Why is breastfeeding in public an issue still today, I don’t understand. A Canadian mom took to social media to share her outrage over how she was treated while breastfeeding her son on a United Airlines flight.

Kristen Hilderman, a magazine editor from Burnaby, B.C., was returning home from a vacation in Costa Rica with her family on Sunday night when her five-month-old baby began to cry. As what many moms would do, she breastfed him.

Hilderman posted her recollection of events on her Twitter account:


While United Airlines offered an apology, the situation has people talking. Many major airlines say breastfeeding is allowed on their aircraft, as it should be!

Similar situations have made the news, continuing the breastfeeding in public debate, which should be a non-issue. The other day, a Winnipeg mother says she was shamed for breastfeeding at a shopping mall.

Why are people still so squeamish about breastfeeding mothers, not only in airlines but in public places? Here’s why breastfeeding moms should not cover up. Ready for it?

Breast milk is FOOD for baby.

If you’re appalled by a woman who is feeding her baby, just look away. A hungry baby shouldn’t suffer because YOU are uncomfortable with seeing some flesh of a breast. YOU have sexualized the image you see, not the other way around. A mom is simply trying to feed her child.

What’s even more surprising is hearing other women who have breastfed their children, be opposed to breastfeeding in public!

Ilona Kosa-Welker on the Boobs on Board Facebook page shared her thoughts:

I breast fed my children too and loved it. But honestly, when I’ve seen woman out there with their boobs out and no light cover over the breast feeding child personally I don’t have respect for that. I don’t know you, will not be having a long term relationship with you or your child, am not interested in you sitting their boobs out feeding your child. Some things are meant to be private and sacred. Covering up doesn’t mean others don’t know what you’re doing although not everyone wants to be a part of it either.

Is this what non-supporters would prefer?

Breastfeeding in bathrooms


Controversy around public breastfeeding seems to be everywhere. Tamar Shugert, a photographer in Israel created this photo illustrating the topic, which has been shared on her Facebook page.

“I should feed my baby where???”
My baby eating is not a gross side-effect of having children.
If you are not willing to eat your lunch in the bathroom, then don’t expect me to feed my kid there!

The photo almost succeeds but doesn’t because the baby is covered. Shugert offers a humorous explanation – she didn’t have a real baby to use in the photo, thus the blanket. As one commenter wrote, “Nice, but would like this so much more if baby wasn’t all covered up. You wouldn’t eat your dinner with a blanket over your head, would you?”

What do you think about breastfeeding in public? Did you or would you cover up completely, use a nursing top or let your breast out in the open?


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. like you, the whole ‘debate’ around this ‘issue’ is so absurd to me. I really can’t comprehend why providing sustenance to an infant is so controversial.

  2. Tamar Shugert Reply

    I’m Tamar Shugert (the one who took that picture with the bathroom). Trure my baby girl was not born yet, but I covered up because I believe in mutual respect and going out of your way to make sure everyone is happy. If I’m going out of my way to cover up (so the other person feels more comfortable) then they should go out of their way for me. That’s how relationships work….

    • amw Reply

      Thanks for reading! Women should nurse how they choose – covered or uncovered, public or private – it is their choice. I myself wore a nursing cover in public because my son wasn’t a great latcher and would often let go.

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