Yesterday, Alex, Toby and I went on a leisurely walk around the West Village. (It was such a pretty fall day!) Toby breastfed a couple times while we were out, and Alex took a few photos, which I figured I’d share.

Since Toby was born, I’ve met so many wonderful moms who are nervous about breastfeeding in public–they worry that people will give them weird looks or say something negative, or they just feel uncomfortable baring a boob.

I totally understand that, and when I was pregnant, I thought I might be shy, too. But once Toby was born, I actually found myself feeling surprisingly passionate about breastfeeding in public. After all, I figured, I’m feeding a child, and what’s more important than that?

I was also really encouraged by my friend Leigh. When Toby was one week old, I breastfed him in public for the first time, and I actually texted Leigh to thank her for inspiring me. She wrote back, “You fierce, fearless mama! You go right ahead.” I loved that.

When I was pregnant, I had also read a few stories about restaurant owners or random passersby saying negative things to nursing women, so I came up with a phrase that I’d have at the ready, just in case. Want to hear it? I planned to say, “It’s my legal right to breastfeed my baby in public or private; if you have a problem with it, you can look away.” Haha, sounds dramatic, but I felt good knowing that I’d have a reply, if the situation ever arose! Luckily, strangers have actually been great. You know, 99% of the time, people don’t even notice that you’re breastfeeding (it’s so subtle!); and when they do realize it, people have even walked by and said, “Aw, that’s so sweet,” or “Isn’t that beautiful?” which was a nice surprise.

Overall, I’d love to encourage women to feel proud to nurse their sweet babies in public. As you can see from the photos, it’s actually pretty modest (the baby’s head covers up almost everything; and I’m also wearing a Boob nursing shirt). At this point, I’ve ended up breastfeeding Toby all over the city, and it has been a wonderful, fun, cozy, intimate, freeing experience. Now I barely think twice about it! I just bust out the boob!

Anyway, I want to give a huge thumbs up to all you mamas out there, no matter what you choose to do! If you don’t want to breastfeed in public, by all means, don’t; but if you do want to or are thinking about it, please feel encouraged to go for it. And know that I’ll be here in the blogosphere, rooting you on. xoxoxo

P.S. My motherhood mantra, and what to register for your baby.