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Breastfeeding In Public: The Real Rules

Just because you’re breastfeeding, you don’t have to hide away at home. Otherwise you (and your baby) may end up with cabin fever, as well as overdosing on daytime telly. So pack a few muslins and head out – but first read our dos and don’ts to help breastfeeding in public work for you.

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Don’t hide away

Try to act as you normally would – if you want to sit in your favourite window seat in your local café then go for it. Resist the urge to retreat to the toilet for a private feed. [Getty]
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Turn away to latch on

Chances are you’ll show the most amount of breast when your baby’s latching on, so if you’re not über confident breastfeeding in public, turn away from your dining companions until your baby starts feeding. [Corbis]
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Have a sense of humour

If you’re hoping to breastfeed your little one for the foreseeable future, there’s a strong chance you’ll experience a cringe-worthy mishap. Whether you’re faced with a nipple slip or a breast pad falling out of your handbag, all you have to do, is laugh.[Corbis]
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Use it to your advantage

From getting out of parking tickets to getting a seat on the bus, breastfeeding may help you out of a fair few sticky situations. Make the most of it, we say. [Corbis]
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Be prepared

Add your breastfeeding essentials to your baby’s changing bag before heading out. Take breast pads, a muslin and a spare top in case you experience major leakage. [Corbis]
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Know your rights

Get clued up on your rights so you can stick up for yourself if you experience negative attention. The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, including a café, shop, hotel, sports and leisure facility, public building, park, cinema, theatre, petrol station or any mode of public transport. [Corbis]
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Think your outfit through

There are lots of brilliant (and surprisingly stylish) nursing tops and slings available to keep your modesty intact while breastfeeding. Opt for leak-friendly, i.e. not silk, button-top tops and avoid dresses – unless they’re designed with wrap fronts for easy access. [Corbis]
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Find baby-friendly locations

If you’re nervous, find out from other mums and online forums which cafes and restaurants in your local area are baby-friendly. You’re likely to feel more confident if there are other mums and babies around. [Corbis]
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If people stare…

…smile back. Showing your confidence with a big grin may be the key to diffusing any tricky situation. Taking a friend or relative along with you for moral support can also be a good idea. [Getty]
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Do what makes you happy

If you’re not comfortable feeding your baby while out and about, there’s no shame in expressing beforehand and using a bottle. [Corbis]

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