Breastfeeding

Star nurses in public

Superstar Beyonce, who recently gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter, was spotted in New York City breastfeeding her baby in public, helping to pave the way for moms everywhere to nurse their little ones wherever it is needed.

Women worldwide continue to be harassed for nursing in public, but Beyonce was recently seen breastfeeding her newborn daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at a table at a New York restaurant. According to reports, she was observed by several people but wasn't approached by anyone offering a quiet place to nurse, nor was she told that she couldn't nurse her baby in the restaurant.

The letter of the law

In New York, moms have the right to nurse anywhere they are legally allowed to be, but sometimes employees of businesses aren't educated about their state laws and will ask a nursing mother to go into a bathroom, changing room or leave the facility entirely.

Just within the last few months, mothers have been:

And that's just what has made national headlines. Despite breastfeeding in public not being prohibited by any state in the U.S., and 45 states having laws specifically protecting the rights of a breastfeeding mother, personal opinion often override the laws. Another problem is that employers often don't train their employees properly on how to handle a nursing mother in their establishment -- the usual protocol is to leave the mom alone.

Nursing in public isn't easy

When you're a new mother, getting the hang of breastfeeding can take some time, and it can take a little encouragment and confidence to nurse in public. Since the advent and popularity of formula and the heightened sexualization in the media of the female breast, breastfeeding has become something women are sometimes hesitant to do around others -- despite it being the way women fed their babies since the dawn of time.

Star power

Superstars like Beyonce really do help normalize what should be a normal and natural process -- feeding a baby when she is hungry. Brooke, mother of one, said, "Maybe someone as famous as Beyonce nursing in public would make at least one new mother feel safer to do something that is natural whenever and wherever they please." Tayla from Canada agreed. "The more we see celebrities breastfeeding, particularly in public (covered or not), the more normalized breastfeeding will become," she shared, "and that is the end goal: the normalization of breastfeeding."

Keep up the good work, celebs!

With Beyonce making headlines with just about anything she does, it's great to see her helping to normalize breastfeeding a child. She joins a terrific list of other celeb moms who have been noticed or photographed nursing their babies, and we hope that list continues to grow.

Tell us

Were you a breastfeeding mom? Did you breastfeed in public? Do you think seeing celebs do it normalizes it more?

More on breastfeeding

Gisele Bundchen wants breastfeeding law
Why you should breastfeed your toddler
How to breastfeed in public

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Comments

Comments on "Breastfeeding in public a breeze for Beyonce"

isabel September 17, 2012 | 5:35 AM

I think breast feeding should be done very discreetly, I have 4 children and breastfed all of them without upsetting any-one in the process, yes it can be a bit upsetting if your in a coffee shop with your husband and some woman decides to sit opposite your partner with her breast hanging out, its not disgusting, but you wouldn't expose yourself in that way at any other time, so come on ladies use your common sense, breastfeed your babies but don't expose yourselves in public use something to cover up, there are so many things out now for breastfeeding mums, enjoy breastfeeding and keep every-one happy at the same time!! My husband has told me that in the past he has witnessed mums breastfeeding while he is in a coffee shop and it makes him feel a bit uncomfortable as he is forced to be in their line of vision. ladies do your partner's not care whether or not you expose your breasts? Yes it is a natural thing to do, but have a bit of respect for other people, I always used to pump my breast-milk before going out, or I used a cover blanket especially for breastfeeding, that way I wasn't upsetting any-body, especially in coffee shops. Ladies, men do not see your breasts as feeding bottles, they are actually thinking something totally different, so don't give them that chance keep it for your partner's or husbands!!!! happy breastfeeding.....But think of other people too especially in public, we can all admire you if you do it right. Bright blessings Isabel

Jen August 16, 2012 | 7:54 PM

It's great that she set such a great example and did breastfeed in public, but at the same time, it's really ashame that she stopped breastfeeding so soon!

Tara Greene August 09, 2012 | 12:30 AM

I breast fed both of my children for extended lengths, in total 7 and a half years! That's great that Beyonce is doing this. I always cringe when I see a mom or dad bottlefeeding a very young infant. Breastfeeding is the only recommended and healthiest way to nurture your child.Sometimes it isnt easy but whatever struggles and sacrifices mom nust make it is worth it,as breast feeding brings innumerable health and psychological benefits to child and mother.

Tracey July 19, 2012 | 12:10 AM

I'd say a significant portion of people offended by nursing in public are offended by nursing, period. Only a couple of times did anyone say anything to me and it was AFTER I had sat right next to them and nursed without their even noticing. When they realized it after the fact they feigned outrage. Come on. That's what breasts are for. Get over yourselves.

Kristin July 17, 2012 | 1:48 PM

I never used a blanket or cover up cloth or anything, too much other stuff to carry like the baby!! I use the under/over technique...pull my under shirt (usually a tank top) down and my shirt up so as to expose minimal skin, but sure some shows if you look hard enough! Baby's head blocks most of that though. I see no reason to cover up, this is what our boobs are for! If it's offensive don't look!

Kristin July 17, 2012 | 1:45 PM

Yay Beyonce!!!!

Sue H. July 17, 2012 | 1:09 PM

I have had multiple children breastfeed in public. I have always used a receiving blanket for privacy and to protect other families values.

Tasha July 17, 2012 | 10:43 AM

I nursed my son with a lot of apprehension in public. I, like many first time Moms, had heard that it was nasty and no one wanted to see my boobs, it was vulgar, etc... I was very nervous with him and I felt like every eye was on me when he was nursing. The second baby, however, I honestly didn't care. She nursed more than any child I have ever seen. I literally ran around the house 1/2 dressed most of the time because the only way I could get anything done was nursing her in a sling!!! She gained two pounds in her first week. I nursed her when and where she was hungry...didn't matter to us if we were in a resteraunt or in a shoe store. Occasionally people would look and make nasty faces and I would just laugh and make a comment about eating on to go and be done with them! My kids are 17 months apart. I breastfed exclusively (not one drop of nasty old formula!!) my son was nursed until almost 14months and my daughter til about 19months.

Jenny July 16, 2012 | 10:52 AM

I was so scared to read the comments but I'm so relieved they are all supportive of breastfeeding. In my family its always been normal to nurse, but while I was pregnant and doing lots of baby research, I learned that many people find it vulgar, nasty, etc...so then I became paranoid of nursing in public. My little boy is 11 months old and it doesn't really bother me to nurse in public anymore. I do try to nurse him in private if possible, just because its more relaxed and quiet. But if someone has a problem with me feeding my baby, that's their problem. Its not possible to go through life without offending someone!

winbyrd July 05, 2012 | 1:20 PM

Breast feeding in public was always done in my early days (I'm 87). When was such a beautiful and natural thing stigmatized for God's sake?

The Only Sane Person In The World July 04, 2012 | 11:59 AM

What a double standard. If I "regular" woman is breastfeeding in public, shame! Nobody wants to see that! But Beyonce, who is obviously a superior quality human because she's famous -ooh, aah!- she can do anything she wants, and its revolutionary! You go girl! Praise be the lord. I'm tired of people praising celebrities for things everybody does. Reproducing, losing/gaining weight, walking to the store.... Did you hear? Taylor Swift dropped a giant steamer this morning, call the press. Thank God Beyonce is here to pave the way for natural bodily functions. What would we do without her?

Suz June 27, 2012 | 8:18 AM

Sure, everyone complains about breastfeeding in public but when the screaming kid is quiet, no one's complaining then! I fed our kid absolutely everywhere in NYC and no one ever complained. I did use a sarong for coverage since I wouldn't normally go about topless and I was pretty discrete about it. Honestly I don't think anyone ever noticed.

mary sanez June 10, 2012 | 2:33 PM

before bottles breast was the only way to feed a baby. we have become a country with too many comforts. breast is good for both the baby and mother it is all natural. why should any woman feel embrassed to breast feed her babe? it,s the mothers choice.

Marilyn G May 25, 2012 | 6:42 AM

I think nursing your baby should be done discretly, anywhere that a mom can nurse. You don't want your ta-ta's out in the public for everyone to see, however if you feel comfortable doing it and are able, then by all means, more power to women all over the world.

Amy V. May 24, 2012 | 6:49 PM

Good for her! Feeding her baby the way babies are meant to be fed!

Jacqueline April 27, 2012 | 9:58 PM

After giving birth to my 10 lb baby in 1998, I decided that it was quite natural to nurse. Once in church, I was told by a mother who forced a bottled filled with "the other stuff" into her baby's body, that I shouldn't be nursing my baby in public. I reminded her that though I did use a discretion cloth, that what she was doing to her baby was more unnatural than my providing my baby with the best nutrition possible. Additionally, I was not anxious to carry around an extra 10-15 pounds every time I needed to feed my baby. Nursing is natural, not nasty. Carnation S. Wayne

Autry March 06, 2012 | 1:19 AM

I salute Beyonce for having the courage to do what is a 100% natural act. Our society will walk past a person being mugged and ignore it as something that happens all the time. To ignore a mother brest feeding her child which is natural, normal act, something that we should see and not see is fronded upon. The ignorant are the only ones who feel they should not be subjected to this sight. I think it is a beautiful thing seeing a mother and child bonding.

Marie March 05, 2012 | 7:13 AM

Super Yay for mothers who nurse their babies. I nursed all of my 4 children. Nursed them everywhere I went with a covering. No one has the right to prohibit nursing mothers in public. It's the healthiest nutrition you can give your child and why would we let ignorant people stop you.

tracey thats me March 04, 2012 | 2:14 PM

i think what beyonce is doing is great, why shouldnt she feed her baby when the baby needs it. If you leave a baby too long and not feed they cant feed properly after and it is very upsetting when newborn. i breast fed all 3 of my children and i do it again, wherever i am. if people dont like dont look :)

Rachelle March 02, 2012 | 10:48 AM

Yay! She's an inspiration for so many women! More people need to nurse in public and be proud of the good they are doing for their babies! I would love to see her nurse on Sesame Street!

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