Breastfeeding in public

As many of you will know, breastfeeding is something I am very passionate about. I think every woman should have the right to feed their babies in comfort, wherever and whenever they need to. I believe that every baby has the right to feed in a clean and hygienic environment. Why some people believe it is acceptable for a baby to be fed in a toilet cubicle is beyond me – would you eat your dinner in there?!

Breastfeeding in public is a much-debated, quite controversial issue that continues to divide opinion. While many people don’t see a problem with it, many others find it quite off-putting and even offensive – but why? Is it down to personal views or even a deeper reason, such as their faith? A new survey recently carried out by Benednen shows that almost 85% of those questioned have at some stage breastfed their children, or their partners have. Yet only 27% have breastfed in public. This both shocks and saddens me. A lot of the people surveyed said they were fearful of other peoples reactions to public feeding, or struggled to find a safe and comfortable place to feed. 

Everywhere should be a breastfeeding friendly option. I don’t know why it is such an issue. It’s not sexual, it’s not exposure, it’s not anything for mums or passers-by to feel uncomfortable about. It is simply a baby eating his or her lunch – just the same as you or I sat on a bench eating a sandwich. 

Breastfeeding friendly

I have seen more and more of these signs popping up near where I live. Breastfeeding friendly places are becoming more accessible. That can only be a good thing for new mums, and those who feel a bit uncomfortable out in the open.  At least you know you can sit in a place that displays this badge and feel comfortable, not feel judged. But in reality, it is your right to feed anywhere you like. If your baby needs to eat, go with it. If anyone ever asks you to leave, asks you to cover up or asks you to feed in a toilet, please don’t do it. Please. Breastfeeding rates in this country are low, and we need to stand up and show people that it is OK to feed in public, you don’t need to take a bottle of formula out with you just in case someone gives you a dirty look. Your boobs, your baby, your right to feed. 

Have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public? Do you have any recommendations for breastfeeding friendly places?

This is a collaborative post



  1. August 5, 2014 / 12:25 pm

    I breastfed my son for 2.5 years but I remember feeling SO anxious about doing it in public for the first 6 months or so. I used to seek out breastfeeding toilets for the first few months but it got easier and then I forgot I’d ever been worried! That statistic is so sad x
    Fritha Strickland recently posted…Blog HopMy Profile

  2. Ellie
    August 5, 2014 / 12:28 pm

    It’s so sad that mums are still made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public.
    There was only one time, that I can recall, when I fed our baby girl in the car instead of a cafe, but that was my choice: it was one of our very first outings, we’d left it late to sit down and I felt uncomfortable; I wasn’t made to feel that way.

    After that though, we soon got the hang of it and I breastfed everywhere: planes, trains, cafes, restaurants, parks, even in church. If our baby girl needed to be fed, then I fed her, no matter where we were.

    I made sure I knew my rights so that if I ever was approached I could defend myself, but fortunately for me, I never had to use that knowledge and happily breastfed both here and abroad until the baby girl was 9.5 months old and spontaneously self-weaned!

  3. August 5, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    It’s sad that places feel they need a breastfeeding friendly sign or that people feel they need to look out for a sign so that they can breastfeed without fear of confrontation etc. Breastfeeding should be the norm and I have no idea why it isn’t! Great post x

  4. August 5, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    I hate the way mums are made to feel like they are doing something wrong when it comes to breastfeeding in public. I bottlefed by the baby group I attended everyone except me breastfed and we always met in the same place for lunch as one the girls partners was the owner and that was quite sad. The only thing wrong with breastfeeding in public is the issue other people make of it!

  5. August 7, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    I have to say, even though it’s legal to breastfeed anywhere, I would still have felt more comfortable feeding Gwenn somewhere that displayed the sticker. I used nipple shields for 6 months which made public feeding a faff on, so I was always very self-conscious.

    Nobody ever approached me when I was feeding but I’d have confidently told them where to go if I’d got any negative comments!!


    Betty and the Bumps recently posted…Happy World Breastfeeding WeekMy Profile

  6. August 7, 2014 / 8:49 pm

    It is so sad that mums are made to feel bad for breastfeeding their babies in public. The signs are great for making women feel that they are welcome to breastfeeding but I wish they weren’t needed. Women should be able to feed their babies whenever and wherever without having to be told its ok to do so.
    Louise recently posted…Stress and supplyMy Profile

  7. August 7, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    I breastfed out and about, with twins I had to or I never would have got out of the house. Goood to see the signs, but also a bit poor, it should really not ever needed a campaign!!
    Jo Bryan recently posted…Like Love Loathe #23My Profile

  8. August 13, 2014 / 9:35 pm

    It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable about feeding in public, I think I’ve just about cracked it now! I would love to see this type of positive Breastfeeding policy adopted across a variety of businesses. I think it would go along way to promote Breastfeeding for anyone put off by the idea of feeding in public. Thanks for sharing this Kate! #BFingDiaries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Family Fever

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading