8 top tips for breastfeeding in public

As part of World Breastfeeding Awareness Week (1-7 August), Somerset County Council is sharing some top tips to support mums who breastfeed in public.

World Breastfeeding Week seeks to inform, educate and empower workplaces and communities to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breast-feeding friendly environments for families.

Breastmilk contains all the nutrients an infant needs, which is why is it important to breastfeed. It provides babies with the ideal nutrition which helps to support growth and strengthen their immune systems, helping to protecting against viruses and infections.

Additionally, breastfeeding offers multiple benefits to mothers too, lowering their risk of breast and ovarian cancer and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, to name but a few. There are also positive effects gained through closeness, such as skin to skin contact to build a loving relationship.

Breastfeeding can be challenging and many mums experience hurdles along the way, overcoming these can be difficult. In addition, some mums find it uncomfortable nursing in public because it makes them feel immodest. These tips have been collated to help mums feel more comfortable about breastfeeding in a public place.

1. Look out for ‘Positive About Breastfeeding’ stickers

For a friendly place to feed your child Look out for ‘Positive About Breastfeeding’ stickers in the windows of shops, cafes and other organisations. The sticker indicates that they offer a safe and supportive environment to breastfeed in. For more details go to: https://bit.ly/PAbreastfeeding

2. It can make you self-conscious, but most people don’t notice

Contrary to popular belief research has shown that most people don’t notice when a mum is breastfeeding in public. Of those who do notice the vast majority are supportive and respectful.

3. Remind yourself that you are doing the most natural thing for your baby

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby and comes with a wealth of health benefits for them and you. In addition, it has cost benefits.

4. Wear comfortable clothing for easy feeding  

Comfortable clothing which allows easy access is a must for the breastfeeding mother on the go. A top with buttons or a zip allows you to easily unfasten them when your baby is ready to feed.

5. Use a nursing cover

Of course you don’t have to cover up, but if breastfeeding discreetly makes you feel happier, being able to use a nursing cover or blanket may help.

6. Pack an extra layer

An extra layer can come in handy in case baby unlatches and spills milk down you or you leak milk through your clothes. It’s also sensible to pack nursing pads or a milk catcher in case of any leaks.

7. Be prepared

Remember, you’re drinking for two, and breastfeeding can be thirsty work. When you’re heading out, it’s a good idea to pack a drink for you to ensure you stay hydrated too.

8. Know your rights

If someone asks you to leave a public place because you ae breastfeeding, you are within your rights to challenge them.

For help and support breastfeeding go to:


Get in touch with health visiting infant feeding support, for email addresses please click here.

 The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers has put together a resource pack for new and expectant mothers which you can download here.