If you choose to and are able to nurse, you'll probably end up facing a "breastfeeding in public" situation. For many new moms, that "situation" is absolutely terrifying. Stories of women being shamed, harassed, and called out via social media are rampant, and only fuel the anxiety women feel when it's time to feed their baby outside their home. However, in order to fight that stigma, I think there are places every breastfeeding mom should try nursing, at least once and (of course) if she feels comfortable and safe doing so.
The first few times I nursed my son in public, I was a mixture of anxious, empowered, and rebellious. I just knew someone would approach me and say something awful (they didn't), but I also felt like a damn warrior or breastfeeding in public anyway and regardless of my initial trepidation. I mean, here I was, in public with my boob out, just sustaining another human life with my body like it's no big deal. It was an experience I'll never forget. As I gained confidence, I was able to nurse comfortably, nurse in more places, and lost almost all my fear and anxiety. Now, when nursing my second child, who just-so-happens to be a toddler, I'll nurse pretty much anywhere. #NurseThereDontCare
I know that some breastfeeding moms aren't entirely comfortable (or even want to) try breastfeeding in public, so in no way is the following list the "end all be all" of publicly feeding your child. You do you, as always. However, if you do want to gain some confidence in openly and unapologetically breastfeeding your baby, I've created the list in order from best places for new moms, to places that take a bit more "nerve." The point is; be brave, feed your baby, and let's all, collectively, #NormalizeBreastfeeding. You got this, mama.
Your Local La Leche League Meeting
The mecca for nursing moms, these meetings are the place to go if you want breastfeeding support or if you just want to be around other nursing moms.
There are few more mom-friendly places than Target, which makes it a great place to break-the-ice when contemplating nursing in public. Target loves you. Target needs you. You are Target's core-demographic, so they aren't going to mess with you and if a customer messes with you, Target has your back. Take a load off at the in-store cafe/Starbucks, browse with your nursling in a sling, go sit on the patio furniture; Target will take care of you.
They want your baby to be quiet, so nurse away. If you have an older kid and you frequent story time, you'll be surrounded by other people with kids who will totally get it and (most likely) not bat an eye when you nurse your babe.
Festivals Of Any Kind
Music festivals, craft festivals, seasonal festivals; whatever kind of festival you fancy, it's going to be crowded. So crowded, in fact, that you will most likely go completely unnoticed. People will be totally focused on, well, whatever the focus of the festival is. If you wear your baby, you are even less likely to be on the receiving end of a judgmental, raised eyebrow.
You're halfway through your shopping trip, cart piled high, and the baby starts to fuss. You know that if you wait you run the risk of a "fuss" escalating into a full-blown meltdown, but you don't want to abandon ship and have to do all your shopping all over again. Find a quiet place in the store (and if you can and/or want to, I suggest avoiding the bathroom as you deserve better ), and feed your precious babe.
A Public Park
Parks are (usually, although I guess it depends on where you live and/or what kind of park you're visiting) full of moms and babies, so if there's anywhere you should feel comfortable (besides Target) it's here.
Walking Down The Street
Most easily done in a carrier or sling, nursing your baby while walking down the street is super easy and so empowering. You'll be around a lot of people (if you live in a city, that is), but everyone will be too busy hustling and bustling to their own destination to even notice you're feeding another human being with your body.
If they do (and they care either way) they will be too busy to stop you. You'll build confidence, baby will get fed, and you'll realize you've been successfully breastfeeding your baby in public.
A Coffee Shop
You're going in there anyway, so you might as well. A small amount of coffee is perfectly fine for breastfeeding moms, so don't feel as though you need to deprive yourself of that sweet, caffeinated nectar.
This one can be a little intimidating, I'll admit, but it's totally empowering if you do choose to breastfeed while eating in a restuarant.
First, I think it's important to know your rights. If someone should say something to you, it's vital that you're aware of what you'er legally allowed to do, so you can fight against prejudice.
Wherever The Hell You Want
Once you've built your confidence and comfort level, just nurse wherever. If you're comfortable and you feel safe and your baby is hungry, go for it. #NormalizeBreastfeeding #KnowYourRights