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Home > Patients and visitors > Your health > Breastfeeding > Breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in public

During your baby’s early days, you may prefer to breastfeed only where you feel most comfortable. As you get more used to doing it, you’re likely to feel more confident about breastfeeding in front of other people when you’re out and about.

“Breastfeeding in public can be daunting the first time you do it but try not to think too much about it and go somewhere you know is breastfeeding friendly. It is so much easier than formula feeding because you can go out whenever you want.”                               Rebecca and Lillian Welsh, Carlisle


 rebecca and lillian

These ideas should help you get started:

Plan ahead

Before you go out, think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding when your baby gets hungry. Ask your health visitor or breastfeeding friends if they know a café which is breastfeeding-friendly.

Clothes and bra

What you wear when you’re breastfeeding is a matter of personal taste and what you feel comfortable in. For example, some mums like to wear loose tops that can be lifted up. Others, who prefer to keep their stomach covered, wear two stretchy tops so that the top layer can be lifted up and bottom layer can be pulled down. A soft non-underwired bra can easily be pulled up or down when you want to feed your baby.

Baby slings, scarves and cloths

Some baby slings are designed so that you can breastfeed while your baby is still in the sling. Some mums feel more comfortable laying a scarf or muslim cloth over their chest while they’re breastfeeding.

Take someone with you

Sometimes it helps to go with a friend who has an older baby and can take you places that she already knows would be comfortable for you to sit and feed. Or go with someone such as your partner, mum, sister or friend so that there’s someone to talk to.

Avoid public toilets

Don’t feel that you should sit in a public toilet and breastfeed. You wouldn’t eat in there, so don’t feel that your baby should.

Know your rights

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 café, shop or public transport. 

Where can I breastfeed my baby? - Carlisle Breastfeeding Friendly Directory