Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding in public can mean feeding in front of a relative or friend in your own home, or in a public place such as a cafe or shopping centre. It’s very important that you feel confident breastfeeding wherever you are.
Many women feel embarrassed feeding when other people are around and worry about negative reactions. This may lead to using bottles and even feeding your baby formula when you are out and about, but remember it’s more convenient to breastfeed as you can respond to your baby’s needs more quickly.
You shouldn’t ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. In fact, the Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport.
Breastfeeding without baring all
There are ways to breastfeed without baring all. For example you can:
- Wear loose tops that can be lifted
- Wear two stretchy tops so that the top layer can be lifted up and the bottom layer can be pulled down
- Wear a soft non-underwired bra that can be pulled down
- Lay a scarf or muslin cloth over your chest
- Use a baby sling designed in such a way that you can breastfeed while your baby is still in the sling
If you’re out and about in Islington you might notice pink and white ‘breastfeeding welcome’ signs in the windows of children’s and health centres, shops, cafés and leisure facilities. These places have signed up to the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme to show their commitment to welcoming breastfeeding mothers and doing what they can to support them. This includes providing a place, where possible, for mums to feed with privacy if they prefer.