breastfeeding in public
Babies, Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in public: Yes or No? | Parenthood4ever

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Honestly, I would never imagine myself wondering if breastfeeding in public is a good idea. Not to mention I could hardly imagine myself writing about it. It seemed to me such a natural topic, however, turned out nowadays nursing baby in public is one of the most infuriating social issues.

As an ardent supporter of breastfeeding baby (see series of articles on the advantages of breastfeeding below), I couldn’t skip on this topic and make myself clear. So, let’s look deep into these breastfeeding problems and try to dispel doubts. If not, trust me, in this article you will find a solution. And if not, leave your comment below and we will do our best to make it work.


If we are allowed to buy a sandwich, bag of chips, candies, all kind of snacks and beverages on the go when we feel hunger and eat them on the street, why should we let our babies wait to be fed at the time when they are hungry?

This is rather a rhetorical question. But what does the world think about breastfeeding in public? Is breastfeeding newborn allowed legally? Let’s take a look at the big picture.

The world view and law on breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in Europe

In Europe breastfeeding in public is widely accepted whether there are laws and regulations or not. Of course, rules and women understanding varies from country to country, but most countries are legally protected in terms of where to breastfeed in public.

The champions in Europe are considered to be Scandinavian countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. They seriously promote breastfeeding in public. As it is socially accepted, women there feel free to breastfeed wherever they are.

The Netherlands came up with a quite adequate law for working moms allowing them to spend paid 25% of their working time on breastfeeding or pumping at the workplace up to their child is 9 months old. They, of course, must have an appropriate nursing room too.

In the United Kingdom prohibiting or interfering in the process by any means is considered discrimination, and breastfeeding in public is seriously protected by the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equality Act 2010.

While in England women still might have mixed feelings about breastfeeding in public due to possible embarrassment or judgement they may be subjected to, Scottish women seem not to worry at all about how to breastfeed in public. They feel free to breastfeed their little nugs anywhere they go. This reinforces also by the possible fine of £2500 for preventing breastfeeding of a child up to 2 years old in public.

Germany has no specific legislation, although breastfeeding is widely accepted by society, and arguments about breastfeeding in public seem not to rise.

France lawfully is protected, however, women will be very preserved preferring to breastfeed their child at specially designated places.

Speaking of Mediterranean territory, Spanish, Italian, and Greek women are still quite discreet about the issue, even though they are encouraged to breastfeed in public.

Breastfeeding in Asia

In general, you should not worry about breastfeeding your baby in Asia. Although this continent represents a unique cultural and religious model and the attitude towards breastfeeding is quite different, however, it is widely accepted and uncontroversial to breastfeed in public. It is also worth mentioning that breastfeeding in public is more widespread in rural areas among low-education populations compared to urban areas when people have a higher education level. No doubt about that!

Many sources would say that China accepts breastfeeding in public. However, personally, I have never seen a breastfeeding Chinese woman in public during my seven years of life there. Chinese women are quite preserved at this point, honestly, they would prefer to stay home most of the time during their baby’s first year anyway.

There were quite a few major issues in Taiwan regarding breastfeeding in public, and so in 2010 the Public Breastfeeding Act has safeguarded the right to breastfeed in public, while lactation rooms are set up to deal with privacy and to provide access to hot water and power supplies, with fines against interfering with a mother’s right to breastfeed.

The Philippines are doing quite well too. Breastfeeding is protected thereby various laws. Mothers are allowed to breastfeed in public; breastfeeding rooms in public places are built-in shopping malls; employers are obliged to provide a working mom with breaks to do their lactation job. Also, the Milk Code prohibits advertising infant formula or bottle teats for infants under two years old.

Women can breastfeed without limitations and it is socially accepted in Malaysia, Thailand, Israel, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Iran, etc.
Hong Kong and Japan don’t have issues with breastfeeding in public either, however, women will feel uncomfortable to do so.

Pakistan has strict cultural standards for modesty and naked human skin is frowned upon due to religious reasons. However, the Islamic rules of Pakistan accept and respect breastfeeding in public as long as it is done discreetly.

In Nepal, it is common to see moms breastfeeding their babies on buses, in parks, restaurants, hospitals, etc. In Nepalese society, breastfeeding a child is considered a must for the mothers.

India has no legal statute dealing with breastfeeding. Although it is widely accepted, it still varies from area to area depending on the economic and education level of populations.

And! Even in Saudi Arabia, it is common to breastfeed in public. Although women there cannot show any part of their body in public, breastfeeding is an exception.

Breastfeeding in Oceania

Not much can be said here, as both in New Zealand and Australia it is seriously encouraged to breastfeed in public and widely accepted and respected by society. In Australia, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 specifically prohibits discrimination against a woman on account of her breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding in Africa

In many countries and areas of Africa breastfeeding in public is the norm. For example, in Morocco, it is respected, accepted and legally protected. The majority of babies there are carried on mom’s backs. Whenever the baby is crying, mom calms him with her breasts by moving him to the front. When the child is seen crying with her mom in public in Africa, it is assumed that the woman is not his mother as she can’t breastfeed him.

Women from Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, and many other countries breastfeed on demand without any hesitation. Sometimes discretion may be necessary, depending on the environment.

Breastfeeding in North America

In the United States, a number of issues happened regarding breastfeeding in public. However, in July 2018 all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have passed legislation that explicitly allows women to breastfeed in public.

Canada gives equal rights and freedoms to men and women, without explicitly mentioning breastfeeding, so breastfeeding in public is respected and accepted by society.

Breastfeeding in South America

Nursing in public in South America is the norm. You can see it happening anywhere you go. Besides according to my experience women tend to breastfeed their babies as many years as they can, some reaching three years and even more, as it is cheap and easy to do. Besides, the mother’s breasts are not viewed as sexual objects. Peru was the first Latin American country implying laws to protect breastfeeding in public.

As we see, most of the places on our planet Earth accept and respect child breastfeeding. The society is supportive of this matter. Then what could possibly go wrong?

How to increase confidence

As a new mum there is so much insecurity, but feeling uncomfortable about getting your breasts out to feed your baby should not be one of them. How do you imagine breastfeeding while traveling then? This guideline will help you to make your breastfeeding on a move easy and relaxing.

Nobody has a right to prevent a woman from breastfeeding a child. We should view breasts as a primary source for the child’s nourishment and not as a sex object for the male gaze and pleasure. Can’t argue with biology, can we?

Tips on Breastfeeding in Public that might help you

1. Know your rights

You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. It is illegal to ask a breastfeeding mom to leave the public premises or refuse to serve her.

2. Wear comfortable clothes for breastfeeding

What to wear when breastfeeding in public? Nowadays, there are lots of practical pieces of clothes offered. I loved H&M breastfeeding tops with an additional layer beneath. There are also special bras that can be pulled up or down. Breastfeeding cover-ups are just gorgeous and so practical in use. They give you and your baby some privacy. Alternatively, muslin cloths or scarves can be used.

Some baby slings are designed in such a way that you can breastfeed while your baby is still in the sling. It can also be done in the carrier.

For more newborn baby bath products and bathing items, click on the image and check our store designed especially for you and your baby!

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3. Do not think about breastfeeding in public toilets

First of all, lots of public places offer special breastfeeding rooms which are so comfortable as it is hard not to fall asleep there. Secondly, you wouldn’t like the idea of eating your delicious sandwich in the toilet room, would you? Then why do you think your baby will enjoy eating there?!

4. Plan and organize in advance

It is always useful to organize your day ahead. If you feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, you may plan your daily itinerary with some special stops for breastfeeding. Your breastfeeding friends, local mom’s communities, lactation nurses, breastfeeding supporters, health visitors, and pediatricians can give you some advice on that too.

5. Stay with someone

In the beginning, it is a good idea to have your friend, relative or another breastfeeding mom with you. It can be a great support, plus, there is always someone good to talk to.

Personal statement, thoughts, and experience across the globe

As I previously said, I have never really thought about this topic in depth. I got pregnant in Argentina, flew all the way alone in my 5th month of pregnancy to the Czech Republic, gave birth there to my son, and when he was 5 months old, we moved to live to London. I have breastfed my child until he turned almost two years old (or should I say 24 months old), and during this term, we have managed to live in Mexico and Argentina, plus traveling in between.

I must say I have never felt any discomfort; would it be discrimination or being publicly or socially judged, in any continents, countries, and places I have visited. I used to breastfeed wherever I was, including shops, cafes, restaurants, parks, banks, government institutions, bus stops, train stations, planes or just in the middle of the street. Neither I put too many thoughts who I am with while breastfeeding. I could easily start breastfeeding in front of my male friend in a café. And I must admit I always got respect from men, nobody used a situation to stare at my breast for sure.

I didn’t have “a lot” of milk, women are all quite different, but I really wanted to increase my milk supply and feed my son in a natural way, so up to 4 months he was constantly on my breasts, and up to 8 months I used to breastfeed him every 1.5-2hs during the day. That would be impossible if I didn’t breastfeed him on the go.

However, we are all unique and special. We come from various background, race, status, belief, and religion. As individuals, not every woman feels comfortable revealing her body parts in public, and it is perfectly understood. This is exactly why we have got clothes for breastfeeding in public, such as breastfeeding cover. It is just perfect for women to feel safe and confident. As the most important thing for us, moms, is to be happy, then our child will feel the same way.

Also, in many countries, there are offered special nursing rooms with comfortable chairs, changing tables and other facilities. Every airport I have visited has such rooms; UK and Mexico’s malls are equipped with nursing rooms; and, of course, all countries I have been had a special place to change your baby.


We hope we made it clear that breastfeeding a child in the whole world is just as natural as easy as free and as important! Enjoy breastfeeding your little baby whenever and wherever. You are an amazing mom!

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  1. Jon Shed says:

    What an interesting post. It was very insightful showing how all the different countries view breast feeding!

  2. Stella Kashmoney says:

    Breastfeeding in public is not an issue and shouldn’t be. I prefer covering up when breastfeeding.

  3. Talya Stone says:

    So interesting to see the trends around the world. We had my daughter in Singapore and I have to say I didn’t see anyone breastfeed out in public ever and as a result I didn’t feel very comfortable doing it myself.

  4. Laura Dove says:

    This was so interesting. Personally I struggled breast-feeding in public just because I am very self conscious and it wasn’t something I felt comfortable with at the time. I have no issues with anyone breastfeeding their baby, it was my issue with my own body that was my problem.

  5. typicalmummy says:

    This is a fabulous post. I cannot understand why women should be made to feel uncomfortable for doing such a natural thing – it really annoys me!

  6. […] can also read about the most common breastfeeding mistakes and how to fix them, a mum’s personal experience and tips for breastfeeding around the world, and breastfeeding essentials for new […]

  7. […] Normal, common, natural and nobody even notices. If you chomp down your double hamburger in public, why should babies be denied their lunch? Breastfeeding is so basic and asexual. People who are offended by seeing a sucking baby should probably be banned from eating in public. And the ones who find it sexy should probably see a psychiatrist. Read more about breastfeeding in public here. […]

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