The great breast cover up

Anytime, Anywhere

Breastfeeding mothers have the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere. This right is protected by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.”


My son is getting breast milk and it has been stressed to me that this is the most important thing for him. As his mom I want to do the best I can for him so with all of my breast feeding struggles I am continuing to do it. Even though he may only be getting 30mLs every time I will continue as long as I can, don’t worry I am supplementing with formula as well.

Now with breast feeding comes this shocker: I am feeding my son directly from my breast; that is right those two things on my chest.

So big question is: do I cover up or not?

I have heard it said it is a courtesy to others to try and cover up, even my dear husband has suggested I cover up. He assures me he will support me but wants to save me from any confrontation I might face. Look I am all big and strong here writing, but what would I really say if someone said something to me out in public?

A few weeks ago at church it was time to feed so I put on my cover up and tried to latch John, nothing. He was fussing, I couldn’t see him, he couldn’t see me, and it just wasn’t working. So I rather ungracefully took off the cover and we got down to business. He was happy, I was happy, I hoped more people were listening to the Pastor and not watching my struggles. I consider my church my second family anyways so I was comfortable with it. Again, it was more of a courtesy to cover up and I did try.

If people come to visit me, I do try to remember to ask them if it is ok if I feed and of course everyone is ok with it, they give me the courtesy and respect to not stare right at my breasts. Some of my friends ask questions and I am ok to answer to the best of my ability.

Last night we went to a play in a park and John woke up and without even thinking I pulled out my breast and fed him and all were happy. I didn’t worry about covering up I just worried about feeding my son. Now, mind you, I did eventually pull down my shirt as not to expose my whole breast  and a blanket over his head but that might have had something to do with the bugs as well. I eventually walked to another part of the park to give him his supplement because when out in public I try and give him a bottle and not the supplementary nursing system and he sometimes lets me know, rather loudly that he does not like this.

I struggle with the idea that it is a courtesy for others if I cover up. Don’t they understand my first priority is to try and feed my son? Does it make people extremely uncomfortable if they see me trying to nurse in public? Do people normally stare at my breasts? Why is it ok for women to wear extremely low cut tops but there is a fuss when I am trying to nurse my baby?

I am still undecided if I will continue to try and cover up. I did order a new cover up because the one at church just didn’t seem to work. I have also tried a receiving blanket over my shoulder as well so I have that as a backup.

So, if I have the right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, why should I have to worry about covering up? Easier said than done right?