With a little planning and preparation, it's easy to breastfeed away from home. You might feel a little nervous when you are feeding out of the house for the first time, but it will get easier with every feed you do. For the first couple of times try feeding somewhere you find comfortable. It could be a friend’s house or in a quiet cafe. It is your right to feed where you want, so you can pick any location that works for you.
Breastfeeding when out and about
Once you get the hang of breastfeeding, you'll be able to do it without anyone even noticing. If you wear something that lifts up from the waist, like a t-shirt or a jumper rather than a shirt or blouse with buttons, you can breastfeed without any breast showing at all. Find out more about breastfeeding-friendly clothes here.
Planning to breastfeed or express your breast milk when out and about
Slings and carriers are a great help for many mums, allowing them to carry their babies around close to their bodies, keeping their hands free and making breastfeeding almost invisible. However, if you really don’t feel comfortable you can always express your milk and feed using a bottle or cup. You can find out more about how to express in our 'Expressing your breast milk' section.
Your legal right to breastfeed
Remember, it is your legal right to breastfeed wherever and whenever. In Scotland breastfeeding is protected by the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, meaning it is an offence to stop someone in a public place from feeding their child, if under two, with milk. This means that cafes, shops, or anywhere that tries to stop a mum from breastfeeding can be fined. However, you'll probably find that most people don't bat an eye at the sight of a breastfeeding mum and are actually very supportive.
In the early days, nearly every mum feels self-conscious about her body and breastfeeding in front of people.
The more you breastfeed when out and about, the more confident you'll get and the easier it'll be. Watch the video below to hear two mums’ feelings about breastfeeding when out and about. One mum can't wait to take her newborn out for walks, while another more experienced mum was nervous at first - but now doesn't think twice about it!
While you're recovering from the birth and getting used to feeding you might prefer to breastfeed at home only. It's when you start finding your feet and your baby becomes more alert that you'll likely want to get out of the house and start seeing friends or going shopping. However, feeling self-conscious about your body or breastfeeding in front of people might stop you from venturing out. If this is how you feel, your local breastfeeding group might be the best place for you to try the first feed - everyone around you will be breastfeeding and you might pick up some great tips and meet some other mums like you. It might also help you feel better to hear from this dad who was surprised by how discreet breastfeeding really is!