Breastfeeders everywhere ‘drop the cover’ for World Breastfeeding In Public Day 2023

World Breastfeeding in Public Day took place for the second year running. On Wednesday 22 February breastfeeders everywhere gathered together in a show of solidarity and support.

The aim of the day, which was set up by Destiny Smith, is to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and to give Mother’s the confidence to breastfeed their babies in public places.

‘Drop the cover’

This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding in Public Day was ‘Drop the cover’, an empowering message to demonstrate that you do not need to cover up or be discreet when breastfeeding.

Speaking about the theme, event organiser Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor commented: “Whether you choose to nurse with a cover or without, when we breastfeed in public, we are blazing a trail for mothers yet-to-be.” 

Daniella Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor
Event organiser Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor

Events took place all over the world

A Facebook group set up by Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor allowed people to arrange their own meetups and events in their hometowns. From London to Los Angeles, tons of events were organised by parents so that breastfeeders could meet in person and feed in public as a collective.

Many people chose to mark the day in their own way by posting photos and personal experiences of breastfeeding in public to their social media accounts. Hundreds of people joined in online using #WorldBreastfeedingInPublicDay. From breastfeeding in restaurants and bookshops to aquariums and park benches, people came out in force to normalise breastfeeding anywhere and anywhere.

For Rosie Moore from Glasgow, it was her first time breastfeeding her 8 day old in public. She tweeted a photo of her breastfeeding her newborn, with the caption: It’s #WorldBreastfeedingInPublicDay today. At only 8 days old we are still a little nervous and finding our feet, but we will get there! Lets normalise breastfeeding for all the breastfeeding people out there!

The UK meetups were a great success

In the UK, meetups took place around the country. The UK flagship event for World Breastfeeding In Public Day took place in Birmingham City and was organised by Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor. Elsewhere, events were held in Derry/Londonderry, Essex and the Isle of White

The Mental Mums Club run by Seona Sherry-Brennan organised a successful meetup on Colchester, Essex. Posting a group photo to Instagram Seona said: “Thank you so much to everyone who came today to celebrate the joy of feeding our bubbas in public, without shame. It was lovely to spend time with my pals and meet some wonderful new people.”

Buoyed by the success of the day, Seona hopes to make the breastfeeding meetups a regular occurance. She added: “I think I’m gonna make it a regular thing and schedule a general meet-up (maybe monthly, or bi-weekly?) where mums have a positive and safe space to come and meet other parents and have a chat/moan/vent!”

Breastfeeding in public continues to carry a stigma

Breastfeeding in public continues to be a challenge and a cause for concern for a lot of breastfeeding mothers around the world. For many, there is the pressure to be discreet when feeding, to go somewhere private to feed, or to give baby a bottle of milk instead. There’s is also apprehension around other people’s perceptions and negative comments.

Grace who runs the Instagram page Colours of a Rainbow said: “I have had comments made to me about breastfeeding in public, people have told me they can’t be around me whilst feeding, people have moved away from me because I have or Ive had people glare at me or roll their eyes. It’s not happened often but it’s happened. I have also had people ask if I’m ok, do I need anything or even said how well I’m doing!”

More support for breastfeeding is needed

The lack of support for breastfeeding in public can lead to mothers giving up breastfeeding before they want to. By encouraging and promoting people to breastfeed when out and about, breastfeeding rates around the world will increase. The hope is that World Breastfeeding In Public Day can go a long way to normalising breastfeeding in public and remove any lasting stigma that surrounds it.

Championing World Breastfeeding In Public Day and what it stands for was triplet mama Abi Rose from Bristol. She said: “This is a day to recognise the importance of breastfeeding to infant health, and to give Mothers the confidence to breastfeed their babies shamelessly and without fear in public places. Because you wouldn’t hesitate to whip out a bottle in public, so why should you be afraid to get your body out and do the same?”
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