5 Places Moms Need to Breastfeed Discreetly

Mom Moment 738

breastfeedingEarlier this week, an Illinois mom was told she could not breastfeed at a YMCA pool. She was told by the lifeguard that she needed to go into the restroom to feed her 7-month-old daughter.

Understandably, she's upset, and that's why she plans on meeting with the COO of the YMCA -- though her hopes for the conversation might surprise you. She's aiming to use the incident as an opportunity to educate people and also to help women understand their rights as far as feeding their babies in public.

And while I get what she's saying and agree that breastfeeding moms need to be able to nourish their children whenever and wherever they happen to be -- there really are a few places where it seems a bit out of place.

Sit back down and stop yelling at your computer. I'm not saying that women should not be allowed to breastfeed in public. Still, I do think there are certain instances where they need to be a little more discreet about it -- either by covering up or moving to an area where there are fewer people.

More from The Stir: Mom Kicked Out of Pool for Breastfeeding & She Deserved It

Whether it's purpose is to feed a baby or not -- a boob is still a boob. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable to see in certain situations, like the ones listed below.

  1. The Pool -- Might as well start with swimming pools since the mom from Illinois is who got me thinking about breastfeeding in public in the first place. Pools generally have tons of kids in and around them, and as the mom of a 7-year-old, I wouldn't want him splashing around and seeing a mom sitting near the pool with the top of her swimsuit down. I already shudder at the thought of him looking at breasts when he's a teenager, let alone as a second grader.
  2. Restaurants -- I've seen moms feeding their babies in restaurants on several occasions, and I'm fine with it when they're wearing a coverup. But I do remember one occasion where I looked over at the table next to me in the middle of my meal and saw a boob in its entirety (before the baby had latched on -- so I saw this woman's bare nipple). It made me feel very awkward and uneasy. It was just so ... out there. Didn't have much of an appetite after that.
  3. Airplanes -- Yes, I KNOW babies need to eat on the plane as much as anywhere else, but this one honestly has more to do with safety than anything else. With all of the cases of creepy men groping women or hitting on them mid-flight -- the more covered up moms are, the better. Honestly, I'd probably ask the flight attendant to seat me in a row of women if I was a breastfeeding mom.
  4. Kids' sporting events -- Again, there are just too many children running around, and it's probably not a good idea for them to look to the sidelines and see breasts staring back at them. I just keep thinking about my own child and what he'd think (or say out loud) if he were to see too much skin.
  5. Church -- It's wonderful when moms want to bring the kids to church and nurture their faith early on. But a coverup is a necessity with a baby in tow. Do I really have to elaborate here?

Are there any places you make it a point to be more discreet while breastfeeding?


Image via Jason Pratt/Flickr



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jalaz77 jalaz77

Jesus Christ. Enough with this already!

jalaz77 jalaz77

I should note I do breast feed in public when necessary, rare but at times necessary. I do it discreetly, I use a cover til baby latches, then I pull my shirt down over and around my boob then cover comes off. I don't want everyone to see my nipple/areola either but some side boob isn't a big deal since cleavage is everywhere I look. Also some baby's cannot stand even a light blanket over their head since they are not used to that, pretty sure moms don't cover their heads at home so why would they anywhere else. One place moms should not nurse is the BATHROOM, gross nasty place to feed a kid or would that be an ok place for you Mary?

Cordelia Stewart

I think that bloggers need to stop writing on this subject period. I don't know why I even open these garbage things anymore because all they do is upset me. By the words you've written, you either didn't breastfeed or you had the *perfect* breastfeeding experience. I agree with jalaz77. Please bloggers, just stop.

nonmember avatar crs

While we're talking about boobs being boobs, and being discrete about showing them, can we all agree to stop wearing revealing tops especially at the beach and pool. I don't want my boy to look at almost naked boobs flipping everywhere and I don't want my girl getting any ideas. I mean, if nursing moms can't show them because it will scandalize children and everyone else, then no woman should show them and perhaps dress more appropriately, especially at the beach and pool.

Kelly Danielle

So I can eat at a restaurant freely but my baby shouldn't? Get real. I have always loved this site, but not today.

nonmember avatar Taylor

So pretty much everywhere?? Not just the 5 you named. Because if you think those places it's indecent to feed you child uncovered, there has to be more places. Water parks but not regular parks? But sporting events? That seems unlikely you think it's okay to Brest feed anywhere but home. I'm not a mother and to be honest it did shock me the first time i saw a woman just whipping out her breast in a store, but I got over it. Good for her that she is comfortable enough to feed her child in public instead of feeling ashamed. At that point a boob is not a sexual object. It's a tool to feed a infant. Sure a mom can try and keep a light spit up cloth over her but should she have to? No... But that's just me. Maybe not every one is mature enough to see that.

nonmember avatar Chrissy

This article is ridiculous. Would you rather my child nurse on a plane or scream the entire time? And a pool? Really? Have you seen some of the swimwear choices some people currently make? I'd rather explain that a woman's top is to the side because she is feeding her baby than have to explain that a woman's entire ass is out because she felt like it. I'm going to nurse my kid wherever she needs it.

nonmember avatar Laura K

Am I the only one that seems to think that this blogger has a very unhealthy obsession with breastfeeding women... I don't care if my sons see women breastfeeding their babies, I have a problem with him seeing women walking around the mall with their tits and ass hanging out.

nonmember avatar Anon

This is ridiculous. As I was reading through the 5 places, I thought this article was satire. Then I realized Mary was being serious. Breasts are for food. Teach your children that instead of fearing that they might see *gasp* boobs. They're not sex objects. Their sole purpose is to feed babies. Why should that have to be covered up?

adamat34 adamat34

Im tired of this argument. Stop whipping your big tittys out and expecting everyone to just take it. Its not a huge deal to find a quiet spot to feed your baby........good Lord lets have some modesty, why do you want someone to see your goods anyway?? To prove a point????

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