5 Things to Know About Breastfeeding in Public

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When baby's hungry, he doesn't care whether you're at home or at the mall. So if you're a breastfeeding momma, you better be prepared to feed baby in public. “The beauty about breastfeeding, whether it is in public or not, is that you don't really need anything except you and your baby,” says Dr. Jamie Isip Cumpas, pediatrician and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Here, Dr. Jamie answers common questions about breastfeeding in public.

1. Is there anything that you need? Dr. Jamie: “It depends on the level of comfort the mother and baby have in terms of breastfeeding in public. Some mothers prefer to use a nursing cover, ideally made of a light breathable material, while other mothers breastfeed their babies without using one. It takes a little bit of practice to get the hang of breastfeeding in public.”

2. How does one go about it? Dr. Jamie: “Before a breastfeeding mom goes to a public place with her baby, it would be good to find out where the lactation station is located – if there is one. This is also because most babies need a change of diaper immediately after feeding so the lactation station/family room should be a more convenient place to do that. Of course, babies may strike anywhere and a mom may feed her baby right then and there.

3. What are the most suitable places to breastfeed in public? Dr. Jamie: “Anywhere (except the bathroom) can be a suitable place to breastfeed. Because when a baby is hungry no matter where they are, the baby needs to be fed. It's the most natural thing to do.”

4. How does mom make the experience pleasant for baby? Dr. Jamie: “Hungry babies just want to be fed so as long as the baby's feeding does not get interrupted then breastfeeding in public should be pleasant for the baby. There are some babies who refuse to be under a nursing cover (because it can get very warm) so the mom may opt to use a nursing top/dress instead so it is easier for her to breastfeed in public and still be discreet.”

5. What does a mom do when faced with people who do not take to the sight of a mother breastfeeding in public well? Dr. Jamie: “Fortunately in the Philippines, I think people in general are more accepting of mothers who breastfeed in public. However, if they do encounter anyone who does not agree with breastfeeding in public I suggest you just smile, be positive, and continue breastfeeding. The more commonplace breastfeeding in public becomes, the more people will realize that it is the most natural thing!”

“However, I have also heard of some security guards in malls who approach breastfeeding mothers and ask them to move to the lactation station (which may be very far). It is best to explain to them that they are allowed to breastfeed wherever they are. If this does not satisfy them, then moms should elevate it to management so these employees are properly oriented.”