DEBATE: FFing mom asked to leave Nursing Room

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
DEBATE: FFing mom asked to leave Nursing Room
83
Fri, 04-08-2011 - 3:21pm

I found this story, and hoped it would create a good debate:

A big super market of ours recently opened a new nursing lounge. It has a small waiting area outside it, and inside, it has a changing table, a microwave, a bottle warmer and a changer (with wipes). It's really good, but if someone is in there, you have to wait your turn which is the only set back I find. Sometimes its just quicker to go to the car or actually nurse in the waiting area because there can be quite a cue to use it.

It isn't obligatory to use the nursing room. NIP is allowed. Its just there for those who would rather have some privacy, peace and quiet or who just want to change their baby kwim?

Anyway, I needed to change Noelia... so I decided to go to the nursing area and change her. There were 2 women in front of me and one inside, but I wasn't in a hurry, so I sat down.

About 2 minutes after I got there, a woman came along with the store manager, and she looked very [upset]. Apparently, she wanted to nurse her baby boy, and she was angry because the woman inside the nursing lounge wasn't BFing, she was bottle feeding.

The woman said that she didn't feel comfortable about NIP, that her son was hungry, and she didn't think it was fair that someone who wasn't actually showing her boobs was occupying the room whilst this woman who needed to nurse had to wait outside.

So the store manager knocked on the door, and asked the lady inside to come out because a BFing mom needed to nurse and needed the privacy of the room, then he said that being as she was bottle feeding, she could sit anywhere she wanted.

The woman was upset, but she didn't say anything and left, and the BFing mom took her place in the lounge.

Do you think it was fair for the FF mom to be asked to leave? Should she have said something? What would you have done? I didn't think it was very fair, mainly because her baby was asleep and whose to say she wasn't going to change him afterwards? Also, if there is a microwave and a bottle warmer in there, doesn't that give her the right to sit in there and feed her baby too?

Source & 43 comments: http://www.justmommies.com/boards/lofiversion/index.php/t1465622.html

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 04-08-2011 - 3:30pm

I have posted my story about something similar before - but basically, I noticed that there was a nursing room in a mall one day, and having never actually seen one before, I thought I would stop in and give it a try, even though I usually NIP without any fear or concerns.

However, when I opened the door, I found the room filled with moms who were all bottle-feeding their babies. There wasn't a chair left, so I just shut the door again and went to find a bench to sit down and BF my baby. It would never have occurred to me to ask these bottle-feeding women to leave, or to approach management about the situation, so that I could use the nursing room. But when I think about it, if I had not been comfortable BFing in public, I would have been left with no place to turn.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 11:13am
I don't think it was appropriate at all to ask the mom to leave. Method of feeding doesn't change the fact that all babies *should* have somewhere quiet to eat and relax with mom. If I were the store manager, I would have offered the BF mom another private space to nurse and told her that every mother has a right to privacy and respect.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2004
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 3:13pm
Maybe it wasn't the nicest, most customer/sales-friendly thing the manager could have done, but I see why he did it. If there is a designated lounge for women to nurse in, and a woman really needs to be alone to nurse, I do think the manager is justified in asking everyone not using the room for nursing to leave and give her privacy. It's true that a mother can bottle-feed anywhere. It might be less comfortable for her to sit on a bench or something like that, but she's not breastfeeding. She doesn't need to use a private, designated breastfeeding room to bottle-feed her baby.

Whether she has "the right" to use the room is a different story; yes, she does have the right to use it, but I don't think that always correlates to the courtesy side of things. And if it did, we wouldn't have the NIP arguments that we have, where anti-NIP'ers lash out at women who choose to NIP in whichever way they're comfortable doing; I'm often hearing and reading about how women do have "the right to NIP", but nobody thinks twice about asking them to cover up and practice "common courtesy" by not "letting it all hang out" when they nurse, so I think this is very much a two-way street. Just because someone has "the right" to do something doesn't mean that it's appropriate socially to do it, unfortunately, and anti-NIP'ers make darn sure that we all understand that on a daily basis, in public and in the media.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 3:34pm

I don't think it was appropriate at all to ask the mom to leave. Method of feeding doesn't change the fact that all babies *should* have somewhere quiet to eat and relax with mom.

That was my sentiment after I had read only the title.

After reading the scenario, it got more complicated.

If I were the store manager, I would have offered the BF mom another private space to nurse.

My sense is that "another private space" isn't an option, that's why mom's line up to use the one available space or they go to the car.

I've got a lot of questions about the whole situation, but right now I liken it too a univeral-access restroom. Sure anyone can use it, but those who need the accomodation should get first dibs. Is it fair that people with mobility issues get to go to the front of the line? It is kind of irrelevant. The restroom were designed so that people with challenges can access them.

Similarly, the nursing room was designed to offer breastfeeding moms privacy (or more likely to protect their squeamish customers from the assault of witnessing a baby eating). It wouldn't surprise me if the manager used the rationale of what the room was intended for to choose his/her action. The company designated a room so that breastfeeding moms have a private place to feed their children.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 3:41pm

I read over some of the comments. Kittycat said exactly what I wanted to say, but more simply.

So many of the other comments degraded into a breastfeeders are bad people opportunity. **sigh**

Maybe it's a good thing, It seems we've been a little short on the drama lately....

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2004
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 4:02pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 4:55pm

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. The anti-BFing comments are so prevalent on that thread, I just don't understand how the myth can stand that BF supporters are the real judgmental ones.

I think the BF mother needs to take a chill pill.

How rude!

Doing something like that doesn’t do much to engender a sense of mutual respect and support between moms.

...because he was afraid of what the BF mom would have said…She probably would have launched a huge complaint or something.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 5:30pm

I thought of a better analogy. Around the time that I had my daughter the local baby store began designating parking spots for expectant moms. I was no longer pregnant, so the spots were not designated for me. However, I needed the spots more post-partum than I did ante-partum. I had had a cesarian and was barely able to carry the infant AND I had a toddler to deal with.

Was it fair? Did I demand equal treatment? Did I take one of those spots? No, I didn't. Right or wrong the spots were designated for other people.

It's the same with the nursing room. Did the formula mom need the room as much as the nursing mom? Maybe. Maybe even more than a nursing mom, but the room was designated for nursing moms. Had I been in her shoes, I would not have been brazen enough to use a room designated for other people.

These days, the local baby store designates spots for both pre- and post- partum women. It's a better idea, IMO.

Maybe this incident will have some kind of positive outcome (the pessimist in me says that they will just take the nursing room away in order not to make the bottlefeeder's feel second class). But either way, name-calling the nursing mom serves no good purpose,

Avatar for hokie1999
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 8:44pm

This kind of thing just bugs me. Did the nursing mom HAVE to feed in the nursing room? No. but she should have had priority there. I know that a few people here and there have gotten dirty looks or comments about bottle feeding their babies, but I'd be willing to bet that the majority of rude comments, looks, and disgust is aimed at breastfeeders. People are squeamish, think moms are being indecent, think a BF baby should have to wait to be fed, or think moms should feed in private. So this mom had the opportunity to and wanted to feed her baby in a private location termed a "nursing room". Maybe it could have been handled a bit differently but given the terrible response I got so many times to BFIP I'd say allowing her to nurse in there was the best option.

I bottlefed my oldest everywhere and never encountered a dirty look or comment. I breastfed my middle everywhere and got so many dirty looks. And I know, I can't know what people are thinking. But when they go from smiling at my children to scowling as soon as they relize I'm nursing, I know why it's happening. The waitress commenting on "that" going on at the table, the nurse at the peds office walking through the waiting room- twice- reminding me that there is a nursing room, that is the kind of thing that just never happened when I bottle fed. Ever.That is why there are nursing rooms. Sure, all babies get distracted while feeding. But you can't turn a BF baby out to face the world while feeding, and you can't avoid the inevitable nipple flash when they do get distracted (the nipple flash that someone just may complain about).

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 2:28am

I'm of the opinion that the BF mom should have learned to be comfortable nursing around the FF mom provided that she was willing to accept being around the BF'r without complaint. I see no

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