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Interested in opinions regarding a "nursing room"

1354 Views 37 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  abigailvr
Here's the scenario:

We were at the zoo last month, and I went to change the boys diapers in a bathroom that was conveniently located. The changing area was pretty nice, about the size of a wheelchair accessible stall, only there was no door. There was a sink, and changing station, and a small bench where I could conveniently set the diaper bag.

I was thinking to myself what a great changing area, to have a place to set down my bag, which most don't. I changed the diaper, and as I turned to leave I notice a sign hung directly over the small bench. It said NURSING AREA. I was pretty miffed, and went outside and got the camera to take a couple pictures and see what people thought. Then I sat down on a bench OUTSIDE and nursed both boys.

Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate "parents' lounge" type areas for when babies go through the ditractable stage IF they have low lighting, big comfy chairs, a quiet atmosphere, a basket of toys for an older child, things like that. And they should NOT be in the bathroom.

In contrast, this so-called nursing area was loud, toilets flushing, hand dryers blasting, kids yelling, and it all reverberating off tile walls. Not to mention the bright flourescent lights and the hard small bench. This does not speak to a thoughtful effort in supporting the needs of the nursing dyad.

Oh, and here's the link to the pics I took. (fish-eye lens so it looks actually a bit bigger than in life.)
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I don't get it. You're supposed to sit on that bench???

Maybe there wasn't space on the sign to write "Diaper changing area" so they figured the shorter "nursing area" would be convey something close enough that it would be ok? (She asks hopefully.)

You're right. It's a nice diaper area. Just needs a mirror next to the changing table.
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I don't see a need for a sign--- w/the pull-down diaper changing table its pretty obvious.

I don't see how they could think an attached bench was convenient to nurse on.
I would support it if there were a rocking chair or something and a sign that said that nursing mothers got "dibs" or something, lol, but I'd nurse outside!
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that doesn't look like a nursing area to me. it looks more like a regular diaper-changing area. a nursing area has to be a nice, quiet room (IMO) with rocking chairs, books for older kids, mothering magazines (yay) and it has to be clean. I don't get how we are supposed to change diapers, go to the bathroom and nurse our babies in one same place.
A few months ago, I was in the airport in Manchester, NH and they had a nursing room. I didn't see the sign, though. I was sitting right across from this nursing room, on a bench, just beyond the visual range of the sign, nursing. Though my breast was not visible, it was obvious to anyone who cared that I had a nursing baby in my lap. We were in a main corridor and many travellers, including many other moms with babies, were passing by.

I was ambivalent about the whole thing. There were so many moms bottle feeding in that airport, more than I usually see in my daily life. I couldn't decide whether I should have rewarded the airport for being so thoughtful by using the nursing area or whether it was a better thing to just have nursed where I was.

I do appreciate it when they provide a nice diapering area like the one in your photo.
what?! that's basically a bathroom, IMO. gross. i wouldn't nurse my little guys there either! i've noticed that a lot of places now have benches in the bathrooms for nursing... i refuse to nurse anywhere there are toilets, period.

on the upside, i was at a mall in milwaukee, WI a month or so ago and they had a low-lit nursing room with toys, pretty artwork on the walls and a FAUX LEATHER-UPHOLSTERED rocking chair. i was very impressed. i also love shopping at IKEA in shaumberg, IL... they have a lovely nursing room with TWO rocking chairs, toys and kid-sized furniture in the room... last time i went, there was another mama nursing too. it was pretty awesome.
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When we were going throught the nursing crisis in the beginning DH took me shopping for nursing bras and cloths (trying to cheer me up, bless his heart) and the mall was undergoing some construction. I went to the washroom to change ds and it had been completely re-done. There was a beautifull changing station with a sunken area in the counter to lay down babe and right beside it was a small sink with a facet. I thought it was the nicest change area I had ever seen. Then I noticed the glass doors beside me and inside was a fabulous nursing room. It had a microwave for bottles and leather lounge chairs. It also had nice heating lights above each chair that put out just the right amount of warmth. I did'nt want to leave. That's what every nursing area should be like.
Was this at Brookfield by any chance? We went (dh, ds & I) last fall when ds was 5 or 6 months old and I got nothing but nasty looks. We're going again in a couple of weeks and I challenge anyone to look at me askew...I'm lactating, I'm informed and I'm not afraid to tell them what's what.

(And who wants to nurse in a stinky loud bathroom on an extra narrow, extra hard shelf/bench, anyway?
I'll take the grass by the main fountain or a shaded bench any day)
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Well, Em, do ya want to start a mini nurse-in? We're members and so can get an adult in for free, too.

Honestly, the outside benches were a whole lot nicer. I have to lean back a bit to nurse both boys, and so I can't figure out how the hell I even would have managed it on that little bench, even if I had wanted to!

Philosophically, I just don't like that nursing areas (even nice ones like IKEA's) open off of bathrooms. It says that it is something that society says *MUST* be in private, and that it is probably dirty, too. Fine, put it right next to the bathroom, even with another door to the bathroom. But it shouldn't be the only way to get in.

If anyone wants to send me pics of the nice nursing areas, I think I will write a letter thanking them for the thought, but strongly urging some improvements with decriptions and photos. Whaddya think?
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That bench at Brookfield couldn't be any narrower either!!! We lived a few blocks from there when ds was smaller, I could be inside the zoo from my house in 7 minutes! I nursed all over that place and never once got any looks at all! The best place I found to nurse there is the dolphin viewing room. Cool, quiet and semi dark, perfect for the distactable baby and hot mama! The Nordstrom at Oak Brook or Woodfield have the nicest nursing rooms around!

jamie h., what mall? We live just outside of Milwaukee!
it was called mayfair, i think... it was very upscale. not sure where. i want to say it was on the north side. we're not from milwaukee but were visiting some friends. they had a really nice changing area too, nice wide counter with a mirror, seperate from the bathroom. although... now that i think about it, it might have been an area for women to stand and powder their noses... :LOL whoops! oh well! the actual nursing room was small, but there was a really nice, large waiting room right outside with big comfy couches and stuff too. i actually nursed there as well when the room was occupied.
if you go, you'll have to tell me how you liked it.
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Interesting. It looks like a nice diapering area to me... a place for the older kids to sit, but NO WAY would I nurse there.
You know what gets me... when I had my dd 10 years ago, I was the only person I knew who nursed, and I would actually sit in bathroom stalls so as not to embarrass anyone by actually witnessing me feed my child. Then suddenly it hit me, dd must have beed 9 months or so, and I was just NASTY in the bathroom. And I don't have to eat in a bathroom. Bottle fed babies don't have to eat in a bathroom. People who chew with their mouths open or people who slurp, or drool or what have you aren't asked to sit in a bathroom to eat. Yet I was in the bathroom nursing my child! UGH, so I stopped and haven't done it since. And as nice as some of those nursing rooms are with chairs and toys and low lights, I refuse to HIDE myself because feeding my child makes some people uncomfortable. I mean I have seen people eat and it can be pretty nasty, but I would never in 100 years ask them to please eat in an area that wouldn't have to witness their "grossness".
How is BF going to be come a NORMAL thing if we have to hide out to do it? I mean, maybe feeding all babies whether breast or bottle, we should all have to sit someplace else? BUt I don't think that would fly. I mean imagaine telling a bottle feeding mom, "You are making people uncomfortable with that, could go go sit in a bathroom stall?"
Sorry it pisses me off!

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hmmm.... my back hurts from just looking at that bench!

It's interesting... a few months ago, I really didn't care about nursing areas, I could nurse anywhere... but now we've entered the "highly distractable" nursing stage, and so I've now decided nursing rooms are actually useful, if they are nice, which they are usually not. Still, I hope dd grows out of her "looky looky" stage soon so that I don't have to stress so much about "the perfect nursing spot" when we're out an about!

Anyway, sorry for the digression... whoever came up with that "nursing area" should be embarrassed, and made to eat his/her lunch there for a week! :puke
See this is where I have the problem. When babies get to the "looky looky" stage, "we" generally do feel the need to hide away to nurse so others don't get a boob shot. I just find it very frusterating because we nursing moms shouldn't have to hide when we nurse. I mean if someone is looking that closely at your chest then they may get a boob shot and if it "grosses" them out then tuff titty! (LOL) I say. Why should we have to hide because others find feeding an infant from your body gross. How about the nasty slob who is woofing down the big mac and supersize frys and bleching and scratching his crotch? I wouldn't ask him to eat in a toilet, although maybe he should be!
Babies get wiggly and like to look around, I just wish society could just get use to it and we wouldn't need to hide out in "Nursing Rooms" unless we wanted a quite spot to help get our babies to sleep or something. Not someplace to hide away because boobs make people uncomfortable when they are used for their "other purpose" I mean I have seen more boob showing in some non-nursing women's clothes then with nursing clothes. I mean that Mother's wear clothing for nursing, heck I think you really gotta be trying to see breast tissue to see anything, yet just go to Gap or Old Navy or Guess and look at the clothes, boobs falling out all over the place. Yet no one askes these women to go sit in the bathroom, their boobs are bothering people.

OK So I have an issue!

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Originally Posted by mamaofthree
I mean I have seen more boob showing in some non-nursing women's clothes then with nursing clothes. I mean that Mother's wear clothing for nursing, heck I think you really gotta be trying to see breast tissue to see anything, yet just go to Gap or Old Navy or Guess and look at the clothes, boobs falling out all over the place. Yet no one askes these women to go sit in the bathroom, their boobs are bothering people.

OK So I have an issue!

:LOL ITA with you, mamaofthree. it's weird how people have a problem with nursing boobies being out for just a few minutes as compared to other boobies being out there all day! i sort of came to this realization not to long ago and coming here and reading about all of you mamas not afraid to NIP has given me the shot in the arm i needed! i do really like a nice nursing room to take a break in, especially if one of the boys is cranky or both need a boobie at the same time. then, a nice comfy chair is wonderful.
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the mother's room in our mall is really just a bigger counter for changing diapers, and a chair from the food court sitting underneath the hand dryer...i assume for nursing in? oy.

yeah, that didn't look to cozy to me. i don't see why they felt the need for the sign. were there too many mothers nursing elsewhere that they had to specify that the bench is for nursing? where there too many other different things taking place on the bench? makes no sense to me. sure, you could nurse there if you really wanted to...why you would want to, i don't know....but why would you need the sign to tell you to do so????
when i was pregnant, i swore i would NEVER NIP...

then, when i had my baby i swore i would never nurse her in a nursing room...

then, when my baby became distractable, i became grateful for a nice nursing room, because otherwise she would spend the whole time going on and off and never finish!

but i do not use bathrooms that are disguised as nursing rooms. yucky! when i think of a nursing room, i think of nordstrom's room with comfy chairs, soft lights and music. or arundel mills mall (for those in MD) with soft chairs and stools and dim lights.
I loved the mother's room or whatever it was called at lazarus-macy's. It's super comfy, nice fluffly couches, clean and pretty! babies r us also has a nursing room. I don't mind NIP but if there's a nursing room where I can comfortably sit, I'll use it.

I totally agree with you. My boss made this comment the other day, she said
"I hate it when people take their boob right out and start breastfeeding in front of
me, I mean it's kinda obsene, cover it up, you know?" but hey, you could certainly see her boobs through the almost transparent low cleavage shirt she was wearing (and in my opinion this is way more "obsene") people are just plain weird.
I really like the nursing rooms at one of the malls here-comfy faux leather armchair, door, kid-size chair. I like that I can nurse ds and keep dd contained at the same time. No chasing her while trying to keep him latched (even with the sling, this is harder than I thought it would be). But whenever I'm there with someone else who can help corral dd, i would much rather stay in the middle of the mall, where they have the same kind of chairs, so i can people-watch instead of just staring at the walls. Plus, that's my one little rebellion now, nursing in a place other than where someone says I should.

I think that anywhere someone could feed a baby with a bottle without covering up, I should be able to nurse my kiddo without covering up. Show those teens in the mall how babes are supposed to be fed! But I know that there are some moms that aren't as in your face about it as i am, so I'm glad that they have made these rooms for them.
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MamaTT, I'm always up for a trip to the zoo. This week is full, wanna pm me about next week?
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