5 useful tips for breastfeeding successfully in public

If you’re currently breastfeeding or have breastfed in the past, you’ll know that it truly is a skill that takes time to master.

Many mothers are surprised that something that seems so ‘natural’ can actually be anything but natural. Engorged breasts, an oversupply of milk, nipple pain and/or sensitivity, a baby who fusses before latching are just a few of the many hurdles the average mum may face.  Trying to overcome these in the safety of your own home is one thing but breastfeeding in public can be somewhat nerve wracking.

There is not need to panic though,  all it takes is a little bit of know how and a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Five tips for breastfeeding in public

1.  Know your rights

Young mother breastfeeding her little cute boy
Source: Supplied

It’s a good idea to know that breastfeeding mums are protected by federal law. Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is illegal in Australia to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly on the grounds of breastfeeding. Babies can be breastfed anywhere and anytime. You are also not legally required to cover up (though of course you can if you choose to). You can find out more info here.

2.  Dress for success

Mother breastfeeding baby girl outdoors in summer nature. Mother is wearing a classic striped cotton dress and a pearl necklace, baby girl is 4 month and in a white dress. Both have very fair skin. They are sitting on a plaid on the grass. Horizontal waist up shot with copy space.
Source: iStock

When it comes to popping out a boob in public, kitting yourself out in the right clothing can make life immeasurably easier. Many women like the ‘one up, one down’ approach which keeps the postpartum belly covered as well as most of your breast. The easiest way to do this is by wearing a nursing singlet underneath a t-shirt/jumper/blouse/vest. When it’s time to feed you can pull up your second layer and unclip your singlet. This gives plenty of access to your breast for baby while keeping everything else under wraps. V-neck t-shirts, button down shirts and blouses are also a great option, especially in the cooler months. These allow easy access to your breasts while keeping your tummy (and non-used breast!) under cover.

3.  Get comfortable

Sleeping baby suckles. Studio photography, dark background.

If you feel exposed/cold/hot/uncomfortable your breastfeeding experience isn’t going to be a great one. A wobbly chair in a draughty food court isn’t going to be the most comfortable spot to feed, especially for a new mother. Moving to a comfortable cafe, a lounge chair or a parents room can give you some more space and room to get yourself sorted. It’s also important to make sure you have access to your water bottle/a glass of water and anything else you might need while feeding.

4.  Use a cover (if you want to)

Multi-ethnic mothers chatting while nursing babies outdoors.
Source: iStock

Many women start out feeding in public with a nursing cover or muslin to help them feel comfortable. There is no law that says that you need to use a cover while feeding.  However, some women find them annoying or fussy and some find that the covers give them the extra confidence to feed when in public. If you think you might like to give a cover a go, look for one in a light fabric to suit Australia’s warm climate and neck strap so that you’re not trying to hold the cover and attach the baby at the same time.

5.  Take a deep breath, smile and be proud of yourself

Baby sucks the mother's breast. Close-up.
Source: iStock

Breastfeeding in public for the first time (or the 100th time) can take confidence. Remind yourself that your baby has every right to eat where you are (the law states it!), make yourself as comfortable as possible and go for it!

The Healthy Mummy Smoothie


Did you know that The Healthy Mummy’s range of delicious smoothies are breastfeeding-friendly?

The Healthy Mummy smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.

The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dietitians and with input from Monash University.

It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.

It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96 per cent sugar free and is dairy free.

You can download our information fact sheet here. You can also download the smoothie label and ingredient list here.

Buy your Healthy Mummy Smoothie HERE.