I always planned on breastfeeding. When I got pregnant I knew it was what I wanted to do. I knew that I would be pumping at work. I knew that I didn't think formula was bad but I wanted to breastfeed my son. There are a million things I wish I had known before starting breastfeeding. That it would hurt in the beginning. That it would be stressful, not naturally easy, and totally rewarding.
What I really wish I had known was that it is not hard to nurse in public. I was so afraid to do it that I did not nurse my son in public until he was about five months old. I was so nervous about accidentally exposing myself or grossing someone out. I have no idea why, I spent four years in Santa Barbara with the girls on display for all to see. But the thought of someone actually seeing me nursing sent me running for the hills.
I had a hooter hider, I just was afraid to use it. I even practiced using it in front of my sister. The problem is I have giant boobs and I can't just discreetly pop open the nursing bra and feed my son. No, the entire boob has to come out and that is slightly off-putting for others.
For the first five months, I planned outings so that I wouldn't have to nurse or I brought a bottle. It was a huge pain in the ass. Then we went to Sea World and we were going to be gone for a long part of the day. By this time I had been back at work for 3 months and was beyond sick of washing bottles. So I decided I wasn't screwing around with bottles and packed the hooter hider. When it came time to feed him, I found a chair with arms (for support), slipped the cover on, and nursed away.
It was so easy! He was happy to eat, I was happy that there was no bottle to clean up. I couldn't believe I had waited so long to nurse in public. From that point on, I nursed him in restaurants, museums, even a bar (we were there during the day and its not like my boobs are strangers to bars).
Nursing in public turned out to be comfortable and easy. Now, I will say that at 10 1/2 months, nursing in public is somewhat of a struggle simply because the baby gets distracted. Also, I tend to nurse in public less because if we are at a restaurant he usually eats food. But I still enjoy having the confidence to run out of the house without a bottle, just my trusty hooter hider, knowing that I can feed my son on the run.