If you nurse in public... — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

If you nurse in public...

I have absolutely no problems NIP and have nursed my LOs pretty much anywhere that they are hungry. I use my Hoooter Hider and don't really ever feel embarrassed or awkward. But I have two etiquette questions. What do you do when you are a guest at someone else's house and would you nurse at the table with guests at your house?

Last week we were invited for dinner by people who we don't know very well. My LO became hungry and I didn't know if it was appropriate for me to just start nursing sitting across from where the other couple was. I ended up sitting on the couch in the other room, which was awkward and I thought, next time I'll just nurse in front of them. (Covered)  We had the same couple to our house this week and, of course, LO was hungry right as we were sitting down to dinner (he KNOWS when we are about to eat, I swear). Normally I would sit at the table and nurse him while I ate but decided to move to the other room because we had guests eating with us. I started to go to the other room and DH told me he didn't think it would be a big deal if I nursed at the table so I did (again covered.) But that felt awkward too.

I don't really know why I'm so OK in public but in "private" it just feels weird.  I guess I kind of figure in public people have the option of looking or not looking and they can mind their own business if they want.  But in someone else's home they have no choice. What would you all do in these situations? 

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Re: If you nurse in public...

  • In someone elses house I ask if it's ok for me to nurse where I am.

    I've nursed across the table from my parents. Not sure what i would do with other guests. It would probably depend on how close/comfortable I am with them. 

    I think I would be inclined to stay at the table but to push myself back from it, so that I don't feel right up in their face, but don't have to leave the conversation either.

     

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  • I am kinda weird - I feel more comfortable nursing in public in front of strangers ie: at the mall than I do in front of family and or friends without children (especially men/husbands of friends). I think it makes many people who don't have children uncomfortable and I certainly wouldn't want my guests to be uncomfortable. I think your instinct to leave the table and nurse in the other room is closer to something I'd do. I typically just give baby a bottle and pump later or head to a back room to nurse.....

     

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  • I've nursed at the table at Applebee's with DH and DS. I used a cover.

    I've also nursed at a friend's house. I nursed in a chair, in the kitchen, while continuing the conversation. I used a cover. We're close with this couple and I felt comfortable doing it right there.

    If we had been at a house where we did not know the couple well, I would probably leave the room.

     

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  • I also am a bit weird...I'll nurse in public covered, but when I'm at someone's house or people are over at mine, I go to another room.  However, it's usually because there's a guy around that I really don't think it's appropriate for them to see...like I know them personally (friend's hubby, cousin's 17 year old boyfriend, my grandpa)...it's just weird.  Not to mention my friend's hubby is a complete perv...he's funny about it though so I guess it would be ok, but I still feel awkward.

    If you don't like going to another room and you're at someone else's house, I'd just ask if they'd be ok if you nursed at the table.  But if it's my own home, I'd just nurse at the table.  Why be inconvenienced in your own home...? 

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  • I think it also depends on the generation that you are dealing with. If it is my 85 year old Dad,out of respect, I go in the other room. If it is my cousin that is also in his 30's I just nurse in front of him.... But most of the time, I figure people can look away if they don't like it. Although, just as I wouldn't brush my hair at the table, I wouldn't nurse at the table, I would just get up and move over to the couch, but no need to leave the room...
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  • I'd go in another room out of respect for the other couple...if ud ask I'd they were okay with u nursing there nine times out of ten they will say "yes" but not necessarily mean it...if I was around all girls id do it tho
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  • Am I the odd one out who nurses (covered) where ever? Yesterday I nursed on the couch surrounded by ~30 adults and children during my niece's birthday party. My mil once asked me to go in the other room at a dinner party because she thought the other guests would be uncomfortable but other than that I figure covering is sufficient. Maybe I've been inconsiderate :S

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  • I feel the exact same way you do and would probably do the same thing.  the only exception was when I had female friends over.  Then I nursed at the table.  But with males, I went to another room.  
  • I'm funny about nursing at the table. I will do with with immediate family but that's about it. For some reason I'm just not comfortable nursing while other people are eating unless I am super close to them. I think it's because I know some people aren't comfortable with it and don't want them to feel weird during their meal. And because I don't want people thinking about my breasts while they are eating. (Totally my hang-up I know.) 
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  • I nurse at the table at home all the time.  My kid KNOWs it's dinner time too.  I also nurse in restaurants and once at our friends house.  I gauge it on their subtle reactions.  If I don't know the folks I most definitely nurse in front of them with no care.
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  • image KateLouise:

    In someone elses house I ask if it's ok for me to nurse where I am.

    I've nursed across the table from my parents. Not sure what i would do with other guests. It would probably depend on how close/comfortable I am with them. 

    I think I would be inclined to stay at the table but to push myself back from it, so that I don't feel right up in their face, but don't have to leave the conversation either.

     

    This is a better answer than I originally gave and closer to what really is for me.  Also, I don't own a cover and never, ever cover baby.  I may cover the top of my breast if I'm wearing a pull down shirt though.

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  • I'd go to another room.... even if I'm comfortable nursing in front of them, they might not be comfortable with me nursing in front of them.  With DH, I'll nurse during dinner, but I can imagine that most people would honestly be uncomfortable with someone nursing at the table and would probably not actually say anything about it.

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  • I must be the odd one!! I never nurse at the dinner table, not even at my own house. I always sit in the other room at my house during dinner and especially at someone elses home ask to use a room. if I'm out in public then sit in the back of my car and feed DS or I plan ahead and have a bottle ready. I don't mind if other people nurse in public, its just my preference and comfort level.
  • I have nursed in public before covered of course. At home, if my family and close friends are over I usually would nurse if there are no men, I don't really mind plopping my boob out but of course the not so close friends I would go to our room. If I'm at someone else's house I'll just use a cover and probably ask if it's ok for me to nurse in front of them.
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  • I nurse uncovered in front of my family and girlfriends, but use a cover with DH's family (because they aren't used to anyone breastfeeding) and in most other public places. I would feel totally comfortable nursing in front of anyone with a cover...I nurse in church with a cover, restaurants, etc and I really don't think it's awkward at all. Nursing coverless might make people uncomfortable though, so I wouldn't do that in front of some people and in some situations.
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