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Breastfeeding in public, despite the audience, is a very personal decision. Some mothers feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere and at any time their baby is hungry or just needs some comfort. Some see breastfeeding as an intimate act and don't want to nurse their baby in public, while others have noticed that their baby is too distracted to be able to breastfeed in a busy mall, for example. Some moms cover up, while others don't mind if everyone knows when they are breastfeeding. Do you breastfeed in public?

As a breastfeeding veteran who nursed her first baby for 18 months, and is still nursing her second (though we're trying to wean!), I feel very strongly about one thing. Whatever you decide to do is fine, and it is not anyone's job to judge you for that decision. I started out as a shy breastfeeder. When I had my first baby, I simply did not think that I would have the courage to take out my breasts and nurse her in public. But a crying and hungry baby quickly changed that. We got breastfeeding in public discreetly down to a sport although admittedly, I no longer care who sees we're nursing. It is normal, natural, and the only food my babies get for the first six months.

Of course I am going to be breastfeeding in public if I am ever going to go out! If you are not comfortable with breastfeeding in public but still want to breastfeed exclusively, you have several options. You can either makes sure you're at home when your baby is hungry (slightly impractical, especially in the newborn phase) or seclude yourself when it is time to nurse. Some shopping malls have special rooms available. Restaurants that have booths may also be a great option for you. And at a friend's house, you can ask to go to another room. Some mothers are also able to pump breast milk to bottle feed in public. If you do want to breastfeed in public, you can do so with a nursing cover, a blanket, or you can cover your breast with a t-shirt. Or you can proudly breastfeed in public without caring!

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