Lactation Station- Offensive? - Mothering Forums
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Lactivism > Lactation Station- Offensive?
Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 06:43 PM 08-20-2010
Yesterday DH, DD, and I went to the Indiana State Fair. After walking around for about an hour, we saw a sign in front of an RV called that said "Lactation Station, for nursing moms." Sponsered by March of Dimes.

I was stoked. It was super hot and I was totally ready to get DD out of the sun and soak up some AC. So I told DH we'd meet him at the next building in about 20 minutes.

The place was totally air conditioned, had a changing pad, had nice cushy seats to nurse on, and they even gave you free cold bottles of water. No one was in there from MOD, and it was an awesome experience.

So...when I told my husband about how much I liked it, he says to me, "Really, that seems like something you would be totally against. Do you not feel like they are trying to herd you all into 1 spot so that no one else has to feel uncomfortable about you NIP?"

I hadn't thought of it that way at all until he said something about it. And I still really appreciate it being available for me.


What are your thoughs/opinions on Lactation Stations?

minkajane's Avatar minkajane 06:52 PM 08-20-2010
I like it. Some moms don't like NIP and most would appreciate the chance to sit down in air conditioning and nurse. I know I would.
pleasantlyfurious's Avatar pleasantlyfurious 06:53 PM 08-20-2010
Sounds awesome to me - assuming there are no expectations that you are not allowed to nurse elsewhere. I think offering privacy/comforts for nursing moms is a really nice things that is a bonus to our right to nurse anywhere else!
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 06:54 PM 08-20-2010
I think they're awesome, as long as no one is trying to force mothers to use them. Being a Lactivist is about promoting breastfeeding. The best way to promote breastfeeding is to find ways to make it happen in whatever manner the mother is comfortable. If a mom is more comfortable nursing inside, in the air, with someone bringing her a nice bottled water, more power to her. And the mom who is OK nursing outside on a bench should be welcomed too. I would say, kindly, that your husband is missing the point.
major_mama11's Avatar major_mama11 07:00 PM 08-20-2010
I went in the lactation station last year, at the same state fair. I thought it was awesome! I didn't feel like I was being herded away from the public, I felt like they were providing a nice comfy place to nurse and not have to sweat out in the sun. And all the freebies were great too- I even got a free sweatshirt last year, and a little breastmilk cooler.
mommajb's Avatar mommajb 07:08 PM 08-20-2010
It is staffed by IBCLCs and LLL leaders. It is an added bonus of comfort, not a limiting factor. You are welcome to nurse anywhere but hey, come on in, relax, meet some like minded mothers, ask any burning questions you think of, grab some freebies, ENJOY!
annettemarie's Avatar annettemarie 07:09 PM 08-20-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommajb View Post
It is staffed by IBCLCs and LLL leaders. It is an added bonus of comfort, not a limiting factor. You are welcome to nurse anywhere but hey, come on in, relax, meet some like minded mothers, ask any burning questions you think of, grab some freebies, ENJOY!
I just tried to "like" your post a la Facebook.


Nicole730's Avatar Nicole730 07:11 PM 08-20-2010
I loved using them at our state fair. It said on the website that mother's are free to nurse anywhere, but nursing stations are available. At the fair, especially, it is so nice to get a cool, quiet spot to take a break with your LO. It was sooo humid during our fair and just overwhelming for the baby.

I nurse in public all the time, anywhere baby needs to eat...but it is nice to have a spot where I know I won't have to think about keeping my nipple in the baby's mouth the whole time.
nelson's Avatar nelson 07:15 PM 08-20-2010
I used one at the MN State Fair a couple of years ago when DS was still very small- at the time I was still trying to get the hang of nursing and so lounging on a recliner in an air conditioned tent was fabulous compared with me fumbling around outside probably sitting against a tree. Although my second stop later in the day, it had gotten quite busy, it must have been lunch time. Love em!
mommajb's Avatar mommajb 07:44 PM 08-20-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I just tried to "like" your post a la Facebook.


AFWife's Avatar AFWife 07:50 PM 08-20-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post
I went in the lactation station last year, at the same state fair. I thought it was awesome! I didn't feel like I was being herded away from the public, I felt like they were providing a nice comfy place to nurse and not have to sweat out in the sun.
And if your child is like mine nursing in the heat and sweat is not possible. He had to be comfortable to nurse when he was little. So this would be great for moms like that.
Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 08:33 PM 08-20-2010
I'm glad that most people feel this way. I felt like it was an awesome asset to the fair. I dont think the one I went to was staffed by LLL leaders though. Some of the staff members didnt even have kids. It was staffed by people who were employed by March for Dimes. They were all really nice though.

I nused there 3 times, and the other 2 times I needed to nurse I just nursed sitting on a bench. DD is pretty used to nursing in the heat, and I dont care about NIP.

I do wonder what people who saw me NIP on the bench though. I wonder if they thought to themselves," There's an RV for that."

I think more events should have lactation stations. Its awesome to have a comfortable place for the LO's.
proudmomof4's Avatar proudmomof4 01:54 AM 08-21-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
i think they're awesome, as long as no one is trying to force mothers to use them. Being a lactivist is about promoting breastfeeding. The best way to promote breastfeeding is to find ways to make it happen in whatever manner the mother is comfortable. If a mom is more comfortable nursing inside, in the air, with someone bringing her a nice bottled water, more power to her. And the mom who is ok nursing outside on a bench should be welcomed too. I would say, kindly, that your husband is missing the point.
ita
myk's Avatar myk 03:51 AM 08-22-2010
i think it's a great option - as long as it's not something like an uncomfortable chair in a bathroom or some other nonsense. if it's designed to be a comfortable place to relax, i'm all for it. as long as they don't expect everyone to use it.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 05:23 AM 08-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I think they're awesome, as long as no one is trying to force mothers to use them. Being a Lactivist is about promoting breastfeeding. The best way to promote breastfeeding is to find ways to make it happen in whatever manner the mother is comfortable. If a mom is more comfortable nursing inside, in the air, with someone bringing her a nice bottled water, more power to her. And the mom who is OK nursing outside on a bench should be welcomed too. I would say, kindly, that your husband is missing the point.


i think of them like courtesy parking spaces for pregnant mamas. there were some days when i was nauseous and felt exhausted and those spaces were such a welcome site! and other days i was energized and parked at the back of the lot for more exercise. can you imagine someone saying "hey lady, you gotta park in those pregnant women parking spaces because i don't want to see you waddling all the way across the parking lot"?! for me, nursing/lactation stations are just the same.

eta: nak in dark = no caps
Friday13th's Avatar Friday13th 09:58 AM 08-22-2010
The Big E had one sponsored by LLL with a leader working there. At the time DS1 was a nutty toddler and it was nice to have a quiet, comfortable space to get him to nurse and relax after running around all day. I chatted with the LLL leader who applauded me nursing my 18 month old and while I was there a mother with a brand new baby came in looking really relieved to find a spot to get situated.
On the other hand I just went to the big local fair (Bolton, in MA) and the map showed a nursing/changing station. I was really hopeful given the Big E and there weren't really any benches around the rest of the fair or a place to change a diaper. It was pretty sad, a folding table with plastic wrap on it and two folding chairs. Bleck. There was a bench outside but I think that was a coincidence. So I changed DS2 inside and then made a point of nursing on the bench outside. It did seem much less like a nice way to accomodate nursing mothers and more of a go sit in this dirty tent in an uncomfortable chair.
Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 07:04 PM 08-24-2010
So, OP here. Just wanted to share my experience with another Lactation Station.

OK, So 2 state fairs in one week. At they KY state fair there was a "Rock n Relax", hosted by a hospital- a place to go and nurse and also to change baby. There was a poster inside the area that had a bunch of illustrations on it, titled "Surprises while Nursing". It was pretty old but a couple of them were pretty offensive. There was a scene where a little girl sees her mommy nursing and says "my baby is hungry too!", and the mother looks disgruntled at the little girl.

In general this one was nothing like the other one. There were signs in all the bathrooms right above the changing stations that said "ATTN: Rock N Relax is located at aisle......"

I was changing my baby in the bathroom and a lady said to me, "You know we've set up a place for that..." and began to give me directions as though I wasnt welcome to change her in the bathroom.

I also NIP when I was a good hike away and I got several dirty looks and heard two people say (not to me, but about me) "You know, there is a place for that"

I felt like in this situation, the signs in the bathroom alerted everyone to an alternative place for mothers. This made people feel like it was a place we were supposed to go instead of a great place they were offering us
JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 07:07 PM 08-24-2010
I would have loved it. I totally don't mind NIP but neither of my babies (tired, hungry, thirsty, or not) have ever been able to focus. I always end up off from crowd/friends/ etc. I've actually had to nurse in the toilet just to get a reasonable place for her to relax. (And that makes DH laugh because I let it all hang out when I am in car.)

It would be another place entirely if women were being herded there or interfered with when they NIP.
4Blessings's Avatar 4Blessings 07:11 PM 08-24-2010
Two years ago I remember sitting in the Lactation Station all alone at the MN State Fair. Thousands of women and I'm the only one nursing?


I think they are a great idea. Benches are hard to come by at our fair and I appreciate the shade and cool breeze from the fans.

Looking forward to visiting the Lactation Station again this year
Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 02:07 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Blessings View Post
Two years ago I remember sitting in the Lactation Station all alone at the MN State Fair. Thousands of women and I'm the only one nursing?

Wow, that's so strange. In IN there were at least 2 women in there everytime I went. Im just gonna hope that in MN no one knew it was there and they were all NIP. I did see so many kids at the fair with bottles of formula/juice when they were nb. (i dont get out much....so I rarely see bottle fed babies)

One thing I found strange was that some of the other moms were using nursing covers inside the lactation station. I guess some people are uncomfortable even in front of other nursing moms. At one point I was the only woman (out of four) who was exposed and I felt kind of embarrassed that I didnt bring a cover.
Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 11:25 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
So, OP here. Just wanted to share my experience with another Lactation Station.

OK, So 2 state fairs in one week. At they KY state fair there was a "Rock n Relax", hosted by a hospital- a place to go and nurse and also to change baby. There was a poster inside the area that had a bunch of illustrations on it, titled "Surprises while Nursing". It was pretty old but a couple of them were pretty offensive. There was a scene where a little girl sees her mommy nursing and says "my baby is hungry too!", and the mother looks disgruntled at the little girl.

In general this one was nothing like the other one. There were signs in all the bathrooms right above the changing stations that said "ATTN: Rock N Relax is located at aisle......"

I was changing my baby in the bathroom and a lady said to me, "You know we've set up a place for that..." and began to give me directions as though I wasnt welcome to change her in the bathroom.

I also NIP when I was a good hike away and I got several dirty looks and heard two people say (not to me, but about me) "You know, there is a place for that"

I felt like in this situation, the signs in the bathroom alerted everyone to an alternative place for mothers. This made people feel like it was a place we were supposed to go instead of a great place they were offering us
Please hear this respectfully, but it kind of sounds like you were "looking for a fight". And if you were changing a diaper on a bathroom counter or something, I'd have told you how to get to the changing room also.

And it sounds like you're assuming people were wanting you to go to the "nursing place" when no one said that to you.

Maybe I am completely wrong, I wasn't there, but I think we could all just agree to be grateful and happy about these huge improvements to make breastfeeding normal, expected, and celebrated.

I can't think of a great analogy, but what if there were a "diabetes station" where you could have a clean room with a/c to test your sugars, get a drink or snack, give an injection, etc. Is that shooing the problem away from the public or just a helping hand?
Mrs.Music's Avatar Mrs.Music 02:35 AM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
Yesterday DH, DD, and I went to the Indiana State Fair. After walking around for about an hour, we saw a sign in front of an RV called that said "Lactation Station, for nursing moms." Sponsered by March of Dimes.

I was stoked. It was super hot and I was totally ready to get DD out of the sun and soak up some AC. So I told DH we'd meet him at the next building in about 20 minutes.

The place was totally air conditioned, had a changing pad, had nice cushy seats to nurse on, and they even gave you free cold bottles of water. No one was in there from MOD, and it was an awesome experience.

So...when I told my husband about how much I liked it, he says to me, "Really, that seems like something you would be totally against. Do you not feel like they are trying to herd you all into 1 spot so that no one else has to feel uncomfortable about you NIP?"

I hadn't thought of it that way at all until he said something about it. And I still really appreciate it being available for me.


What are your thoughs/opinions on Lactation Stations?
This seems FANTASTIC. It's not about hiding. It's about providing someplace comfortable in a place that is otherwise crowded, loud, hot and probably just lacking in places to sit for you to nurse your baby.
JessicaS's Avatar JessicaS 03:40 PM 08-27-2010
I love the lactation stations. During our fair it is always boiling hot, it is nice to have an alternative place to nurse
mandivola's Avatar mandivola 04:12 PM 08-27-2010
I was a volunteer this year at the Indiana State Fair and I wanted to clear something up. First, I'm glad you had a positive experience! Yah! The purpose of the Lactation is to give nursing moms a cooled spot to breastfeed to get a break from the extreme heat. They are sponsored and organized by the Indiana Mother's Milk Bank, which serves the entire Midwest Region. I'm a donor mom for the milk bank so I gladly took a day off of work to volunteer. The purpose is NOT to keep moms from nursing in public, just to give them a choice. The March of Dimes is a sponsor, not organizer.

The Milk Bank recruited donor moms, local LLL leaders, nurses, and lactation consultants for staffing. They stocked freebies and supplies to give moms that best experience. And even better, they're raising awareness for breastfeeding in general as well as the fact that human milk is available for hospital and private use. MANY people don't know that you can request human milk for their premature or sick infants and we all know that these babies (in fact all babies) benefit from the rich nutrients in mother's milk.

There are people at the Fair that have turned up at the Lactation Station saying that there are moms nursing outside of the Lactation Stations and the staff is really good about saying, "great, moms can nurse where ever they want." The Stations are a nice comfort for many moms.

I hope you can come next year and if you're interested possibly volunteer or sign up as a donor mom! Here's my post from that day. http://amandasquickbite.blogspot.com...-fair-for.html
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 04:15 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I think they're awesome, as long as no one is trying to force mothers to use them. Being a Lactivist is about promoting breastfeeding. The best way to promote breastfeeding is to find ways to make it happen in whatever manner the mother is comfortable. If a mom is more comfortable nursing inside, in the air, with someone bringing her a nice bottled water, more power to her. And the mom who is OK nursing outside on a bench should be welcomed too. I would say, kindly, that your husband is missing the point.
I agree. Though I do admit to never seeing one of these at a fair and ignoring "nursing rooms" at malls and such and just doing my own thing. Mostly because sitting down to nurse with 3 other kids running around isn't gonna happen.
slowgoing's Avatar slowgoing 06:02 PM 08-27-2010
Living in the heat of the southwest I would welcome a cold water and some shade. I would not feel as if I HAD to nurse in there but might want to sometimes... Just a few thoughts
Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 08:20 PM 08-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
Please hear this respectfully, but it kind of sounds like you were "looking for a fight". And if you were changing a diaper on a bathroom counter or something, I'd have told you how to get to the changing room also.

And it sounds like you're assuming people were wanting you to go to the "nursing place" when no one said that to you..

I was changing her at the Baby Koala Chamging station that is ALWAYS in the bathroom. I didnt want to walk that far to change a diaper.

I wasnt looking for a fight, I said from the beginning that the Lactation Station was awesome. I just though I would update my post to include an experience that wasnt as awesome as the previous one I had. I dont feel like its "looking for a fight" to compare the two different experiences. I def. felt like the one in Indiana was much more inviting and enjoyable than the one in Kentucky, where I felt obligated to use it.

The Kentucky state fair is HUGE. I didnt want to keep walking back to the same place over and over again to nurse/ change my 5 month old that was in need of pretty constant attention. In Indiana, they had 2 stations, and it was a much smaller area. I still appreciate the one in Kentucky being there, but I do think that they shouldnt put the signs right at the changing stations in the bathrooms, leading people to believe that women arent supposed to use the regular changing stations. And, I didnt like their comic, I felt like it was a little insulting.

Im glad to know that the stations in Indiana were actually run by then Milk Bank. I would like to voluenteer next year. That sounds really cool.
Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 10:46 AM 08-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
I was changing her at the Baby Koala Chamging station that is ALWAYS in the bathroom. I didnt want to walk that far to change a diaper.

I still appreciate the one in Kentucky being there, but I do think that they shouldnt put the signs right at the changing stations in the bathrooms, leading people to believe that women arent supposed to use the regular changing stations.
That is really irritating then. If you were using a changing table, I can't imagine why anyone would be so rude to you.
scottishmommy's Avatar scottishmommy 01:08 PM 08-28-2010
I don't find nursing stations offensive per se, but I think it's weird that our society thinks we need a special place to nurse. I feel like nursing moms should neither be pampered nor hindered. They should just *be*. But is nice to be pampered.....
PGTlatte's Avatar PGTlatte 01:45 PM 08-28-2010
I think they are nice as long as it's clear the location is offered as a convenience, with no expectation that mothers should nurse only there and not in other locations.

I also feel that mothers who are bottle feeding should be clearly welcomed. Someone who is bottle feeding a young infant or who chooses to hold her baby while bottle feeding may really appreciate a place where it is easy to sit down and hold the baby. Someone who is bottle feeding a baby who is easily distracted may appreciate a quiet and more private place to do it.

I am all for supporting breastfeeding in a very positive way that does not lead to anyone feeling excluded or looked down on for not breastfeeding. I think these areas would be better called "infant feeding stations" where all mothers who could use a quiet, cool place to feed their baby are clearly welcome, regardless of how they feed their infant.
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