A Semi-Modest Breastfeeding Mama

Breastfeeding covered without a cover

Somehow breastfeeding in public is still an issue. You see support groups for it all over Facebook because they’re necessary for some reason, and people lashing out against it on Twitter. How is this so?

When our anatomy was planned out, we were given breasts for one reason. To feed our babies. Things don’t get more natural than that. So, please tell me, why has there ever been an issue?

Don’t take this the wrong way. I am not speaking out against moms that don’t breastfeed. I’m a firm believer in “fed is best,” I just find it irritating that people are so uncomfortable with a baby eating.

Now, I can’t speak for every breastfeeding woman, but I can venture to guess that we aren’t pulling our shirts up so people can see our nipples. It’s so our kid can eat.

If you’re like me, and you’re hopelessly awkward trying to stay covered because baby doesn’t like eating under a blanket, there is a sneaky way to do it.

I had to learn this the hard way, (multiple flashes with a cover, a ton of time tucked away behind a curtain, and finally not giving a crap what the public, AKA strangers, AKA people I will never see again, would think of me.)

If you’ve been nursing for awhile, this may be old hat. But if you’re like adorable, innocent, new-to-breastfeeding me (14 months ago), then you might find this useful.

Wear a tank top under your shirt. I usually wear a nursing tank (from H&M), or something stretchy. Over the tank top, wear whatever shirt you want to wear. When you need to nurse, pull the outer shirt up exposing your tank top covered belly, and pull your tank top (and bra) down. IMG_1464.JPG(I know I kinda clash, but I wanted the colors to be obvious.)

The pink part is the only part that will be exposed, and with a baby’s face covering it, nobody will get a chance to see your nip slip.

I also have a spit rag handy in case baby pops off and swings his head around, which he tends to do. That happens, I cover with the rag. I nursed at the fair the other day and I’m pretty confident nobody, (except my mom) saw anything other than baby’s face at my chest.

I hope this is useful to someone out there. Happy (public) feeding!

Do you have any nursing in public tips you’d like to share?

For more breastfeeding stories, visit Zena’s Suitcase by clicking below.

Zena's Suitcase


18 thoughts on “A Semi-Modest Breastfeeding Mama

  1. Naomi says:

    I gave up being modest and just popped everything out and covered as much as possible with her head. I did wear a nursing shirt and bra, so my tummy area stayed hidden. I was afraid she’d suffocate with a cover up, so I never bought one.

      • Naomi says:

        I remember some ladies at the playground breastfeeding with the cover things, and my daughter kept trying to peek under and see what was going on! So funny! If they had just had everything out there, she would have ignored them.

        I recall the hubby telling me I made the pimply waiter blush when I was feeding the baby. I was really too tired to care what people saw. She was hungry, and I was not going to make her wait! I wish I had seen your tank top idea before we stopped breastfeeding. That would have been nicer than what I did.

        Some places that moms frequent (like our children’s museum) have nice lactation rooms. Some don’t. The local children’s museum has a nice one. There’s a small hallway with a bathroom on the left and the lactation room straight ahead. Both have doors for privacy, and the lactation room has toys and books for older siblings to play with while they wait. They’re mostly toddler toys, but it’s nicer than having someone ask you to nurse in the bathroom. That’s just gross.

      • mamabyfire says:

        Haha! So cute!! I’ve seen a few decent lactation rooms, with couches so comfy, I would much rather nurse there. But no to nursing in the bathroom-although, for my daughter, I pumped plenty of times in a public restroom. So gross! I wouldn’t do that now.

  2. threeboysandamom says:

    This is exactly how I do it!!! I am so uncomfortable without a tank under my shirts anyway, so it’s a win win…but there’s never a time I’m not wearing a tank under my clothes. It smooths the belly and makes for modest breastfeeding. Win win again! Great post and yes, please, can people remember what boobs are for and move on!!?

  3. Tricia the Good Mama says:

    I did the tank top routine a lot. There was no way I could figure out how to do the whole cover thing. When summer came, however, I didn’t even bother with the tank top. I don’t know why people are so uptight about these things.

  4. zofloya11 says:

    I am using the tank top ‘trick’ very handy so I don’t have to show my belly to the world. It is an added stress factor when having to feed in public those first few months and even though noone can see anything you still feel exposed!

  5. Zena's Suitcase (@zenas_suitcase) says:

    I do this too! I buy tanks from Asda (guess that’s Walmart to you). I get them a size bigger so I can pull them about and it helps cover up a lot. If someone sees a nipple these days I’m so ‘get over it, I’m feeding my baby!’ Thanks for linking uo with #BFingDiaries Zx

    • mamabyfire says:

      Yeah, if anybody does see anything, I’m finally at the point where I just think, “Oh, well! Baby’s gotta eat!” And continue on. It took me plenty of time to get there though.
      Thanks for having me!! 😄

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