nursing room, good or bad? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 57 Old 01-01-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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I guess I don't see how there's a downside.
Well, I've heard that in some (not all) churches, the purpose of the room is to have a place to send all the nursing mothers when you tell them it's against church rules for them to nurse in other areas, such as the sanctuary or the nursery.

I kid you not, one of my friends told me that her church's policy was that the nursing mothers room was the ONE PLACE in the whole church where breastfeeding was allowed to happen. One time when her baby was tiny, she helped out in the nursery because they were short-staffed. And they wouldn't let her breastfeed in there when he wanted to nurse.

She had to wait, with her baby screaming, until they could find someone to take her place and staff the nursery. If it were me, I'd have already had the baby latched on and not even asked.

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If you're already comfortable NIPing then I don't see how it would deter you from continuing to be so. And if you're not comfortable, it offers a safe, comfortable place to feed your baby.
But how many brand new mamas are "already comfortable?"

I like some other posters' idea for having a "family room" with comfy chairs where parents can go to nurse or bottlefeed. But at the same time, I think any facility that has such an area should also display a placard stating that they are a breastfeeding-friendly establishment, and mothers are welcome to nurse their babies anywhere.

I think it's great to have the option -- but important to make it super-clear that it's truly an option.

It's true that I'd whip-it-out anywhere , but I think there are more mamas somewhere in-between on the spectrum of "comfortable" and "not comfortable" -- and the way things like this are handled can really make a difference for them.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#32 of 57 Old 01-01-2010, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My motivation for posting this question was because I was particularly annoyed by the nursing room at church, there isn't a policy that it's the only place you can nurse, though it may become so, but even without the policy, I'm irritated by the notice on the door and the room itself.

Our church is new, we meet in the local boys and girls club, so lots of things have been set up on an as needed basis, when we started there was only one nursery, for birth to three, it was quickly realised that they needed to split that.

There have been a lot of babies born recently and apparently this led to a steady trickle of women going into the nursery to nurse and to change diapers, which was upsetting the slightly older children, so the solution was to set up a separate nursing and changing room.

Mothers of babies under one were emailed to let us know of this and why and the email included a sentence about being welcome to nurse anywhere we were comfortable, which all seemed fine. I never even saw the nursing room as I just nursed where I was at and have everything I need to a sanitary diaper change in my bag, so I do it wherever there is a space on the floor where we won't get tripped over!

I had a run in with the pastor and his assistant about covering up when nursing which I posted a separate thread on, so though I didn't changing anything I did, I was more alert to what others were doing and what provisions there were.

It turned out that baby was a bit fussy, but not needing to nurse in service last Sunday, so I was walking about just outside the gym where the service is held and could still listen to the sermon as they've rigged up an extra speaker out there.

All this meant I had a chance to have a look at the nursing and changing room, it's actually an office and is used as a base for setting up and taking down all that's needed for one service, so one side of the room was a pile of boxes. There were two chairs, one looked ok, though I haven't tried it, a portable rocking chair, the other was the regular office chair - I may be being awkward, but I've tried nursing in an office chair and it's not a comfortable experience.

Which brings me to problem one, there were only two chairs, both occupied, I didn't have the option to nurse in there even if I wanted to.

The door was wide open with the assistant wandering in and out clearing away stuff that had only been needed before service. There was also a big internal window, such that anyone going to the loo or to check on a child would see in.

Both the women in there were using covers, hardly surprising given they were on display to the world, I'd have felt self concious nursing in there.

They were chatting away and would not have been able to hear the service.

The notice on the door annoyed me further, as it said "adult women only", "women only" would have been fine as it could still be interpreted as a high school age sister isn't welcome to change a baby in there (though I don't see why they shouldn't be able to), but could also be interpreted so as to indicate that a teen mum would be welcome. Adding the unnecessary word "adult" made me angry, there are teenagers in the church, I hope none of them become mums whilst they are still teens, but it happens, plus, if I happened to meet a teen mum, I wouldn't want them to see that notice.

The notice also says it's for use during the service only, which because of the location of the room does make sense.

It all pretty much makes sense if comfort is about noise and you want to go somewhere quieter and also somewhere if the baby fusses at any point it doesn't matter. Though I would still consider it a very unideal nursing room, someone continually wondering in and out would bother my baby, the lack of privacy defeats the nice thought that maybe the mother would be more comfortable and only 2 chairs when there are at least 10 nursing pairs is inadequate.

So it could be seen as a token gesture that's not very well thought out, but that unfortunately isn't the whole story, as it may well become policy that you are only to nurse there and the reason for that is so no men risk seeing a breast. At which point it become RIDCULOUS, provide a room to nurse in but you'd still have to use a cover to acheive the desired result, when some women and babies may not want to use a cover, or even be able to sucessfully latch and position with one, plus you are only allowed to nurse during service, not beforehand, despite numerous reasons to be there early, or stay afterwards. That would be entirely unsatisfactory.

So that's the situation that made me ask the question, it's so obviously ridiculous that if they did put such a rule in place, one email should be sufficient for them to temporarily rescind it, even if it just made them rethink the location and hours.

I think what annoys me most is that for me nursing in church is a place I feel least on display as people behind me see my back, people in front of me don't see anything, there is no one looking at me of either sex straight on and early on it didn't really matter to me whether it was a man or a woman who could see! Plus, I actually want to hear the sermon, the current provision of the nursing room actually encourages you to try and feed at that time, even if the whole nursing thing didn't irritate me so much I'd not be happy with feeling forced to not hear the sermon.

I wonder what kind of answers I'd get on other mums boards, people here are so pro breastfeeding that a nursing room is a bonus, I was thinking more about mums in general what subtle message does it communicate, because in general it does seem that if you create a space to do something then that's where that thing should be done, you read in the reading corner, sleep in a bed, nurse in a nursing room....

It seems like a lot of people would love better provision of nursing rooms for practicality and comfort, but they wouldn't be called nursing rooms, but family rooms, be a space to nurse, pump, feed, change etc. Which works great for malls, airports etc. just not so logical for churches where things are happening at a specific time and other children are often in other activities.

If it happens to come up for me, I now feel comfortable supporting provision of family rooms in all sorts of places.

Anne, Christian mummy to Nathanael 05/28/03, Ada 06/10/05, Grace 05/24/09
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#33 of 57 Old 01-01-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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It seems bizarre to me that small children would feel "upset" by seeing babies getting fed and changed. I wonder what that's REALLY all about!

It seems to me that for too many churches, the purpose of the nursing mothers room is NOT to make things easier for families -- but, rather, to shunt breastfeeding mothers and babies off from view and marginalize them.

I guess because most people view breastfeeding as something you do for a few weeks til you realize it "doesn't work" and get with the program and use formula like the "real world." So the nursing mothers room is just a temporary, transitional facility -- not someplace where they really expect you to be staying for very long.

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#34 of 57 Old 01-01-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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To add to my previous post, the church I mentioned previously with the strict policy DID have a really nice, plush, comfy nursing mothers room ... but, still, after I learned about the policy it gave me a real feeling of, "See, we gave you a really nice beautiful CAGE so why would you want to fly free?"

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#35 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess because most people view breastfeeding as something you do for a few weeks til you realize it "doesn't work" and get with the program and use formula like the "real world." So the nursing mothers room is just a temporary, transitional facility -- not someplace where they really expect you to be staying for very long.
The irony is that this isn't really a common view amongst the women at this church, but all other than me seem entirely willing to hide away in a corner under a cover. Now that I'm aware that things aren't as comfortable as I'd thought I've been keeping my eyes open, but I still haven't seen anyone nurse without a cover even in all women company. I get the impression my "lack of modesty" when nursing is seen as a function of me being English/European and failing to accept American culture, which when I lived in England it was, I'd never seen a nursing cover, or anyone covering up to nurse, but I have actually put lots of thought into it beyond it being a cultural issue.

Pass me a brick wall and I'll bang my head against it....

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#36 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 03:06 AM
 
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It seems bizarre to me that small children would feel "upset" by seeing babies getting fed and changed. I wonder what that's REALLY all about!
.
Having worked in childcare, my guess is it would be that small children who are not used to being separated from mom are upset by other children's moms coming in and out when theirs are not there.

I'm not saying this is a reason to not allow it, but that it does happen.

The nursing room at the church sounds bizarre. To me (and I'll add the caveat that I did not BF my child), but having a nice quiet space, where a baby could feed without distractions, and older siblings could be safely contained, was a great thing, and I imagine it would be equally great for a nursing mom. I think that calling it a "mother's room" might make more sense, but I'd probably prefer the term "nursing room" to the symbol of a bottle.

What is described here (window so people could look in, older siblings not allowed, uncomfortable chairs) doesn't seem to meet that criteria at all.
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#37 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I love that they're avalible for those who need them. I used them a lot when DD was very small because I had to use a sheild, not easy to be discreat with that, though when I did have to use the shield out in the open I got quiet a few smiles of encouragment, very supriseing..

Now that she's older (20 months ) we use them again because she wont nurse properly in front of other people lol

I did have one issue with the local Sears once though. They had their Nursing room labeled with a picture of a bottle so I went to managment about it. Next time I went in it was changed to a picture of a nursing mommy

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#38 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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I agree with the pp who said they are great as long as I don't HAVE to use it. I have used thm for pumping before and am always happy t see them in an airport. I will NIP but I won't pump in public.
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#39 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Having worked in childcare, my guess is it would be that small children who are not used to being separated from mom are upset by other children's moms coming in and out when theirs are not there.
Yep, that does seem to have been the original reason and it certainly wasn't suggested that if you were working in there, or your baby was in there anyway that you couldn't nurse in there, just that they didn't want people going in there for the sole purpose of nursing or changing a baby.

Which is entirely reasonable, I just don't find what they've set up to be adequate for that need, especially since now it does exist it's being suggested as a reason not to nurse anywhere else without a cover.

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#40 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I did have one issue with the local Sears once though. They had their Nursing room labeled with a picture of a bottle so I went to managment about it. Next time I went in it was changed to a picture of a nursing mommy
Good for you Mama!!!

We were given a "Baby's first 100 Words" picture book and DH and I were bummed that the picture under milk was a baby and a bottle so DH taped a picture of DS and I nursing over the picture of the bottle

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#41 of 57 Old 01-02-2010, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love that they're avalible for those who need them. I used them a lot when DD was very small because I had to use a sheild, not easy to be discreat with that, though when I did have to use the shield out in the open I got quiet a few smiles of encouragment, very supriseing..
I totally get that, I've not had to use a shield myself, but I have seen people using them and it isn't easy to be discreet.

Even with shields, I've seen different women approach it differently, one friend felt it was so indiscreet that she couldn't nurse outside of the home and I suspect in the early days with a first baby I'd have felt the same way.

I've seen others happily use them in all women company, but even at LLL meetings I've seen some women trying to use a cover so they can use a shield and then having great difficulty.

I remember the first time I nursed out of the home, it was 5 days after DS was born, we went to the evening service at church, so there weren't any nursery facilities in use. So I went to the nursery, thinking it would be empty, instead there were two men looking after toddlers, whilst their wives were in the service, not just any old men either, between the two of them they were half the eldership of the church! I think that one experience, without me realising at the time changed my whole future nursing out of the home experiences. They made me feel completely comfortable, they didn't attempt to leave, or look in another direction, just made me feel that nursing my baby was the most normal thing to do in the world, which then removed my need to even go to that room, unless baby was noisy, or had a dirty diaper.

I don't think there actions were concious, just normal for them in all ways, as highly educated middle class men in the UK, but it made a huge difference to me in the long term.

Which then bothers me how it would have shaped my future as a breastfeeder if they had left the room, suggested I go somewhere else, or offered me a cover, again something I think people who would do that wouldn't do with any thought about the long term, but if called on it, might argue that it wouldn't affect the long term, when I feel it would, even for me as a highly committed breastfeeder.

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#42 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Good for you Mama!!!

We were given a "Baby's first 100 Words" picture book and DH and I were bummed that the picture under milk was a baby and a bottle so DH taped a picture of DS and I nursing over the picture of the bottle
I can't remember what book it is, but I have one baby picture book that actually has a mommy BF her baby. I can't for the life of me remember the name. I'll have to see if I can find it.

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#43 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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I can't remember what book it is, but I have one baby picture book that actually has a mommy BF her baby. I can't for the life of me remember the name. I'll have to see if I can find it.
The Usborne First Experiences about the new baby has the mother BFing, I believe. My friend was very upset about it and threw the book away.

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#44 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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I would nurse my first anywhere, but my second doesn't nuse if there are any distractions. Therefore, I LOVE nursing rooms. I wish there were nursing rooms everywhere!

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#45 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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The Usborne First Experiences about the new baby has the mother BFing, I believe. My friend was very upset about it and threw the book away.
Wow! I guess in our society, there may actually be more mothers who get upset and emotional about breastfeeding pictures, than there are those of us who get offended at the way bottlefeeding seems to so often get pictured as "the norm."

With this in mind, I suppose it makes sense that people in the money-making business are more often gonna err on the side of offending breastfeeding moms. I mean, I get tired of seeing all the bottles or bottlefeeding picutures displayed on photo albums, babyshower wrapping paper, children's books, etcetera ...

But it doesn't engender emotional pain in me, whereas I can see how it might be painful to a mom who wasn't able to breastfeed, to constantly be confronted with breastfeeding pictures when she went shopping for shower gifts, read a parenting magazine, or read a book to her child about babies.

So maybe our goal should be to have an EQUAL representation of breast and bottlefeeding pictures, rather than totally REPLACING the bottlefeeding pictures with breastfeeding ones.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#46 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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i've never been able to use those little ante-rooms outside of the bathrooms. they always smell like old lady poo.

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#47 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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Wow! I guess in our society, there may actually be more mothers who get upset and emotional about breastfeeding pictures, than there are those of us who get offended at the way bottlefeeding seems to so often get pictured as "the norm."

With this in mind, I suppose it makes sense that people in the money-making business are more often gonna err on the side of offending breastfeeding moms. I mean, I get tired of seeing all the bottles or bottlefeeding picutures displayed on photo albums, babyshower wrapping paper, children's books, etcetera ...

But it doesn't engender emotional pain in me, whereas I can see how it might be painful to a mom who wasn't able to breastfeed, to constantly be confronted with breastfeeding pictures when she went shopping for shower gifts, read a parenting magazine, or read a book to her child about babies.

So maybe our goal should be to have an EQUAL representation of breast and bottlefeeding pictures, rather than totally REPLACING the bottlefeeding pictures with breastfeeding ones.
To be clear, my friend isn't anti-breastfeeding. She breastfed both of her kids. She was opposed to the illustration of the visible breast.

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I can imagine someone wavering on breastfeeding thinking they'll be able to just whip out a bottle rather than have to find a nursing room.
I think it more likely that if you are uncomfortable BF in public you are more likley to BF if there was a nursing room, than if there wasn't.If there was no place at all, they you 'd more likey whip out the bottle.

As far as the church issues go, is that even legal? In Canada there is no way a church would get away with not allowing BF, or limiting to certain rooms. Anywhere children are allowed to be, you are allowed to feed them, at least that is my understanding of the law.
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#49 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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The Usborne First Experiences about the new baby has the mother BFing, I believe. My friend was very upset about it and threw the book away.

I've heard of that one. Never actually seen it though.

This book is just a picture book with one word kind of thing. Its a Canadian book. I can't find it I think it might be one of the ones I gave to another mom friend.

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#50 of 57 Old 01-03-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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i've never been able to use those little ante-rooms outside of the bathrooms. they always smell like old lady poo.
Thankfully I have never seen a nursing/parenting room ajasent to the bathroom

the closest if the Mall Family room that has 4 different area's. 1 change area, one bottle area (microwave and kettle in there) one nursing and one of to the end, entirly closed off that is a bathroom with a big toilet and a small toilet. Perfict for little kids. Its actually an entirly different room from the other 3. In the middle is HUGE play area for older kids. It has trains, large wood blocks, and a books a couple chairs for adults too.

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#51 of 57 Old 01-04-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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It seems bizarre to me that small children would feel "upset" by seeing babies getting fed and changed. I wonder what that's REALLY all about!
Ditto -- I've nursed in front of very young (mostly formula-fed) children and they weren't bothered at all by it... they came up & patted my son's head or jumped up & sat beside me to see the baby... and these are kids I don't even know well.

Anyway, to the OP, the setup you described sounds very strange... and the 'adult women only' is particularly upsetting... in fact when DS was younger I NEEDED my DH to help me get him latched, so would he not be allowed in there to help? I guess I also don't see the point of a nursing room if it's not quiet or particularly comfy/convenient. Also there should be speakers or something so you can hear the sermon or at least something requesting that the nursing mothers still remain quiet & prayerful...

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#52 of 57 Old 01-04-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Thankfully I have never seen a nursing/parenting room ajasent to the bathroom

the closest if the Mall Family room that has 4 different area's. 1 change area, one bottle area (microwave and kettle in there) one nursing and one of to the end, entirly closed off that is a bathroom with a big toilet and a small toilet. Perfict for little kids. Its actually an entirly different room from the other 3. In the middle is HUGE play area for older kids. It has trains, large wood blocks, and a books a couple chairs for adults too.
that sounds DREAMY! the only rooms i've seen here in the malls are just outside the toilet area and anyone wanting to use the toilet has to walk through them. so every time the door opens, poo scent is wafted in :S babies r us has a family/nursing room, but every time i've been in there it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in AGES and smelled of dirty diapers!

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#53 of 57 Old 01-05-2010, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I checked the room out again this Sunday, when it happened to be empty. The chair I thought was a rocking chair is actually a rocking office chair, still on wheels. So all the chairs are on wheels, which are not just annoying for me to use, but downright painful.

I think they are still working on how the speaker system is set up, but this week it was hearable without being too loud in this room. It might not have been last week.

However, I have noticed that if I leave the service with the baby, people do come up and talk to me, which annoys me, their job that morning may mean they have missed enough of the sermon that they aren't trying to follow it at that moment in time, but I am and obviously so, the bible in one hand and standing under the speaker might be a clue!

Anne, Christian mummy to Nathanael 05/28/03, Ada 06/10/05, Grace 05/24/09
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#54 of 57 Old 01-05-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babymommy2 View Post
I think it more likely that if you are uncomfortable BF in public you are more likley to BF if there was a nursing room, than if there wasn't.If there was no place at all, they you 'd more likey whip out the bottle.
I don't know of any brand-new nursing mamas who start out "comfortable" with breastfeeding in public. For me, what helped was getting to see some other mamas relaxedly and matter-of-factly nursing their babes in the church sanctuary or wherever they happened to be.

I don't think the existence of a parents-and-babies room is necessarily a bad thing. It can be a good thing, so long as no one is sending out the message, especially to new moms, that this is the ONLY place where they "should" feel comfortable whipping it out.

crunchy_mommy, I had to smile when I read your post about needing your dh's help to get your new baby latched on. It reminded me of how I used to need complete visibility of my nipple, in order to get dd1 latched on.

So in church we'd sit toward the back, and dh would hold a blanket in front of me while I pulled out my entire breast and got dd latched on, then we of course didn't need the blanket as my top covered the part of the breast that wasn't covered by dd.

I guess people on the side could have got a view -- but of course they should've been looking straight ahead, watching the pastor or the choir anyways, right?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#55 of 57 Old 01-08-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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Never have I been required to use one, and I have used them willingly. What I do have to say is sometimes is irks me that when I'm at the mall, my son doesn't want to just sit and nurse when he can hear other kids playing in the little play area right in the lounge area...so we are doing the open the curtain play run back dance...and it's not always functional. It would be nice if kids could play and nurse without issue. I don't care where I nurse, I've literally nursed in some pretty bizarre places and some that have been kinda impressive by the response I got. My personal fave, out side the USDA building in Washington DC under a tree while my daughter played with daddy .
I wonder often how much though was put into the location of some of these nursing rooms?!?!

~Marla~
CoSleeping, BabyWearing, Breastfeeding, PT Cding

🐢🐢A new little turtle is about to join our crazy part of the ocean!!!🐢🐢
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#56 of 57 Old 01-10-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I think, like some other pp that they are great, to exist, as lon g as I must not use them.

I had one of my most awful bf moments recently at a local mall. DH was in the washroom and I had DS in the food court feeding him. A woman told me didn't I know there was a room for that( actually a chair divided off the womans washroom) I said I knew it was there, but was still nursing right where I was. She replied that nursing was disgusting and that people were eating there. I just continued nursing and didn't say anything. If anyone official had asked me to leave I would have mentioned that I wouldn't legally I didn't have too...but as it was I sat there and just nursed uncomfortably.

In another local mall there is a nursing room I use regularly, but that is mostly so that I have a safe place to contain my three other littles, and it is a comfortable seperate room from the washroom, with comfy chairs, a sink and microwave for baby food/formula/breastmilk warmage included....but there like anywhere else if I was forced to nurse there, and not anywhere my little wanted to I would be very very upset!

Nancy, Mom to Kyra (2005), Zoe (2006), Callie (2007) (2008), and Xavier (2009)
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#57 of 57 Old 01-11-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiannancy View Post
I think, like some other pp that they are great, to exist, as lon g as I must not use them.

I had one of my most awful bf moments recently at a local mall. DH was in the washroom and I had DS in the food court feeding him. A woman told me didn't I know there was a room for that( actually a chair divided off the womans washroom) I said I knew it was there, but was still nursing right where I was. She replied that nursing was disgusting and that people were eating there. I just continued nursing and didn't say anything. If anyone official had asked me to leave I would have mentioned that I wouldn't legally I didn't have too...but as it was I sat there and just nursed uncomfortably.

In another local mall there is a nursing room I use regularly, but that is mostly so that I have a safe place to contain my three other littles, and it is a comfortable seperate room from the washroom, with comfy chairs, a sink and microwave for baby food/formula/breastmilk warmage included....but there like anywhere else if I was forced to nurse there, and not anywhere my little wanted to I would be very very upset!
I would have said I know.. my babies one of them

Kimberly : momma to Karrigan Kayla : and wife of Kevin
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