Breastfeeding Basics: Can it be done in public?

Q: Is it appropriate to breastfeed at the table in a public restaurant (even when the mother’s breast is covered)?

A: It is fine, assuming the  mother is discreet and, as you suggested, keeps her breasts covered. It is preferable to choose or request a discreet location in the restaurant, as well.



  1. The answer is perfect and yes, a discreet and comfortable location should be requested. It is such a natural thing to do and quite heartwarming too. After all, that’s how most of us hopefully started out on life’s culinary journey. The first ‘All You Can Eat’ restaurant.
    Mariette’s Back to Basics

  2. According to the La Leche League are no laws in the US forbidding breastfeeding outside of the home, and only two states in which laws place any limitation on the way in which public breastfeeding may be done.1 However, in the absence of a law establishing and protecting the right, a woman who breastfeeds in a public accommodation—a privately owned place open to the public, such as a restaurant or shopping mall—might lawfully be asked to leave, either by the owner or in accordance with the owner’s instructions. If she refuses, she might be removed by the police or placed under arrest for trespass. Without a law to protect her, a woman breastfeeding in a public place such as a park, or state-owned properties (e.g., a courthouse), risks removal by the police and potentially (though this is rare) a charge of some form of indecent exposure. A basic maxim of American law is that a right without a remedy is no right at all.2 In plain terms, this means that although you may have a “right” to do anything not otherwise forbidden by law, if you do not also have a legal protection against someone interfering with that right, your ability to exercise it may be limited.

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