Lately I seem to be in a lot of public
I wondered about that. I have nursed E in a mother's room at BRU once or twice, but only when she was older (read: at least one year) when she was so distractible that trying to nurse her in a busy place was very difficult and frustrating.
I was at BRU a few weeks ago and saw a woman nursing a new baby in one of their gliders for sale. I flashed her a thumbs-up sign as I walked by.
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~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.
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Same here. The first time I tried to use a "nursing room", at the mall, was when my son was about three months old. I was very unskilled and unconfident about NIP at the time, and was surprised to see that there were other moms in the room, but I was the only one actually breastfeeding my child in there. It didn't really bother me, per se, but I didn't expect that I'd be the only person nursing in the nursing room.
As for "providing" separate spaces for nursing, even social organizations are getting in on it. About 18 months ago, I removed myself from a local mommies' group when I was asked to move to the hostess's bedroom in her house during a meeting to nurse my then-six-month-old baby there, out of view of the others, because they were uncomfortable with my choice to nurse (discreetly) in the corner of a roomful of women, all mothers of babies or young children.
When I tried to protest and assert my right to nurse where they were, I was told that because they have a tax ID number and by-laws written with the help of an attorney, then they had every right to overrule my desires to nurse amidst my fellow mommies' group members.
Interesting...I wasn't about to continue arguing, but that was the last time I set foot in any of their meetings or events. I joined LLL instead. ;O)
You know, I opened up one nursing room door and found it filled with bottle-feeding moms & babies, and one chair left in the back of the room. I was actually uncomfortable with the idea of them all staring at me while I nursed my baby, so I closed the door and went to sit on a Mall bench to BF! LOL
I felt kind of put out that I was unable to use the nursing room - but then when I looked at the icon on the door, it was a bottle, so I thought, maybe it's not for me after all? ;)
Here in the UK, several major stores have set aside areas for feeding babies. What is interesting to me, is that in contrast to the States (it seems) there are often two areas - one for breastfeeding and one for bottle feeding. In my local branch of 'Mothercare' for example, there are two separate rooms. The 'Baby Changing and Feeding' room (as it is marked on the door) has changing tables and sinks one end and chairs and bottle warmers at the other. It is quite utilitarian and actually, a bit smelly as a result of the nappy (diaper) bin. The 'Nursing Lounge' on the other hand is carpeted and has several comfortable couches and a glider. Glossy magazines are provided. I nursed my DD there A LOT and never saw anyone FF in there. I did however, once direct a mother pulling up her shirt to nurse a baby in the 'Changing and Feeding' room to the much nicer nursing lounge across the hall. I can think of at least two other local stores who have also set aside separate areas for breastfeeding and bottlefeeding.
Personally, I am generally in favor of 'nursing lounges' as long as they are nice places to be. However, I can think of one such 'lounge' that is little more than a dining chair placed next to a changing station. I took one look at it and opted to nurse in the coffee shop next door!
Robynne mama to Emily (3/26/99), Allison (5/13/02)
I'm fine with stores and public places providing areas for nursing moms that provide more privacy, as long as it isn't required or expected as the only place were moms are allowed to nurse.
I've used those types of areas before when my first child was a newborn.