With a bit of planning, it's easy to breastfeed away from home. You might feel a little nervous the first time, but it gets easier with every feed you do. It can help to feed somewhere you find comfortable the first couple of times. It could be a friend’s house or in a quiet café. It's your right to feed where you want, so just pick anywhere 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.
A lot of mums find slings and carriers useful for breastfeeding when you're out. They let you carry your baby around close to your body, keep your hands free and can make breastfeeding almost invisible. The sling in the Baby Box is great for this.
In this short film, mum Vanessa talks about how she felt about breastfeeding in public, and how any fears quickly went away after the first time.
Breastfeeding friendly scheme
Keep an eye out for this “Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland” sticker when you’re out and about – it lets you know that businesses like cafés and restaurants will make an extra effort to look after and welcome breastfeeding mums. You can also find breastfeeding friendly venues near you using the interactive map here.
If you have enquiries about the scheme, you can email the team at BreastfeedingFriendlyScotland@gov.scot.
In the early days, it’s normal to feel a bit self-conscious about breastfeeding in front of people. But the more you breastfeed while you’re out and about, the more confident you'll get and the easier it'll be. Here are some mums on their advice for breastfeeding while you’re out and about.
Meet other breastfeeding mums
If you want to get out of the house but you’re still feeling a bit self-conscious about feeding in public, your local breastfeeding group is a great place to take that first step. Everyone around you will be breastfeeding and you’re likely to meet mums going through the same things you are.
In this short film, mum Vanessa talks about how attending a breastfeeding support group gave her the confidence to feed in public.
Don’t feel comfortable? Try expressing
If you really don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, you can always express your milk ahead of time and feed using a bottle or cup. You can find out more about how to express your breast milk here.
Your legal right to breastfeed
Remember, it is your legal right to breastfeed wherever and whenever you want. 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 milk if they’re under two. This means that cafés, shops, or anywhere that tries to stop a mum from breastfeeding can be fined. The Equality Act 2010 also protects mothers who wish to feed their children in public places without any age restriction. 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.
You can find out more about your rights at the Maternity Action website.