Breastfeeding: To cover or not to cover? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just curious what is your preference when it comes to breastfeeding in public: do you cover or do you "whip" it out? We've all been in situations where its not always possible to be discreet, so what do you do? 

 

Personally I don't have a problem freely bf'ing in public without a cover. I honestly hate the covers and so does my little guy. I tried the cover out a little bit in the beginning, but found it to be a nuisance so I don't use it anymore. 

 

Thoughts?

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#2 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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Before I became a bf mom, I would have said cover! I'm more open to not covering now and I choose based on where I am and who I'm with. More often than not, I cover because my DS won't eat without popping on and off with all the distractions. That is what works for me, but I support the mothers who choose to bf without covering. Their courage empowers me. 

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#3 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 10:01 PM
 
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I don't use a blanket or nursing cover. I just wear two shirts, one I can pull up and one I can pull down. I tried to cover a few times when he was littler but it was SO HARD to get the latch right and everything when I couldn't see. So, I gave up on that quick!
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#4 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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I mostly nurse in the sling in public, at least while the babe is little. It helps cover things up, but mainly it provides support and once baby had a bit of head control, it's hands free--until then once he's latched I can usually manage with one free hand.


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#5 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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Whatever you feel confortable and easier for you and your baby. I don't cover, I never did. I use layer of clothing and tank. Some times I cover with my own hand when my little one latch on, that's all


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#6 of 76 Old 03-18-2011, 10:30 PM
 
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depends on the situation. 

 


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#7 of 76 Old 03-19-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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I don't cover, i do the 2 shirt thing but thats it.. on baby #3 now so the most i do is look for a place to sit down and/or something to entertain my other kids.. unless baby is in the wrap then i can just nurse her in there and keep on walking :)

 

I do feel that covers attract more attention which in some ways is nice, because i notice more BFing moms when they are using covers, but i don't think that is their point! 

 

 


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#8 of 76 Old 03-19-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the responses! it's nice to hear that there are others like myself, because where i live i only see people bf'ing with covers so it makes me feel a little out of place. i live in southern california now which is pretty conservative, but had our son in santa cruz which was more accepting of different parenting styles. and it doesn't help that my own mom tells me to cover up in my own house! 

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#9 of 76 Old 03-19-2011, 03:37 PM
 
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I've never used a cover. I do refrain from pulling my shirt up to my neck, exposing both breasts, my back and stomach, when we're out though. At home I don't show nearly as much restraint lol.gif


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#10 of 76 Old 03-19-2011, 05:11 PM
 
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I am a huge proponent of normalizing breastfeeding and nursing in public. I nursed for 3 and half year with my son and I think I used a cover less than 6 times. That said, either way, you have to do what makes YOU and your baby comfortable. Public opinion does not factor in for me.

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#11 of 76 Old 03-19-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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I choose to cover based on my level of perceived breastfeeding support. Cool coffee shop around lots of other young people, no cover. With mother-in-law in her rural town at the local diner, then cover. 


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#12 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I don't cover, I'm not coordinated enough to use one!

 


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#13 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Before I was a mom I would have said cover, then I tried latching DD on and covering.  What a PITA. I ditched the cover pretty quick.  The only place I use  cover is when I'm wearing a bathing suit since it exposes my whole huge boob and I'm not comfortable with that. Then I just draped my shoulders and boob with my sarong type coverup.  I didn't cover dd unless she was sleepy and trying to nap.

 

I did the 2 shirt thing and got good enough at it that I felt comfortable doing it pretty much anywhere.


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#14 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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I think however the woman feels comfortable doing it is the right way. So if you want to cover then cover but if not then show as much as you are comfy with smile.gif
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#15 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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I also wanted to add that it does depend on who I am with as well. If I'm with a group that has a lot of guys I'll try to be a little more discreet but if it's all women then I'm not as careful. And, if I'm with DH in public he is VERY careful to try and block me by standing in front of me. It's annoying but he means well. I'm sure by the second one he won't do it anymore (since he'll be chasing the older one around while I nurse the younger one!)

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#16 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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Depending on where I am... 

Church service- I do nurse right in the row, but I cover.... Just about everywhere else, no cover.

 

That being said, DD2 is 6 months and not so much into the cover, so it may go out the window even at church...


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#17 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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I don't use a cover, but I wear nursing camis and a looser shirt over, and just use DD's head to cover if we're in public. Sometimes if I have a lightweight blanket handy, I will pull the corner of it up to and a little past where DD's mouth is, so none of my skin is showing. I don't believe anyone has ever spotted my nipples in public. Some of my shirts work really well, and I have carried DD around Walmart while nursing and no one could tell. It just looked like she was asleep. If I'm with other nursing moms, I don't work as hard covering, but I still don't let it all hang out, though several of them do. I think some of the people at my church think I'm a little odd for BF in public when other moms bring bottles, but I really don't care. My DD is so healthy, almost never gets sick, and is extremely happy and relaxed all the time. I have had friends comment on how they like that DD is always in my arms instead of in a carseat on the floor, and on how she never fusses in public.


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#18 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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It seems to me that the specific bfing "covers" do two things - 1:  call everyone's attn to the fact that you're bfing and 2: de-normalize bfing, as if things are only "proper" if you wear a tent over your child and breast!  A nursing cami and whatever else I chose to wear over it worked fine for me.  

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#19 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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I absolutely did not ever cover, ever. I don't care the setting, the people around me, whatever. I refuse to use a cover. I am personally modest about showing my actual breast, so I had ways to layer shirts so that no skin was exposed when I was nursing, but I never slung a blanket or nursing cover over us. 

 

Personally, I think nursing covers are like a big sign that says 'something inappropriate is happening under here.' I don't want to contribute to the idea that breastfeeding is inappropriate or needs to be kept hidden. I refuse to use nursing rooms for the same reason. 

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#20 of 76 Old 03-20-2011, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post

I absolutely did not ever cover, ever. I don't care the setting, the people around me, whatever. I refuse to use a cover. I am personally modest about showing my actual breast, so I had ways to layer shirts so that no skin was exposed when I was nursing, but I never slung a blanket or nursing cover over us. 

 

Personally, I think nursing covers are like a big sign that says 'something inappropriate is happening under here.' I don't want to contribute to the idea that breastfeeding is inappropriate or needs to be kept hidden. I refuse to use nursing rooms for the same reason. 


I totally agree. It makes me angry when I hear of other mothers being told to cover up when bfing - as if there were something wrong with feeding your baby the way all other mammalians do. I think it comes down 1) breasts have been overly sexualized in this culture (nipple phobia!), and 2) formula companies in the past (and present) have put a lot of money into their marketing machine to normalize bottle feeding and therefore de-normalized bfing. 

 

 

 

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#21 of 76 Old 03-21-2011, 12:23 AM
 
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until DD was about 6 months i usually covered with a recieving blanket when in public or if we had people over. but it was always for my comfort, not for theirs. at about 6 months I started to get a lot better at using my shirt to cover, and haven't used anything to cover since except a towel when we were at the pool once. my second should be arriving any time now, and I'm not sure how much/if I'll cover with him. 


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#22 of 76 Old 03-21-2011, 03:08 AM
 
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I never cover. I have some awesome nursing shirts and will nurse my wriggly 11 month old where ever and whenever.

 

I do cover my nipple with my hand when he pops off (which is often) but to be honest, I do that primarily so he can't grab my breast and squirt the milk (a little trick he learned last month). My modesty is a secondary thought! (Except when it comes to covering my abdomen, which is why I wear nursing shirts. I'm still learning to love my postpartum tummy.)

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#23 of 76 Old 03-21-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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I just nurse wherever and have never covered. The only time I ever wished for a cover was yesterday in the park when I almost froze.

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#24 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaofLiam View Post
 my own mom tells me to cover up in my own house!

That's just ridiculous! I actually met a women recently who wears a swimsuit to bathe with her baby and toddler, a little excessive!
 

 

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#25 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I never covered I did do the tank thing or nursing shirt at tue start but not ds is on and off every few hours I've started to feel like my breast are phlox property vie had people ask me to cover up because they where uncomftble and it's like why don't you just look away it's not like I'm following you ! Or a few people worry about what " men " will think and I just don't care . Ds will not nurse with a cover he just won't asking me to cover is asking me to isolated myself or let my baby go hungery well I wait for a private place .ok rant over can you tell tis has come up once or twice ?? Or and I live in a state where the laws are clear anywhere I'm allowed to be I can nurse and bussnes can not ask me to cover or leave
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#26 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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Hi love this blog regarding this issue of covering ourselves when we are breastfeeding :

http://mamamilkandme.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/ban-the-breast-burka/

I personnally never used a cover, I'm layering a tank top and a t-shirt.

Sophie, mom of Marie and Pierre

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#27 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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The poster who mentioned perceived level of support pretty much nailed it for me.  Now my DD is 21mo, and still nursing with limits, so I do a "plausible deniability cover" in places like the library, etc.  Which is, I throw the corner of my shawl or wrap over my shoulder.  Usually nothing gets covered, but it sure LOOKS like I'm trying, lol.  I began doing this after having several ridiculous encounters with people all before DD was 3 months old.

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#28 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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I use a tank top under a button up shirt. I don't remember ever using a blanket to cover up, how uncomfortable and awkward! Not to mention calling attention to yourself! At this point I don't even have to stop walking or sit down or anything(I'm growing #4 now). I know my MIL thinks it's weird, I remember shopping with her when #3 was a newborn and got hungry. It's not you EITHER cover up OR whip it out, there's a great choice in-between and that's what most moms do. I have never even seen a mom whip it out unless it's a close friend/relative in their own homes.


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#29 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jksmith View Post


 

That's just ridiculous! I actually met a women recently who wears a swimsuit to bathe with her baby and toddler, a little excessive!
 

 


I've never gotten people like that, I even took baths with my dad til I was 5 or so and my brother was born, and I informed the whole snooty side of the family at Thanksgiving that Dad's penis is bigger than my baby brother's. Boy was dad embarassed!! I think it's wonderful and healthy for kids to grow up knowing what's normal. I can't imagine having grown up never seeing those hidden body parts and knowing how different people can look from each other.
 

 


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#30 of 76 Old 03-23-2011, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie.nyc View Post

Hi love this blog regarding this issue of covering ourselves when we are breastfeeding :

http://mamamilkandme.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/ban-the-breast-burka/

I personnally never used a cover, I'm layering a tank top and a t-shirt.

Sophie, mom of Marie and Pierre


This was a great link. I actually cried. It makes me very sad that there isn't more support for breast feeding moms. That often what is considered "acceptable" makes bfing far more difficult and lonely. I'm really thankful for a forum like this to discuss and share, as well as LLL. 

 

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