While attitudes towards breastfeeding in public are improving, Wairarapa parents and professionals agree "there is a way to go".
Organisations such as Wairarapa DHB and Plunket are working to normalise breastfeeding, through events such as the Big Latch On and baby friendly businesses.
However, breastfeeding mothers still experience public stigma - as Masterton's Briar James found out on a long plane trip. While feeding son Nathaniel, a flight attendant handed her a blanket - so she could "cover up while feeding (her) baby".
"I said I didn't need to use a cover," said Ms James. "With a very hostile tone, the flight attendant said, 'another passenger is offended by your breastfeeding and they requested you use the blanket'."
Ms James felt rattled by the exchange.
"I felt singled out.
"My son and I deserve the right to feed in comfort."
In Masterton, Ms James said people have been been supportive - though other Wairarapa women have reported similar negative incidences.
The Times-Age asked mothers via its Facebook page about their breastfeeding experiences - with one mother reporting unpleasant comments from a passerby while feeding.
"A guy walked past and said 'this isn't a buffet, you know'."
A mother said staff on a train made sure to tell her where the toilets were when breastfeeding, while another, while visiting a restaurant, was told to "go to the kitchen" to breastfeed, lest she "upset paying customers".
Another woman said she "hated breastfeeding in public" because of the looks it attracted.
Allison Jamieson, Plunket clinical adviser for the Wellington/Wairarapa area, said public breastfeeding is becoming more socially acceptable - but it is a "fraught" topic.
"People get very emotive," she said. "There is still a part of society which thinks you shouldn't even talk about breasts in public. Women's health issues can bring about a huge outpouring of grief."
Plunket is a member of Breastfeeding Wairarapa, a group of organisations - including Wairarapa DHB, Parents as First Teachers, the Wairarapa Parents Centre and independent midwives - dedicated to promoting breastfeeding.
Ms Jamieson said promotion helps normalise public breastfeeding - which can be stigmatised due to over-sexualisation of breasts in popular culture.
"I watched a programme about breast augmentation, and young girls were saying, 'I'm never breastfeeding; my breasts are sexual'.
"I thought, 'do they not learn what breasts are for? Have they not seen breastfeeding?'
"Research shows girls who are exposed to breastfeeding are more likely to breastfeed - so we want it to be out there as the norm. Breastfeeding is not an unnatural, freakish thing."
Breastfeeding Wairarapa co-ordinator Clare McLennan-Kissel said attitudes to public breastfeeding in Wairarapa were improving as evidenced by community support of the Big Latch On.
This year's event was attended by 64 mothers and babies breastfeeding simultaneously, breaking last year's record of 48.
Ms McLennan-Kissel said there was "some negativity" after the event was publicised, but feedback was mostly positive.
She said public spaces can register as breastfeeding friendly zones, and display signage showing breastfeeding is welcome.