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How to Nurse in Public and Feel Comfortable

By Guest Contributor

By Heather and Whitney, aka The Rookie Moms

1. Dress for the job. Beginners might find themselves more at ease in clothes that will expose minimal skin. Try a nursing tank with a cardigan or hoodie over it. Or, if you wore a belly band with your maternity clothes, wear it now. It will cover your tummy so that when you lift your shirt up, your beautiful curves do not introduce themselves to everyone around you.

2. Find a spot that’s comfortable.
Psychologically comfortable is as important as physically comfortable. For some that’s standing in the grocery line and for others it’s nestled in an arm chair. If you’re of the armchair variety you’ll likely find a good spot in the children’s section of a bookstore, on a park bench, or in a cafe. Just watch that the table is not too close to baby’s noggin.

3. Adjust your body.
Feeling shy? Turn the chair to face the least number of patrons. If you’re accustomed to a nursing pillow you use at home, place your diaper bag or crumpled up jacket under your elbow or across your lap. If a footrest is easier to come by, position your knee so it can be your arm rest.

4. Drape a blanket (totally optional). For privacy or to minimize distraction for your baby, you may want to cover your baby’s head. Tuck a thin blanket under the shoulder strap of your bra so it doesn’t slide down. Nursing covers (or the more fancy-sounding bebe au lait) hook around your neck and make it (almost) easy to nurse your baby while having a conversation with your father in law.

5. Feed baby and relax. Once you’re situated, unleash your milk-maker and go for it. Younger babies will be ready to open up and suck right away. Older babies might be so distracted that nursing in public becomes impossible, unless by “public” you mean a friend’s house with a dark quiet bedroom and a glider.


Guest Contributor
About the Author

Guest Contributor

We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.


We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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I have to say I’m more worried about nursing than anything else. I don’t know why, but I am. Tips are great, thank you. Between the nursing bras and the nursing tops, seems like a lot of hooking and unhooking; not a problem?


Crazylovescompany, the hooking part gets easier. In fact, you can leave one boob unhooked to remind yourself which side to use next.
Great post! I’d also recommend places feed. although most states have laws to protect your right to feed in public, new moms may be apprehensive.
I’ve found parks and strangely enough, book stores are great. Most book stores have tons of folks sitting on the floor reading and oblivious to what’s going on. Grab a book, sit down and nurse. No one will realize you’re doing so. 🙂


I nursed a lot in my sling in public. I used an open-tailed sling and would swoop the open end over my babe. She just called attention to us with a loose blanket. Shirts (nursing or not) with crossover necklines were my favorite. Also nursing shirts that had a fake shrug or empire waist that lifted to access nusring openings. I can’t stand the all-around under layers. Too much fabric to separate to make them convenient, especially in a sling. Later on, twin sets or cardigans became pretty easy to nurse in discreetly. I’ll be honest that I didn’t have… Read more »


I would add that lifting UP your shirt is the most discreet way to nurse in public. The extra fabric on top of your breast helps hide your nipple. (As opposed to unbuttoning or pulling a shirt down from the neck.)
The good thing is that most moms won’t find themselves NEEDING to nurse in public for several weeks, giving them time to practice and learn the ropes. I’ve noticed is that if you nurse confidently and act like it’s no big deal, it’s not!

Nicole Feliciano

Great tips, I speak about this topic and think you have good advice.