Breastfeeding On the Go

By Peg Moline
Breastfeeding On the Go

You can learn to breastfeed in public, comfortably.

Once you get the hang of it, breastfeeding is the easiest way to feed your baby. You’ll save time and money because you don’t have to prepare or buy formula. It’s also the healthiest way, proven to reduce many childhood illnesses and health issues in later life.

But how do you maintain your out-and-about life while nursing? What if you have to travel? The key is getting comfortable breastfeeding in public – on a park bench, in a restaurant, on an airplane — which can be a source of anxiety for some moms. Here’s how:

How to nurse in public

This can feel unwieldy the first few times you do it, but after having to feed your baby in the ladies’ room while everyone else is enjoying their meal, you get it. The secret is to wear the right clothes; a nursing bra or tank top, and a loose pullover are best. Also practice at home before you venture out.

Here’s how to do it: Hold your baby with one hand, use the other to unhook your bra or top, then lift up your pullover and go for it. Drape a light blanket or specially made nursing cover-up over your nursing baby if you want to be more discreet. Be prepared: You might get reactions, even from friends. But the more relaxed and casual you can be, the sooner everyone around you will get used to it.

TIP: Maintain eye contact with whomever you’re having a conversation; they’ll be more likely to look at you rather than your temporarily exposed boob.

Know your rights

According to Corky Harvey and Wendy Haldeman of The Pump Station stores in Santa Monica, Hollywood and Westlake Village, Calif., there is no law against breastfeeding in any state, and 45 states have laws that protect a woman’s right to nurse in public. [1]


Traveling with your baby to visit your in-laws? Leaving her at home during a work trip? Here are some tips:

Without the baby:

Become a member of the other Mile-High Club: pumping moms. Make sure your breast pump has a battery-power option, then head to one of the plane’s bathrooms when your breasts start feeling full. In a pinch, you can also pump at your seat under a blanket. A good battery-powered electric breast pump, such as the NUK® Single Electric Breast Pump, will help speed things along, but if you’re pumping at your seat, a manual model, like NUK® Manual Breast Pump is quieter. At airports or conferences, try to find a nursing lounge.

After pumping, date each bottle and get it cold as soon as possible. Never, ever put it in your checked baggage; if your luggage is lost, so is your “liquid gold.”

With the baby:

Nurse during takeoff and landing to reduce pressure in your baby’s ears. Be sure to wear your easy-access clothes (dresses do not work). Request a window seat so you have a bit more privacy.