How To Have The Guts To Breastfeed In Public

*Originally published on

It’s come up a lot in conversation a lot lately – friends and readers feeling timid to step out for that first time. I mean, I can relate – I’ve been there! I know it’s a little awkward, to say the least, to “whip it out” for the first time in front of strangers. But honestly, you’re in NYC – we see hipsters walking down the street with no bras, and catch the occasional pant-less drunk on the subway. Do you really think you’re going to shock, scare or scar anyone for life in this city by breastfeeding? Chances are extremely pointing to NO.


So guess what – you’re already in the best city to try it! Still feeling timid? Here’s How To Have the Guts to Breastfeed in Public:

1. Choose Somewhere Low-Key.

Remember those restaurants that have really great food, but are meant for takeout? The ones that you take dates you didn’t want to be seen with? Start here. My first time was in my favorite Mexican taco shop. It’s a hole-in-the-wall but the tacos are THE BEST. There were probably 4 other people in the restaurant, and no one even blinked when I pulled out my bright polka-dot breastfeeding cover. It was scary and awkward, but after that initial cold breeze, it was just like being at home.

2. Try Breastfeeding in Public – At Home.

If you’re not ready to step outside yet, try feeding in front of friends and family at your own home. Invite them over for dinner, and instead of running to the bedroom to feed the baby, stay on the couch or dinner table and use your cover. See how that goes first to warm up to the idea of feeding around other people.

3. Take A Friend/Wingman.

Make it either dad or your best friend, but take someone along that you’re comfortable around. Also make it someone who’s going to be encouraging or been there before. A fellow mom is always great to coach you on, and can be supportive in a been-there-done-that kind of approach. Even though dad is great, he’s new to this too and might be as timid as you are! Which ever is going to be best for you, just have someone there to root you on!

4. Start With The Boob/Side You Don’t Use to Eat With.

It may sound obvious, but if you have to feed baby while waiting for your food, try to make it with the boob/side you don’t use to eat with. (If you use a fork with your right hand, feed on the LEFT side first!) This way, if baby needs to eat while your food comes, you can still have your eating hand free while he/she nurses on the OTHER side. It’s brilliant! Trust me this is a little insider’s tip that I learned along the way! Once you’re a pro – you’ll appreciate the fact that you can actually still pick at your omelet at brunch instead of waiting to eat!

5. Remember – Moms Have Gone Before You.

Just when you’re starting to get anxiety – just remember – I’ve already done all the hard work for you. I’ve literally breastfed everywhere and anywhere and NO ONE cared. Since I am a WAHM, there were many times I toted little M around with me to visit clients. This included celebrity plastic surgeon’s offices, and high-ranking executives of fortune 500 companies at fancy lunches. Yes. I. Did. And guess what – they were even MEN. I’ve fed in Central Park, Lincoln Center, Coney Island, outside Macy’s Mens Dressing Room while Claudio tried on suits, a Pittsburgh Steelers football tailgate…you name it. I took M everywhere! See that photo up top? Yeah that’s me – and you don’t even KNOW I am breastfeeding – at the Bronx Zoo.


Please share below anywhere you’ve breastfed in the city to let other moms they can too! Don’t be afraid, we’ve all been there! Help show other moms that they can too through #littlevictories. Check out this awesome campaign to help empower moms from Bravado Designs. 


By | 2017-11-18T13:11:30+00:00 May 5th, 2014|Motherhood|1 Comment

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for

One Comment

  1. Allison Cooper May 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This has always been one of my favorite articles of yours, such a great resource for news moms!

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