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I was at Logan Airport on Friday and saw in the women's restroom a separate little room marked "Nursing Room" and an icon of a baby. I was so thrilled! I had actually left my baby with DH right outside the ladies' so I could run in and pee, and the next thing I was planning to do was find some place to nurse her. So I open the door, expecting to find a chair - probably just a crappy folding chair, maybe, and I found...

<drumroll>

A small room with a changing table and mirror and nothing else!!!!!!!!!!

How in the heck am I supposed to nurse standing up?

This wasn't a fluke - on my return trip, I checked out a totally different bathroom, and there was no chair there either. I don't think someone stole the chair. I think they thought a "Nursing Room" is a place to change a diaper!

Don't get me wrong, having a decent (it wasn't nice, just decent, but not complaining) place to change a baby is great. A chair would have been fab though.

I ended up just nursing her in front of the whole world (I would have tried the nursing room not for modesty but since an airport is SUCH a distracting place for a baby to eat).
 

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I find the concept of setting aside closets for nursing babies apalling.

No one else has to eat in private, why should babies?

I realize that some babies are lookie-lous, but so what? The rest of us look around the room during meals too. I know nobody in my family locks eyes on their plate during meals. Why would babies?
 

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Yes, but I eat while looking around. Looking around doesn't distract me from eating. A lot of babies will eat for a second, then look around, then eat...which is really inconvenient. It makes the feeding take forever, and you can end up covered in breastmilk. If I had to choose between a quick 15-minute feeding in a quiet place and a 30-minute feeding in a crowded room which leaves me covered in my own juice...I think it'd be no contest. Some people just don't like to nurse in public, too. If there's a nursing room available and it isn't too far out of the way, I use it. I agree that I shouldn't have to feel comfortable NIP and that breastfeeding shouldn't offend people...but the truth is, that it does bother some people, and it does make some people feel uncomfortable. Some people chose to fight that by NIP as much as possible, and some people are just quieter, less-confrontational and prefer to just do it in private so everyone is happy. The baby isn't going to care whether it's eating in front of everyone or in a closet. It's not like nursing in a stinky bathroom
I don't have anything against nursing rooms. But to not even put a chair in one is ridiculous. We have a movie theatre here that doesn't have a baby changing station in a single bathroom, yet they even have designated showings JUST for parents with little children! NUTS!
 

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First/last/only time I used one of those nursing rooms, I got stared down by a woman bottlefeeding her infant. It was surreal.
I was expecting it to be a nice, posh lounge with couches and AC, but instead it was a nasty little "break room" type place badly in need of a vacuuming.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by moonfirefaery
Yes, but I eat while looking around. Looking around doesn't distract me from eating. A lot of babies will eat for a second, then look around, then eat...which is really inconvenient. It makes the feeding take forever, and you can end up covered in breastmilk. If I had to choose between a quick 15-minute feeding in a quiet place and a 30-minute feeding in a crowded room which leaves me covered in my own juice...I think it'd be no contest.
Agreed!! Nordstrom has a very nice nursing lounge...and I used to go out of my way to feed my son there when I'd be at the mall. Big comfy chairs, no distractions and a place to put my feet up. My friend and I used to hang out at South Coast Plaza once or twice a week. It's a huge mall. We'd get our walking in, have lunch and just enjoy each others company.
Pottery Barn Kids has a nice nursing room...as does Babies R Us. I have seen some skeevy nursing rooms though.
At any rate....if there was a nice nursing lounge...I prefered to use it, if not, I just nursed where ever I was most comfortable.
 

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There is hope! I went to a new-ish mall a couple days ago and there was both a "family area"--a quiet spot with couches and soft lighting, partially walled off from the bustle of the mall, but still quite open, and there was also a nursing room with a rocker that was completely private.

I nursed in the family area quite comfortably, no loud noises and bustle to distract DD, no blank wall to stare at for me. A sign stated that the area was "for the needs of families with young children."

There was also a changing room (stank of thrown out sposies, but very nice facility otherwise, and separate from the adult bathroom) and two family restrooms.

Very impressive. (for Michiganders, this was at the Lansing Mall. Stop by if you're in the area. We're moving to Lansing, but if we weren't, I think this mall would become a new stopping point on our way up north for very comfy nursing and changes and a bit of shopping.)
 

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The most impressive nursing/child area I've found here is the one at the Belden Village Mall in Canton, Ohio. They have four or five nursing areas with curtains and cushy chairs and benches to sit on. They also have comfy couches and a nice changing area too.

The worst one is at the Southern Park Mall in Boardman, Ohio. Its a semi-private hole in the wall in the family restroom with two hard, stiff backed wooden chairs. The restroom area is always filthy and smelly.
:
 

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I was at a mall in Melbourne, FL yesterday for the first time yesterday and saw they had a nursing room in the family restroom area. After taking care of changing ds and getting dd cared for in the bathroom I had to check it out. It was a tiny brick room where the toliets flushing next door echoed around to no end. There was a wooden rocking chair in there, but nothing else. There have been times I've gone looking for an out of the way spot so ds would settle down and eat, but that would not have helped him settle down at all! The benches around the kids play area were nice and cushy to sit down and nurse at. Amazingly even with a super crowded mall thanks to back to school shopping on a weekend during a tax free thing ds still got right down to eating and even fell asleep.
 

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Just a thought because I've never seen them, but if a place offers a "nursing room" no matter how inadequate they seem, does that give the establishment the right to request you use it? Like if you are at a restaurant and nursing at the table...can they request you go to the "nursing room?"
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sjkmaurice
Just a thought because I've never seen them, but if a place offers a "nursing room" no matter how inadequate they seem, does that give the establishment the right to request you use it? Like if you are at a restaurant and nursing at the table...can they request you go to the "nursing room?"
They can request it, but you can absolutely say, "No thanks. We're fine here." They can't *force* you to use the "nursing room" just because they made one.
 

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Quote:
Just a thought because I've never seen them, but if a place offers a "nursing room" no matter how inadequate they seem, does that give the establishment the right to request you use it? Like if you are at a restaurant and nursing at the table...can they request you go to the "nursing room?"
I don't think so. They can't request you go to the bathroom. You have the right to breastfeed, in most states, in any place you have the right to be. You have the right to sit at a table in a restaurant and eat, and therefore so does your baby. What are they going to do...kick you out for not complying? That would be illegal.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sjkmaurice
Just a thought because I've never seen them, but if a place offers a "nursing room" no matter how inadequate they seem, does that give the establishment the right to request you use it? Like if you are at a restaurant and nursing at the table...can they request you go to the "nursing room?"
See, that;s why I was so impressed with the lansing mall--the family area right next to the nursing room seemed to welcome nursing in either place. Of course, I'd nurse elsewhere in the mall too if I so desired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Meiri
I find the concept of setting aside closets for nursing babies apalling.

No one else has to eat in private, why should babies?

I realize that some babies are lookie-lous, but so what? The rest of us look around the room during meals too. I know nobody in my family locks eyes on their plate during meals. Why would babies?
Maybe I should have been more clear in my original post, but until we went on this trip, my baby would NOT nurse in public (well, she did previously of course, but around 4 months she stopped). Not just looking around, but crying, arching her back, and absolutely NOT eating. When I got to the airport (3.5 hour drive) we'd already had to try to feed her in the car and she just WOULD not, so finally I pumped some and gave it to her in a sippy cup, which she's not used to having but it worked ok that time.

So I kind of feel criticized by your post - would you prefer that I not nurse her? I suppose I could give her some formula. Nah, don't worry, I won't do that to my baby based on what a stranger thinks, but then again I'm not shy about NIP either. Only my baby is.

Anyway, I was thinking that a quiet place inside one of the busiest airports in the world was a GOOD thing for nursing - as an OPTION to those mamas who are either shy or have babies who won't NIP (and I'm not the only one, I started a thread a month or two ago and a lot of mamas wrote in with similar experiences). Or just need a decent seat to sit in - airport terminals have those nasty seats with the metal armrests so you have to twist yourself into a pretzel so your baby doesn't bash her head - or sit on the floor.
 

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Mama Poot,
I'm excited that the Belden room is so good! I worked in that mall for years (pre-baby). I am from Canton, but am now living in Texas. I miss Ohio! I will have to check out the nursing room when I go back to visit. Thanks for the heads up.
Amber
 

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Quote:
I find the concept of setting aside closets for nursing babies apalling.

No one else has to eat in private, why should babies?

I realize that some babies are lookie-lous, but so what? The rest of us look around the room during meals too. I know nobody in my family locks eyes on their plate during meals. Why would babies?
While I agree that it's sad that we have nursing rooms instead of moms feeling comfortable NIP -- and while I also agree that women should feel comfortable NIP with babies who are easily distractible and no one should have issues with that ....

I do think that during this (I hope) transitional phase back to bf being the norm in our culture, for many women, at least with their first children and their first experiences nursing outside the home, nursing lounges can feel much safer. If that prolongs their bf relationships and gives them time to come to the point that they're comfortable BFIP (if not with Baby #1, then with Baby #2) .... Then I think that they are a good thing (as long as women aren't pressured to use them, and as long as they aren't filthy little hovels hooked onto bathrooms
)

I don't think they're an "out" for malls etc. that don't want women BFIP. But they may help a mom bf longer than she might have otherwise. Trying to make it into an either/or equation (either you will BF only at home and follow all the anti-BF rules imposed by our society, OR you will bf without qualm in public places without blanket, or trying to find a quiet place/nursing room, or etc.) --- I think creates an environment where women are more likely to err on the "Well, then I can't BFIP at all" mode than to become courageous enough to BFIP without qualm, KWIM? I'm sure that's not your intent but the wording could certainly feel that way to a mother who is still getting over her BFIP hurdles.


Also - since I had a gourmet who nursed every 2 hours, for 45 minutes at a time 'til a year of age -- I can see how a mom with a super-distractible baby would want a place with less distractions, if it means that her shopping trip takes 2 hours less because baby's two nursing sessions weren't interrupted as often, KWIM?

The key is whether mom is breastfeeding her baby, and whether she and baby are comfortable. I am not as concerned about locations (as long as she's not convinced that she and baby are comfortable nursing on toilets
).
 

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I've seen 2 nice places for baby nursing/care.
The first was at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News, VA. They had a couch, a separate chair and a changing table in a private clean room (though it smelled a little from someone's child's diaper).

But the ultimate place is at the Magic Kingdom, Disney World. This place is just awesome! They have a child-sized bathroom with little short potties and sinks, a room with a TV, high chairs for feeding wee-ones, a room specifically set aside with a closed door for nursing mothers, complete with very comfy-looking rocking chairs, and a room with like 5 huge butt changing stations, including lots of paper to put down under the baby. Plus they supply you with baby food, diapers, and some other supplies if you need it! Go Disney!
 

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As the mother of an easily distracted baby, I appreciate nursing rooms when they are available. I also relied heavily on them when I was newly postpartum and not comfortable NIP.

I'm delurking here for the first time to let you know about my blog, the Nursing Room Locator. It lists nursing rooms/mothers' lounges across the country. Many of the rooms mentioned here are not yet posted. If you'd like to contribute to the list, please e-mail me at [email protected] with the location and condition of the rooms, and I'll add them to the list.

Let me state that I support the right of every mother to nurse her child wherever she sees fit. I started my site to help women who need a quiet place to nurse their children, not to insist that they hide away.

Thanks for any help you can give! I have learned a lot from reading here over this last year or so.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Penuche
As the mother of an easily distracted baby, I appreciate nursing rooms when they are available.
Yes.

Also, both of my kids are the types that get really overstimulated in crowds and lots of noise, and when they were approaching their limit of what they could handle in a place like an airport (where you can't just decide to go home), a nursing room is a wonderful thing. 10 minutes of quiet with nursies would be enough to "reset" them and soothe them.
 

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I agree. Nice nursing rooms are a nice alternative to have. Sometimes its nice to just relax while you breastfeed and rest your back and you can't always find a nice place to nurse in the mall. Benches can be very uncomfortable and not very relaxing especally b/c my toddler who is cranky and hungry and tired wants to sit up eveyr few seconds to look at people. I've nursed everywhere but there are times I am so happy Nordstroms is around so I can sit back in a nice cool room with a big comfy chair and nice muisc to nurse her in.

We really need to be careful b/c we are here to promote all women to tyr and breastfeed. Not all women feel like pros int he beginning. Some women have issues with modesty in general showing any skin is embarrassing for them, even though it is natural. And some have issues like needing nursing sheilds and such so thye woudl also feel better in a nursing room. Its better for women to want to nurse in private then to just carry their spare formula in the bag. So I'm saying lets keep up support accross the board here.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Poot
The most impressive nursing/child area I've found here is the one at the Belden Village Mall in Canton, Ohio. They have four or five nursing areas with curtains and cushy chairs and benches to sit on. They also have comfy couches and a nice changing area too.
Hey - that's where I shop! I like that there is always a children's video on to keep my older kids busy while I nurse DD. Plus the "scooped out" changing tables are nice. The last time I nursed there there was a young mom there bottle-feeding her sleeping, very overweight baby, and she kept commenting on how "small" my DD was, as she force-fed her son the last couple of ounces of formula. My mom and I chuckled after she left.

BTW Mama Poot - are you from Canton????
 
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