to keep us both warm and cozy in winter months and in the summer I can go with just a tank top and light muslin cover and not worry about muffin top squish being evident to all around me.

          Also, when babies get to be around 7-8 months and become more aware of their surroundings, it can be such a fight to get them to focus and nurse. Nursing sessions that before would take 10 minutes max, would suddenly start stretching to 20+ minutes. Every time a noise occurred or someone would enter a room, the baby would have to pop off and investigate. Incidentally, this is around the same age that many moms say their babes have started to “self wean”. I can’t tell you how may friends have stopped nursing around that age! I found that the habit of using a cover helped me keep my sanity (no popping on and off incessantly, especially with new little teeth, because there were no distractions) and helped keep our nursing relationship stable.

          My babies have never suffocated, never been too hot, we’ve had incredibly close and long-lasting nursing relationships, and we’ve always used a cover. None have ever sucked their thumbs, used a lovie/blankie, a pacifier, or have ever taken a bottle. I have been their comfort and safe haven. They have all brought me a cover whenever they wanted to nurse and it has been our sweet understanding and first form of communication.

          Nursing under a cover seems to be starting to be vilified just as much as not. Suggesting a cover can be a great solution to situations like sitting in the aisle seat in the front row of church where side-boob might be inappropriate, a busy location where you need your older baby to nurse fast but distractions abound, or it is super-chilly out and the cold makes for a stuffy nose that might make nursing difficult. There are ways to establish a wonderful under-cover nursing relationship and it is not akin to torturing your baby.

          And Diane, the current pediatric association guidelines recommends nursing until 2. The WHO recommends even longer than that. 3 of my kids have ulcerative colitis. The best thing for it? Nursing until at least 3 to help protect against intestinal damage (or so our gastroenterologist says). It isn’t gross. And sure, we tend not to nurse past 18mos-2yrs in public much because older babies just don’t need to, but there is nothing “unnatural” about it.

          1. Jen, I think the point is, mother’s should be the judge of what is most comfortable for them and their babies. If covering works for you and your baby, great. If it doesn’t, also great. Other folks getting offended shouldn’t figure into the equation at all. When, where, how and how long are between you and your baby.

        22. Perhaps I should have taken pictures of how hot and sweaty my babies got when nursing without a cover, and you could maybe extrapolate how uncomfortable a cover would have been. I say maybe because your post is so unreasonable, I don’t know if you’d actually make a sincere effort.

        23. This really seems to me like a comment that someone else’s actions make it difficult for you to justify your rules. Children are perceptive and before they reach adulthood they will come across a vast number of situations in which others do not follow the same rules or that there are except to the rules that they don’t understand. The best thing to do is to explain the situation to them. You cannot change those around you to suit your situation and beliefs. If you made a successful effort I would imagine when the children no longer had your full guidance they would be a little jaded. I really don’t mean to be offensive, but I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding is a natural act that is crucial to the nurturing of a developing child. Putting limitations on that is suggesting that it is somehow inappropriate. Saying that a woman breastfeeding her child encourages inappropriate behaviour in the children of others is sexualizing a natural act. If you have a girl that sees someone breastfeeding and decides to pull her shirt up it is your responsibility to explain the difference to your child, not the responsibility of the breastfeeding mother to prevent your child from becoming curious.

        24. You should re-read the post. The author stated that she nursed both of her babies using a cover until they rejected it ar around 4 minths, in the manner ahiwn in the photographs. If you’re going to be critical of others, then get it right yourself first.

        25. So you’re saying I’m supposed to be covering my baby every time she nurses at home, just for those occasional times when I’m out?! Are you kidding me? She loves to look into my eyes while she nurses.

        26. I agree with every thing you said. I think that breast feeding is beautiful but showing the breast is not, my aunt breast fed all her children and no one knew that she was doing it.
          When babies are eating all they see is the breast.

          1. When babies are nursing, they will look everywhere and see a lot more than the breast. They look up into Momma’s eyes, look over at siblings, etc.

            That statement is inaccurate.

        27. I found trying to breastfeed a newborn under a cover extremely difficult. My baby had a difficult time latching and would come on and off many times and I couldn’t see anything. It was very stressful until i decided to give up using a cover. It might seem like it would be easy to use a cover with a newborn but it’s not! Learning to breastfeed is realllly hard, and even more difficult when you cant see what you’re doing.

        28. She says that she did nurse her kids with a blanket then at 4 months they all started to protest. This is what is was like for her, not everyone.

        29. I would like to point out that I did cover from birth, but as soon as my son gained the use of his arms, the cover (same kind as this one, that goes around the neck) became a toy to pull and yank on and then ultimately became a mommy choking hazard. So no, just because they have always been covered, doesn’t mean they will always be “used to it” and not want to rip it off once they get the chance.

        30. Just pointing this out, she does clearly state that she used a cover until the baby started protesting at around 4 months old.

        31. Did you read the article? She stated she used to feed under a cover but her babies rejected at 4 months. I have a nearly 3 month old and under cover nursing is hard, getting a latch and maintaining the correct position is very difficult. let alone knowing my baby is breathing hot CO2 over and over again. I don’t know why people have to shame others, I personally feel that anyone who cares that much about it has some sort of issues. I am sure you will all bellow but a healthy, well adjusted adult in no way finds breast feeding disgusting, sexual or anything but healthy and none of their damn business!!!

        32. She specifically said that she nursed under a cover for both her babies until about 4 months when they began to reject it. The photos were just an example to show a similar result to what also happened around 4 months old. She didn’t just nurse without a cover and then one day “switch it up.”

        33. Wrong. I started with a cover with my newborn. She didn’t like it right away (and the author actually does state in the article that both her children started resisting the cover at 4 months, did you read that part?) Of course we didn’t use one at home, which is where we were for most of the first month, so perhaps you would say she didn’t adjust because we didn’t start covering her face earlier? Should we have covered up our child even when at home in the privacy of our own house? I distinctly remember flying home to introduce my daughter to my family at 5 months and they kept trying to throw covers over her because they were uncomfortable that I breastfed. She would fuss and cry and thrash. She hated being covered up. (She also did not like to be facing inward in the baby carrier – they say babies like that for the first 6 months, but mine wanted to face out as soon as we started using it, around 6 weeks.) Babies aren’t puppies that you crate train and they “get used” to it; they are little humans with personalities. My daughter loved action and loved watching everything going on around her, and she really would never be happy having a blanket over her head shutting out the world while she fed. I am concerned as to why you think you should teach your daughter that she and other women should be ashamed of their breasts. Do you realize that it is YOU who is perpetuating the social sexualization of women’s bodies, NOT the breastfeeding woman who was “getting situated’? My daughter saw women around her breastfeeding as she grew up and has not needed to be “curious” about that part of the body, because she knows it is what women use to feed their babies. No weirdness about it – no one needs to get “in trouble” because no one is doing anything wrong. I don’t believe anyone “needs consideration”. I lived in Europe in 2 different countries where women – young mothers with small children, old grandmothers with big bellies – all walked around on the beach with no tops. It was no big thing there at all. You could tell who the American ones were because they stared. None of the children or others seemed remotely harmed because they saw women’s breasts!

        34. You seem to have missed the part where she said she nursed both her kids under covers until they hit abotu four months old and rejected them in the same way we see in the photos.

        35. Aren’t you contradicting your beginning statements with your ending statements. Your telling nursing mothers to cover up yet asking objectors to show some consideration. Does not make any sense.

          What is the deal with nipples anyway? We ALL have nipples they are meant for nursing our young, that’s what makes us mammals!

      3. Im gonna be honest and blunt!!! its called breast feeding……….oh yes we expose our breast for our children to get the nutrients they need to stimulate their tiny lil brains that are growing………got a problem with it dont look……..kinda sad and disturbing that others have a problem with it……….and technically we were born without clothes but ya know someone got embarrassed about showing their body and created clothes……….yes i say if you are a nursing mother do it proudly and without shame……….oh hey btw did ya its totally legal for women to go around without a top as long as they are not doing it to get a rise out of others……….hmmm who would of known????? get over it u need to eat too as does the generation that will be taking care of you when you are no longer to do it for yourself………think about it before you act on your thoughts pros vs cons

      4. I once knew a woman who nursed and she did it so well (and covered up) that I didn’t even know she was nursing. I thought the baby was just sleeping in her arms. It can be done. I believe in nursing and although I was not able to do it, I also believe in covering up. You may have had problems but a lot of women do not with covering up. It should be discreet. Sorry but that’s my opinion. And I as a child was nursed as was my brother, but my mother did not do it in public restaurants.

        1. A lot of women don’t have issues covering up? Where are your stats or proof? Oh your friend had no troubles? That’s nice for her. She’s the minority in this situation. Blanket statements (pun intended) like “you may have had problems but a lot of women do not,” are asinine and false. If you think it’s best for us Mothers feeding our children to cover up, and the law says we don’t have to, then my best advice to you is to stay the fuck home. Enjoy your life living in a bubble of safety. Oh don’t turn the TV on, there’s a chance a sliver of skin will show there too. Wait, scratch that, you’ll see simulated sex on regular programming & commercials. Way to support breastfeeding.

        2. Some babies will just do that too, and settle quietly to nurse in your arms, as though they are sleeping. Some babies will not. Some babies will do it some of the time, particularly if it is close to nap time and they are settling in for a longer session, and will not at other times. A young baby who latches well may be fine most of the time. An older baby who is interested in seeing what they hear around them may well be looking around either while attached, or popping off and having a look and going back to nursing. It is nice Helen that the mother you knew had a baby who did not do any of these things. But not all babies are like that. Many mothers only nurse for a short period of time and wean prematurely. So they have either stayed home while nursing, or used bottles of formula or expressed milk while out, with all of the impacts that this can have on breastfeeding and supply. Somehow, they feel as though they then have the expertise to advise other mothers on something they know nothing of, an older infant who can be much more easily distracted and lively, and much less compliant with being covered up.

        3. I think the point is, mother’s should be the judge of what is most comfortable for them and their babies. If covering works for you and your baby, great. If it doesn’t, also great. Other folks getting offended shouldn’t figure into the equation at all. When, where, how and how long are between you and your baby.

          How about this….I’m going to need you to wear a veil in public because I’m offended by your mouth. Although you need it to breath, I’m also afraid you use it during sex, so it is inappropriate for you to show it in public. Utter nonsense? Ya, I think so, too.

      5. Interesting read. I think its a bit premature to make a claim based on person’s, or a vocal group – majority or minority. My wife choose to cover in public with a cover just like the one you use in your pictures. I’m an engaged dad and help with a lot of the child care, including helping my wife with the logisitcis of nursing.

        First, the CO2 argument is nonsense. There’s more ventilation there tban a lot of strollers when covered/closed and people leave their kids in there for hours.

        Our child never looked in “bewilderment.” At around 7 or so months it became a bit more difficult, mainly because of size as opposed to their annoyance of the cover. At 10 or so months they were down right annoyed… so we brought a pumped bottle in those instances. Of course this takes planning, but you get all the good stuff.

        My wife is conservative and chooses not to bust out the goodies in public. Its her call and I’ll support her each way. I’m personally not offended by NIP. Why would I… I’m a guy! However, you can’t categorize women who do choose to use covers or not nurse in public as uneducated or not caring as countless posts have stated. The body is sacred (at least to some) and its 100%, up to the individual to decide how much to show… Or not show. Its also perfectly acceptable for those that are uncomfortable with someone NIPing in their presence to remove themselves from the situation. Tolerance doesn’t mean acceptance.

        In the end, both can be right.

        1. I am a mother of two. My newest is 4 months old and getting him to nurse with a cover is a hot miserable mess! He hates every second of it and when I finally get him to latch properly, 5 minutes into the feeding he’s bright red and sweating. Its just awful. My first son, who is now almost three and no longer nursing, could have (and did) nurse under any and all circumstances. With that said, for whatever reason, I have never felt comfortable exposing my breast to nurse in public. HOWEVER- I applaud and adore mothers who do. Like your wife, Dave, I also have a pumped bottle when we go out, if we are going somewhere that doesn’t have a private place for me to feed my babe. I don’t feel that moms who nurse openly in public are criticizing those who choose to/are able to nurse while covered up, I think they are tired of hearing about it from people who think EVERY MOM should be covered up while feeding their baby. Or at least thats what i HOPE is the case :)

          1. thank you. i have no problem whatsoever with people who cover up…i think its great, if your child is willing, and you are willing…go for it…save the argument. i also have no problem with someone leaving if they don’t want to see someone nursing…thats great…provided they do it without snide nasty comments to the nursing mama. that is all most women are asking for. not that EVERYONE has to nurse uncovered…just that the ones who DO nurse uncovered stop being made to feel like trash because they want what is best for their child. so, again, thank you for your polite comment..it is much appreciated in a sea of rudeness

          2. I totally agree Eman. I was a nursing mother always afraid to nurse in public for fear of getting ridiculed or shamed. None of my babies would take a bottle or binkie. So they would starve until I found a private spot out of the public eye. I am so resentful to the people who shame women who breastfeed in public I wish I could go back in time and just comfortably nurse my babies in public and give haters the finger.

        2. The fact you say you’re not offended by Nip ‘why would I, I’m a guy…’ just says ‘it’s a boob and that makes it sexual’ rather than just a mom feeding her baby. Period. Meaning…though you don’t condemn NIP but you still sexualize it.

          1. Holly, it’s a fact that the breast serves two purposes. I’m still amazed that people try to create a false dichotomy with the breast either being a sexual piece of flesh or a meat bag. It’s BOTH. If it wasn’t both, female humans would not have enlarged breasts starting with puberty and throughout their lives (no other animals does, and don’t try to list cows, those are kept in a perpetual state of milk production no different than if you kept breastfeeding). The breasts are meant to attract a male by a false showing of fitness for feeding a baby in humans, you’ll have to believe in evolution for you to buy this argument and if you don’t, I’m not going to waste my time on such a well-developed fact & theory (yes, evolution is a fact and the theory is just the mechanism on how it works).

          2. You are 3/4 of the way there, Rich. For no other reason than to educate, I shall add to your body of knowledge that the evolution of the shape of the human breast is directly related to the evolution of the shape of the human face. If you look at chimpanzees, their faces are rather flat and so are a female mother’s breasts. No face-breast obstacle or problems latching there. Modern humans have protruding chins and noses, and thus, if a mom’s breast did not protrude also, a baby’s mouth would have a harder time grabbing hold. Its just like Legos! So there it is. The other reasons for big boobies as a favorable psycho-social human trait you listed are as valid as the main biological reason. You now know lots about boobs. Tell your wife and demonstrate!

          3. Really. Wouldn’t you agree, as well as, the rest of the women who commented agree that society has sexualized breasts. We know why people are uncomfortable. For this very reason. I am a woman and I am not used to seeing breasts and when my step sister pulled hers out to feed her baby I felt uncomfortable. I’m not used to it. Its one thing to see mine, I had to come to terms with that being normal when I hit puberty. Now I’m about to be a mom in 2 months. I have milk now, I intend to breast feed, and I cried when my milk came in. I felt like my body had been taken over and I had no choice. I don’t even feel i want my husband in the room when I feed my baby. It just feels so embarrassing. I don’t know if I can even handle breastfeeding it seems so weird. But I know the benefits so I’m gonna do it. I just hope that that feeling changes. Because honestly I would even have a hard time with a cover. I wouldn’t want anyone to see anything. I don’t know if it is a normal feeling to feel this way. But I know when a child is hungry you don’t make them wait or you will never settle them down. I wouldn’t want people to be upset if I was in a restraunt trying to eat and a woman started breastfeeding. I don’t have a problem with it and I wouldn’t be mean to her but I would want to go to a different seat. It would make me uncomfortable and that is my problem. But I wouldn’t want her to be offended if I walked away and I wouldn’t want to feel forced to be present just so I don’t hurt her feelings. I think if one has the whole boob hanging out that’s her prerogative. But my husband would draw more attention to me trying to cover me up than if I just covered up. I believe, as does he, that my body isnt for others to see. And it makes me uncomfortable when they do. And I never wore outlandish clothes. I’m 19 almost twenty and I wasn’t allowed to wear things that were revealing. I was always made to feel guilty if ever I wasn’t covered properly. Not that I judge anyone at all. Its just I kinda dread it. I feel uncomfortable I’m just trying to figure out how I’m gonna navigate through it all.

          4. There are examples of cultures that find the idea of a sexualized female breast laughable. It is NOT evolution, but cultural. So now that you know, you can get over it.

        3. Dave, I think your comment hits all aspects on the head for every type of person. EXCEPT one. Those of us who can not pump. I nursed all 3 of my kids, with and with out covers, but making a suggestion that everyone can express milk into a bottle is false. For whatever the reason I never had success with pumping milk. And yes, I used the best kind of pumps. Just thought you should be aware of that.

      6. Breastfeeding advocates turn mothers off of breastfeeding. Why should we be considerate of others when we get bitched out for questioning a word a breastfeeding mother said. Breastfeeding advocates made me cry daily when I was having a hard time breastfeeding my son. They tell you you don’t love your child if you don’t breastfeed. What is so wrong about being considerate of others? From the way people on these blogs talk to others I believe they deserve to have to stay home or leave the room it called sacrifice since breastfeeding advocates believe they are so superior they should understand that parenting takes sacrifice.

    2. Hey what’s up.

      So, I totally get this whole… debate. About nursing. That it is difficult to please people and your child and yourself all at once. :/ kind of sounds like a catch-22.
      However, I totally hate to do this but, I must point out a giant hole in this logic (and trust me, I’m not a base judge of this scenario, I, also, am a mother. A single mother at that, and while I did not breast feed, I can share your frustrations with trying to go out and keep your baby fed and happy so that you both can enjoy yourselves).
      I think, if I were a breastfeeding mother, and I’m sure that even this answer is not always possible (maybe like 20% of outings, tops); that I would maybe consider breastfeeding in the car? I think it would provide a much more private and comfortable area, unless of course you don’t own a vehicle or you own the smallest vehicle ever constructed…

      1. Nursing in the car is an option if I am on my way into or out of an establishment. It is not an option if I am at lunch with my other children. If I am the only adult, am I supposed to leave my small children unattended in a restaurant or gather them up, leave their food at the table, and spend 20 minutes in the car? Not to mention weather variances. If it is raining, snowing, or extremely hot out am I supposed to spend extra time preparing the car, making it a safe environment to spend time in? I can’t nurse if it is 19 degrees in the car, that would not be comfortable. Same as if it were 100 degrees. Breastfeeding in the car is not the great option you have suggested.

    3. Me too. in 1964-5 I had to travel by bus and the other passengers did not like it if my baby screamed. so I kept a nappy on my shoulder and if bub needed a feed I could quickly do the deed with the nappy covering most of my boob. Bub would often play with the end and cover more.

  2. I could not agree more. Nolan hated the stupid cover and I felt we drew more attention trying to “cover” ourselves with the cover than just nursing.

    Anytime we nursed in public, I simply found a somewhat “less busy” spot to nurse. I found Nolan would get distracted when in public musing. For example, I would often nurse at dinner. So I would request a booth near a corner or back of restaurant.

    Having been a nursing mother. I find myself extemely supportive of other nursing Mommas. Breastfeeding is already hard enough … the last thing a nursing Mom needs is to be critizied.

    With that being said — I do think it is 100% possible to nurse in public and be modest and discreet. The reality is not everyone is ok with breastfeeding and that’s ok too — we should be respectful if each others choices. I won’t critize you for not breastfeeding — if you don’t critize me for doing so.

    1. I do the same. I try to be discreet as possible. It’s more comfortable for me as well. I’ve yet to meet a mom who waves her boobs around or takes her whole shirt off to make a show, though they way people talk you would think they are running rampant!

      1. OMG. That comment made me laugh out loud. Some comments make it seem as though women were being provocative by nursing in public. It’s sad that in this enlightened age moms have to fight for the right to feed their children the way God intended.

      2. Funny you said that! It may be rampant in other countries! It brought to mind a scene from when I was in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico back in May. I observed a woman finishing nursing her toddler (had to be at least 2 years old). The woman still had the breast sticking out from under her shirt while she watched the child run across the road to play with the dog. This was on a street crowded with people at the market and eating lunch! She finally pulled her shirt down, but not one person acted as if this were strange!

      3. I have a friend that would just whip out the boob and not be discreet at all no matter where we were. I’m all for public breastfeeding, I did it with my daughter. Granted my daughter was totally fine with the cover and it made me feel better about it for myself. But this friend of mine didn’t care where we were or who was around, she would pull down her shirt, pull it out and nurse. If she switched sides she didn’t put one away before taking the other out. I know this girl very well and she was doing it for attention and to cause issues with people who had a problem with public breastfeeding. I know 99.9% of breastfeeding mothers are not like that.

        1. I’m sorry but you have no right to judge your friend for feeding her child and letting her boob show – maybe she is right to look for attention – maybe this is what people need to see on a daily basis to realise they are JUST BREASTS – nothing more, nothing less. If we all saw them out every day like this soon enough we wouldn’t care less about seeing them. they would become another body part like an arm or a leg and women could finally feed their babies without people judging them or making them feel uncomfortable.

          1. Breasts are considering sexual in our culture. There’s a lot of cultural norms I wish I could change, and others I would be horrified if they ever did, but just because you don’t agree with a norm doesn’t mean you can just stomp your foot and make it not so. There is a hypocrisy in how sexual advertising that is as a good as sexual nudity is more acceptable then breast feeding, and I am right there to promote bringing awareness to objectifying the female body and the harmful effects it has. But raising awareness and debate are different then going ‘It’s just BLANK, get over it.’ on controversial issues. It shows a real inability to see the other side of the argument or respect the way a huge portion of the population thinks. If her friend was intentionally causing trouble, which of course caused the OP discomfort and caused them to be the target of public scorn as well if they were together, it makes sense that the OP has some hard feelings about it and she has every right to vocalize them.

          2. If a women was not breast feeding and had to adjust her bra or was trying on a new bra in the store right there in the isle would you still be so cavalier? If breasts were just flung around in public so we could get use to seeing them then why cant men whip out there Private parts when they want? What if your young child was with you or your teenage boy? The fact of the matter is respecting those around you in public. Breast feeding is a wonderful and beautiful thing to do and I dont believe women should be forced to leave the table or store or where ever they may be to feed their baby, but being discreet is not shameful either pulling down shirt or covering up in public is not bad. I used a receiving blanket my son would rub it on his face as he fell asleep. Every baby is different anyway the point is respecting those around you in public by trying to be discreet is not a bad idea either.

          3. It’s a nice thought, that if everyone would stop covering up, one day breasts & breastfeeding will be seen as normal & nursing moms will not experience disapproval from others. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
            Compare this topic to homosexual couples or interracial couples. Even though both have become very common, there are still so many people who disapprove when they are seen in public. And no matter what there always will be judgemental people.
            If you & your baby are comfortable covering up, do it. If you & baby aren’t comfortable covering up, then don’t.
            To each their own.
            I dont tell people to go one way or the other- I teach my children to be loving and accepting of everyone, even if it seems weird.

          4. Lee — then no women can wear skimpy bathing suits that show way more breast than I ever saw in any of my very large nursing support groups or homeschooling groups. I’d venture I have sense dozens upon dozens of more nursing babies than you, and almost every time the breast is more covered than the average bikini. So if public nursing is too risque, I take it you will be first in line to start the petition to outlaw bikinis? Thanks!

          5. I love this comment! I’m hoping the woman who commented above about “training” from infancy to nurse under a cover reads yours. Perhaps we should be “training” from infancy that the human body is not shameful. Breasts were made for feeding babies. Granted, they were also made for attracting men, just like big hips are meant to be a sign of good birthing genes (evolutionarily speaking), but we are adults and should be able to understand the concept of feeding your child vs. open displays of nudity. Everyone say it with me now….Breasts. Are. For. Babies. Boobs. Are. For. Sex. There ya go…you’re gettin’ it….

      4. I’ve seen a few moms actually where the baby isn’t latched and they just have their boob hanging out (the baby is sitting up not even interested in eating. I am a nursing mother but for me personally I like to cover up and I’ve been covering up since baby was born (it is an art) I don’t mind women breast feeding in public but it’s when you have the ladies that just let it hang out that bothers me a little bit, not a whole lot but I understand what some people are talking about.

      5. You haven’t seen a few chicks that I have then. Its one thing when I see a mom being discreet. But I have in my time, seen a women just have it all out there, moving far more clothing off than necessary. I have more respect for the moms who feed in public with grace and dignity.

    2. I think you have exactly the right idea. You don’t attempt to just whip em out anywhere, but with discretion for mixed company when out and about.

      1. That’s some more condescending crap: “just whip them out anywhere”. What you just did there is accuse nursing women of being like strippers. It’s a ridiculous, cruel, dangerous attitude. And what is this mixed company you are referring to? Men and women who want to shame nursing mothers need consciousness raising, not for women to cover their breasts so you don’t have to change your attitude.

        1. Exactly. Thank you. There’s no need for qualifiers to “a woman can breastfeed in public”. She can breastfeed around women and men. She can breastfeed on a boat, in a car, near a goat. In a box with a fox. She can breastfeed anywhere! Seriously, if a woman is legally allowed to be somewhere, she is also legally allowed to (and should, if the need arises!) breastfeed in that place. Period.

          Some of the objections raised are very reminiscent of rules for women in some Muslim countries, e.g., women can only be around men if they are covered up, with varying definitions of covered up, from a head scarf to a full burqa. It is the same as the “cover up while nursing” argument, just a different degree of imposed “modesty”.

        2. Lynn, I think you misconstrued “Some Chick’s” comment. She was agreeing with what Megan said she does and considers reasonable, not insisting on using a cover. What she said wasn’t any more unreasonable than what Megan said, she was just appreciating Megan’s discretion, which we know does not involve using a cover.

          1. No, Noelle, I read the thread, I understand what is being said. It’s the language I object to, as well as the implied judgement of a woman who would ‘whip them out anywhere’ being indiscreet and immodest. Alongside the women who say they are not using a cover because they are only showing a sliver, or only the top part, never the nipple!!!!!!!! I just find the whole thing completely ludicrous, anti-woman, anti-family, anti-life, and as this discussion shows, women themselves are at the heart of shaming nursing mothers. When they start stoning nursing mothers, it will be other women who are casting the first rocks, or whispering to their husbands to throw them.

          2. So, basically, to be discreet, it would not involve me pulling my breast out of the top of my shirt, to nurse with ease. That would not be discreet, then, and disrespectful of others, no doubt. And would probably make that ‘whipping’ noise that breastfeeding mothers are so apt to make.

            Gotcha. No pulling of boobs from tops of shirts.

          3. Oh yes, Lisa you are correct. Whipping sounds come from the top of the shirt. It is the whipping sound that draws attention. If you were a good and modest little mommy you’d lift up your shirt and expose your abdomen as well.

        3. I agree with this language. So what if a mom slips it out of whips it out? It’s there doing the same job. There is not a chance in hell I’m lifting my shirt from the bottom to expose my post partum belly (thank you very much). So I guess I’m one of these women being judged for “whipping them out” by way of the top of my shirt. Judge away! Both my baby and I are happy.

          1. So…your boobs are okay to show, but not your postpartum belly. Your postpartum belly is beautiful and natural, right? Because it’s all about having babies, right? And anyone who judges you for having a flabby belly after you’ve given birth is clearly anti-family and anti-woman, right?

        4. What’s wrong with strippers? How empowering it is for a woman to have such power over a man that he pays cash to view her body. Not touch, not interact, just look. I see nothing wrong with it. Judge not lest ye be judged.

          1. I like your argument. The men are the ones being used after all. The woman who is a stripper has more personal power than any other woman because she’s not afraid to use her sexuality to take advantage of stupid men.

          2. Thank you Faith. Your comment in all this really made me cheer up amidst all this “must not act like a stripper” nonsense. I agree that it is empowering.

    3. I personally nurse wherever, whenever. I’m not discreet at all. :-) there is no reason to be. I refuse to go out of my way to find a less busy area or a booth in the back of a restaurant. I’ve had waiters cringe at the sight of me nursing. No matter where you go or how much you cover, there will still be looks and comments. So I do it openly and dare anyone to say something. People are so ignorant. I never bother to list the health benefits or anything if someone is blatantly rude to me, I tell them simply: “it is my right. It is within the law and it’s none of your business. Go away.” i respect other women’s choices to be… “courteous” and use other methods to be discreet, as long as you are doing it because it makes you feel comfortable. :-)

      1. I wholehearted agree with you. I proudly nursed uncovered until mt daughter was the and a half! I did so because the more you see it, the more normal it becomes-

          1. But not uncovered after they were babies, and not even in public after they were two. As babies they didn’t understand a cover. Basically this comes down to babies’ rights, not to women’s rights. They get very bad stomach cramps when they’re hungry. You are causing them pain by selfishly inhibiting their mothers from feeding them. Children are treated like dirt in this society.

      2. I am a fairly new nursing mom (6 wks) and I was never aware of all this breastfeeding drama maybe because in my area is a lot of Hispanics and it is very normal for them to pull out a boob but I know I get looks like people don’t expect if from me. I am just laughing at the top vs. Bottom debate. I personally have always worn an undershirt so it works that I just leave that down and don’t have to expose my tummy for my benefit not theirs but whichever way is faster out the top or the bottom when you’ve got a wiggly hungry baby. I have tried the cover but it’s 100+ here in the summer and it’d torture for both of us. I’ve always thought of myself as a very modest person I don’t wear short shorts or normally show a lot of skin but at this point I don’t care. God put them there to feed these babies u don’t see all these people complaining about Victoria secret commercials.

  3. Breast feeding is undoubtedly the healthiest choice for our babies and feeding them wherever and whenever should be fine too. If feeding a baby with. A bottle is ok, then feeding a baby with a breast is ok. The perceived need to breast feed discretely makes me cross too. My daughter would consistently come off and look around. I would have stayed in for 3 years of each of my children’s lives. If people aren’t ok with breast feeding, they have a problem. What if I am not ok with people shouting at their children – personally I hate time out so maybe people should make sure they aren’t obvious when they do that. … The more women breast feed, the more children and other people see it, the more society will see it is normal ordinary and beautiful. No covers please. No appeals for a discretion that a new mu struggling with latching may not manage. No it is ok to breast feed if…… it is ok to breastfeed

      1. “Breast feeding is undoubtedly the healthiest choice for our babies….”
        As a mother who could not breast feed…..this statement is so frustrating. It is statements like this that made me take a prescribed drug to try to get my breasts to cooperate & feed my child. I painfully engorged three times to no avail. Many days & nights I was a hormone filled crying mess because of my fear that my child wouldn’t be healthy. My child is healthy & doing fine, even if he was bottle fed. When speaking to other mothers, please refrain from saying this is THE healthiest choice. Sometimes there is no other choice than to bottle feed.

        1. Medically speaking, breastfeeding IS the healthiest choice for the vast majority of babies. The fact that you couldn’t doesn’t change that fact. Saying that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice does not mean that formula-fed children can’t be healthy, it just means that overall, breastfeeding is healthier. If there is no other choice than to bottle feed, then you are doing what is best for YOUR baby, but that doesn’t mean that it is THE healthiest choice for babies. Saying that breastfeeding is healthier does not undermine your attempts to breastfeed, nor does it make you a bad mother because you couldn’t. Your child was fed and loved. That’s what mattered most, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lisa mentioned, nor does a statement of that fact undermine you. I hope that you can move past the obvious guilt you feel for not being able to breastfeed. You nurtured your child and did your best. Be proud of that Momma and let your guilt go.

          1. I think what Alisha was trying to say is that it would be nice if those who can breast feed…regardless that its best…would keep in mind, that it does hurt a lot of us when that is said, because a lot of us wish we could have. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be said; I’m just saying it would be nice if one would be conscious of others feelings, that’s all. I always make an effort to support breastfeeding and I hope that some of you would be more supportive to those who bottle feed for whatever reason, it shouldn’t matter why.

          2. There are increasing studies that question that, showing only mild benefits at best- benefits that do NOT outweigh the benefit of happy parents. Many of the benefits can also be added with simple supplements that are readily available and safe for babies. There are also times when the nursing parent can’t or isn’t getting enough nutrients and so the baby suffers from serious nutrient deficiencies while EBFd.

            “Breast is best” is not objectively, scientifically proven – it’s opinion. There are many instances where breast is NOT best. There have always been parents who can’t breastfeed and babies who need breastmilk substitutes- now there’s finally a substitute that’s actually comparable.

          3. No. In many cases breastfeeding isn’t healthy for you or the child at all. Its not “undoubtedly the healthiest choice”, and saying it is (let alone the hate and insults thrown at mothers who use formula) causes a lot of people to do unhealthy things in order to try and make it happen. For some kids its a great healthy thing. For others, it can be harmful. You should figure out yourself what works.

            Likewise, if you’re a mom who’s happy to whip out her boobs in public, by all means, whip them out. Heck, you don’t even have to breast feed if you don’t want to IMO. But if you’re someone who feels less secure, cover up. Like other comments have said, this article is kinda bunk. We did both at times. Kids will deal with a cover, especially if they’re exposed to it when they’re young. Some of them even like it!

        2. It is more than an individual choice, it is a public health issue. This is why “breast is best” is such a mantra. Bottle feeding is always an option, and I for one am glad. I javr had to supplement with formula since my daughter was born. I have jumped through many hoops to breastfeed her. I can’t “exclusively bf” either, however, I am not offended by “breast is best”. I believe it, and I think all women should hear it. I forgave myself long ago for not being able to exclusively bf, and you should too. Whether it lasts 4 days, 4 months or 4 years, all bfing journeys are different.

          1. MArgaret,
            I was very moved by your comment. I have watched a close family member struggle to forgive herself. In my reckoning, there is nothing to forgive. It sounds like you and others on this page in the same situation are heros for working so hard.
            I was lucky; we had a struggle but my daughter and I were able to keep going. My doctor made the most comforting comment after seven weeks, “You know, you’ve tried so hard. There are other healthy ways to feed your baby.” Having alternatives acknowledged out loud was a tremendous relief. I think a healthy mother who isn’t climbing an extra mountain of guilt every day is best for babies too.
            I wish my relative who can’t nurse could see what my husband and I see: a true champion. She’ll have my respect and love forever for her abundant love and conscientious effort. Nothing to forgive there.

        3. Alisha,
          Sorry you had that experience. Mine is similar. And now my baby is nursed AND bottle fed donor milk because it is the healthiest choice. Just because it may be hurtful to your particular situation doesn’t make the science any less accurate.

        4. Advocating for breastfeeding is NOT attacking formula feeding. If you tried to breastfeed to badly you obviously know that breastfeeding was the ideal for your child and wanted that for them, but couldn’t provide them with that so you provided them with what you could. There are many ideal situations that we as mothers must face that we simply can’t provide for our children. Recognizing that breast is best is not saying formula is bad, but that it’s not BEST. You do what you can for your child.

        5. As one who struggled to provide breast milk for my children. It’s the word “choice” that makes us feel judged. Feeding my children formula wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity. There are a lot of moms out there who are advocates of breast-feeding and understand that it is the healthiest food we can give our children. It just that some of us don’t have that choice. When moms who are successful with breast feeding say that just made a choice they imply that that those moms who couldn’t produce sufficient breast milk choose not to give their children the best nourishment that they could.

          1. I try not to feel judged about it. I have actually felt nothing but support when I had to supplement with formula. Ironically, it was the choice to continue breastfeeding that was met with judgement. From family, friends, general public, complete strangers, work colleagues. It was quite surprising. I have to supplement at the breast. I get a lot of “that sounds like a ton of work, why don’t you just bottle feed?” And it is a lot of work, but it’s what I feel is best for me and my daughter.

        6. So they should not speak the truth because it makes YOU uncomfortable? You’re no different than the people who tell them to cover up in public. I sense a troll.

          1. I support breast feeding. Any woman should be able to feed their child in public without being told to cover up. I wanted the choice of solely breast-feeding my children. But my body would not produce sufficient milk. I struggled every day to pump enough milk for my children – producing anywhere from 3-6 oz a day. My freezer was packed with milk bags so I could ensure that each of my children would be able to have at least 4 oz of milk a day for a year. I would cry – particularly at the beginning – because I wasn’t “woman” enough to give my children only breast milk. The simple FACT is that for some woman – like me – are unable to choose breast feeding, so we are left with formula. If you can’t understand the subtle differences in that – well, that is your problem.

          2. Everyone needs to remember that this is about the babies’ feelings, not about your feelings as a mother who could not breastfeed. No one should make you feel guilty. Every mother is different and every baby is different. But this is not about your feelings as a mother who could not breastfeed, it’s about allowing babies to breastfeed if they can and want to.

          3. No, she is not trolling when it comes to the guilt about NOT being able to breastfeed. My sister is THE most amazing mom but she had a lot of guilt because she was going to be a working mother and couldn’t breastfeed.
            Most of these ladies posting are in this new generations of moms that act like they are the first to ever give birth; forget the fact that they were likely breastfed with a cloth diaper over their face, that’s not good enough for THEIR child. They bring their well behaved angel with them for their date night because they don’t trust a babysitter, then get angry if someone glares at them because their kid is being horrible, ruining OTHER peoples date night, but it’s ok because “kids are kids”. Everywhere and everything should be kid friendly. Your child gets a bad grade, the teacher is a bully; forget the fact that your kids in soccer, judo, cub scouts so they didn’t have time to do their homework.. not YOUR angel, obviously its the teacher.
            Ugh; I get your kids when they are 18-21 year old, then get to knock them down about 5 pegs after they’ve joined the military and try to guide them so they are able to get through their tour without going to jail and getting kicked out with a felony on their record. Is that a bit extreme jump from the breastfeeding uncovered to that, but I see it everyday.

        7. THANK YOU!!! I too dried up over night and I too took Rx to bring it back, but it wouldn’t. I felt like a complete failure. I couldn’t provide for my child. He was going to be lacking in his health for the rest of his life and it was MY FAULT. I too HATE that phrase with every fiber of my being.

          1. Melissa, I’m so sorry you went through all that. I hope now you understand that you are not a failure and that formula was the best nutrition for your baby. Formula fed babies are just add healthy as bf babies : )) In the big scheme of a child’s life it will NOT matter [AT ALL] if that child was ff or bf – not at all!! On your child’s college applications they do not ask if you were ff or bf lol!! Children grow up way too fast, and there are so many other things that are much more important [in parenting] than what you fed your child when he was an infant. It is really sad that you were made to feel so bad about yourself. And, yes ladies, shouting “breast is best” does make some women feel horrible, so use your words carefully. You could be making some woman [who tried her best but was unable to bf] feel like a failure, feel miserable, become depressed, and even worse. If you don’t care that you are making someone else feel that way, then you should reevaluate your character – who you are as a person. You can claim the statement “breast is best” is a fact, but “facts” about what is best for a baby change all the time. And if the shoe was on the other foot, maybe you could see more clearly. I personally just laugh at the “breast is best” chanting, because having much older children, I know [for a fact] that what they ate as infants doesn’t even matter or affect their lives in any way

          2. It is terrible that some mom’s are made to feel so bad about not being able to breastfeed bc of the constant “breast is best” chanting. But the fact is that there is no difference in the long run, so don’t feel guilty, don’t feel bad, don’t stress – your child will not be any less bc he or she was formula fed : )) Just some info to share: Sociologist Cynthia Colen’s cleverly designed new study, which looked at 1,773 sibling pairs in which one had been breastfed and the other had not, and found that — when these kids were between the ages of 4 and 14 years old-there were no statistically significant differences in their BMI, obesity rates, hyperactivity, parental attachment levels, behavioral compliance, or several measures of academic achievement.

        8. Alisha, do not feel guilty and just ignore all the “breast is best” stuff : )) You are not a troll (as one other woman rudely stated), and your comment & feelings are valid (ignore the rude people attacking you.) You did what was BEST for your baby : )) There is nothing wrong with formula and it is excellent nutrition for your baby!! Formula fed babies are just as healthy as bf babies : )) And guess what ladies – 18 years from now, when your “baby” is graduating high school & going to college (as my oldest will be), it DEFINITELY will not matter if that child was ff or bf!! It will be insignificant!! What actually matters is raising a child with good character – who cares if they had formula or bm as an infant!! Moms spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME arguing over this bf vs ff thing, and it is just a small, tiny part of a child’s life. And, yes, I formula fed all 4 of my children. I do not feel the need to explain why to anyone, and I find it sad that mom’s who ff feel they need to explain what went wrong with bfing and feel guilty or bad about themselves. Trust me, it really will not matter at all in the big scheme of things : ))

          1. Thank you, Mind Over Matter Mom. Lexi, your comment is less than intelligent. MOMM gets it. Its a real struggle that can become all encompassing. There are mom’s who do “choose” the bottle because its easier, but there are a lot of moms like me who fully and passionately bought into the, “breast is best” line of reasoning, only to have it not work out. It was DEVASTATING for me. I had guilt up the yin yang. If I’m being honest, thinking about having been a bottle-feeder still strikes a chord deep within because it was NOT MY CHOICE. I would have loved to blissfully breastfeed in front of the pope or anyone else. I’d tell everyone to shove it (in a nice gentle voice, not to disturb my daughter’s meal). But the reality was that I got preeclampsia, my daughter was induced early, after a day of struggle with still trying for a “natural birth”, I had a C-section. It turned out that my baby was too sleepy and weak to breast feed. So I pumped and pumped as much as I could. I got the lactation coach and went to classes. I stayed away from La Leche because I knew I was feeling anxious and depressed and I heard those women could drive a struggling mom to absolute insanity… So I stuck with nurses. After about 7 weeks, the amount of milk I was producing was negligible and I was certifiable. Against the objections of my then-husband (yeah, he was not a great partner for anything, especially dealing with post-partum), but on the advice of my doctor, I gave up and started taking anti-depressants. Like I said, I still feel bad about it, even though I know very well that those feelings are irrational.

            However, it prompted me to really focus on what my daughter ate when she was ready for real food. Now she’s 3 1/2 and I have a feeling that the healthy taste she has for organic veggies, fruit and whole grains, her mommy’s LOVE, her daddy’s LOVE, and better-adjusted home environment is what will make her a healthy person.

            I would NOT wish the torture I endured from the disappearance of the “choice” of whether or not to breastfeed on anyone. It is ignorant to assume that it is a choice for everyone. Even if someone decides to make that choice for their family, although I might not understand the reasons, we must respect that they have theirs. We don’t know how it really feels to be in a situation where a choice must be made until we are in one.

            And like MOMM says… breastfeeding is not a make or break. My girl is just fine.

  4. [email protected] says:

    Many people make a career out of causing trouble or being offended. They are staring at the mom to see if they can detect a nipple or more breast than they deem ‘modest’ or ‘discreet’. I nursed 5 kids for a total of 24 years. That’s tandem nursing my firstborn twins for a year, my 3rd for a year, and tandem nursing my last two for five years each. I reject the notion that you must be ‘modest’ or ‘discreet’. I nursed everywhere. Older kids less frequently and mostly at home because they didn’t need it. It’s not anyone else’s business how you nurse. Suggest they look elsewhere if they don’t like it. Covering is ridiculous. It’s offensive to me to be asked to cover up, move, leave, go to the bathroom, or stop. Stand your ground, moms, or you are part of the problem by allowing discrimination of nursing moms to continue.
    Did my son’t soccer teammates tease him about sucking mommy’s titty? Yes. Did it stop me? No. Did it make him a stronger man to stand up for his mom and nursing and not be bullied? Yes. Did I fight his battles? No. Did I take the Breast is Best sticker off my soccer mom van? No. I was friendly, open, and warm to everyone. If someone asked me to stop I just said no and carried on. They always backed down. It hardly ever happened because I had an attitude of assuming that what I was doing was fine and people just accepted it. Grow a vagina, women, and fight for what is right by doing the right thing!

  5. Firstly this is a well written and reasoned article. I couldn’t agree with you more and the whole photographing and logging of the stress is really useful visually to drive home the point. Unfortunately those that we are trying to see reason are not reasonable. All we can do us keep normalising nursing in public by doing it. When chikdren come up to look, smile and answer their endless questions. Perhaps the next generation will learn from our examples rather than the ignorance that seems prevalent in the comments on any article surrounding breastfeeding. All typed whilst nursing my youngest child without a cover. His sister is preoccupied so not having to manage typing while tandeming! 😉 gosh imagine that with a cover on too x

  6. I love this article… and the pictures of trying to nurse with a cover are pretty funny… I know all too well!

    It never worked to cover up past a couple of months of age, and I only did it because the babe and I were still working out our nursing relationship. I do find it sad that it’s necessary to cover up that early stage – it’s fairly counterproductive! Once we got nursing down… I ditched the cover, and I found that just a nursing tank covered with a regular shirt made it really easy. I barely show anything or else it’s blocked by the baby’s head, and like someone else said above… it’s not like I’m running around topless!

  7. I was unable to nurse my children due to medical issues. I was made to feel like I was not a good mother because of it by those who did breast feed. I am not a person who is for or against breast feeding it is one of the ways that to we as moms can bond and nurture our children, it is not the only way. As far as covering up all of my nieces have used covers from the beginning and have no trouble. You should cover up if it is making someone else feel uncomfortable. See don’t fear for our children because we live in a society of people who want breastfeeding moms to cover up, I fear for my children because we live in a society that says it is all about me. All about how I feel, all about my way of thinking, all about me pushing my agenda onto you and if you don’t like it tough. How will how children learn to have true compassion for others if we don’t model it to them? Even if they are young one day they will ask you about it mine did. I told them I wished I could of breast feed them but was unable to and they asked me if I would have just done it in public and I told them no I would have covered up because it makes some people feel uncomfortable and that it is sometimes about the other person not us. It doesn’t make what we are doing wrong it just shows the other person we care about them too.

    1. It’s funny, you say that we should be compassionate and care about how others feel but why doesn’t that apply to nursing moms and babies? Why can’t you or others like you feel compassion for a nursing child that doesn’t want to be covered? I think a adult should be able to reason and look away much easier than an infant being asked to go hungry for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.

      I’m beginning to think we should campaign for bottle fed babies to be covered or out of sight too. If all the nursing babes should be covered then all the bottle fed should be too. If you start from the beginning it shouldn’t be a problem! Children never change their minds.

      1. I’m so tired of the “feeding with a bottle is the same as feeding with the breast” argument. It. Is. Not. The. Same.

        1. How is it not the same? You’re feeding your baby. It is not obscene, it is not sexual. You are meeting your baby’s needs. That. Is. It.

        2. MJ,
          It is the same. You are still meeting your child’s nutritional needs. You are just doing so with a different form. Unless you are using breast feeding to fulfill a need in you it is the same.
          There are benefits to both types of feeding. Not only did I get to bond during this time with my children so did their father. Both of my children are extremely healthy and very bright, loving people. We are a very close family who both my husband and I used the time we feed our children to bond with them just as if they were on my breast. We sang to them, read to them, spoke with them just like any other parent. Remember there was once a time when Dr.s told mom’s not to breast feed (dumb advice as I am sure you would agree) and that generation did not grow up sickly or without motivation. I never meant to insult you, just thought maybe there needed to be a voice for those who for whatever reason chose not to breast feed to start being heard.

        3. No, it’s not the same. It can cause a nipple confusion in younger infants and no matter what manufacturers are trying to tell you, they cannot reproduce the natural nipple in silicone. There’s a huge difference and babies just know. I know mine would not take the silicone nipple. Then there’s the whole issue with the flow of milk. The first few mouthfuls are pretty thin, sugary (delivering carbs) water to quench the initial thirst and settle easily in the stomach, then as baby sucks milk changes to thicker more heavier consistency. That’s where the proteins and fats are. NO BOTTLE can reproduce what nature intended and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

          1. Zirinka, those of us who couldn’t bf know all about how the breast works, we’re not stupid… no need to rub it in, but you do bond just the same.

          2. While nipple confusion can be an issue, sometimes a mother has no choice but to use bottles for feeding expressed milk at first. My son was born nearly nine weeks early, and needed to learn to suck, swallow and breathe without choking from a bottle before we could start breastfeeding. This is because I needed to be able to watch him for signs that he wasn’t breathing, which was too difficult if he was on the breast. Additionally, due to his size, he needed a calorie fortifier added to my milk to help him gain weight. He had latching issues for a while, but we were able to transition from bottle to breast just fine. However, due to the need to watch him for signs of distress, nursing with a cover over him was not safe.

      2. Heather why are you so angry? Never did I say I did not have compassion for breast feeding mothers or any mothers for that matter. You assume that because I do not agree with being uncovered. Just because someone does not agree with you does not mean they don’t have compassion or respect for you as a person. BTW I did feed my babies with a bottle because of medical reasons. One of my children was born with a vocal cord that didn’t work and she could not breast feed and yes I did so in private because I used that time as a bonding time. A time to be alone and quite and to make it about us not about a cause or a conviction. I am not judging anyone and sorry if you feel so but maybe you should spend more time wondering why you feel so strongly as to attack a person you do not know or a attack another persons convictions all the while screaming that you should be allowed to follow yours come what may. You assume that because I placed a thought before you that I agree with that thought that I feel you should always cover up, I didn’t say that. What I said is why not think of others sometimes, why not put yourself in their place, what is so wrong with once in a while not forcing your agenda on someone else? Again sorry if you are offended by what I have written not my intentions. BTW my children are now in high school and getting ready to start their own lives and if my daughter has the great honor of becoming a mom I hope she remembers that raising a child is an honor and a does so in peace and love and follows the convictions of her heart in a way that promotes respect to all.

        1. But don’t you understand that add nursing mothers that don’t want to it can’t cover up, we feel that those that want us to cover are pushing their agendas on us without any compassion. Why is it ok for them to do that? Why aren’t you imploring them to work on their acceptance of others? Why are only nursing mums being asked to be considerate?

        2. A BF moms agenda is to satisfy our infants needs…. you make it sound as though we are plotting against the universe. Our babies get hungry too

    2. I am so sorry that you weren’t able to nurse, especially if you wanted to and missed out on that experience. I admit that I felt like you did before I started nursing – why not respect people’s feelings and cover up? However, I quickly learned that my son, for all that he was an amazing nurser, wasn’t willing/able to do so effectively under a cover. So, who’s feelings/needs do I think of? My hungry infant or a stranger’s emotions? My son never took a bottle, no matter how hard we tried, no matter how hungry. I always revealed as little skin as possible when nursing and I’d bet that most people who saw us assumed I was just holding my baby. But even if someone was uncomfortable seeing it, is that more important than a hungry baby? I had a 4 year old and a husband who worked long hours, I couldn’t just stay at home or only go out without the baby. What if I don’t like to watch a person with a disability or an elderly person eat? They can be messy or gross or spill or drool – they might make loud or weird noises. Should their caretakers feed them only in private? Under a blanket if they’re in public? That sounds pretty mean, doesn’t it? I know that people who say it’s about respecting others really mean it in the best possible way, I was there with you – until I was on the other side of it.

      1. Very good point. I find adult people eating pretty disgusting. I find babies eating adorable, breast or bottle.

        Where’s the consideration for my feelings when I go out in public and people start eating a sandwich right in front of me? Ugh. Gross. They should do that somewhere else, like their car or toilet, not somewhere everyone can see them! Everyone should bring a picnic blanket with them anywhere they go. That way they can put the picnic over their head if they absolutely cannot wait to eat the sandwich they go home. Although they really should have eaten before they left! Don’t they know when their lunchtime is?

        1. I love this post! Amen Sister! Its bring your picnic blanket everywhere day this would be a great way to silently protest pro breastfeeding.

    3. I agree. Covering up is not a bad thing, and it is not nearly as stressful as it is pictured above if you’ve done it from the beginning. I’m currently nursing our #4, and I’ve breastfeed the 3 before him. I don’t cover up at home (unless I’m in front of an open window), but if we are somewhere public I do. I do not however go to a different room to nurse ~ I do it wherever we are. I cover because *I* don’t even like my breasts to be visible. Plus I know some are uncomfortable with it, namely my husband. He prefers me to be covered when others are around (especially men), and part of me respecting him and his concerns is to cover up. After all, this parenting thing is a team effort, isn’t it? :)
      PS This time, I’ve been using those gauze blankets as my cover, especially when it’s hot (Aden and Anais is the brand of the pricey ones, but you can get cheaper ones at Marshall’s :) ). They allow for much more airflow so neither of us are hot or uncomfortable!

      1. It’s a shame your husband doesn’t trust or support you and feels you are doing something sexual. That’s your problem, and his, not the rest of society.

        1. I bet her husband doesnt think its sexual. I bet he trusts and supports her. Way to stir up strife, Nora. If you wanted to say something find a bettwr way to say it than being accusational. It is very wrong to assume someone elses motivations for wanting their wife to cover up. My husband fully supports me breastfeeding but doesn’t want me to do it without a cover in public. Its July and its hot. I am creative so I am about to make a shirt that will cover their face and my breast without lifting my shirt. I really dont want another man to see my side boob or my nipple. Thats my choice. I dont even bare my cleavage. Thats my choice. My son pops off and on a lot. I have nursed 3 kids in 4 years. Every single day I have nursed. It is not that hard for me to cover up because none od my boys cared.
          Please, whatever side of the arguement you are on, do not condemn mamas who nurse. Do not belittle their choice to cover or not. I choose to cover. I would like others to as well but I understand if they dont. Its their choice.

          1. Yes, a choice is exactly what it is. Covers are for mom and/or baby’s comfort, not to protect others’ delicate sensibilities. Thankfully my husband realizes that breastfeeding is not sexual and cares most about what’s best for our children. He also cares about how my children and I are most comfortable and doesn’t try to dictate our breastfeeding relationship by insisting I cover. Again, it’s a choice. Just because some cover doesn’t mean everyone has to.

          2. Heather,
            I completely agree with you! 100%! We need to support each other, not bash each other! Don’t we get enough if that from others without doing so to each other?

      2. I’ve tried covering up with the Aden and Anais muslins too but my six month old won’t stand for it. I used to be able to cover up in public when younger. Now she kicks and squeals, knocking off the cover every time. I just wish places would at least have a discreet place to nurse or *gasp* nursing rooms. A friend of mine lives in Singapore and says they are in most places. I am a bit embarrassed myself about nursing in public but don’t see anything wrong with providing nourishment for a child. It should be more accepted so mothers are able to tend to a child’s needs at any given moment.

      3. I’m sorry but YES it truly IS as hard as she pictured, and even if you cover from the beginning. I had trouble balancing baby and cover in the hospital! I always covered in public for about 3 months until my son started fighting me much the same way this child pictured does. I eventually had to decide that my child’s feelings were more important than an adult who had every capability to look away.

      4. It CAN be as frustrating as this even “if you’ve done it from the beginning.” I covered with my first child from the very beginning. But when she got to be about 4 months old it began to look EXACTLY like this. Not all babies are the same. It is perfectly ok that you and your husband have that understanding in your relationship. That’s what works best for you and your family. But it’s not fair to expect that everyone else should have the same kind of relationship, or for their baby to act the same way. My husband has absolutely no issues with me nursing our second child, uncovered, anywhere we are. He does not find it disrespectful to him and we are all less stressed (including the baby) by not having a fight with an exploratory infant to keep a cover over him when he doesn’t want it. That’s what works for me and my family. It may not for someone else. It’s just not fair to make blanket statements.

    4. Nobody can make you feel anything, how you choose to feel is your choice. am woman nursing her baby isn’t looking around at other women to make a point, amazingly they are nursing their babies, end of. I’m sorry you’ve got issues, but they are your own and you alone can deal with them

    5. I totally agree. It *DOES* make some people feel very uncomfortable. For the sake of being discreet, there’s ways to make nursing less “out there.” even without a nursing cover. I think some nursing moms take it to the next level and WANT to flaunt that they are doing it, raising a big stir so that they can feel like some sort of super hero. lol Most people don’t care if you nurse in public, it’s those that are not being modest about it that cause the issue. Boobs are for feeding babies, yes. BUT they are STILL sexual, no matter how you put it. Lots of pervs on Instagram LOVE looking at nursing pics and getting off. (and other social media). The thing is, if you know it’s going to offend people, why do it? Most people can nurse in public without anyone knowing and without a cover. Those who get a reaction are mainly people who are trying to get a reaction from people.

      1. I have never seen a mother ‘flaunt’ their nursing breasts, myself included. This is totally your spin on viewing the nursing and it is the reason women get so much crap about it.

        1. You must not get out much!!!! LOL I nursed my babies. The reason why people get crap for it is because they WANT the attention.

          1. Nope, it is because of women like you who insist on shaming other women for feeding their babies in public. As I said, I nursed 5 children for a total of 24 years, anywhere and everywhere. Never in a bathroom, never under a cover, never flaunting my boobs. Naturally, easily, chatting with people and smiling, not hiding and not making eye contact like a pariah. The people who need to be ashamed are the ones who make nursing in public something to hide.

          2. no, sorry, it’s people like you who bring the attention and give women crap. I had a woman in a cheesecake factory insist on moving to another table because I was nursing my baby UNDER A COVER when he was very small. I no longer use a cover, but I will always remember that woman.

          3. Really? The only reason people get crap for it is because they WANT the attention? Then why is it that the ONLY time I got a rude comment about my breastfeeding was when I was using a cover? It was winter, and I was wearing a turtleneck. Literally the ONLY skin you could see on me was my head and hands. The woman who commented glared at me as she was walking by my booth at a restaurant and said, “That is just vulgar. You should go do THAT in the bathroom.”

            Vulgar. Because I was feeding my baby, in the corner booth of a restaurant (no one else around me, and one side of me was against the wall) with no skin showing at all. You couldn’t even see the baby’s feet.

            And for the record, that was the only one of my three babies who would tolerate the cover (and even then, it was only until she was bout 6 months old and it started getting hot outside again). The other two started thrashing at it very early — around 3 months or so. I just made sure to dress for easy, modest access (usually a nursing tank under another shirt, which pulled up from the bottom), and I never got another negative comment.

      2. Lots of pervs on Instagram love looking at photos of children (or toEs our whatever their fancy). Let’s keep or children indoors our covered at all times.
        This argument makes no sense.

      3. As if I should care what other people think? I should care if they are uncomfortable? I don’t. I have never really cared much about what strangers think of me, and I’m not about to start caring at the ripe old age of 40.

        I’m pregnant with my first, and when he’s hungry, I will feed him. I have zero plans to add in a cover or blanket so that other people will feel better about what I am doing to take care of my child.

        If they can’t bear the sight of the side of my breast, then they can turn their head and look elsewhere.

        Other people’s opinions on how I choose to nourish my child are completely unimportant to me.

        1. I love this what about these women over in Africa that dont wear a bra and their boobs just hang loose People here would have a fit to see thoes women feeding their babys come on now there is not a thing wrong with breast feeding your child when you are out and like this lady said if they dont want to see the side of her breast dont look where she is sitting and they wont see it if you dont like it leave or turn your head the other way I am a 68year old grandmother and I see nothing wrong with it so go ahead and nurse your babys where you want to

      4. It’s funny because everyone is freaking out about this comment and going on and on about how it’s “people like you” that make breastfeeding in public a problem, etc, etc, however this woman clearly states that a woman can breastfeed in public WITHOUT A COVER and that is perfectly fine. If it’s just about feeding your baby, then there usually isn’t a problem (obviously there are some exceptions.) I have seen women breastfeed babies a million times without a cover, and most of the time you cannot even tell the difference if they are feeding or just holding the baby. There is no trick to that, and no cover required. But yes, she is correct, there are some women who want to broadcast “I can breastfeed in public and I’m going to do it as openly as possible and you can’t stop me!!” And, yes, they do draw more attention to themselves, because they want to prove a point. They do have another agenda, and that is to prove to everyone that breastfeeding needs to be accepted in public. I personally feel that regardless of how you feed your baby, it should be about you and the baby, not about trying to prove a point or make a statement to the world.

    6. First, I am very sorry you had issues nursing your children. Though it does sound as though you have peace with that circumstance, so for that I am glad, because you should.
      As for covering in public, I have just proven that it would be impossible for my nursling and I to achieve that. How long were your nieces breastfed? My guess is that it wasn’t muchpast infancy, and if it was, great, but know that it is not the norm. It is a mistake to think that all mothers who nurse in public are doing it to make a point. I nurse for one reason only – to feed my child. I have no other agenda. And I believe that to be true for nearly all other mothers.
      I can’t live my whole life making sure my actions do not offend others. If we did that interracial couples would never hold hands down the street, homosexual couples would keep their PDA indoors, and women would still be covering their ankles. It is healthy to challenge our cultural bias against nursing in public. Most anywhere else in the world nursing is as boring as buttering toast. We are very much in the minority that nursing in public is even an issue for some.
      Nursing in public is not a sign of lack of compassion. My children will grow to respect nursing mothers and the female body as it was intended. They will softly smile to a nursing mother knowing that the she has her babe’s best interest at heart and is not afraid of the unkind judgement people will bestow upon her for doing so.

      1. I work retail. I have seen women who are discrete and women who are bold when feeding their children in public. Some women expose more bare breast just wearing the clothes they choose than if they were NIPing.

    7. So you’re jealous of those who can nurse, and want to project your insecurity about breastfeeding onto other mothers. You must be a really fun friend to have around.

      1. Margaret,
        Who said I was jealous? WOW!!! Not sure how to even reply to you. So Sorry that you feel so unsure about your decision as to attack my point of view. Maybe if you were not so harsh you would have not been so keen to attack me in such a way. I am not a jealous person at all. I never said anything about judging others for living by their convictions. I merely stated that you don’t need to push an agenda in other’s faces. There are ways to breast feed in public with out having to fully cover up your child. Sorry if my having an opinion other than yours offends you but you really need to not attack others the way you attack me, it isn’t nice.

        1. Not an attack, an astute observation. Your issues with breastfeeding in public are yours, and it appears to me they stem from the fact that you couldn’t breastfeed. Otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned it at the outset. Your need to ensure that “others” respect that you want them to cover up can only be a projection of your jealousy that you couldn’t do what those mothers are doing.

        2. I nursed three out of four children for a year each, and let me just say that sometimes it was a matter of circumstance that I would use a cover, if we were out at a Christmas parade and it helped keep them warm or make them snuggle up to take a nap. However, as it should also be compared in the summer to leaving babies in a hot car, the temperature climbs under a cover and over my dead body will I let some pervert who’s trying to catch a peek of my nipple to prove a point prevent me from allowing my baby to be comfortable while they eat. Do me a favor and next time it is ninety degrees out, take your meal outside with you like you’re going to have a picnic. Instead of sitting on the blanket, put it over your head while you eat and let me know how long you last. As they get older they also get creative with nursing positions, they flip upside down and spin around and take a peek at their surroundings and so far we have been lucky and not had our babies arrested for daring to let go of a latch for a minute to take in their surroundings during a meal. We as breastfeeding mothers have a legal right to feed anytime anywhere we like, and we should be the ones shaming the people who intrude their glances (which are usually more like stares), just to have another reason to be offended by getting involved in someone else’s business who dared to feed their child in public. Grow up and get over it. It’s a hard decision to push through the first tough months of breastfeeding and any woman should be proud enough to have accomplished it without worrying about nosy people obsessed with not being able to avert their eyes if they don’t want to see it. You don’t want to see a boob, don’t look.

    8. I understand that you may feel you would have covered up for other peoples comfort, because you feel you need to respect them. I also think that in any situation that one has not been in themselves you can not say you would have done it differntly. The fact is you were not able to nurse, so you don’t understand fully the reality. We can all say if I were them I would have don’t this, but you weren’t and with that said you can not say you would do it differntly then others. Without experience you don’t know. I respect how you think, I just disagree. Breast feeding is the best and shouldn’t be excepted by all, it’s a simple fact of life, this is how we feed our children. There is no debating the fact, where ever you are you should be able to feed your child. I think it has nothing to do with respecting others comforts.

    9. If you think covering up while nursing is easy, I suggest that the next 10 times you dine outside of your house, you do so with your head completely covered by a cloth. When you’ve done that, please come back here and lecture those of us who don’t forcibly cover our babies’ heads against their will.

    10. A baby cannot be considerate of an adult’s social discomfort. It is not even something a baby can comprehend.

      We live in a society that just does not care about the young, in which babes in arms are actually supposed to cater to adults when their stomachs are hurting.

  8. MY BABY NEEDED ME TO LOOK AT HER WHEN WE BEGAN NURSING, IF i LOOKED AWAY SHE UNLATCHED. Now she is looking around allot more since six months, her awareness is much further than me. I HAVE ENORMOUS
    BREASTS AND THEY show as much or as little as my clothing allows. ( I prefer to nurse through the top of a tank with another shirt covering cleavage but sometimes pull up my shirt if the tops too tight for that (modest).. Some times they both come out at the beach or other side lye nursing times..

  9. No, Lynette, nursing bravely in public without heroic efforts to be discreet or modest is not all about me. It’s making a statement that what I am doing is absolutely fine, and your unsolicited attention to how I am feeding my baby is all about you. If you act ashamed or embarrassed or like you have something to hide beneath a blanket your nursing time will likely be shortened, and you are agreeing with those who would shame you.

    1. Fully agree! I nurse as often as we want whereever and whenever we want. My opinion is “if you don’t like it, there’s something wrong with you. Nursing is natural.” I don’t care what I’m wearing, if my baby needs to eat, he is being fed. <3

  10. In a way, I find my experience a lucky one I guess. Due to a breast reduction surgery, I was extremely lucky to even be able to breast feed at all. So my daughter had to get used to a bottle early in life, or she wouldn’t have been able to eat enough. I am sure the same will be said for my son when he shows up. I always had to do half b-milk, half formula. So if we were out in public and she got hungry in between feedings, we would just give her a bit of bottle. On the occasion she wouldn’t take it, I would go out to the car or into a bathroom stall. I just personally wasn’t comfortable feeding her in public. However, I have worked in restaurants and movie theaters and seen many a mother feeding and it never made me squeemish at all. It’s a natural part of life. Most mothers are as discreet as they can be anyway.

    1. So you would rather sit on a toilet and expose your child to disgusting germs and pathogens than sit in public and feed your baby? You would rather have people go to the washroom around you than show a nipple for 1 second in public? Do you eat your lunch on the toilet? I don’t think so.

      1. While many of us choose not to use public restrooms and such to fed… if she chooses to do that to make herself comfortable why on earth would you criticize her for it. That is just as wrong as those judging women who are feeding in public. Why can’t we support each mother’s decision about how modest she chooses to be.

      2. who said I fed my children in the bathroom? I am sorry but you seem to not be able to comprehend another person thinking differently than you and in doing so add words or meaning to what they have said. I am truly stump by your reaction to all of this. So sad that you can not handle a differing opinion in a mature manner.

        1. Shaming woman causes them to cower modestly and discreetly in a nasty public stall to feed their babies. With or without a cover they are scrutinized for the amount of breast flesh flashed. That’s the crime.

        2. Wow Lynnette, and you’re obviously not reading these responses thoughroughly and going on the defensive for no reason. No one said you’re feeding your children on the toilet / in the bathroom. Penny above said she does that and the response was to her about the bathroom. Stumped by your inability to step back there.

          in any case.. underatand your point of view, dont agree with it. Hungry babies take precedence over public comfort levels. The problem is that sometimes comfort levels need to be shaken up in society, especially when they do more harm than good. Somwone elaet mentioned how if we were to take everyone’s feelings into consideration, then people wouldn’t bw able to hold hands (interacial or LGBT etc communities), be themselves…oh hell, women wouldn’t even be able to work in high positions for fear of making the men uncomfortable in earning the same wages or being in less power. So yes it does make some people uncomfortable, and I don’t think it needs to be done in a non-tastefull way, but I beliwve it needs to be done because the taboo needs to be over and out. Just like thr taboos that came before. This is a fundamental right. We all start out as babies, everyone had a mother (at least biologically), women represent over half the population… It’s the most natural thing, and anything that makes it sexual is norms set by men and puritan religions. I get thst you disagree and feel that we ahould consider not imposing on otjers. But I just feel that others have been imposing on us for far too long. It’s an individual choice how we do it, but we should feel ok in making our own choices, and not be shamed like some have indicated.

    2. It sounds like giving your baby a bottle to supplement breastfeeding worked for you, but it isn’t the only way to supplement. Many women opt instead to supplement at the breast (using a feeding tube). This reduces the risk of early weaning and can boost milk supply – some women who did not produce enough milk to breastfeed exclusively at first were able to eventually stop supplementing after a few weeks or months because they were making more milk. Just wanted people to know that bottles are not the only option when supplements are needed.

  11. If you use a muslin blanket (bambinoland.com) it will work… They are breathable and they won’t overheat so baby’s don’t mind being covered with muslin to nurse!

    1. Aside from agreeing with Emma, re: “Why?”, the fact is, if you live in the Southern US, it really doesn’t matter how “lightweight” or “breathable” the fabric is. It’s still hot under there.

    2. I’ve used a muslin blanket and my baby kicks it off every time. Sorry but it doesn’t work for all babies.

    3. If you think covering up with a muslin blanket while nursing is easy, I suggest that the next 10 times you dine outside of your house, you do so with your head completely covered by a muslin blanket. When you’ve done that, please come back here and lecture those of us who don’t forcibly cover our babies’ heads against their will.

  12. I agree nursing wearing a cover is not only difficult but pretty much impossible. I can’t nurse my little girl with a cover, she refuses. So telling me to cover up is like telling me to starve my little girl or make her wait until we get to a different place where we can’t be seen… That’s not fair for her. Bottle fed babies get their bottles pretty quickly why should my breastfed baby have to wait just because she is fed differently

  13. Ridiculous that people seriously expect a baby to be hidden away while nursing and not able to have the eye contact with their mummy, ridiculous that people expect an infant/small child and it’s mummy to consider whether there is anyone who may have issues prior to nursing. It’s almost the sake as saying you can’t eat a bar of chocolate in public incase a diabetic gets offended. Idiocy and those expecting mummies to cover are selfish as they are hiding their issues under the guise of the nursing mother being unreasonable. Mind your own business, if it’s such an issei, you can walk away or better still put a blanket on your own head!

        1. No a troll is someone who would make reference to an extreme protocol group who committed genocide and relate that to someone online over something completely different. I was correcting my typos as I’d made mistakes in my original comment and couldn’t amend it. That isn’t trolling.

  14. I used a very light, silk scarf that let light in. Both of my boys were fine with it, and I tied it loosely so that they could still see me. That cover looks heavy. Maybe try a very light (in both color and texture) scarf?

  15. Women who tell mothers to cover up need to take a long walk off a short cliff. You are very, very stupid people with very backward views, who obviously did not read the article. This woman just showed, with pictures, how difficult it is to cover her son while breastfeeding. Most mothers go through the same thing with their babies, and babies HAVE to eat. Just because you don’t like it does not mean the world revolves around YOU and YOUR puritanical notions of modesty. Don’t like it, look away. If you have the gall to shame a woman who breastfeeds in public without a cover, you deserve to be shamed for your self-righteousness and ignorance. I also hear a surprising number of women who say they “couldn’t” breastfeed due to a medical condition, and for some reason they feel they have the right to tell a woman to cover up because that woman is doing something that they couldn’t do themselves. It’s pure jealousy. I too have a medical condition that could have made it impossible to breastfeed. But I found support and encouragement through a great lactation consultant, and I was able to, and I am damn proud of it. I can’t use a cover because of how I breastfeed, and I don’t want to use a cover because my child being able to breathe is more important than you. Next time you feel like shaming a woman for feeding in public, go to the bathroom, sit on the toilet and put a bag over your head and then chow down on your lunch. And please don’t ever come out of that bathroom, we don’t need women like you in our society. You’re ruining it for the rest of us.

    1. Margaret, I have to agree that the shaming starts with the women in our society, and the motivation is jealousy. Women are always throwing other women under the bus. The women whose husbands are jealous? This is their chance to educate them about breastfeeding and get them on their side as men supporting their women, not juveniles titillated by titties. The air around a nursing woman is saturated with feel-good hormones that bond the family and encourage them to work together and be chill. Use it!

    2. My issue is not with the act of breastfeeding. Kudos to any woman that breast feeds her child because it is better for her child. My issue is that MY young son should not see a woman’s breast exposed. My job is to do what is best for MY child. I am tired of society thinking that it is not considered exposing your breast if your nipple isn’t showing. Regardless, 97% of your breast is exposed in front of MY child. Just as you had stated, the world doesn’t revolve around YOU and YOUR idea’s of what is right and wrong. I personally could care less if I was alone and saw a woman breastfeeding. However, if I am with my son, I have every right to say something because whether you like it or not I am here to set boundaries for my own child. It is not your right to decide if your breastfeeding in front of my child is appropriate or not. I understand that it might be a little more difficult for you to cover yourself, however, YOU made the choice to breastfeed so you do not have the right to use that as an excuse for me to have to be more tolerant.

      1. Well by that same token, if you are out with your son and a mother begins to breast feed, you can discretely relocate to a more “non offensive” place where he doesn’t have to see it. Just because you chose to teach your son that breast feeding is dirty and a breast is only a play thing, shouldn’t mean that a mother should be shamed into a bathroom stall or under a blanket. Maybe those who are continuing to promote the objectivity of women to their young sons should carry a blanket and throw it over his face when a mother begins to nurse in public. After all it isn’t the nursing mothers problem that the mother of the son wants to continue an archaic tradition of teaching young men that beasts are dirty and only to be used as play things right?

          1. Just to be clear: not hear hear on the breastshaming, but on the throwing a blanket over your son.

      2. So the lesson you want your son to learn is that it is alright to shame a woman who is feeding her baby? Yikes. I am sad for you and your kid.

      3. If your young son grows up seeing breastfeeding, even just from you, he will be comfortable with it for the rest of his life. Seeing mothers nursing their babies helps children see that breasts are not sexual organs and shows them their intended use. It’s by allowing our children to see how natural and innocent it is that we will help the future generations feel comfortable breastfeeding their own children or supporting their spouses in breastfeeding, as well as decrease the objectification of women. If you have a problem with the idea of this, you can also teach your son that he can close his eyes, turn his head, face another direction, or leave the area.

      4. What? Do you also make sure he never sees any advertising worm women in lingerie? You should be more concerned with him being exposed to hardcore porn like a many young boys (and girls) are. For the last time: breastfeeding is not sexual and your soon is not too young to learn that.

      5. So you go right ahead and let your son grow up thinking that breasts are not a natural way to feed babies the way biology intended it, but that women should be ashamed of them and keep them covered even if it means the baby sweating and crying and being uncomfortable. Maybe if you’re lucky he’ll take on the “she was asking for it, look what she was wearing” way of thinking when it comes to dating. My kids understand that breasts serve a natural biological function, and are not to be objectified in a sexual manner, I think that is better than teaching them that women should be ashamed to feed their children because terrible people will judge them for doing what their body was made for.

      6. Actually, it is my right to breastfeed my child, without a cover, anywhere I have the right to be. So, if you bring your son to the same place I am, it’s my right to expose him to breastfeeding. If you disagree with that, then you should keep him home.

    3. Oh Margaret,

      I think your comments were incredibly immature, dripping with judgment, and rude. Arguing your point of view this way isn’t going to win you any supporters. I for one, could care a less how one choses to feed their baby, as long as they are fed with love. You need more tolerance for someone else ‘s opinion, as others need more tolerance for yours. Whether You like ones opinion or not, everyone is entitled to what they believe. I think it’s ridiculous you feel the need to tell those who don’t agree with you, to walk off a cliff and that they’re stupid. Just ignore them and go breastfeed in public, no need to let people offend you. We as women need to stick together, not tear each other apart because of differing opinions. Our goals are the same…to raise healthy, happy children.

      1. I think you are naive about the cost of negative attitudes towards nursing. I understand Margaret’s anger and it is good. It is power. My (nursing, homebirth) cousin was banned from her brother’s house because her (bottle-feeding, cesarean birthing) sister-in-law objected to her nursing her baby at their son’s birthday party. Fast-forward several years to the divorce and her kids were taken away from her after a lengthy campaign against her for her alternative views. Why is Margaret’s anger bad with no mention of the woman whose son can’t see breasts so women have to hide theirs from him when they nurse? More woman-shaming. Really, women? Keep us modest, discreet, passive, and submissive, and all is well?

      2. Thank you, Lynn, for the support. I am actually quite a tolerant, respectful person. I am also a human being who does not appreciate uppity women who butt into my business. On more than one occasion I have had people passive aggressively try to shame me for public breastfeeding. I just smile and continue on. However, not all women are as confident about it (ie. the toilet-feeders). I am indignant for them, because ignorant people shame them into staying home, or feeding on the toilet, or hiding breastfeeding altogether. Use a cover if it makes you comfortable, that’s none of my business. But don’t let these fools make you cower in a toilet stall. I am angry, you’re right. Because ignorance and stupidity anger me. I’m not trying to win support, but I think people need to be told when they are being ignorant, just like you feel it necessary to tell me that I am not being “nice”. Well, I really could not care less. Bitches get shit done.

  16. My baby loved the cover! For about three weeks. Then every time I would try it, he would panic. Milk everywhere, spit up everywhere, breast even more exposed than it would have been without the cover. So I came to this conclusion: I would not like to eat in the dark under a cover, so why would my baby? Great article; the photographs are very relatable!

  17. Part of nursing your babies is looking at your baby and loving them. I never used a cover, was always unexposed, and can not believe the issues on this page. Wow, we need some tolerance and compassion.

  18. For a little historical perspective on the issue:
    And it begs the question: What has changed that how breastfeeding is deemed gross and breasts are now sex objects? From my perspective it’s Playboy and all other porn that objectifies women. Breasts are for nourishing babies, PERIOD. Yeah, maybe they are a source of pleasure as well, and that’s well and good. But let’s not forget their primary function. NO SHAME!

    1. Not just the rise of rape culture, but this was all precipitated by Nestle realizing that they could monetize infant feeding through formula. Their marketing practices for the past 65ish years have been quite insidious. They have benefitted immensely from shaming women for breastfeeding, and so have all the other formula companies. I thought we were smarter than this, but from some of the comments here, we aren’t.

  19. What I tell people when they claim breasts are sexual thus why they need to be hidden while feeding babies: our mouths are also used for sexual purposes(at least most of us who are sexually active do use our mouths for those purposes!)–but the primary purpose of our mouths is to take in nourishment–so should we require people to hide their mouths while eating because someone might see that as sexual? Oh wait–they do that in some Middle East countries–but only for women–required to wear a burka and eat separately from men because some man might have “impure” thoughts by seeing her eat.

  20. Good grief, people! Lighten up! If you can feed your baby under a cover, cool. If not, ok. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to feed my girls (18 months and 16 months ongoing) with and without a cover. In fact, my current nursling is a boob fiend and gets excited when she sees the cover come out, haha! We use it as a comfort object when she’s tired on long car rides, as well. I personally prefer not to show any boob in public, plus I’m really uncoordinated so I am more likely to flash someone accidentally. But for those who can’t or don’t want to use a cover, I just look away if it’s not something I want to see.

    1. Morgan, totally agree with you! It makes me sad that the women who don’t use covers are being rather hateful to the women who have said that a cover worked for them. I nursed all three of my children for years and used a cover with all 3. A light cover worked great for me, we had a very strong bond, they nursed wonderfully – under a cover. I will not apologize for being a modest person who does not want to show more flesh than necessary. This does not minimize my experience as a nursing mother, or my relationship with my children. That does not mean that I am upset by someone who does not use a cover – do what makes you and your baby comfortable! Really people, lighten up!

      1. I think people get offended because you say you used a cover because you’re modest and don’t want to expose more flesh than necessary. So that implies that women who don’t go to great lengths to cover are immodest and wanting to expose more flesh than necessary. You probably didn’t mean it that way. But that’s how some people ate reading it and they see getting offended by that our simply trying to correct that statement.

  21. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Why is it assumed that just because a person may not agree with you that they are an enemy? There is so much hate filled speech on these boards. Why can’t we just support each other as women who are doing our best to raise our children in the best way we know how? Walk a mile in another woman’s shoes and then maybe you’ll have a more open mind.

    As for me, I bottle fed my first born because after a month of her screaming every 45 minutes I couldn’t do it any longer. I breast fed and pumped for my second child as I am a working mother who was away from my child for 8hrs a day. The one I breast fed, I did so uncovered at home and covered in public – solely because I was not comfortable with popping a breast out in public. My child didn’t seem to mind at all. That is my personal story – not my opinion of what is right or wrong. Both my children are happy and healthy and I managed to somewhat keep my sanity. All in all, I think I succeeded. I support women who make the best decisions they can for their children based on their set of circumstances.

    1. I so wish we had done video instead! And a close up of his face. The look he gives me is plainly “what’s the big idea, mom?”

  22. The only time I ever “flashed” someone when nursing was when I tried using a cover because I was in church. It was at my son’s baptism and he bumped his head so I was nursing him to keep him quiet and settled. When the priest came over to bless the baby, he ripped the cover off and unmatched and boom! There it was. I flashed the priest.

    1. When my second child was born, our priest came to visit. My son was fussing and the priest reminded me that he had three sisters, so he encouraged me to feed him. I grabbed the closest blanket and started to nurse my son. However, the blanket I grabbed happened to belong to my daughter who came along and reclaimed it. Thankfully we both laughed and it wasn’t as embarrassing as I had thought it might be. :)

  23. Perhaps we can loan the cover-ups to the offended party and see how they like having to eat with their head covered.

  24. I have nursed 4 babies for varying lengths of time. I’m of the opinion that however you feed your baby, way to go momma! If you choose to cover for your comfort and it works for you, awesome! If you choose not to, awesome! Pump and take a bottle? Awesome! Choose to give formula for medical reasons , lack of supply, or just because? Awesome! I don’t care how, where, when, just feed your baby and make the best choices for your family. If we could just look at a mother feeding her child and smile and be proud of her for meeting her child’s needs this debate would disappear entirely.

  25. Interesting that this popped up in my newsfeed today! I was thinking about this exact topic while nursing in the church pew at Mass on Sunday. My almost 2 year old still nurses plenty and has made a habit out of needing to nurse while at Mass. If I don’t let her, she fusses, digs in my shirt and says “mama milk” over and over! While I can agree that you shouldn’t HAVE to cover up to nurse in public, I think that the first step in normalizing breastfeeding is to nurse in public, modestly! The more people see it, the more ‘normal’ it will become. Society needs to learn that NIP is not inappropriate, ever. 3 kids and 4+ years of nursing under my belt, I have no reservations about nursing in public and never really did, but I do choose to cover up because I feel more comfortable that way. My kids have never minded being under the cover of a blanket, and especially when tired or overstimulated, prefer to nurse under a blanket. Until society unsexualizes breasts, I will feel more comfortable nursing while covered. I whole-heartily agree that it should not be a requirement to cover up, I do think a little modesty goes a long way in making those around you more comfortable and therefore more open to the idea of breastfeeding in public. Every time I NIP I see it as a chance to show those around me that its OK, however, I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. Yes, its what breasts are meant for, but unfortunately society has been taught otherwise and I don’t think NIP while intentionally being indiscreet will help to change that. My opinion…you don’t have to go and hide, but should be intentional about being modest which can mean being intentional about the clothes you wear, where you sit, etc. Baby steps and someday we’ll get to the point where breasts are not sexual and people don’t blink an eye or act uncomfortable around a nursing mom!!

  26. Reading through the comments for this article have hurt my heart.

    How fortunate you all are to be able to bicker and argue about the right or wrong way for another woman to feed her child.

    How wise you must feel for knowing instinctively that all women experience breast shame to due to Nestle, Playboy and Neanderthal husbands.

    How omniscient you are, to tell a woman there are better ways to supplement feedings for her child when her own supply has never met the demand.

    I enjoyed the article and should have just stopped there. Instead I wandered into the comments to read other perspectives and suggestions.

    You’re all inherently blessed to have children, to be able to hold and feed them at all.

    We’ve been trying for over 8 years to have a child. After all of the procedures, drugs, losses and heartache, I like to think that when it does happen, any way that I choose to handle the feeding of my baby works for them. If not I’ll adjust it for them, no one else.

    There is no real fight here. There’s no right or wrong way for any one woman to do anything.

    1. Meary. My heart breaks for you but don’t give up hope. I thought I would never be able to have a child and got pregnant at 42 naturally. My son is now a healthy, happy 6 year old. It is very sad that we, as women, pick at one another so very much over something so, in my mind, trivial. Good luck.

    2. I know a grieving mother who had a stillborn baby. Breastfeeding her subsequent children helped her heal, and reconnect with her motherhood. It helped her to move on. Imagine how you would feel if people shamed you for the one thing that made you feel whole again after such a traumatic loss. Compassion goes both ways, and someone needs to get angry for these women. They deserve better.

  27. I love this! I think having a “nursing without the cover” slide show would be an awesome way to show how unnoticeable nursing can be vs the attention grabbing cover method. I could nurse my daughter without anyone noticing. In fact, someone took a picture of me and my fiancé, not realizing I was nursing. She only found out when I saw the picture and told her what I was doing :).

  28. I understand where you may be coming from, however, I as a mother would not be okay with my 6 year old SON seeing a woman’s breast out in public. Just as I would not be okay with my son seeing any male or female expose themselves in any other way in front of my son. Fact, even though you are nursing your child you are still exposing part of yourself to other people and potentially children. It is not up for you to decide what is appropriate for MY child to see. So, out of simple respect for other parents I don’t see the need to nurse in public with total disregard to others around. I don’t disagree with the benefits of breast feeding. I don’t disagree with the idea that it is natural. In fact, I breastfed my own child. However, you and your child and your opinions are not the only one’s that matter when you are in a public place.

    1. Your son would probably learn more about respect for women by seeing a breast doing what it was made to do. You are teaching your son to objectify and sexual-ize something that is not.

    2. I’m sure your son is seeing more sex on tv, billboards, just walking at the mall or the swimming pool. Do you not take your son in public in fear that he might see a lady with triple d’s in a low cut top and short shorts? I may find that to be gross, but do I go around telling them they shouldn’t dress like that or for that matter do you? Do you tell them that they are disrespecting you? Breastfeeding IS natural and a mother shouldn’t be told that she can’t do it or should do it covering up. I feel more comfortable when I am more discreet about it but If someone ever told me to cover up, you better be ready for an earful.

    3. Whatever would you do if you had another child?

      Children with younger siblings who were breastfed seem to do just fine.

    4. Just tell your son she is feeding her baby and its not polite to stare.
      I tell my nephew exactly how everything is. Moms make milk for their babies in their breasts. Its why we have nipples. Its not dirty talk its biologically correct. No need to make it taboo…

    5. You should cover your son’s head with a cover if you don’t want him seeing a nursing baby. I’m sorry, but this is the most ridiculous comment on here, I think, and there are some pretty bad ones. Do you also ask women with low-cut tops to “cover up” whenever you and your son are out in public? Do you ask Victoria’s Secret to pull down their window displays when you go to the mall? Breasts are not genitals. Women are allowed to breastfeed in public. Period. If you’re so concerned about the tiny bit of boob-flesh your son might see, then let him know that there’s a woman feeding her baby over there and that he should look away so he doesn’t see her boobs. Still ridiculous, but that’s within your rights as a mother. It’s not within your rights as a mother to ask other people to go out of their way for your comfort. And a son of 6 should have no problem seeing boobs, anyway. He’s SIX for crying out loud.

  29. I’m perfectly happy for my sons to see a woman nurse her baby. Actually I would like all my children to see this, they see it at home but to see it as an everyday event out and about would be awesome. What I don’t want them seeing is the sexualised imagery being plastered everywhere and the sexualisation of kids. What strange morals to perceive nursing an infant as exposure

    1. It’s actually quite disturbing when you think about it. People who have an issue with nursing uncovered are, in fact, themselves sexualizing how an infant feeds. They are projecting their insecurities about human sexuality onto breastfeeding mothers.

  30. Well, if nursing is too much exposure then going to the beach, seeing the filth people are wearing (or should you say not wearing) in public, magazine covers, movies, television shows? A person could go on and on! If nursing offends someone they need to grow up. It can be done discretely. I have with my 3 :) !!

  31. So if breasts and nipples are OK to be on display, am I as a childless woman able to be in public baring my nipples? If not, it seems discriminatory. Why can’t breastfeeding women manage to go somewhere in which their private parts are covered up in public? Why is this so difficult?

    1. Wow Lindsay, you sound like such a wonderful person. Most women I have seen breastfeeding aren’t walking around with their breasts hanging out. I know there are always exceptions, but come on. I’m sure you find it ok for young girls to walk around half naked and have older men lust over them.

    2. Lindsay, by all means, walk around topless. Seriously, you sound offended that you can’t. The notion tnat breastfeeding requires total undress and exposure would be laughable if people weren’t so ignorant. Breastfeeding is not sexual, nor does the breast get truly exposed for everyone to see. Most breastfeeding moms are not exhibitionists and skillfully provide a breast to an infant where only people watching closely (too closely) could even get a glimpse of a mother’s nipple. It seems to me that those who are offended are not actually offended by what they can’t really see, buf the mere thought of the act of breastfeeding.

      I’ll bet you have seen women breastfeeding their babies and didn’t even know it.

      1. For some men breast feeding is sexual. Does that change anything on the whole? No. But I appreciate women covering up for me, for my husband, for others that are more modest than you, but that is still stealing this God given right from you, apparently. The media has sexualized women’s bodies, but showing more breast than not won’t change that. It will in fact hinder progress that could be made. Please don’t make it seem like if I don’t agree with you, I must hate and shame you. It’s just a personal preference as is yours. Tolerance and coexistence is vital to both opinions.

    3. actually depending on your state you actually can I know NY its legal for women to be topless I know a few other states allow it too and if your in any other country then the USA you probably can

  32. As a man, I just wanted to chime in here. Next to childbirth itself, breast feeding is the most feminine thing a woman can do. I find it to be a very sweet thing to witness and always try to be encouraging. Modesty is appreciated but either way, it is a beautiful thing to see.

  33. I just find this whole situation ridiculous. It seems to me that the world lusts over half naked women, but the minute you put a baby on the boob it goes form Hell yes to Gross. I do not understand the mentality. The same people saying to cover up are probably the same ones who think it is ok to let their 11 year old girls go out in public with basically underwear on and a low cut top. Sometimes I feel bad for the world I am bringing my children into, but then I remember their must always be good to combat the bad.

  34. I’m not sure why people are still hung up on this, but they are and it is sad. I was able to nurse my 3 children each for 3 years over an 8 year period (some tandem nursing as well). I’ve had some tell me it was illegal. A flight attendant offer me a blanket to cover up, and I said “no thank you.” And one time, when the youngest got furiously hungry in the grocery store and I had the wrong “easy type nursing top” on, I started nursing him. I had a light flannel blanket with us and I undid my shirt and put the blanket loosely over me. The cashier saw his feet sticking out and heard him noisily nursing. She cried out in horror and whipped off my cover and told me I was suffocating my child. She stood there speechless looking at my bare chest with the happy baby nursing away! I calmly asked her to give me back my blanket. She did so and apologized. I did have a whole lot of people staring at me for about 5 minutes there. The other 2 children were fairly unfazed by this, thankfully. Now it is a funny family story. It happened 16 years ago.

  35. I sure hope that the people demanding that women cover up are also demanding that tv shows stop with the sexual undertones during prime family viewing time, they watch their language when in public, they dress modestly all the time and on and on an on.

  36. If I had to eat my burger or drink my coffee under a blanket – I’d be pretty miffed too. I’m of that age where I’m supposed to be shocked by nursing in public. Guess what – I don’t even notice. Baby has lunch and I do too. Each to their own. And I certainly would not advocate bringing baby to the bathroom. For goodness sake … what an unpleasant atmosphere for baby and mom!

  37. A note to new parents and parents-to-be:

    Having a new baby is hard enough, and you have enough to worry about. Live your life. Feed your babies. Don’t listen too much to this vitriol. The vast, vast majority of the time, no one will say a word or give you more than a passing glance. With or without cover.

    Reading this stuff will just stress you out.

    Happy feeding, mamas.

  38. I’m one of those people who are not easily embarrassed when nursing my nearly 2.5 year old daughter in public. I’ve had everything from can’t you cover up (answered nope but you can here is a blanket to put over your head), to you could be doing that somewhere private like the bathroom so no one has to see it (answered why don’t you take your lunch in the bathroom then because I don’t want to see you eat either).

    I even came to the defense of a mom before I had my own nursling. A teenage boy was harassing her in the food court in the mall because she had dared to leave the house with her new babe and sat down to nurse. She was tired, stressed because they were on their first outing, and near tears because of this jerk. I walked over and commented on her beautiful baby and stepped right between them. He made another comment along the lines of she must enjoy whipping her breasts out in public and I snapped at him. Apparently he didn’t like being told that if he wasn’t staring at her breasts in the first place he wouldn’t have noticed she was nursing the baby. Which was said loudly enough for everyone around us to hear. He blushed and practically ran away. She said a tearful thank you. I just hugged her, handed her a bottle of water, said no thanks necessary he was being a jerk and walked away. I’ve found people keep harassing nursing moms until they meet someone like me who is willing to make them uncomfortable just like they are trying to do to the mom.

  39. We (my wife and I, yes I as much a part of the process as I could be), nursed both of our babies. They are now 27 and 25. I didn’t understand the bewilderment then, I don’t understand it now. This aversion to a completely natural process; that even when uncovered , is obscured by an infant and clothing. I’ve yet to see a woman yank her top and bra completey off to breastfeed.

  40. Holy Smokes — some of the comments are OUT OF CONTROL.

    Here’s the truth — until we as women start supporting each other … we only have ourselves to blame for the stereotypes, social stigmas, and nastiness in the world.

    I’m fully supportive of women who decide to BF (bottle or breast), but for those that don’t … that’s ok too.

    I’m fully supportive of those that BF in public and those that don’t … that’s ok too.

    At the end of the day, until we start supporting each other — regardless of personal choice — then we only have ourselves to blame for where we are today.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged — sound familiar???

  41. Someone wrote, sorry I just did a ton of reading, that if you nurse covered up from the beginning, it’s not a problem. Not true. My daughter wanted nothing to do with a cover but I was new to this and not comfortable so I’d sit in a gross bathroom. I also have large floppy breasts and there was no way I wasn’t going to keep an eye on the situation. Seriously, I could have suffocated her! Then I had my son and he too was not up for the cover. Enter babywearing… Gift from the heavens. I could nurse in a sling or carrier and no one was the wiser and we were not covered up. It is about personal comfort and preference.

    Who should cover up is those with their pants hanging down and other things hanging out.. Just saying! 😉

  42. I feel like it is the mom choice if she wants to cover up or not I know my son did not like me covering his face because he would just push it out the way and it was way too hot

  43. I breastfed all three of my kids (who are now all in their thirties and twenties) in Malaysia, California, and England and many points and countries and public spaces and airlines in-between. “The Tent” had not yet been invented, or if it had, I was unaware. A loose shirt, a nursing bra (or one that was easy to unleash) and I never got a negative comment or look in my eight-or-so years of nursing. Maybe I was lucky. Maybe people have got more crazy. Babies and toddlers need to be fed and comforted, and I’m sad that it’s still an issue many years after my breastfeeding days. (My second grandson is 19 months and still nursing here in California, yay!)

  44. This is all just crazy. I have yet to see anyone complain about a cow feeding a calf in full view of others. In fact, most people think it is “adorable”. Personally, I could care less if women cover or not. I had the opposite issue. I could not, because of my own medical issues, breast feed beyond 5 weeks. I was made to feel like a bad mother because everyone else was was breast feeding and I broke out a bottle. I was already suffering from horrendous postpartum depression and this almost sent me completely over the edge. I still have residual feelings of guilt and my son just turned 6. How about we all be a little more compassionate to one another as women. We are nourishing our offspring. Do people really remember that when they are enaging in such nitpicking?

  45. Ok I swear this article was meant for me! Another blip of nursing controversy came up on my FB feed the other day, same ol’ same ol’ of someone getting upset about nursing in public. I’m not a mother but I understand the necessity and urgency of it all. Your little ones are unpredictable and you should not be forced to be confined to your home and put your life on hold just to nurse out of the public’s eye. But it got me thinking and wondering as to why exactly no cover up. Was it personal preference? Was it just one more thing to add to the diaper bag? I had no clue, and didn’t even think that the reason for nursing in the first place would object to being uncomfortable. They’re getting fed, what else would they want? Ha ha. Thanks for answering my unasked question without me having to consult the Google!

  46. I had this exact experience in a resturant when my baby was 4mo. She hated the cover and fussed and made a lot of noise- and everyone was starring with judging eyes.
    If I would have just nursed her no one besides the waiter would have seen or noticed.

    We ended up having to go to the car.

    I still don’t breastfeed in public too often because I feel weird for some unknown reason. But if my 15mo wants to nurse and I can find somewhere in public that is off to the side and discrete I do it. Like on a beach , or park bench, but at a resturant or something makes me feel a little uncomfortable- don’t know why.

    Anyway — kudos to you, great read and great writing !! And great nursing!!

  47. I REFUSE to “modestly” feed my baby because you, your son, or your husband feel uncomfortable seeing my breasts. Its time to reeducate the next generation people! these boobs are made for feeding, and thats just what they’ll do! If you’re able to breastfeed count yourself blessed. If you’re not I’m sure you’re going to make up for any small difference in LOVE. Let’s stop sexualizing the tatas please, they were made solely for feeding. And for the love of everything holy please don’t teach your son to objectify women like that.

  48. Great view into the life of what us breastfeeding mothers endure. It still just blows my mind that outsiders are so harsh to judge something so natural when naked women walk past them everyday. Heck, lots of new yorkers up here don’t even wear BRAS anymore – but I don’t see anyone complaining for them to use a cover – up. Thanks for fighting the battle.

  49. I am always grateful to see articles like yours. I think it is SO important for nursing in public to be normalized, with or without a cover. Honestly, the Western society is so backwards with it’s emphasis on sexualizing everything, including a mother feeding her child. As a result, we have very low success rates for breastfeeding in comparison to the rest of the world. In developing countries, not breastfeeding is not really an option; breastfeeding is normalized, children see their mother’s and other women’s breasts and it isn’t sexual. I also think this issue is part of a much bigger issue surrounding normalizing breastfeeding in general.

    I had a really difficult time breastfeeding because I went into it thinking that it would be simple. My mother nursed all three of us kids without issues, so why couldn’t I? However, I never actually saw a woman nurse her child. I never heard about the emotional toll, the sleepless nights, the anxiety about whether your child is eating enough, etc. All I heard about was sore nipples (which I could tolerate). Women don’t talk about these things because breastfeeding is portrayed as a beautiful, bonding experience because unfortunately it’s not normalized in our society. We have to justify breastfeeding, and in order to justify it, we have to “prove” that it creates this magical bond that nothing can compare to. We can’t talk about the disadvantages because that would take away from the mystical image we’ve created. I do believe that nursing has it’s own special bond, but I created a fantastic bond with my daughter even though I chose to feed her pumped breastmilk in a bottle.

    I think I went off on a tangent there but the point is that so much about motherhood is not talked about and is hidden to convenience others. Public breastfeeding is just the tipping point. That said, if a mom wants to “whip them out” or show her whole breast to make a point, then more power to her. (Historically, more extreme things have happened in order to create social change.) If it upsets you, don’t look…simple.as.that. If you are afraid that breastfeeding or seeing a breast is somehow going to pervert your young sons, you really need to take a look at how you may be projecting your views of breasts as sexual objects onto your innocent son who has no such thoughts (unless you or the media has already planted them there).

    Hope I didn’t ruffle too many feathers…but at this point, who really cares?

  50. I am all for women feeding their kids the way they want to. I am not against breast feeding or bottle or bottle feeding. I have done each with my kids, but I do have to say this article shows one side of feeding with a cover. If a child has fed with a cover for a long period of time they will be used to it and not have problems with it. Now for the sake of this article I know the writer was trying to make a point, but if a child hasn’t used a cover for 2+ years and then you try to use one with them, of course they aren’t going to like it. They’re not used to it.

    1. Hi Dacia, I feel compelled to tell you, even though it shouldn’t be necessary, that I did nurse covered with both of my children until they rejected it. For both babes it was around 4 months. I also try intermittently to cover my son with a blanket, my cardigan, this cover, etc., with the same outcome of the above photos. My children should have been “used to it,” but that didn’t happen for us. So please don’t assume it could have happened for other uncovered mothers. Also, I hope you realize the babe in the picture is not 2+ years. He is 11 months old.

    2. Your comment is shows that you are ignorant about the subject of using nursing covers. I’ve tried to use nursing covers since my daughter was 1 week old- IT DOESN’T WORK FOR US!!!!!

  51. The “nursing in public” debate has been around for a long time. 25 years ago, while discreetly nursing my baby in a restaurant, the management asked me to stop and do it later or feed him at home. I said I could not stop, he was hungry, and this was his food source. I was thrown out. Of a restaurant. For feeding my baby. I still can’t believe it. In my opinion, it has a lot to do with sexualizing the female body. As if feeding one’s baby in public is a sexual act. If we had had nurse ins at the time, I would have joined in, with enthusiasm!

  52. OMG this is so so so funny! Maybe all nursing mums ahod use a cover that way everyone clearly knows what is going in rather than have the double take and a gasp omg is she doing that here?!? I was nursing my 2 week old baby in target, and a mother yelled at me all while her 12 month old drank a coke out of can…. I only know because she was concerned that her just 1 year old baby boy was getting the wrong impression…

    1. Did you shame her for allowing her child to drink coke? Because I think that would have been a very reasonable response.

  53. Hi. I have to say I got this article from a friend in Facebook. I just want to say I’ve read this whole thread and there is a lot of arguments. I am not a mother yet. I am pregnant with my first though, we just found out its a boy. (Yay) but I am very much a keep the peace kind of person. I think the choice of covering up is between the child and the mother. If you wish to cover, try it! But if your child does not like it, I would suggest not push the issue, if it does great! If you don’t want to cover, simple. Don’t. But, with people’s wording here offending others, I think we need to stop a moment and understand the context. I do not think some of these comments were meant to be malicious in any sort of way. I don’t think that they are saying all women are purposefully non-descreet and like to get attention for it. I think that those people saying those specific comments know someone or has witnessed it. It is extremely rare. And again I don’t think it was meant to cause others harm. I hope we all can have more open minds and that wasn’t meant to be mean. :) I just know that we as humans can say things and have it taken out if what was truly meant by the statement.

    1. I thought the same during my pregnancy until I gave birth to a little girl, and the love I had for my baby made me realize that this breastfeeding in public thing is worth the fight. I don’t want my daughter growing up insecure because she’s a piece of candy for some men. I want her to grow up strong and self worthy because she’ll be a woman and mother one day.

  54. When the baby is strong enough to pull the blanket aside and push mommy away, that’s nature’s way of saying that the child has grown beyond the need/impulse to nurse and is ready for jarred food. Just my theory.

    1. [email protected] says:

      Like the truth to this! Also teaching whose the leader back to such a demanding one by just a little waiting while mom finds an appropriate place is quite okay.
      There are times certainly; but moms lead and manage, too.

    2. Babies can push cloths away long before 6 months, which is the earliest the World Health Organisation recommends you should attempt solid foods (and preferably home-cooked solids, not from a jar!!)

    3. Ha, ha. Love your sarcasm. NATURE’S way of telling mom that baby is ready for JARRED food. Too funny. My little one unsaddled himself at 1 day old and never could take a cover. I guess that was nature’s way of telling me that I shouldn’t bother trying to feed him or keep him warm.

  55. Lol Loved this! I mean, really, which one is less distracting? A toddler quietly nursing or a flailing toddler flapping a giant piece of fabric?

  56. [email protected] says:

    There are a lot of “I”, “I”, “I”s in all of these replies.
    From the perspective of my own nursing years of my own daughter and having working with infants for years, both sides are understandable.
    We don’t just plop right down and eat in area not designated for eating in front of others; we also have areas assigned for appropriate needs where special needs are.
    There are choices of shawls that allow air flow vs solid unbreathable types as well, from crocheted to finely lightweight woven or loosely
    woven organic and natural fabrics
    and fibers.

    It’s time we all trued to be sensitive
    to the big picture.
    Because a child or a baby is sounding demanding while crying as a loud newborn tone can instigate immediate action from a new mother and nursing right there on the spot seems to be the only alternative of choices; there are certainly, in 2014, choices of satisfying the public want and needs to for wanting privacy and for the baby and also appropriateness on where to nurse. Establishments can certainly, in 2014, by aware of reality and create designated areas to nurse with providing that needed privacy., as well as moms ahead of time choosing spots and times to be in public and where during that “close to” feeding time.
    Teaching a baby patience, yes even a baby, while helping solve this teaches both parties, managing time, planning ahead, and modest behavior. Yes a mother who nursed my own baby for years; looking back she would have been fine with waiting for me to find suitable spots and that great sense of immediate satisfaction is not that necessary as the worry over a babies demanding cry makes a mother feel the need to satisfy it immediately. Not necessary 100% of the time.. and yes we empathize for there are times it is necessary. But think of everyone not be demanding as if there is ALWAYS no alternative, because there is at times.

    1. Why make them wait? A newborn baby does not need to wait 5 minutes or more until you find a spot that everyone else is comfortable with. Feed them anywhere you want when they are hungry!

    2. Babies can’t learn “patience”. They have needs that must be met. God, I weep for your children. They must have had a rough upbringing.

    3. I “plop right down and eat in area not designated for eating in front of others” all. the. time. Whenever I feel my blood sugar dropping I eat something, and I never, ever sit in a bathroom stall or throw a blanket over my head (even a woven shawl) when I do it. I do, however, keep a few light receiving blankets in my baby bag. That way my baby can give one to anyone who complains so that they can cover themselves immediately out of shame and modesty. My precious, innocent baby boy shouldn’t have to look at or listen to that gaping maw that has been used to do God knows what to God knows who for one second longer. He might get the wrong message or something… 😉

  57. Well I have an issue with nipples in public. Mens’ nipples. When its hot and I have to cover up and they can take their t-shirts off. Women can’t even flash a little bit of flesh accidentally to feed a baby in a natural way, but sweaty flabby men can round around baring all and bumping into me on the bus. Urgh.

  58. I truly wish adults would behave more like adults and realize that these wondrous mounds of flesh they’re all getting worked up over, weren’t meant for recreational or sexual viewing purposes. They’re there for, and produce nourishment for the purpose of feeding the children our bodies were built to bear. There’s no mixing formula, washing bottles, searching for a place to heat the bottles and its always the exact temperature to just get the job of feeding done with the least amount of stress. I struggled nursing my first child simply because I would get stressed about leaving the house with him. Is there a spot to nurse? Did I bring a blanket to cover myself with? What if he pitches a fit? (We were dealing also with colic) then when my daughter came along, I was a pro. People would walk right up to me (uncovered but latched) to get a peak at her and were stunned that I was able to cradle her while eating my own meal or rifling through clothing racks and still not appear to be in the midst of feeding…. And I also didn’t act like it was inappropriate when they DID realize I was nursing, but rather carried on with conversation or smiled and continued to peruse the aisles. I made one elderly woman so comfortable she even pulled my shirt a little further back from my daughters head to see her beautiful little face more clearly. I always knew from day one of discovering my husband and I were expecting that I would nurse, but I never expected the teeter-totter of responses to women breastfeeding or the reasoning behind people’s reactions to it. If you’re hungry, you eat. Period. And that is exactly the attitude I took on in order to maintain my beliefs on the subject. To every woman who did this before me, Thank You. And to those following in nursing mothers’ footsteps just as I did, hang in there… You’ll only get better with continued practice :)

  59. I really don’t like nursing with a cover! I find it highlights the fact that I’m nursing, instead of discreetly feeding my baby. I normally use it as a sun shade when feeding outside. Babies don’t like it either covering their heads, its distracting.If someone has an issue with public nursing it’s their problem not mine.

  60. Thank you for this article! I love it!! My 6 month old and I hate the stupid cover! It makes me all flustered and I lose my confidence with public breastfeeding bc its so awkward! I do intentionally nurse in public because 1- my babe needs to eat too! And 2- I want to help normalize it! I live in an area in the country with one of the lowest rates of bfing. I am completely in love with nursing. It is one of my all time favorite things about being a momma! :)

  61. I’m 65, mother of 6. I was pregnant or breastfeeding for 19years of my life. My oldest daughter is the mother of 5 and nursed them all. Both of us are quite modest and had no problem nursing whenever our children needed, it was always discreet and matter of fact. We usually wore easy access clothing. I remember having a burp pad or receiving blanket handy, and never felt exposed or inappropriate for those who might be uncomfortable…they probably didn’t even notice.
    Whenever I see a nursing couple, I often say a compliment or word of encouragement for meeting her babe’s need.

    Now add trying to hold on a nipple shield to the whole equation. Subtract comfy boppy to get him to the right level for line up. It’s hard enough at home but going out and trying to do it… yeah sadly we had to go to mommy milk in a bottle on all outings because trying to cover up wasn’t an option and up here you never see mom’s breast feeding in public except a rare all mommy group and even then moms are covering up and me in the toilet feeding um eww.

  63. If breasts are sexual, a bottle is a dildo. Breasts are not sexual. Period. Some poor idiots think they are, but their ignorance makes for rich strippers. A boob feeds a baby. Thats it. People who are uncomfortable with the human body might tell you to cover, but laws protect you. Feed your babies the best way you can – thats all you can do. Nosy people will try to start drama with ANYTHING. If its not the act of breastfeeding, its the whole butthurt idea that breastfeeding cant possibly be the best because i couldnt do it so im not giving my baby the best. Chill. Its not about whats the best, its about giving YOUR baby YOUR best. Thats all you can do.

  64. I was not able to bf my first for long only 4 months the 2nd for 13 months. I was able to practice with a cover on early on so I knew when I was in public i would be able to cover up. It is totally possible. Although I understand some people think it is okay to feed in public showing their breasts I do not think it is okay. Let me tell you why. We teach our children their are private parts and then we have 5 year old little girl who watches us pull out our boob IN PUBLIC and that is okay???… but it is not okay for her to run around naked, that is confusing to her and is inappropriate. In the case your child is not okay with a cover (and at times mine was not) I learned to nurse in the bathroom standing up at Disneyland many times, and in the car or in a corner etc. There are ways to be modest about it and still do what is best for the baby.
    Lastly Some women (me included) honestly I do not want my husband looking at YOUR boobs, not even in a “natural” way, I just do not want my husband seeing your boos whether you are doing something “natural” or not. It is your choice to BF you sometimes have to go somewhere else in respect for other people and 100% support BF but know that there are other ways than making 99% of the people around you uncomfortable.

    1. If you are that insecure in your relationship, maybe you and your husband should stay home so that he never, ever sees an exposed breast. Make sure you cancel your cable and internet as well, we all know how easy it is for our impressionable husbands to access online pornography. If you must leave the house, ensure that you carry a blanket or sling so that if you happen to come across an errant nipple, you can throw the blanket over his head in a discrete fashion. Also make sure that if he gets hungry, that there is a nice roomy bathroom stall or corner clpse by, so that he can quickly eat his meal standing up, looking at the wall. Make sure you have that blanket handy, lest he try to look around for breastfeeding mothers to ogle. A quick toss over the head and a sharp “no” ought to do the trick. If he does happen to catch a glimpse, make sure to tell him in a loud, passive aggressive fashion that breasts are only for sexy times, and that mother is disgusting. Then escort him out, with the blanket over his head. Make sure to glare at the breastfeeding mother the whole time.

    2. “I learned to nurse in the bathroom standing up at Disneyland” Gross. I bet, looking back, that you are glad that you didn’t have a black light with you. Not exactly a case of “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”, but if not knowing makes it easier for you to sleep at night then more power to you.

  65. I believe the opposite. Breasts are totally sexual. Humans are sexual. Every animal, plant, and living thing is sexual. It drives us. It motivates us. We are sexual animals. We as a society reject that because we worship science and logic. But there is nothing more primal, sexual, and sexy than nursing, except making love and having babies. It’s very confronting and in your face. It’s lusty and slurpy and juicy and sweet and messy and wild. It does not conform to schedules or rules or alignment. It is instinctual. Nursing represents freedom at its most basic level, that we could create our own food to nourish our young by the joining of a man and a woman, with the man supporting the woman by working and bringing her food and providing shelter and support. Everything in our society attempts to overthrow that basic family unit and undermine its strength. Rely on the state, not the individual. Nursing is a radical act of rebellion against the machine, and that is why it makes people so damned crazy.

    1. I believe that you have hit the nail firmly on the head. Nursing is primal. That is the problem. We do everything to negate the fact that we are primates, mammals, animals. In seeing a mother nursing her child, there is no way to negate the fact that we are animals. It is even “worse” when the baby is gulping the milk and enjoying it by cooing and talking to its mother. This is definitely something that bothers those who don’t believe in the proven science of evolution – if we are that close to animals, then maybe those scientists might be right. (I don’t want to make this a religion vs science debate. This is about being able to feed a child.)

      For the general conversation:
      I nursed my first child for 15 months, and am 6 months pregnant with my second. My daughter hated the nursing cover so much because it took her away from the conversation going on, that she bit down on my nipple so hard that I almost vomited from the pain of her latching for the next 2 weeks. I will not be covering this baby. I had people stare at me in horror when I was nursing my baby under a cover. If it’s that bad with a cover, how can it be any worse without one? I will nurse my baby in public, at the table at a restaurant, at the beach, at church, wherever I need to nurse. I have also never nursed on a schedule, and will never do so, so I never knew when my daughter would get hungry in order to time my outings.

      I know many women who are/were unable to nurse their children, who tried for months only to see their children fail to thrive. I agree wholeheartedly that breast is best. However, any way that a parent feeds a child is the best, breast or bottle. As long as that baby is being fed and nurtured, that is all that matters. Women should not be shamed for nursing in public, and women should not be shamed for using formula. Formula exists because some women can not breast feed. It serves a purpose, and is very good at it. Formula in 2014 is as close to breast milk as possible, and in some cases, is more nutritious, especially if the nursing mother has an insufficient diet. No one should feel upset about feeding from the breast or the bottle, as long as the baby is being fed. We need to stop arguing over this, and just let the babies eat.

      1. Oh, and for those of you who are upset that your young children are seeing a woman breast feed her child, EDUCATE your children. Teach them that this was how they were fed (since most of you admit to breastfeeding before you decided it was horrible for your child to see). Yes, there are times when it is appropriate to expose a part of your body, and nourishing your child is one of those times. You need to teach your children, especially your boys, that this is normal and completely acceptable.

  66. “They’re ‘just breasts’?!?

    Give me a break.
    I have two, I feel very congruent thoughts after reading the above comments:
    1.) Nursing mothers should feel no shame in breast feeding in public as long as they are discreet. Even men whom I know are mildly uncomfortable with it become very gracious and accepting when I use a cover. Husbands and friends can be a great help when you’re in a social group setting to hold a blanket for you while you get settled. Babies who kick and bat at it are usually older and can basically understand the word,”No.” I have 4 children and have nursed each one til at least 14 months. If you use a cover from day one in public they don’t think about it. Every few minutes I pluck the edge of the drape quickly back and forth to encourage good air flow under it. There are ways to make the best of the maybe 10% of the time you can’t nurse freely in your home, people. No flopping boobs needed.

    Second, as long as we exist in a society where nipples are kept covered, we can’t take the sexual nature of breasts away from them.
    They are what turn straight men on. I find the “they’re just breasts!” argument to be silly and unfounded in any context of reality. When I have made the same tongue-in-cheek comment to my husband about MY breasts(as he stares at them in wide-eyed amazement drooling)he laughs at me! “They’re not “just” ANYTHING–they’re ____(fill in the blank with a positive adjective)” God wired men to like them and we as women need to stop wanting it both ways. Either we accept that breasts are wonderful desirable aspects of the female frame that turn men on, continue to wear underwire bras and lacy negligees in our bedrooms, and keep them discreetly covered when we breastfeed(the other amazing reason we have boobs) OR we should all go around naked and allow them to stretch and droop in a tribal style.

    And stop whining about it, twenty-something’s. I’m forty and getting ready to do it for the 5th time–gladly.

    1. Shame on you for minimizing women down to just a sexual object. Your breastfeeding makes you a great source of nutrients to your baby. But an even greater hypocrite.

    2. I agree, I mean did we grow up in a different country where we walk around naked breast feeding our babies…… I’m sorry we don’t and it won’t ever be that way here where we live…. Lol but we all have rights, like I said, if u don’t mind your boobs being seen in public whip em out don’t bother me! Lol

  67. I want to thank all the women who articulated their discomfort with public nursing. It has helped me understand the roots of this discussion and my own nursing history. I shared many of their views before I had children, then life gave me twins and I lost all dignity. I nursed them freely and proudly. I lived in south Florida and no one cared. They applauded me. I was like a superstar nursing my twins. People go topless on the beach, and there is a large nursing Hispanic population, as well as a good many elders who remember a time when nursing was common and not so fraught. Fast forward to babies 4 & 5 and a contentious, angry, hair-trigger husband, living in isolation in the woods. In hindsight I realize that I prolonged the nursing of my babies until they were 5 for many reasons, but one of them was that there was a peaceful, happy haze of oxytocin surrounding me, like a protective bubble. It made our life easier. It calmed him down, then all of us in turn. It allowed the babies and older kids to grow and remain supported, not abandoned or worse. I learned this while my massage therapist roommate took a class on oxytocin and its effects.
    Nursing women have power. They are attractive and it isn’t just their sexual breasts, it is hormonal. I do believe men are attracted to them in a primal, instinctual way as they exude an air of fertility and the calming cloud of oxytocin. Women who can’t or won’t nurse or who aren’t currently nursing recognize this. It is a threat to them, on an animal level. The problem in our society isn’t the nursing women, it’s the non-nursing women. They are the ones who have to change their ways and become aware of the evil of turning their husbands and children against nursing women by insisting they hide under a blanket or in a bathroom.

  68. “Breastfeeding discreetly” is not standing up for breastfeeding in public. Those people are minimizing a woman’s self worth. We are not sexual objects, we are women, and mothers. I’m 20 years old, I have a 6 month old baby girl who has been breastfed in public since day 1, without any cover, and even with the ridicule of most people surrounding me. I do it to stand up, I do it because I am a woman and will not let myself become a piece of ass. Shame on you woman who make it such a tough decision between being a sexual object for a man or being a mother! We are women and as women we bare children and we care for them the way it was intended. It is absolutely nothing to do discreetly. Discretion and modesty is breastfeeding as a mother to give other women the courage to break that glass sitting on top of our heads. Shame on you hypocrites for pretending to stand up for a mother’s right to breastfeed but ridicule the bigger picture of her trying to become a normal part of society, as soon as the going gets tough.

    1. Shame on me I guess, everyone has a journey and a past, who makes us who we are now…how are we to judge another women for being uncomfortable with men gawking at her boobs…. Are we not all with the same goal to breast feed cause it’s best for our babies?? My gosh lighten up ladies!!!! Are we against eachother or for eachother???? My goodness!

  69. Fact of the matter is nursing in public is fine but to me, there are sick men out there that gawk at your boobs, unfortunately they are seen by many as a sexual thing rather than your babies next meal. It’s not wrong to be open and breast feeding in public but just remember the same surrounding in America are not the same in other countries where boobs are no biggie. I breasted 3 kids wherever I needed to, I covered up appropriately for my own comfort and my baby as needed, due to being looked at as a sexual object to men….. That made me uncomfortable. But if it doesn’t bother you then whip it out:)

    1. You’re missing that covering is not a choice for some mothers. If your baby refuses to be covered while nursing, you aren’t going to be able to wear one, regardless of whether there are creeps looking at you or not.

    2. Maybe we should be raising our sons better then, so that they don’t “gawk at your boobs” as you so crassly articulated. Maybe mothers and fathers need to be raising more respectful sons, and maybe wives/girlfriends need to be expecting more of the men in their lives. It shouldn’t be a woman’s problem when men gawk. I’m glad I married a MAN, who respects me and respects a woman’s right to breastfeed any way and anytime she wants.

  70. Thank you for taking the time to write and post your pictures. I nursed my first three children and was home a lot. Thankfully, I don’t recall any negative comments about nursing in those years. I’m pregnant and I plan to nurse baby #4, due in five weeks or less. I cannot be bothered with the covers. I tried them, even at home, with my other kids and my experience was much like yours. IMO, ppl should realize it’s natural, not sexual or gross or inappropriate in public. Not saying to whip out the big milk jugs for the world to see, not that any mom does that! God bless all the moms out there! Public and private nursers and bottle feeders too!

  71. I know I will probably be bashed for this as even my own family judged me on it, but I have four children and nursed my last one until he was almost 5 years of age. I tried desperately to nurse the first three and for one reason or another it failed. With my fourth, he wouldn’t take any thing else. It was wonderful to be able to feed him healthy milk and not worry about the constipation and gas or colic and know that through me he was getting all that he needed. He nursed for so long because he didn’t eat healthy, I tried and even tried to give him vitamins but the truth is he just wanted my milk and not from a cup or bottle. The doctor was okay with it and I was too. His teeth came in rotten at 6 months old despite my cleansing his gums so he didn’t have teeth again until he was 7 years old. I had to have his baby teeth removed at a very young age and it was not caused by nursing. It was what he needed. I nursed in public with him up until he was about 2.5 years old. After that I was not comfortable with it any longer because of his age and how people harshly judged me. They still judge me when I tell them. But my son is 14 now and for the most part very healthy. His digestive system unfortunately is inherited from me and when we stopped nursing him at almost five he developed a blockage. He continues to develop these blockages to this day even taking probiotics and eating as many greens as I can force on him. I have the same digestive problems. He was okay until I stopped nursing and that is when the problems started. He still ate sold foods and only nursed about twice a day at that point but he was still getting the nutrients his body needed. Now we have to supplement with vitamins and probiotics and natural fibers and such and still, he has issues. Do I regret my decision, no I do not. And I support women who breastfeed in public or in private. Facilities should have rooms for women just for that purpose if it is such a problem in the public eye. And the rooms should be more oppulant and comfy than any other room in the facility if you want my opinion. If we have to hide to feed our child to keep from offending others then we should be able to do so in luxury to lessen the offense to us. After all, we have a right to be offended that we can’t breastfeed in public without offending someone.

  72. I work at a restaurant and have seen plenty of mothers come in and put on a cover partially through their meal. They had no problem and neither did their child. Maybe you’re doing something wrong? Personally I don’t mind either way, but I can see that it could make others uncomfortable as it is kind of partial nudity without the cover… What’s the big deal with this recently anyway? All it sounds like to me is people are more self-concerned than concerned about being courteous to other’s feelings.

    1. Do you not get the fact that babies aren’t made in factories, they’re individuals? Just because some babies are fine with a cover doesn’t mean the mothers of those who aren’t are doing something wrong. You are so ignorant.

    2. Oh, you work at a restaurant? So you’re aptly qualified to tell mothers how and when they should feed their babies? Where did you get your medical license, the school of Google? SIT DOWN.

  73. While I proudly support breastfeeding, & have done so myself( for the first months) my least appeasing sight to see these days is a nursing mom in public that my kids are not familiar with. Though I’ve tried explaining this process to my children, its so rare that when we do come upon this scenario ( maybe twice a year) my kids look at my baffled and confused and curious. Then the gawk at the mom trying to feed her baby…which is just embarrassing for me. I have mostly very young girls all under 6 and they are curious I guess because they have nippis lol. And they don’t get it because I now feed our 10 month old table food and via bottle. I don’t have a problem w moms feeding in public, but I do worry that in years to come , my step son who is now 6, will become curious as well and look at this in a perverse manner. You can tell a boy millions of things but what goes on in their mind is a whole different world. For that reason I always wish that if a mom is going to feed her hungry baby- which she rightfully deserves to w.o judgement- would just prewarn this nervous momma of five, small, very nosey , curious kids. Sometimes you’re in a doctors office and unexpecting of someone to pop out a boob. …I don’t mind anyone feeding their kids, I just don’t want our son seeing any boobs, any where ! Lol

    1. Nursing moms in public represent a teachable opportunity for you and your children. I have no problem with children who stare while I am breastfeeding. I do take issue with mothers who overreact and shoo their children away as though it’s something to be ashamed of. If you decided to respond to your children’s stares and questions with compassion and understanding, it would go a long way toward normalizing it. I don’t understand why someone breastfeeding her child would make your job as a parent more difficult, unless you are insecure about your parenting to begin with. If you can’t handle uncomfortable conversations with your children while they are young, you are going to have a very, very hard time when they are teenagers. Stop expecting the world to do your job as a parent for you.

      1. Well said, Margaret. I think it is very important for children of both sexes to see breasts in a normal, healthy setting, being used for their god-given purpose. Of course children are curious about bodies, their own and others’. It’s our job to explain in a simple non-judgmental way they can understand. You really can’t brush these questions under the rug and expect them to disappear. dazerae needs to bite the bullet and step up to her role as a parent with more courage. You can start by asking yourself what you wish your mother had told you when you were growing up?

    2. If your stepson looks at breastfeeding in a “perverse” way, then he is a pervert. He’s the problem, not the breastfeeding mother.

  74. Well said. I know as a man I don’t have much say in this, but this topic really frustrates me. I have another take on it, as someone who has lived in two different foreign countries the last 6 years: we Americans stare at each other way too much. I’m not saying we’re the only culture that does it, but I can feel the difference every time I visit home. We stare at each other. Privacy isn’t about finding a room and closing the door or covering up. It’s as much about giving others privacy as it is about them trying to have privacy. It’s about being aware and adult enough to recognize a situation, shut your mouth, stop staring and give the lady and her baby privacy. The other thing you hear is, “how do I explain that to my teenage boy who sees you nursing in public?” If your 13-year-old boy can’t stop staring at the lady and asks what she’s doing, that’s you’re own parenting problem. If you’re so terrified to handle that situation and explain it to your child, I fear for their upbringing.

  75. I experienced the SAME thing with both my children and it started around the age of 3 months just when they are starting to get curious of their surroundings. We don’t go telling people off here where I am living. Its actually encouraged to breastfeed at least until the age of 2. Its like an unwritten “law” and it is warrant in their religion. I NIP everywhere here without much worry :)

  76. That is not a baby. That is a toddler. He should be drinking milk from a sippy cup. Feel free to use a breast pump to fill the cup with *your* milk, but seriously, once the kid can handle cups/spoons/etc, breast feeding should stop. At that point, it is no longer about the kid’s needs, it is about you as a mother not being able to let go.

    1. And what makes you qualified to determine the optimal weaning age? Are you a pediatric medical professional? A doula? Child psychologist? Representative of the WHO? There are a whole lot of value judgements about nursing mothers in your statements, and I am betting you have little more than a highschool education. Leave nursing mothers alone.

    2. Breastfeeding up to age 3 is recommended by many health professionals. They tell you to wean by age 4 but not weaning until age 5 is OK as long as their diet is consisting of normal foods as well. Please do not spread misinformation.

  77. a lot of people make the argument that breastfeeding is natural and so people should not be uncomfortable or offended by it being done in public. Going to the bathroom or having sex is natural too but we dont do it in public! I am a mother of 3 and have used covers whenever out in public. it is a little more difficult but doable. if you know your little one won’t tolerate a cover, then pump and bottle feed them when you go out. people do NOT want to see our breasts while nursing

    1. Please take note that pumping is not an option for all women. Few places offer them for free and they are quite expensive. People may not want to see the female breast in public, but there is a difference to seeing a woman performing public indecency for sexual purposes and a woman temporarily showing a breast to feed a child. You may not want to see it, but it does happen, and it’s easy to shrug off. If one cannot shrug off seeing a breast, then I consider them either misinformed or a bigot. Women who do it are not doing it thinking, “I hope they see my tit, that’ll teach them for staring”. They don’t want to show their breasts, either. But the child’s needs takes priority over the wants of strangers.

      1. I do not consider myself a bigot just because I don’t want to see a woman breastfeeding her child. I have children and have breastfed in public with a cover. Even while being a woman, having children and breastfed, I still get uncomfortable when I see a woman nurse in public. I understand the child’s needs take priority! Hospitals will rent out pumps, look at your insurance provider (sometimes they provide you with a pump) or go to craigslist. There are cheap options for pumps, just be proactive!

        1. Whitney, no one should have to pump to make you more ‘comfortable’! What a line of bs that is! ‘Gah, I’m ‘uncomfortable’, do whatever I want!’ Women are custom-built with the mechanism to pump the milk out of their breasts straight into the baby’s mouth, no mechanical devices required!

        2. Go ahead and pump if you feel more comfortable, and avert your eyes if the sight of a nursing mother offends you. But I think more exposure will cure your problem.
          You could start by looking at some of the great paintings of the Virgin and Child from the middle ages. Maybe paintings will be easier for you to look at and will start making you feel better about the human body. Try these http://www.churchpop.com/2014/08/10/31-beautiful-paintings-of-mary-nursing-the-baby-jesus/

    2. Oh, you want me to spend 2 hours pumping to produce enough milk for one bottle every time I want to leave the house with my baby? Are you going to come over to my house and watch my baby and do my house work while I sit and pump for 2 hours? If not, shut your mouth. It’s my legal right to nurse in public without a cover. If you don’t like it, talk to your legislator or stay home.

      1. wow, what kind of pump are you using? I have never heard of it taking 2 hours to pump for one bottle. Get a better pump. also, no need to get a babysitter for pumping, pump while your child is napping. use your common sense here!

        1. I think the point is that you got to have the breastfeeding experience that you wanted, yet you think it is alright to deny other women the breastfeeding experience they want. It is not alright. It is cruel, nasty and dangerous. And you do not have the right to deny women their own breastfeeding journey just because you did it a certain way.

        2. When my baby is awake, I am taking care of him and feeding(nursing) him, while TRYING to fulfill my duties around the home…When he is finally napping(for an hour at the most with mine), and I have the opportunity, I should buck all of those responsibilities to pump for when we go out?..even though I am capable of just feeding him straight from the source? Many women could not even pump the amount needed in an hour. My body would not respond well to any pump. If you haven’t heard if pumping struggles, then just do a little research. There are many support groups for women with just that problem.

          When I first started nursing my son, I was nursing at home and pumping for outings, because he would NOT take to a cover (at a very young age mind you), and I was MORTIFIED at his flailing and screaming. It drew too much attention to something I wanted to be private about. He wanted to eat but didn’t want the cover. It is also important to remember that if a nursing mom is to be out for any length of time (especially in the early months), she still has to empty those puppies, so it’s either nurse or pump. Nursing means you just feed the kid. One and done. Pumping means feed the kid, and then find somewhere to pump where you won’t “offend” someone or contaminate the parts, clean the parts, and then get the milk into a cooler. I often tried to push the amount of time between pumping sessions, because this was just TOO much to deal with on a regular basis. He was also starting to prefer the bottle and was refusing the nipple at home, so I was mostly feeding him from the bottle. The result. I was accomplishing nothing at home other than nursing my son and pumping for my son. Each session took an hour to get barely anything at all. I was exhausted, miserable, and felt that my only purpose was to produce milk. My supply was dropping because I wasn’t pumping enough when we went out.

          If I hadn’t said, ” I am just going to feed my son no matter what!”..I would have totally dried up. All because I was concerned about judgement from people I don’t even know.

          I nurse my son whenever and wherever he needs it now. I do not use a cover, because it creates a huge scene, but unless you are intently searching for my boob, there is not much to see. I am not trying to push any sort of agenda. IN FACT, I still feel a bit self conscious when I nurse in public, but I do what I have to do. When I nurse in public, I am not being selfish. My baby does not understand anything other than his need to be fed, so I put away selfishness and meet his needs.

          P.S.-I could never have nursed my son (as an infant) while standing. My boobs are big, so I had to hold him and support my boob.
          Not enough hands…
          Ain’t nobody got time for that…

          1. When I say that I put away selfishness, that means that I shut the world out, and do my very best to ignore anyone who has a rude comment or glance to send my way. I am not as bold as some, and I am not sure that I would have a witty response if someone were direct with me(although I hope that I would). Fortunately, my husband has seen my struggle and supports me 100%. If someone said something in front of him…oooh boy. Ya better watch out.

        3. Are you a lactation consultant or some kind of medical professional who deals with breastfeeding women on a regular basis? I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced pump. Perhaps the reason you’ve never heard of it taking so long to pump enough milk for one bottle is that most women quit pumping if it takes that long to pump for one bottle. If you are suggesting that I pump during nap time, are you going to come and clean my house while I pump? Also, you do know that the middle of the day isn’t the best time to pump, in terms of milk supply, don’t you?

    3. What is it with Americans and all this extra “stuff” they require? A pump should not be considered a necessity unless a mother chooses to use it while at work/school/away from her baby (in which case, go mama! You rock!) It is not something a mom should feel like she is required to have. It’s one more thing that’s going to end up in a landfill decades down the road. One more material thing that was made in a factory out of non-renewable resources. Let’s just get back to basics here. Baby, mom, breast. That’s all that is necessary. No pump, no cover, no worries about judgement for doing the most natural thing in nature. Less clutter, more freedom. Because seriously, the last thing an exhausted mama needs to worry about when she’s just trying to maintain base level sanity and social interaction with adults is to have to take more precious time away from her baby to pump, just so that some stranger who she will never see again feels more “comfortable”. Give me a break.

  78. I have 2 children ages 3 and 5. Only my second could be breastfed and I had them very young, 15 and 17. I’m not proud of myself looking back, but I never did breastfeed out in public. Mostly this was because I purposely never left home for over an hour and if I had to grocery shop, I’d breastfeed in the car. I was looked down on already for being a young mother, so had I breastfed in public the backlash I’d have gotten would have surly been worse and my “public display” would have been linked to me being an “immature teen mom”. So, I was stuck at home with both children until they were done breastfeeding. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, suffered depression and eventually developed Agoraphobia. Support was nonexistent. However, as I am pregnant with my third now and in a very happy relationship, I plan to not force myself to hide at home so that I don’t receive disapproving stares or hateful comments. My child’s comfort and even my own comfort will always take priority over the comfort of a stranger with misguided, misinformed notions and bigots. It’s alright if you move to a different table so you don’t have to witness me fulfilling my duty as a mother who can breastfeed. I mean, if you disapprove so much, why have you been staring for so long? I mean, that’s both counterproductive and counterintuitive. If the cover works for me, I’ll use it in high traffic areas as I am a modest woman by nature. But if it doesn’t, my modesty takes a backseat to my hungry child. Thank you for reading.

    1. I really feel for teenage moms. They have it rough. Good for you for nursing your babies, despite all your challenges. And I am glad to hear that you will have more support this time around. Know that for every judgmental prude, there is an army of women advocating for you and your rights.

    2. People say being a teen mom is bad, but I say it’s good. Good for you: for keeping your kids, for nursing, for doing it again and going for breastfeeding. Just follow your heart!

  79. Wow. As the mother of adult children who has, fortunately or unfortunately, been through most of the senarios listed here (other than Meary’s; God bless you, Meary), I have to comment: women are mean to each other! Many of you are responding to another without even pausing & ATTEMPTING to understand another point of view.
    My bet is that your much-loved children will go through life loved & healthy regardless of whether they were breast or bottle fed, whether they were covered or uncovered.
    Do what works for you & your little one, judge others more kindly, & be comfortable with your choices.

    1. Just wondering….why do I have to be understanding about the fact that another woman makes it her business to tell me how to feed my child? Are you tolerant of complete strangers who approach you in public places to belittle your parenting?

  80. Totally agree that this big type of cover can be more conspicuous than anything else, and kids past 4 months want nothing to do with it. Back when I was nursing I either did the double shirt trick (because I didn’t like my stomach being exposed), or I had found a cover called Baby Bond that didn’t cover the child and was just a small band around me. It looks like they are no longer on the market, but check for a video on youtube if interested.

  81. I saw a mom nursing in public the other day. She was sitting on a bench with her babe in her lap. Her shirt was pulled up and he was latched on and happy. I couldn’t see any skin. There was NO need for a cover.

    I personally would much rather see a flash of nipple or skin, or even a whole breast or two, than hear a screaming baby who doesn’t want to be covered up and see a mom struggling to make baby happy.

  82. You make a really good point….it still doesn’t change my mind of course. That’s kind of the issue, with things like this you just CAN’T, the opinion, each person’s, is too deeply ingrained. I agree with you about how difficult a cover/blanket actually is, but my view of what you should do in a public place is obviously different from yours. I don’t want my breast out where randoms can see it, using it to feed my child or not. I don’t think people should be in public situations where private parts, and I include breasts on women, are out where others can see them, even just barely, I guess unless you’re at some nude beach or something. Maybe it depends on how private a person you are. I suppose I just think that children require certain sacrifices, and not getting to be out wherever I am in a public place for as long as I’m used to, needing to pump before I go somewhere, those are sacrifices that you do, that come with the territory. Like not getting sleep! I don’t think it’s a situation where the sacrifice is anti-feminist or what have you, I think it simply goes in hand with not watching Game of Thrones while the kids are awake

    1. What a weird new world these women want to create, where women are expected (BY OTHER WOMEN) to pump their milk via machine so they can administer it by bottle, before emerging into public view, so no child, husband or wife will (gasp) catch sight of breast skin or, God forbid, NIPPLE. If somehow the women MUST nurse she shall cover every inch of skin with cloth so no one knows her secret nursing habit, that she doesn’t use formula! Did Margaret Atwood think this up?

    2. Hmm…interesting. I consider it a sacrifice to set aside my private nature and just feed my son as needed, despite judgement from others.

      1. Also, I must do an excessive amount of housework, because a lot of women here don’t seem to get that not all women have time to just sit around and be a cow all day. I can’t alternate between nursing and pumping, accomplishing nothing else. I have other responsibilities. I find it my duty, as a stay at home mom, to tend to my garden, the cleanliness of my home, the preparation of my family’s food, etc. Women have been the keepers of their homes while taking care of babies for a long time, without weird milk sucking machines. Look up old pictures of women breastfeeding. Covering up is a modern notion…and is only limited to certain parts of the world. This is not a criticism to any other moms btw. I just feel that some seem to think that people like me, who stay at home but are not pumping, simply don’t want to interrupt ‘personal’ time…which is a very rare thing for me…Lol. While pumping may work for some women and their lifestyles, it simply does not for mine.

  83. It amazes me to see this debate still going on. I’m 57, and in 1986 when I had my first child, I had no role models for nursing. But I decided I was going to do it, got myself educated, and made it work…as a full-time working mother. Before my maternity leave was officially over, I got a call from my boss to say that he wanted me to attend a conference the week I returned. I was so annoyed at him for even thinking to ask that I said “OK, Don. But I’m taking the baby with me.” He was so startled that he simply agreed. So I did.

    Two vivid memories of that trip stick with me. One was on the plane, where I had an aisle seat with a man in the center. When the baby needed to nurse, I just snuggled her up and quietly fed her, and she drifted off to sleep. He never noticed. And no, I didn’t have her covered up.

    The other memory was a moment when I was visiting with my grandfather who happened to live in Florida not far from where the conference was taking place. We were sitting by the pool with his friends. The baby was asleep, she woke up, I nursed her, put her back down….all while continuing to chat and listen. After a couple of hours, one of the women said “Doesn’t that baby ever eat?” “I just fed her,” I replied.

    Megan, you’re on the right track here. I never “covered up,” I was just quiet and discreet. I fed my two daughters anywhere that we happened to be, and even more than 25 years ago never had a negative comment even though breast feeding was far less common back then than it is today. The girls were conditioned to nurse quietly pretty much anywhere because that’s what we always did. They were happy to be fed, and I was happy to know that I could feed them anywhere, not even having to look for a secluded place. Forget about the cover, just do what you need to do and ignore those who somehow think that feeding a child as nature intended is somehow less acceptable than a cute girl walking around with her boobs popping out of her shirt.

  84. Pingback: And we’re back!
  85. I bf both my kids, one for 18mn and one for 22mn. I covered up because I personally did not want to expose myself, but it caused me undue stress to make sure I stayed covered up at all times. One of the tricks to being able to nurse is being relaxed and comfortable. I also could not reasonably pump because I produced just enough. My kids nursed all the time! If I tried to pump, they would be hungry before I could store up milk. Or dd would refuse bottle because temp was not right even though I had pumped less than 30 min before. I was not able to store any until ds was 6mn old, and even then it was a perfectly timed event, and I would not get enough for a bottle. With dd, she pretty much refused solids until 10-11mn but was growing and needed more milk so she wanted to nurse often. I hated having the blanket fall down and then try to adjust it while the baby was attached all the while trying to make everyone else happy when all I wanted to do at that very moment is stop worrying about a blanket. My sister had to supplement and stopped at just over 6 mn. But she lives a very different life than me, and the struggle to make bf happen is not worth what the mom goes through. Am I glad I did bf? Yes, it saved me a lot of money-I wanted to quit with dd because I had another kid and plugged ducts, but I stuck it out because I could not afford to go to formula at the time, and some of the moments were really special, but I went way longer than I wanted to…stubborn children did not want to give it up! :) It is important for some women to be willing to push the envelope. Yes, this generation is still gonna get bugged, but 20 years from now, it will be a different picture. As long as we don’t cave to the pressure to hide, etc. It is a transitional period. Eventually,women will be able to bf more comfortably in public without the public stresses. But for now, it is worth it to push forward and give a gift of more acceptance and openness to future generations when it comes to feeding babies. Formula has come a long way over the years, and it is just as valid an option as bf. I believe when people get really upset about public bf, it is because of their own insecurities about something. And if someone gets really offended about stuff that should be a social norm because it is normal and natural, then they probably need to take a look in the mirror and figure out what is really bugging them.

    1. Formula has come a long way but it is NOTHING like breast milk. Breast milk contains the perfect balance of nutrients for your baby and boosts your baby’s immune system. Here is the abstract of an article published in May.
      Minerva Pediatr. 2015 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]
      Breast feeding: gamut of benefits.
      Gertosio C1, Meazza C, Pagani S, Bozzola M.
      Author information

      Maternal milk has been recommended as the optimal and exclusive source of early nutrition for all infants following birth ad until at least six months of age. Maternal milk is the ideal source of early infant feeding as a result of potent immune factors and a unique composition of nutrients that evolve in tandem with the growth and developmental needs of the infant. Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breast feeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and improves recovery times during illness. Breast feeding provides numerous short and long term health benefits for both baby and mother. Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breast feeding contributes to a lifetime of good health. In this review we describe the influence of breast feeding on mental and psychomotor development, on the risk of endocrinological disorders, pediatric cancers and allergic diseases for the breastfed child. More prospective studies with comparable methodologies and longer periods of follow-up are necessary to allow firm conclusions on the effects of breast feeding in some of these aspects.

  86. I nursed both my children. With the older one I took a lot more pains to be discreet in public. But with my daughter nine years later – not so much. Even then people were sometimes surprised to realize that my daughter wasn’t sleeping in my arms but actually nursing. But that’s not what prompted me to comment. Your video brought to mind a 1 1/4 yard square of madras plaid cotton fabric that my 12 year old daughter still has. It is really light and I used it in the summer time, especially at the pool to cover up when she was nursing or to make a tent over her pack-n-play or stroller. Then she just kept it when I didn’t have an agenda for it anymore. Seeing it in her room still reminds me of when I could hold her in one arm. The teal and purple that are the main colors in the plaid are her favorite colors.

  87. 1) I call bull. If you start at a young enough age doing something, it becomes habit and less of a problem.
    2) That child is clearly at an age where breastfeeding is not absolutely necessary. There is no reason not to just wait until you get home

    1. This is not bull. I’ve been trying to use a cover since before my baby was 1 week old and now she’s 9 months old and still wear a cover. I still do try, but at a certain point, fighting with her pulling off the cover draws more attention than just nursing her without one would.

    2. So not bull. Even when starting early it’s not always possible but in fact hot for both baby and mama. You cover your face and eat. Some people???? Smh

  88. I say … Everyone should just agree to disagree. Nursing is a VERY personal decision and how you choose to nurse has only to matter to you and your family. I have NEVER cared what anyone thought about my decisions on how I nursed. I am a conservative Mom. I am a WELL ENDOWED Mom(K Cup) so nursing in public was more of a nuisance … I couldn’t get my babe positioned right, I had to do a football hold with a boppie so the BEST thing for me was to Pump for outdoor excursions. But, if I was at a family or friends house or at home. They nursed. I was only concerned that they got the good stuff that I produced … How it got into their beautiful bodies wasn’t an issue. Judging people for their decisions is just wrong … You never know what the reasoning is for the choices people make because more often than not your basing it on what you see and without talking … Assumptions …

  89. I’m an 18 year old mother of a ten month old. He’s been breastfed since the day he was born and although he was not planned and I have made some mistakes along the way, I’m trying my hardest to do what’s best for him now. It’s extremely difficult to still be getting criticized over doing what’s absolutely best for my son. But I plan to continue breastfeeding until he’s at least 18 months & ignoring anyone who gives me problems along my journey. Thanks for the article, it was a very accurate description of what all breastfeeding mothers go through!

    1. You Rock, Elizabeth. As a Maternal-Child Health Visiting Nurse, I found that some of my youngest mothers had the most positive breastfeeding experiences and nurtured and nourished their child with breastfeeding, and were proud to do so. As for those who think that a mother should “be discrete and cover up,” this implies to me that they think there is something inherently shameful in nursing a baby. For those who understand the mother and baby relationship, with breastfeeding being a part of that relationship, no explanation is necessary. For those who cannot or won’t understand it, no explanation is possible.

  90. I nursed 3 babies in the 1980s and 1990s. It never occurred to me to cover up. Now, I didn’t disrobe or expose myself intentionally either. It was just simple enough to lift my shirt and baby covered my midriff and the top of my shirt covered the rest. I never really thought about it and I have breastfed whenever and wherever my babies were hungry. Stadiums, churches, malls, restaurants, in-law’s living room, on ferries, planes, airports etc…. You get the idea.

    I almost think the big covers call more attention to what is going on (not that what is going on is a bad thing of course).

    Now, my own daughter feels more comfortable feeding her children with a light blanket covering and they are used to it. My daughter in law feeds without a cover and is happy doing that. Whatever works is what is right to do. As the grandmother of 4 I am thrilled that their mothers have chosen to breastfeed them.

  91. I would much rather see a mother feeding her child than hearing the child cry and scream its head off because he/she is hungry. That draws way more attention than innocently feeding your child. Think about it. Would you deny your older children food in public if they were hungry? Would you make them sit there at a restaurant while you enjoy your meal and tell them “sorry you have to wait to eat when no one can see you.” Of course you wouldn’t, so why should any mother deny her child the food they need to be healthy, happy children? I have seen countless mothers nursing in public and never once have I thought it was inappropriate. If a child needs to eat, they need to eat. Period. You eat when you are hungry, don’t you? Thank you breastfeeding mothers for caring about your children and never letting them go without, wherever you are. I applaud you and the modesty should be your choice. I have seen more cleavage, side boob, midriff and what have you from teenage girls and young women in public with clothes on than I have ever seen from a breastfeeding mother. Do your thing ladies. Your children are more important than what anyone else thinks.

  92. Yes Breast feeding is Healthy & Natural! But Ladies let’s face it, society if full of opinionated, judgemental people. If you put your kid to bed too late, or introduce foods to early, or don’t go organic or just feed organic, or potty trainer early or late, or bottle feed instead of breast .. MY point is everyone has a opinion! everyone is not going to see it your way and agree; no matter how emotional or factual your rhetoric is regarding breast feeding. So just continue doing what you think is right for your child wether it be breast, bottle, or both or whatever the hot topic of the week is !
    Because it in the END, what ever you do is not going to change society but what you do is go to change the little life that is depending on you !

  93. I’m pregnant with number 3 and have not been successful at nursing the first two, incredibly frustrating times. I’m gearing up for the third and hoping it will be better. I have an honest question- did you nurse consistently with a cover? Do you think he would do better with a cover if you always had a light blanket covering him in some capacity? I have a large chest and I’m not comfortable nursing without a cover because so much of me still shows.

  94. I call bull as well. I breastfed all 3 of my children. I always used a cover (from birth to a 1 yr) because my brothers, uncles and g-dad were often around and NEVER had any problems with my children trying to take it off, EVER. My sister-in-law had our babies 1month apart and would fed in restaurants covered and NEVER had any problems. We were able to fed privately and eat as well. This isn’t rocket science. Just because boobs are natural doesn’t mean it’s for all to see. There is a time and a place and A WAY to do everything.

    1. Not all baby’s try to take off the cover, much like not all baby’s eill rat under a cover. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT, dont be rude/ignorant! My child refuses to eat with a cover or blanket on because he is like me and gets really hot. It shouldn’t be necessary for you to cover something that is just nature. You are a Hippocrate D.

    2. Just because you had experiences where your children and your niece/nephew didn’t mind, doesn’t mean every child doesn’t mind. I nurse in public with a cover because it’s how I’m comfortable but my baby doesn’t like it and it usually leads to shorter nursing sessions because she wants to rip it away. I’m shocked that another nursing mom would have a problem with this!!

    3. You’re so lucky that your babies accepted the cover! (note sarcasm)

      I started out nursing my son with a cover in public at all times. I am large breasted and wasn’t confident I could get him latched without sharing my breasts with the world (my hangup). Now that he’s approaching 6 months old, a cover would just be entertainment for him to swat at, fling around, etc.

      Every baby is different. SHAME ON YOU for telling moms to cover up.

      I can get my baby and clothes situated and him latched on in seconds without the cover and without flashing a thing. I bet hardly anyone even knows we’re nursing. If I tried a cover, you can bet EVERYONE would know from the flailing of my kid.

    4. Depends on the baby some don’t mind a cover and others hate being covered. No baby should be made miserable and hot under a cover it’s pretty much torture for some. Also, I think it’s bs that people have a problem with NIP but yet they have no problem with Victoria secret ads and such.

    5. Well, aren’t you just the perfect mother. Kudos to you. I bet your kids slept through the night from the day you brought them home and have never thrown a tantrum in public. For the rest of us, we have children who don’t want to be covered. Of course, I also have brothers, uncles and dads who support breastfeeding and don’t expect me to cover. Wait – maybe it’s because I know how to breastfeed without flashing my boobs to everyone in the room. Yep, that must be it. You never learned how to not flash your nipples so you had to be covered. Shame on you for being a breastfeeding woman who doesn’t support other breastfeeding women regardless of their choice.

    6. I am the mom of a 9 week old. This is my 3rd child. My daughter goes into a panic as soon as I cover. She does all that was described in the article. With that being said I am very modest when it comes to nursing. I will continue to cover up because I believe that not everyone needs or wants to see me exposed. Jusy wanted to share.

    7. This is the problem with so much of the world. We think our personal experience with something or things you’ve seen happen to people around you is automatically the norm. You are such a small percentage of the population. What makes you think that everything that you’ve experienced is the way it happens for everyone. It is pure ignorance. Understanding that especially when it comes to children behaviors, yes there are common trends, but NOT ALL KIDS ARE THE SAME. Both my kids did exactly what this women is showing but I’ve also had friends that nurses with a cover just fine. It made it so hard for me to nurse in public. American’s are so sensinitive to a nursing mother it’s ridiculous and close minded. Go to other parts of the world where people grew up seeing mothers feeding their kids and guess what, they think nothing of it.

    8. I have SIX kids lady and guess what, everyone and every child is different!! I used a cover with my oldest and she kept in on fine, HOWEVER, she did pull it a little over to the side.
      Now, with the other five, one refused to nurse all together while the other four, I nursed proudly and NON of them “LIKED” the cover up and would get mad, pull it off, SCREAM, and NOT nurse until I kept it OFF!
      STOP being judgmental! Nursing is natural and it should not have to be covered up!
      Just imagine, hiding under a HOT blanket, (even if it’s thin) it’s hard to breath, let alone nurse!!!!

    9. I started out with a cover as well. And while my daughter had no problems for a few months she now will spend the whole feeding session trying to take it off. All kids are different.

  95. To those who are calling bull on this…have you ever tried to nurse a new born when you have overactive letdown? You want that baby to stay latched, believe me. And he is covered, you can’t watch what he’s doing, BOOM you are soaked with breast milk, he’s soaked with breastmilk, etc. My children would not feed while covered. I don’t nurse uncovered to draw attention to myself or to say “Hey! I’m breastfeeding in public!” I do it because my son won’t eat any other way. Would you rather listen to him scream or possibly see a little bit of nipple? I am discreet. I wear larger shirts so I can cover most of my breast with my shirt. I try to make sure I sit in a booth in the corner if I’m in a restaurant. But I am not going to apologize for feeding my baby without a cover.

    1. Yes to all of this! I think people don’t realize how much a cover draws attention to nursing, also. When I’m nursing, it just looks like I’m holding my baby close to me. I never get a second glance. When I’m nursing with a cover, people wonder why I have a giant blanket covering up my top half and stare for a few seconds before realizing what’s happening and get embarrassed for staring.

  96. This is fantastic! Thank you for providing a visual explanation for people who still can’t seem to get it.

    Society needs to shift back to feeling comfortable with mothers nursing in public! This is the way mothers have been feeding their babies since there were babies to feed. I’m not whipping out my breasts and jiggling them in people’s faces, I’m feeding my infant. It’s not dirty, it’s not obscene, and it’s not indecent.

    Those indignant d-bags who act so offended at seeing the back of a baby’s head are so ridiculous. It’s this attitude of, “I can’t see boob, but I KNOW IT’S THERE!” Nipple is only visible for a second or two at latch and unlatch, and no one is going out of their way to make sure you stare it down while that’s happening. If you’re uncomfortable, don’t watch. This is coming from someone who usually covers in public. Get over yourselves, anti-NIPers!

  97. I honestly hated trying to nurse my daughter in public, I was extremely uncomfortable trying to keep a blanket or cover over her, I could tell she didn’t like it either, she kept trying to move it. The other dilemma I have is I’m also large breasted with larger than average nipples and every time I nursed, I noticed that no matter how old my daughter was, there was always something showing that made me feel uncomfortable. It seems that there is no shortage of quite frankly rude comments to be made towards mothers who choose to breastfeed, which is really sad. To the mothers who are able to nurse in public, I applaud you!!!

  98. I am nursing my fourth baby. I think it’s crazy that this is even an issue. It shouldn’t be! Let mommas feed their babies without criticism.

  99. The truth is breastfeeding is natural and you don’t need to cover up. If you’re offended don’t look. I could cover up my little either so those calling b.s. on this just don’t know..as with everything all babies are different.
    Feed those babies mama!

  100. My youngest wouldn’t nurse covered as a newborn. He would scream like I was hurting him. I stopped trying and I don’t and won’t cover him. What others think doesn’t matter or effect me.

  101. Thank you for writing this! But my kids are hot natured and it’s so hot outside, I felt like they were in a sauna! I nurse uncovered, usual in the carrier for my little! I’m sick of anti nipers. Just stop, it’s normal and natural and should be treated as such.

  102. To those saying so what its natural doesn’t mean you should show it off. If you’re feeding your child you are in no way trying to show off your breasts.

  103. Ok, first off I am a man and have no problem with women nursing in public. Unfortunately though, not everyone knows how to do this without flashing the entire room. I have been married twice and have 4 kids, both of my wives would have nursed but for medical reasons wound up not being able to. From the beginning, they both wanted to and made preparations to do so, buying nursing bras, even some nursing shirts. My first wife even took a class on proper nursing techniques (she/we had never had children) and the proper way to nurse without flashing the room. To cover or not cover is a personal choice for each person, and I would have backed my wives, no matter which one they choose to do. Just because something is right for one person, doesn’t mean it is right for everyone.

    1. I don’t think anybody goes out if their way to “flash” their breasts in public. We are made in all shapes and sizes and as you can see from the excellent article above trying to cover up can be a nightmare. Sometimes nursing without a cover can be a bit of a nightmare too – you must know what an overtired child looks and sounds like? Well sometimes they don’t want to latch on immediately, and open their mouths to scream. Sorry, I can’t always anticipate when my child will suddenly unlatch and I may possibly “flash” whoever is looking. I’m not going to stay at home for 6 months to a year because I have a fussy child!
      If it bothers someone so much, then why are they looking?

  104. Why are you all insistent on covering your BABIES? I cover is a modesty drape is to cover yourself. My daughter got HOT, but I would use the blanket to make sure I wasn’t seen. not even my nipple would show EVER because, you know that suckling/headbobbing thing they do when they are hungry, they will do that too find what they need. No one needs to be fully exposed. It’s courtesy to not let it all hang out. I NEVER had any negative issues. Those of you who still try to be modest, I’m sure haven’t experienced negativity & shouldn’t feel disrespected with articles, etc. Consider this, there are young kids & special needs that can’t grasp this is natural. Also many pervs that would Jack off to your exposed boob. Please be courteous & DON’T cover your babies, but yourself. My girl has been a comedic drama queen from inside the womb, try it this way & I doubt you’ll be fighting with your baby

    1. Wait, so we should cover, just in CASE a pervert is NEARBY…just WAITING to jack off?? WTF?? So, I should think of the random pervert out there who needs my help in order to control himself. You know, it is actually LEGAL in the state of New York for any woman, breastfeeding or NOT, to go topless! Did you KNOW that? At least nursing moms are FEEDING their babies! Get OVER IT! Some do NOT WANT TO COVER!!!! PERIOD!!!!Young kids AND special needs kids, do NOT know that something is UN-natural, unless they are taught that it is by their puritanical parents!! If enough people, children and special needs INCLUDED start seeing women breastfeeding EVERYWHERE, then it will BECOME the norm for EVERYONE!

      1. Exactly. Children only have an issue with this if their parents do. Not hiding breastfeeding is a good way to ensure the next generation does not have the issues of the current one. Because non-exposure to breastfeeding is exactly why so many people are weirded out by breastfeeding in the first place.

    2. I use the two-shirt method and have never had a problem. However, there are many, many women who have been confronted, kicked out of public places, and just generally been embarrassed and humiliated *even when they are fully covered using one of those tents pictured in this article. I have also read reports from a number of women who said they got more ugly looks covered than uncovered … most likely because the cover makes it more obvious what they are doing. Not everyone is satisfied with a light covering. That might fit your definition of courtesy, but not everyone’s. Taking the action you suggest will not protect a breastfeeding mother from being harrassed.

      The solution is not in a special method of covering. (And what happens if the mother forgets the covering at home? Shame on her?) The solution is for society to get over it. Just like it used to be. Our great-grandmothers didn’t face this problem. Let’s make sure our daughters don’t, either.

  105. There are new ways out there to cover up that are very easy. I was at a wedding when a young mother took out a very small item. Appears to be a light weight material like cotton. She slid it over her neck and it covered the baby’s head lightly. No heavy blankets creating breathing problems. Nothing showed and it was not awkward. She had no problems feeding and didn’t create any problems with all of the wedding guests. Nothing showed, baby fed, and over a hundred guests unbothered. When done she covered herself up quickly and removed the cover from her neck. A great idea so no one is offended. Everybody has personal choices. If you flashed your breast in public you would be arrested. There are people in our society that don’t want their children to see this. They too, have rights.

    1. They have the same rights that people who don’t want their children to see interracial or gas couples holding hands have… the right to go elsewhere. They do not have the “right” to have a mother doing a normal thing that has been done for generations go through extra trouble to accommodate those who have an unnatural aversion to the sight of breastfeeding.

    2. In New York, it is actually NOT illegal for ANY woman to go topless. Check it out. It is true. Teach your children what is NORMAL and they will not be offended! Teach them to be judgmental (unknowing know-it-alls) and they will be. Just like YOU!

      1. Yup. Plus, this isn’t even a modesty issue to begin with. In some parts of the Middle East, they will arrest you for showing your arms or legs. But they don’t mind if you breastfeed uncovered. This is not a modesty issue. It’s a comfort with breastfeeding issue.

    3. As demonstrated above not all babies will nurse under a cover. My DS won’t nurse if my shirt is even touching his cheek.

  106. It’s not the young children who have trouble grasping that. They are exactly the people who have the least trouble grasping that.

  107. Only in “civilized” countries is feeding your child a problem. I would have loved the opp to BF. I don’t produce any milk. My baby is three months and we are using a 90 yr old organic recipe. I hope to some day live in a world were BF isn’t a problem.

  108. Do we cover our faces when we eat no you really dont see much when most bf anyway some chicks bikini tops shows more but no one complains about that, also when a parent feeds a baby/child be it with a bottle or milk there is a connection the baby looks at mums face they are reassured when mum looks at them covering up the child stops this wouldnt it? It needs to be a personal choice not forced on them bf is normal and natural

  109. I’ve not yet had any problems. My son is almost 10 months old and I tried to cover in the beginning, not to accommodate anyone else, but because I just didn’t want anyone to see my boobs. And then he got about 5-6 months old and he just won’t have anything to do with a cover. I even have the lighter than a feather muslin blankets I bought specifically so he didn’t sweat and suffocate under a heavy blanket or cover… still he won’t have it. Babies reach a curious age where they want to look around while they eat. Like it or not they are tiny humans interested in the world, especially new places they don’t see every day. I know I wouldn’t like it very much if someone wanted to block my ability to view the new exciting world around me. This whole idea that breastfeeding is perverse or a trend just blows my mind… Bottles were the trend. If you didn’t breastfeed it meant you were wealthy. Well I just don’t understand why it’s better for my child to drink a milk that came from an animals breast, rather than my own? I have nothing against formula feeding, I formula fed my oldest because I just didn’t know about breastfeeding and that’s sad.

  110. Libby I have one of those. It worked with my son when he was younger. Once he reached 6+ months he didn’t like the cover. Its not always about being hot or not being able to breathe. The baby doesn’t want to be covered up. They like to see everything that’s going on. I personally only nursed in public one time and did cover up. I shouldn’t have felt uncomfortable to nurse in public, but I did because of some peoples opinion. Honestly I don’t care if it makes you feel uncomfortable, or offends you. Don’t look. I plan on nursing whenever my baby is hungry with my next baby. I will cover up if I can and if not….get over it. I breastfed for 16 months :) don’t be ashamed be proud. I’m not saying to expose yourself to everyone because that is rude. But you can nurse without a cover and not have everything out.

  111. Okay, I’m going to make this VEEEEEERRRYYYY SIIIIIIIIIMPLLLLEEEE for all the idiota out there.
    This here? This is MY body, and this beautiful little being?? This is MY baby. (Now that that’s sorted lets continue!)
    See these things? Yes, the sacks holding scientifically proven incredible miracle elixir called breastmilk? They’re my breasts.
    Now, breasts, boys and girls, are designed to feed a baby. In fact, the touch of my babies lips on my nipple signal my body what milk my little cherub needs to stay fit, healthy and strong.
    I live in Australia. Do you expect me to cover my baby in the scorching heat while you (or your wives, girlfriends, sisters, friends, mothers..myself even.) Flaunt your breasts in skimpy bikinis and low cut tops showing FAR MORE in a SEXUAL way then I ever have FEEDING my daughter??
    This is called hypocrisy. You get dirty looks for your baby screaming hell in the shops, you get dirty looks when you “whip it out” to feed your child.. What the fuck do you want us women to do?
    How about this.
    If you are OFFENDED or if you see NIPPLE?????? YOU are LOOKING for too long.
    Eyes up here, buddy. :)

  112. No offense of course but nursing your baby for that long until they are up to a year, year and a half old may be good for their immune systems but can negatively effect them otherwise. They need to eat more solid food at that point. It also creates attachment issues and breast obsessions. I work at a daycare with 1 and 2 year olds mostly and the ones who still continue to be breast fed have a tendency to nip and every persons breasts who holds them. Also they tend to be more prone to biting others.

    1. I’d call bull on this. Both of my children nursed for an extended period of time and never did they nip at every person’s breasts who held them. My children were also never the ones “prone to biting others.”

      Plus the WHO (World Health Organization) states, “exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”

      It is usually recommended for children and mothers to ween at their own pace. My 3 and 6 year olds had no attachment issues and were breast fed up to a 21 months old.

    2. I’m usually more polite than this, but… you are either lying or delusional. Eithet way, evety single sentence of your post is factually incorrect. There are no “negative effects” from not cutting off mother’s milk and forcing a child to drink milk from a cow instead. And what have solids got to do with anything? You think cow’s milk is necessary for the consumption of solids. Ridiculous.

  113. 2.5 years ago I gave birth to identical triplets at UofM. Their newly opened hospital offered private NICU rooms, and I spent 44 days bouncing from one child to the next trying to give attention to all (2 very healthy, 1 very sick). I had to pump, (I realize this is different than the experience of nursing) due to prematurity related latching issues. Exhausted, I would often forget to close the drapes as I began my every two hour pumping regimen. I can’t even tell you how many doctors and nurses asked me to be more careful to cover myself as I might make visitors uncomfortable, since the room I chose to pump in was at the end of a hallway.. Here I was trying to provide nutrition on very little sleep, all hours of the day and night, while one child’s life was hanging on a thread, and they were concerned I might make male visitors uncomfortable. Seriously, WTH?

  114. First let me start by saying that I am in no way suggesting that you should cover yourself but had you started using the cover when your bub was younger you wouldn’t have had any issues with using one now. I am a bit self conscious about my body and loved my cover. It saved me on many occasions especially when feeding in front of my father in law and male friends. It caught my embarrassing jet sprays of milk that would always occur as soon as my son pulled away and it meant I could feed anywhere at any time. Its not for everyone but there are bonuses to these covers too. Not everyone feels carefree and not everyone wants to be a breastfeeding advocate. We are who we are. Even if we did live in a free and easy pro breastfeeding society I would still have wanted to cover up.

    1. That’s honestly not true. I started covering with my son when he was first born and as he got older he just started pulling the cover right off. It was uncomfortable to me because people stared at me so much. I always ended up going into the other room or into my car or sometimes even bathrooms in public places. It’s pretty unfortunate how much people stare. You were very fortunate to be able to continue using your cover!

    2. You are obviously one of the lucky few whose baby didn’t mind the cover. The author’s point is not that no woman should use a cover. It is simply that most women can not simply use a cover making it an impossible request. If you feel more comfortable covering up then more power to you and good for you doing what is best for your family. Just remember that those women who can’t use a cover or simply choose not to should never be shamed for it.

    3. I used a cover with my son in the beginning especially when others were around for fear of making them uncomfortable, which was ridiculous!….and you are wrong about the baby being used to it….at 5 months my son would lose his mind when I tried to cover him while nursing! That’s when I got to the point of “if your uncomfortable you go somewhere else.” It has nothing to do with being “carefree,” it is nature! all animals feed their offspring from the breast…why is it so hard for humans, the most sophisticated of species on earth, to accept it?

    4. “I’m not suggesting you should cover, but you should have covered from birth and then you’d have an easy time covering.”
      So basically what you’re suggesting is that if she had just covered all along, she would still be covering, and with ease! You’re very wrong and it certainly sounds like you are fully suggesting non-covering moms should just start covering earlier! I covered the handful of months I fed my first, and I hid in dressing rooms and sat on chairs in restrooms…or took a bottle…so as not to offend anyone….and it was bull crap. When my second was born, I started out covering when the in-laws were visiting simply because I hadn’t yet gained the confidence and we were finding our feet nursing. By the time ds was a few months old, we had both had enough. I tried covering less, so as not to irritate him, and he still hated it. It was more likely to cause a nip flash by him unlatching and pulling the blanket off simultaneously than by me just nursing him. I stopped using a cover. Nursing in public was nerve wracking, especially the first few times….and then I just started ignoring everyone else. Any possible stares or whispered comments made were not noticed by me because I was doing something more important! Nobody has said anything or tried to stop me in 3.5 years of nursing in public…..that’s with one child! Ds is almost 4 and now only nurses to bed at night, so I think NIP is over for us, but if we were ever to have a surprise baby, I will NIP uncovered from the start. Try and stop me!

    5. You’re a but too sure of what someone else’s experience would be. I, too, was very self-conscious while breast feeding with my first baby and began using a cover from the beginning. That worked for a couple months until she got strong enough to express her preference, which was not to be covered. After that she consistently yanked the cover off or pushed it away. From that point on my choices were to get less self-conscious or stay at home. I got less self-conscious.

    6. I have no issue with not covering but I agree that I personally would want to be covered or in my car. The overshare is I already had have what I consider large aeriolas and they got larger with pregnancy. So it’s not the “well you can’t actually see anything” case with me because oh yes you can!

    7. I used a cover while feeding on a regular basis from birth my son is now 6 months and as soon as my cover goes over his head now he is pulling yanking and ripping it off. So the amount of “exposure” to a cover up has ABSOLUTELY no relevance. Would you be ok with sticking your head in a sack while eating? I am not saying I just whip it out with no regard. I do try to be conscious of those around me and be as “politically correct” as I can be. I understand that some people don’t want their children to see it because of how they raised their children, I never even knew what breast feeding was until my school health class told me. I can imagine the conversation my mother would have had to have with me had I seen some one doing that. Now the adults having an issue is just pure ignorance. There is no reason for an aghast reaction from adults that know very well what is going on. The only way I can remotely cover is by wearing 2 shirts one to pull up the other down exposing only my nipple which will be completely covered by my son’s latch. And this is a pain because in my town in summer it tops out over 110 most days.

    8. Not true at all what you say… I covered up with my first and second child from the very beginning (days old) and when older (just months) when they got stronger they started to push away the cover because neither liked it besides when I breastfeed it means my baby is going to eat right? Now here is a good question for you and others who would like us to cover up when breastfeeding when you sit down at a dinner table to eat do you and the others at the table cover their face with a cover to eat? Then why would we have to cover our babies when feeding and put them through torture by making them sweat and covering up there view and their time to connect with you at that precise moment of feeding just to make others comfortable? Well I am sorry for the public that doesn’t want to see my babies feed they can either move away from me or put a cover on themselfs.

    9. Hi Beth,
      I am so sorry to see that people are attacking you. You make some good points. I think this is a matter of personal preference. It gets even trickier because after a certain age, some kids won’t even lie in mom’s lap to nurse, they want to kneel or stand up or play while nursing. Quite challenging. I have no doubt that some people have quit nursing over all these issues, some due to their own feelings of self-consciousness, and others due to the comments or rules imposed on them by others (sometimes even family members). Nursing is a labor of love. I found it to be well worth it and nursed 3 kids. I am so glad you and all the ladies commenting are doing it. We have more in common than we have disagreement. Best wishes.

  115. I feel that breast feeding is a natural act, we as people should not see nursing a baby as a shameful act that should be covered up, especially if covering makes the baby uncomfortable.

  116. My son is going to be 14 months and I usually don’t use a cover but in front of my father in law or my father’s I wear a cover because it makes me uncomfortable. My son has no problem with it unless he gets hot but I usually leave the top of his head out and just cover my nipple and his mouth. I’m all for pro choice and this is my choice to sometimes use a cover and I like that. But power to every breast feeding mom no matter how you do it.

  117. THANK YOU. Went through the exact same thing with 2 kids, they just hated being covered, with a passion. Eventually I just didn’t care anymore. I would find a quiet corner, usually facing a wall, primarily so the baby wouldn’t be distracted. I’d let him latch then tuck a burp cloth or dribble bib or anything on hand to cover only the top, exposed part of my boob and tuck it into my bra strap or scrunched down shirt. Then kept one hand over it in case he suddenly decides to fling it off.

  118. For centuries mothers have nursed and used light coverings. My grandchildren were all nursed while their moms used light coverings. Why is is just recently that using a covering has become a problem? Right or wrong seeing an exposed breast makes some people uncomfortable. Maybe in years to come people will get past that. But it is what it is.

    1. Continuing to cover will not do anything to help normalize (can’t believe I have to use that term when describing nursing, for Pete’s sake) public nursing, though. I covered last time with a light cover. My beautiful little girl, who struggled along with her rookie mama with nursing in the beginning, got sweaty each and every every time. I am 36 weeks pregnant now. Know this: I will never cover again.

  119. I think given everything i understand why you would not cover. The baby is more important than a cover. I say do what is best for the child. The only thing is when i have a child i will cover because i am a survivor of molestation and rape. I am not at all okay with my breast being exposed to people. I feel really like my breast is very precious and private and its not okay for some random stranger to see such a private thing. Not to mention a breast is very intimate and i dont want to share that intimacy between me and my child in public. If i have to feed him or her in a restroom or my car id prefer that. I think before i do decide i will obviously continue working with a counselor to address my deep anxieties about my breast being seen.

    1. You should absolutely cover if that’s what makes you feel more comfortable. It sounds like talking with a therapist would be a good idea either way, though, as babies are people, too, and they sometimes (often!) have their own ideas about how things should go. Breastfeeding is difficult enough without these other emotional roadblocks it sounds like you have, and the more support you have, the more successful (and hopefully happier and more confident) you’ll be.

  120. Breast-feeding is the most natural thing in the world , no mother should feel ashamed or be made to feel ashamed. It is something when the world looks at semi naked and naked pics of celebrities plastered all over magazines,tv and the internet and aren’t the slightest bit concerned,yet people are embarrassed and horrified by breastfeeding in public! What’s up with that??????

  121. I nursed my baby for 2 years to the day. I tried the cover when I was in public from the very beginning. By 4 months she was ripping it off, causing more of a scene & I was nipple flashing everyone. After that, I stopped using it & while I was out NIP no one knew I was nursing. Not once. I was a freaking nursing ninja! My Husband’s male friends would see me holding my baby in a nursing position & would ASK if I was nursing. I always would respond with, if you can’t tell, then don’t worry about it…with a big smile plastered across my face. It can be done sans cover & without nipple flashing anyone. How I nurse my baby is entirely my business. If others don’t like it…oh well. Not my problem.

  122. of course he was fussy with a cover since your living room is a comfortable space for him and he’s not used to it. maybe try covering him in a space where there are many people, outside, which is the basis of the argument in the first place.
    having said that, if it makes people uncomfortable that you nurse in public, it’s their problem, but if you’re fine about baring your breast to feed your child, then do it. just don’t expect people around you to be okay with it. some people are bothered, just as you might be bothered about some things people do in public.

  123. I nursed all 3 of my kids and I public. You have to use the cover from birth on or they won’t understand. I used the cover in public. As the kids got older they tended to want to play peekaboo with it but they left in on because they were used to it & it was cozy. I didn’t want nurse in the middle of the older kids kindergarten basketball practice without a cover. I don’t want to sit and chat about my boobs with 5 yr olds who don’t belong to me. Plus nursing was between me and the baby. It was relaxing & time to cuddle. Not show and tell with the public. I didn’t want to share nursing with everyone else. It was our time & I wanted it to stay that way.

  124. I have always covered in public so my daughter is “used to it” but at 5 months all of the sudden it drives her crazy. Sometimes I feel like trying to cover draws more attention than discretely putting her on my breast. Plus I live in Florida where it’s like a million degrees out! I wear nursing tanks under my shirts for my own comfort so my belly doesn’t hang out while I nurse and there’s maybe a 5 second window where people might catch a glimpse of a nipple while she’s latching. I don’t see why it would be an issue for anyone. And it burns me up when I’m around kids and I feel like I have to hide because their parents don’t tell them how moms feed their babies. Don’t tell your kid that my baby likes to eat in the dark and leave me to deal with it when they want to pull the cover up to look at her!

  125. I feel sorry for the people who are uncomfortable about public nursing. Being embarrassed by the nature of the human body (including their own) must be hard. Try eating at a restaurant with a cover on your faces so you can get some firsthand experience. Because babies have the same rights as you do, you know?

  126. I don’t think she meant that. I think she was sharing her experience, and clearly started by saying she didn’t think people should ever have to cover but it worked for her. I think she was asking you not to judge people who choose to cover if they are self conscious, but to support all mums trying to do the best they can.

  127. Blonde mum, I don’t think she meant that. I think she was sharing her experience, and clearly started by saying she didn’t think people should ever have to cover but it worked for her. I think she was asking you not to judge people who choose to cover if they are self conscious, but to support all mums trying to do the best they can.

  128. I think it’s kind of ridiculous that people have a problem with nursing in public without covering up. The chances of them seeing nipple is slim and if they do its only for a split second. It’s a natural process, women were designed to do this. If people have a problem with it then they simply don’t have to look, if they see some nipple just look away and brush it off. I think its a bit immature for people to have a problem with it. Oh! and I hate when people suggest going into a bathroom to nurse.. Umm excuse me.. do you like eating your lunch on a toilet? I think not, if you do ..well.. I think you may have problems. 😉

  129. I’m sorry but as a mother of 3 raised on formula and part of an entire generation who turned out FINE most of us raised on formula I do not get the return to breast feeding, but hey it is your choice and your right.

    However, if you MUST breastfeed in public by all means cover! I don’t want one of my boys seeing your boob just as they are reaching the “age”. Let’s face it ladies breasts are NOT just mammary glands anymore. They are objects of sexual desire. Yes…even nursing ones. The kind of change you’re hoping for where boys just grow up thinking of them as nothing more than food supplies for babies as though we lived in some Nat Geo magazine are just GONE. And they aren’t coming back. Such an effort would require somehow allowing only 5 and unders to be around nursing mothers. Every other man would be oogling or giggling to themselves for the free show.

    Breasts CAN feed and yes were made to, but they are also sexually attracting parts of the female anatomy, and that cannot be ignored.

    What about a woman who is unable to have a child? Are her breasts worthless? According to some “back to roots” moms they would be, but they are not worthless. They are still a part of her womanhood and her sexuality. So please for the sake of young boys everywhere who simply aren’t being or were raised the way you intend to raise yours…COVER.

    1. Seriously! When you breastfeed, the breast doesn’t show unless you are completely sitting their topless. There is absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public without a cover. I unfortunately missed on this opportunity with my daughter and switched her to formula at 3 days. She was born in the summer in Florida. Had I of breastfed her in Public with a cover over her, she would have broiled under the cover in our Florida heat. Only people like you can walk by a woman breastfeeding (seeing nothing other that the baby’s face positioned towards a woman’s breast and probably not seeing but at inch of skin and think of it as sexual desire. So for all of those Sexy women who wear sexy swimsuits to pool and beach (please don’t – cover up please – it will only create sexual desire.) A breastfeeding woman shows far less than them for crying out loud. Get a life people. I’m so tired of hearing people say dumb stuff like this.

    2. I taught my son early on about the ends and outs of breastfeeding and now at nine years of age he has not once gawked at a mother trying to feed her baby but every time we pass Victoria Secret at the mall, he does take a second look at the women on the posters, what does that tell you?

    3. Well maybe for the sake of young boys everywhere, mothers could teach their children that breasts were put on our bodies for the purpose of feeding our children. Maybe if mothers explained to their young boys that it’s a natural thing, it wouldn’t be a big deal. I’m not going to put a blanket over my daughters head in weather that is too hot for even a long sleeved shirt just to make others comfortable. Not that she’d even let me. Breasts are a part of sexual attraction, but that is not what they are for. My children learned from an early age what breasts are for and they do not ogle a breast feeding mother. They do not even stare. It’s a short and simple conversation with a child. But if it makes you uncomfortable, it’s as simple as looking the other way. If my child is hungry, she’s fed. No question. So next time you’re out enjoying lunch on a hot day, put a blanket over your head for the duration of your meal then let us know how you feel.

    4. I’m afraid you are going to be uncomfortable in the new society. I’m getting old now and have a sense of where we’ve come from and where we are going, and I can’t see Americans returning to the “veil” for a long time to come, if ever! Poor CM!

  130. Did you say you are nursing an almost 3 year old child? He should be using a cup by now so maybe that’s what he could do in public and you could reserve nursing as a private time for the two of you. This way he can also experience some developmentally appropriate drinking as well.

  131. Just bc shes been nursing for almost 3 years doesnt mean her child is almost 3….you have heard of having multiple children right? Idk why we feel the need to judge other moms, we all do what is best for our own children, no child is the same. No one should be judged for being a good parent. Formula, brest, a year…2 years, do what is right in your situation!

  132. Thanks for conveying an important point in a fun way, Hwbmama. My daughter, now a nursing toddler, has never tolerated nursing under cover and thrives on the opportunity to look around.
    Covering or not covering while nursing should be the decision of the mother and her child, and it’s one that might change over time, depending on the child’s preference and the mother’s comfort level. It’s not a decision that should be made by friends, relatives, or passers-by who believe it’s their right to make unsolicited comments and give instructions.
    If you’re one of those passers-by who’s uncomfortable with the sight of breastfeeding in public, I invite you–respectfully and non-judgmentally–to take a careful, caring look inside and ask why this natural, beautiful, and loving act disturbs you. Then, instead of scolding (or silently resenting) the mother for triggering your discomfort, you can arrive at a place where the sight becomes moving (“Look, it’s a mom nurturing her baby–how wonderful”) rather than upsetting. Our feelings are our responsibility, not the responsibility of the person or situation who/that triggers them. Recognizing this truth is not an easy lesson–I’m still working on it in other contexts–but it’s an essential step in transforming our world into a more peaceful, accepting place rather than a place that’s unfortunately full of intolerance, misunderstanding, prejudice, and violence.

  133. Everyone always has an opinion on this issue. Some say to cover up so as not to tempt men who may see an exposed breast and, because they are prone to sin, will have impure thoughts. Well, I say that if this is a true concern, men who may have impure thoughts after seeing a mother nursing her child should not leave their home, they should not subscribe to internet or television, or have a smartphone, they should not go to the grocery store, they shouldn’t do anything but live in a bubble. Because where can one go these days without being exposed to immodestly dressed women? (Women blatantly dressing to draw attention to their bodies.) That argument makes no sense. I like your line “I would draw much more attention to myself by attempting to cover up than to just quietly nurse my child in the open air.” Nursing covers actually do draw more attention in my opinion… it’s like “hey, there’s an exposed breast under here!” And for all of those men who have trouble keeping their thoughts pure, seeing a mom with a cover draped over her will surely put ideas in his head.

    I have nursed 3 children and have never had a problem nursing in public. Granted, I have always done it modestly. Most people never knew I was nursing. As a believer in Christ I do make every effort to be discreet and modest, not just while nursing but in all of life. I make efforts to not wear clothing that draws attention to my body (whether it’s tight or low cut tops, short skirts or shorts, or tight jeans with shiny things on the back pockets) b/c I truly hope that others will not be drawn to my clothing or my body but to the love of Christ shining through me. For me, my relationship with Christ has carried over into those areas of my life. Now, I understand there are people who bear all while nursing, making no attempt to be modest or discreet at all, maybe in an attempt to make a point or gain attention. If you do see a woman who seems to blatantly be showing off her breasts while she’s nursing, there may be a deeper reason why she’s not concerned with making an effort to nurse more discretely. That’s a whole different issue but my point is that just as we must love and bear with those who need Christ, we must realize they will have different convictions than us. Instead of pointing a finger and judging or criticizing their choice, maybe a different approach would make more of an impact. We definitely live in a fallen world…men may look at a nursing woman who isn’t covered and be tempted to have impure thoughts. You’re right. We live in a fallen world… women may choose to flaunt their bodies as a means of gaining attention, whether they’re nursing or not. Less judgment and more living as a loving example of Christ and the world would be a better place. B/c all the people with the argument of how they don’t want their husbands to see exposed breasts etc… who is that directed to? All the Christian women I know, do try to nurse discretely and modestly, taking into consideration other men, husbands, sons etc… The people you’re pointing your finger at need more than a nursing cover. They need a Christian woman to come along beside them and love them as they are, while pointing them to Jesus.

    All in all, I think the more that people accept nursing moms in public, who are truly trying to do it modestly and discreetly, the more we will get away from the negative issues that are really putting a shadow on something that God created as a beautiful, perfect means for nourishing babies.

    1. Do we always have to bring a god into these conversations? Nursing a child is just natural, it has nothing to do with god.

  134. Nursing in public whether covered or uncovered has never been an issue for me. Im extremely modest and cant imagine baring my bare breast….weather a baby is attatched to it or not. I guess I kind of see all sides on this subject. Except of course the side where we arent supposed to breastfeed because it might tempt men. Thats ridiculous. I have 2 children. I breastfed both of them until they were between 2-3 yrs. I feel like we have been taught from the time we were old enough to understand that we are to keep our breasts (as well as other private parts) covered and im sure most of us are teaching our children the same thing. Because we have been taught to cover our “private parts” , nudity makes most of us uncomfortable. This is why I chose to cover myself when nurding my babies or due it in private. I respect that my naked breast may make a person who was raised to be modest and cover themselves uncomfortable. Even when it is exposed for the sole purpose of feeding a hungry baby.

    1. *nursing* my babies. *DO* It in private. I just re-read my above comment and am embarrassed by all of my spelling and punctuation errors! I have a small home daycare and was leaving that comment while following 2 year olds around.

      1. Thank you for your comments.. I was raised to always keep “private parts” covered and I do get embarrassed when I see a nursing more with no cover.. I can’t help it, I was raised that way and so was my husband. We try really hard to be up to date on everything but this nursing thing just is embarrassing for us.. I don’t think it would have been such an issue if people would leave it alone.. Everyone seems to love drama so onward they all go. Why would parents for generations teach their kids to cover up if it was so important to nurse uncovered? I get confused, I really don’t see the reason for being un modest but that’s me, my husband, my mother, my sisters etc. I just liked your comments and I bet your kids aren’t traumatized by being covered up when you were nursing.

        1. i wouldn’t say nursing in public without covers is “up to date”
          what do you think people did in cave man days. we didnt always walk around covered up and breastfeeding wasn’t always considered a sexual distraction or imodist. it’s the most natural thing someone could ever do. why don’t we go put covers on cats and dogs when they nurse their kittens or puppies so the other animals dont feel uncomfortable. look at these pictures… they date all the way back to the 1800s. now that’s not up to date if you ask me.

          1. i breastfed 2 children both until they turned 1… and if i was in public i always covered up just because i felt more comfortable that way. but we should never ever tell a woman that they have to cover up. that should be their choice and no one elses.

  135. So, let me get this straight…. a woman can’t breast feed her baby in public…which is obviously the way God/nature intended since our breasts produce milk and every mammal on this earth does the same thing. BUT, it’s okay for the media and stores like victoria secret and abercrombie, etc. to have half naked women posted in their storefront windows and magazines, tv, etc. or women can be half dressed at a swimming pool…. or people having sex and cussing on tv. but heaven forbid a mother nurses her baby in public! what is this world coming to? it’s very sad.

    1. we live in a society where everything goes because no one wants to offend anyone and everyone should have equal rights. in the town i live in we even have a naked bike ride every year with thousand and thousands of participants. well, everything goes except nursing you baby in public without a cover. this is absurd .

      1. i breastfed 2 children both until they turned 1… and if i was in public i always covered up just because i felt more comfortable that way. but we should never ever tell a woman that they have to cover up. that should be their choice and no one elses.

  136. I find the comments about “well if you started with your newborn” amusing. I was shamed into getting a cover and trying to use it from the beginning with my first child. Even days old he hated it with a passion so intense that he would scream himself red, covered in sweat and when he did finally nurse he would promptly vomit the entire contents of his stomach all over him, me and whatever else was in the line of fire when he was done. If I tried to use a blanket while we were out to keep the sun out of his eyes, not even for privacy, he would go through the whole thing again. Even at days old he was not going to have anything to do with being covered, confined, or hidden. My other 2 would have a fit when I would attempt to use a blanket for something as simple as to keep the sun out of their eyes as well. You can nurse a child without flashing the world without a cover. I did it every single day, through 3 children, all 3 nursing well past the “average” or a year or 2 (yes I’m “one of those” natural weaning age mamas. Youngest weaning age was 3, they only got older from there). There is absolutely no valid excuse for forcing and shaming women into covering when they do not choose to do so.

  137. I breastfed all of my children “back in the day” and always felt I had to cover up. I HATED it, and so did the babies. I am so glad that most people have become accepting of public breastfeeding ( without the covering up). I think it is awesome when moms breastfeed ( I also understand that some moms can’t and that is ok too!).
    Your article was amazing and thank you for posting the pics of the cover up battle…. I remember these all too well..

  138. My sister made me a cover when I was pregnant with my first. I think I tried to use it exactly once; baby just was not interested in not being able to see around her (and funny enough, my sister also has no qualms about NIP without a cover–I never have asked why she made me one). As I got more comfortable with nursing my first baby, I grew less and less concerned with other people’s opinions about what is appropriate and not, and I think the idea of nursing being somehow immodest, even if you (like me) pull your breast out of a low neckline and therefore have a second of exposing the whole breast, is absurd. I have pretty large breasts, and my baby’s head, even when s/he (I’ve had two) was newborn, covered most of it from others’ perspectives (I know, I checked it out in the mirror–unless you’re looking over my shoulder, you’re net seeing a lot). Fortunately, I live in the PNW, where NIP is very common and seldom causes comment.

  139. I breastfed my baby for over two years and never used a cover. I also NEVER once breastfed in public. I always found a private place (never a bathroom.). It wasn’t difficult for me. I think breastfeeding is a wonderful thing but it’s a fact that some people don’t want to see my breast.. And to be honest, I don’t want them to see my breast either. I also chose to be more private because I wanted to show respect for other peoples feelings. It’s wrong to think that people need to respect my feelings but I don’t have to respect their feelings.

  140. If you are offended in any way by a breast feeding mother and child, that is YOUR problem, not hers: keep it to yourself.

    I remember my mother tutting in her very Scots and disapproving way at a mother breastfeeding her child in the ladies of a department store in Cambridge: she went out an cornered the management and made them apologize for telling her to go there, and find her a comfy chair and a cup of tea in the tea room. Must have been about 1978…

    Mum could not breastfeed me. She had a toddler at home and a burst appendix a few hours after I was born, and was strongly advised that she needed her health in order to look after us, and breastfeeding was going to take too much out of her. She complied reluctantly. I survived! Wow!

    My son was bottle fed. He was born with his blood sugar so low he was basically hypoglycaemic, and had to be fed before my milk came in. I was warned at the time that this might mean he would never latch on, and despite plenty of help and advice (and I could have fed a small army!) he never did. I got distressed, and after three weeks the midwife who visited me at home said: give up: it’s distressing you both, and he’ll be fine on formula. It’s a lot more bother and inconvenience than breast feeding, but you’ll both be better off. No more hungry baby, no more cracked and chewed nipples, no more pain and angst. I was quite seriously censored by several folk for NOT breastfeeding: doing so in public was never an issue.

    There is no shame in either choice, whatever your reasons, be they personal, medical, or mere preference. If anyone has a a problem with your choice and how you exercise it, that’s entirely their problem, not yours.

  141. OMG with all that fighting I thought for sure there would be a flash! lol after all isn’t that what everyone is so up in arms about? =P I never did a cover and support any type of feeding.

  142. What is with these overly complicated and huge covers? Why not a light receiving blanket that’s draped over just the exposed breast part? I always hear the argument of suffocation, heat, or the ever popular, “You eat under a blanket!” (as if they’re the exact same situation), and of course I could see it with a cover like this! If a mother wants to be discreet about breastfeeding, she will be. There are so many different options that don’t inhibit the act or make it uncomfortable for the baby and most don’t even require an expensive add on, just a certain shirt with a nursing bra. If you’re going out with your newborn, chances are you know they’ll need to eat and so you’re more than likely going to be prepared and wear something to help them feed as quickly as possible and without over exposure. IN fact, most articles I’ve seen that talk about breastfeeding show pictures of women doing it and you can barely even tell! I don’t see why someone mentioning this has to get such a nasty and negative reaction ESPECIALLY when they’re not trying to be rude or saying you shouldn’t feed your hungry baby! This entire debate has gotten so out of hands on both sides. We all know there are those that are abusing the “it’s natural!” stance and just attention seeking. They’re the ones posting pics in the HuffPost comment sections of their whole chest out with a baby barely if even feeding and saying “Look at me I don’t care!”. I’m not saying that’s all breastfeeding mothers or all mothers who do it without a cover. Off the internet and out in the real world, most of us do breastfeed discreetly. We aren’t sitting in Olive Garden, tit completely out and dangling about or staging breastfeed-ins to force our opinions on people. I have respect for everyone around me, myself, and my child. And while I can understand the “If you don’t like it don’t look!” argument also, let’s be honest, if you happen to see someone whip out their boob in the middle of Denny’s it’s going to catch your attention. That of course doesn’t mean to stare, gawk, or whatever, but you cannot say you wouldn’t notice. Sure you might go on with your dinner like nothing happened, and good for you for going on with your life, but you’ll notice. It’s human nature. If someone isn’t comfortable seeing our boobs, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re sexualizing it. I’m not comfortable seeing stripes and plaids together, doesn’t mean I have some weird pattern fetish (ok that’s too far lol)! Saying it’s uncomfortable isn’t the same thing as secretly drooling at the sight of our nips wishing they were that baby so they could have a go at em. At the end of the day we need to all respect each other, period. One thing I won’t tolerate though is ANYONE telling a breastfeeding mother to go to a bathroom to feed their child. That is unsanitary and demeaning. I won’t even keep gum in my mouth walking into a restroom. Anyway, let’s try not to be so nasty to one another and support each other. This motherhood thing is hard enough with everything life throws at us. Hell life is hard enough, period! Let’s not make it any worse.

  143. I applaud parents everywhere who successfully feed their children. Moms, dads, bottles, boobs… It shouldn’t warrant a week of awareness, that some of the parents who feed their child do so with the part of their body that provides nourishment. I breast fed. For over a year. It was very hard for me (every single latch was difficult due to inverted nipples) I could not have breast fed any other way than how I did it – in my home, in public, never in a bathroom, never under a cover. For an entire year, I never once received a dirty look, a stare or an admonishment for it, and I am now realizing how lucky and rare that is. To be struggling just to get my baby to latch was a trial in an of itself, to have to do so in a bathroom or under cover, would have been ridiculous. Breast feeding is not a dirty act, and it’s time to stop covering it as though it was.

  144. I’m a father if 3 girls, and I still can’t believe that people are offended by breast feeding. It seems backwards and puritanical. We’ve all seen boobs. It’s nothing new. I think there are just a lot of high strung, angry people out there who are looking for a reason to be offended. There are so many other things to get upset over. A mom stopping her screaming baby by feeding her while she attempts to carry on with her day, shouldn’t be one of them. This just confirms how idiotic people can be. I think those people getting offended should be courteous by minding there own business and letting a new mom do what she literally needs to do without glares or harassment.

  145. Great example of how hard it is to get some babes to accept a cover while nursing. Some will just not have it. Some will barely tolerate it and of course some are cool with it. Asking all moms to cover up is just not feasible for some moms, moms should cover up or retreat to a more private spot etc if they CHOOSE to do so (and I have zero problems with any mom that makes that choice for herself and her babe(s), I don’t nurse my twins at the same time in public as it is too much of a spectacle for me to be comfortable, but I will nurse them together at family’s house and damn the spectacle, we all have differnet comfort levels and that’s fine), not because they have to or society is too confused about breasts to deal :)

    And for a little humor, the only time I’ve used the breastfeeding cover a friend gave me as a hand-me-down (she never used it as far as I can tell) is to cover up while pumping in the car when I was traveling for work and could not find a nice mall or babies-r-us to pump somewhere private. I have to say it was great for that purpose 😉

  146. I once nursed at someone’s house during a church ‘small group’ meeting of about 8 couples, all married with children. I was in a different room, missing the conversation, so they told me to come in. I did, but unfortunately, did not realize they meant “come in, and nurse with a cover.” I don’t use covers because it makes nursing very difficult, however, I know how to nurse discreetly without a cover. I learned later that everyone stayed after we left to talk about what I did, and how to solve the problem. When I did ‘it’ a second time (I was in a different room nursing, then everyone came in, but again, I did not have a cover), they talked again, then went to female leadership in the church to ask what the rules were for nursing during small group. Someone approached me and said that you have to go to a different, closed bedroom to nurse during small group meetings. Especially because some single people came to the group sometimes. Wow. I would have loved to attend the young mom’s group at church, but have sat out for five years while I had three more babies, because someone said that I should not nurse during the meetings without a cover. I have tried to forget it and move on, but every time someone talks about nursing with or without a cover, I can’t help but be appalled by their audacity to tell a mother how and where she can feed her baby.

  147. If we take a look at history, we would find that women in the US (and similar industrialized nations) are presently in a unique predicament. Up until the mid-20th century, throughout all of man’s history on this planet, breastfeeding was the normal way infants were fed. And though breasts also clearly have a sexual function, their role in nourishment and feeding was never in question. Indeed, many paintings and photographs from years past show women, (even in very rigid and conservative times and cultures), breastfeeding openly and with no shame, even in the presence of men.

    Enter the 1940s and 1950s, when formula feeding replaced breastfeeding as the “normal” means of infant nourishment, when over 90% of infants from birth were bottlefed. No longer did women sit and nurse socially. No longer did children see mothers nursing younger siblings. The direct result? For the first time in history, the functional role of the breast for feeding was gone. Suddenly, it became an entirely sexual organ.

    This was furthered and promoted even more in the later half of the century. Breast augmentation, lingerie, advertising, pornography…it all confirmed that breasts were just about sex.

    Interestingly, though, during this time, the medical community had largely started to recognize the superiority of breast milk for infants. More physicians were recommending that mothers breastfeed, and new support from public health measures further advocated breastfeeding. The brave mothers of the 1970s really through the 1990s started the process of reclaiming the breast, and we owe much to them today.

    However, mothers now face the consequences of the past century; breasts are still seen primarily as sexual, even among women. But enough mothers are nursing now for us to realize this really isn’t 100% true. And so cultural dictates have found the compromise: the cover. A way for infants to be fed without revealing those oh-so-sexy lady bits.

    But is this really right? Why can we not work towards the goal of FULLY normalizing breastfeeding, once again letting women use their bodies as designed by God/intended by nature (depending on one’s belief set)?

    The ONLY way for this to occur is for women to stop breastfeeding in shame. The covers, the trips to the car, the pumping milk to bring in a bottle: they all undermine this cause. We need little boys and girls to see mothers nursing in public. We need men to see women using their breasts to feed babies. And judging by some of the horrifying comments here, we need other WOMEN to support and applaud each other for nursing openly and proudly.

    Let’s do it!!!

  148. The above comment nails it–breasts were made for feeding babies. The sexual pleasure derived from breasts is a bonus, to be sure, but sexual pleasure was not, is not, and will never be the primary reason women have breasts. Get over it, people! Let women feed their babies! BTW, someone in a previous post mentioned how breastfeeding mothers and children were, at one time, frequently depicted in art–as the normal, everyday, human experience that it is. One of the favorite pieces I own is a Peruvian wooden sculpture of the Madonna nursing Jesus. You can see her breast. You can see the baby latched on to it. Yes, people, Mary nursed Jesus. Jesus had his mother’s nipples in his mouth. He sucked, he drank, he swallowed. Just as my sons did from my breasts. There’s nothing gross, perverse or naughty about it. Jesus, like all human children, needed to eat. His mother met his needs.

  149. I’m so sick of people bashing mothers !
    one of the hardest jobs on this planet is being a parent and especially
    a breast feeding mom. people need to get a grip, for real. For the
    men that get turned on by it and the woman that couldn’t breast feed or adopted and
    the dried up old menopausal wind bag that wish she was that young again, DON’T LOOK!
    it’s that easy, bunch of perverted, jealous, self righteous losers!. I mother is feeding her child
    The End

  150. Hi, my son is 21 now, so it was a long time ago that I nursed. I was a late mother, 38 at the time and not sure whether or not this gave me more confidence but my attitude to anyone who took offence to my nursing was:

    Do you eat in public, in a restaurant at a table, on a bus or train? Then my baby should be given the same respect and be allowed to eat in public, in a restaurant, etc. Would you like to eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner in a toilet, would you even consider doing it? Then why expect me to take my baby into a toilet, which is exactly what a baby changing room is, to eat his lunch! If you don’t like it, don’t look, walk away, leave. But I am eating here and my baby is eating with me. Only once was I asked to leave a restaurant, above was the argument I gave them and needless to say I did not move until my son had finished his meal.

    Nursing should not be an issue, if it is you need to do what feels right for you and your baby. Some prefer to cover up and are more comfortable that way, it is your choice.

    Good luck and happy nursing whatever you decide.

  151. I breastfed 2 of mine for a short time, and was always discreet about it. Receiving blankets are not heavy or hot. Whenever possible, I did it in a bedroom, or other private area (because whether anyone wants to admit it or not – a boob is a private body part). When they started to get older and fought being fed that way, I gradually switched them over to the bottle. I personally am not bothered by seeing a woman breastfeeding uncovered, but I would rather my kids not have to see it.