Ultimate Guide to Public Breastfeeding

By Ana Balich

You had a baby. That’s amazing! Children are the future and accordingly our most valuable assets. We should always put their needs first. Still, we live in a civilized country that values modesty. Unless you’re in a Carl’s Jr. commercial. Or maybe on a reality show. Or a man. Anyway, we value modesty when women are using boobs to feed babies. A baby may be hungry or need soothing, but someone’s husband (probably Karen’s) may see a nip for a split second. Don’t be a homewrecker. Follow these public breastfeeding guidelines.

Avoid Going Out in Public

If you can’t go out in public without putting on a peep show, you have to stay home. Running errands, going to appointments, your selfish “need” to get out of the house — none of this trumps the emotional and psychological damage done to decent men and women who stare too long at your bare bosom.

Pump at Home Before You Leave the House

Fact: Every mom worth her salt can pump out a liter every five minutes. If you must leave the house, bring along some of your plentiful supply. Some women complain that they need to nurse regularly to avoid engorgement and mastitis. What they need is perspective. What’s a little pain and infection when the moral fabric of our society is at stake?

Fact: Babies can be trained through starvation techniques to take milk at any temperature and from any bottle. Don’t believe rumors to the contrary.

Learn the Art of Quick Errands

You time that shit out. Choose your closest Target. Make a route. Check traffic patterns. Only buy essentials. No perusing the dollar bins! Get in and out before you have to subject Karen’s husband to your boobs. If he sees them, he may consider leaving her for you.

Emergency Strategy

Out of profound incompetence, you find yourself in the following dilemma: screaming baby v. bare nip. Avoid public indecency using one of the following methods:

Use a cover. Some moms complain that their babies are uncomfortable under a cover. They are overly dramatic. I occasionally eat under a blanket so my kids won’t see my secret chocolate stash and it’s totally doable. Sometimes I start feeling a little sleepy from the lack of oxygen, but that’s a great thing! Maybe the baby can fall asleep and you can stop being indecent. It’s a little dark and sweaty, but we must protect Karen’s marriage. Other moms complain that their babies pull the cover away. You need to show that four-month-old who’s boss. If you can’t win this tiny battle, maybe you shouldn’t be parenting.

Public Restroom. Because breastfeeding is essentially the same as urinating, a public restroom is an ideal place to do it. Some moms worry about bacteria and weird smells, but just do it standing up while mouth-breathing. If you happen to have another small child in tow, have them quietly stand next to you. Toddlers are super good at keeping their hands off things in public restrooms.

All this applies to babies under six months. Older babies should not breastfeed. One study (which I conducted myself via survey at my church’s bingo night) found that the following are definitive signs your baby is done nursing:

• Your baby is using words (“If they can ask for it, they shouldn’t be doing it!”)
• Your baby has teeth (“Teeth are a sign that it’s time for solid food!”)
• Grandparents are ready for their turn to feed the baby.
• Great-aunts are asking how much longer you plan on doing this.

If you can abide by these guidelines, then by all means breastfeed. After all, children are precious and should come first.


About the Author

Ana is an Ecuadorian-born Southern-ish raised mom living in Chicago with her husband and three kids. Like Justice Kavanaugh, she loves beer and hates being called out for her past drunk behavior. She blogs about raising multicultural kids at