Breastfeeding in Public: Comebacks We Hope You Never Need


Women have been breastfeeding for as long as they’ve been having babies. So it’s pretty surprising that, in many parts of the world, breastfeeding in public is considered a shameful act, and even illegal. And perhaps even more surprising is that, in the United States, breastfeeding in public wasn’t protected by law until 2018, when both Utah and Idaho (finally) updated their laws.  Wha??? Seriously. True story.

Despite the law, moms continue to be shamed about breastfeeding (like this mom on an airplane,  this mom at a beach in New Jersey, or this mom at a pool in Minnesota).  

So mama, do what feels comfortable and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If someone gives you side-eye or drops a careless comment, whip out these boob-busters to assert your rights and shut down the shamers:

What to say when someone tells you to cover up: 

Please respect my right to feed my child how—and where—I choose.

What to say when someone tells you to use a bathroom: 

I have the legal right to feed my child in public, and, while I appreciate your concern for my child’s wellbeing, I won’t move to a bathroom. The purpose of a bathroom is to eliminate food, not make food.

What to say when someone stares:

Nothing. Smile. Or have a little fun: silently challenge this person to a staring contest.

It’s time to normalize breastfeeding, so know your rights. And don’t forget the power of numbers. If you or someone you know experiences breastfeeding discrimination, document it, and then share far and wide.

Mamava designs solutions to empower breastfeeding and pumping mamas on the go, like our freestanding lactation pods, Mamava’s lactation space locator app, and other helpful resources.