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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on a recommendation to management for the creation of a Nursing Room at the museum where I am employed (a private, cozy space for visitors to nurse babies and also for employees to express bm). Anyone have a similar experience and advice? Anyone have any good articles, statistics, etc. to share?
 

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Just a few ideas off the top of my head:<br><br>
1. Make sure you make it clear that guests are in no way "requested" to use this room -- that it is only for their convenience. (Don't want to tick anyone off, kwim? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><br>
2. Nice cushy arm chairs, soft lights, and a couple trifold screens for privacy in a corner if the person prefers.<br><br>
3. Sink or water thingy (-- can't think of the word <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ) & cups.<br><br>
4. Changing table? Many people change a dipe right before or after feeding.<br><br><br>
That is so great that your museum is doing (or at least considering) this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Yes, I agree that the concept of nursing rooms can be double-sided. Great for employees for pumping, but I have an aversion to the provision of rooms in some places as it gives an implied message that you should be doing 'that' in private not in public.<br><br>
When I first had dd a number of friends who b/f for a while before doing the inevitable formula switch, used to frequent a mall because Nordstrom's had a beautiful nursing room. I liked the changing table etc, but resented the idea that I should hide away in this room, however luxurious, just in case someone should get a peek of my flesh. They all loved it, however, but they came from the premise that nursing was somewhat risque. If they were out in public they'd use those stupid capes over the baby's head. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br><br>
Not being much use here, but I think that the staff need to be clear that this is not to get the breastfeeders hidden from view. How about making it a mum and baby room, without the emphasis in title at least, being on breastfeeding? So that poeple like me who would just plonk themselves on a bench to nurse won't feel that the room is a subtle way of getting them out of sight. (Not that I'd take any notice, of course, if it were. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )
 

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My church has one, and they call it a "mother's room" so it doesn't imply that you have to hide to nurse. Would that title make it better? On the other hand, that's where we go to change diapers, so it means daddy's can't do that part.<br><br>
Nice chairs that rock are great too. Pretty pictures to look at and a diaper pail might be helpful too.
 

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I love Nordstrom's Mother's Lounge. The one near me has a large open lounge with about 4 sofas and carpet on the floor. If I'm nearby I'd much rather nurse on their comfy sofas than on uncomfortable restaurant chairs. And afterwards I can put dd down on the carpet to crawl around. It's great to have safe, appropriate floor space for babies when you're out. And usually there are other babies in there she can play with. My dd can only take being constrained by the sling, stroller and car seat for so long.<br>
They have another room with a baby change table and more sofas and then there are the restrooms in another room.<br><br>
Just outside Nordstroms in this Mall there is a Family Room where father's can change their babies.<br><br>
As these mother's areas seem to be a policy of Nordstrom's you might want to contact them re stats and stuff.
 

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The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has one. Contrary to feeling as though I had to use it instead of nursing elsewhere, I was thankful to have a quiet place I could nurse my 4 month old. At that age, she was more interested in just about anything else but nursing. Also, I throughly enjoyed getting to sit down someplace comfy and quiet after spending the morning wandering a loud, cement-floor museum.<br><br>
It was a tiny room, but it had a rocking chair, footrest and several magazines. I think it also had a sign I could put on the door asking not to be disturbed.
 

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If moms are going to be pumping in there, then it would probably be a good idea to do something to give them some privacy. Folding screens would work fine; walls built like stalls would be okay, but I'd feel closed in. I'm fine with breastfeeding out where everyone can see, but when I'm pumping, I like my privacy. There's just way too much exposure when you're double pumping, especially since many of the nursing moms using the room probably have curious toddlers with them.<br><br>
Reading material is an excellent idea. A few toys to entertain older children who aren't being nursed are also a plus.
 

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I really like the one at Ikea. It has a changing table, a sink, a water fountain, two chairs (a rocker and a big stuffed chair), HUGE throw pillows for the floor, a throw rug in one corner, soft lighting, a big mirror on one wall, and I think that's it.<br><br>
I love the throw pillows and rug on the floor, because my oldest and youngest have both gone through a phase (Nadia's still in it) where they nurse best lying down when they're distracted. Moms also put baby down there while washing hands/cleaning up after a diaper change.<br><br>
OH! There are also two step stools so kids can reach the fountain and sink more easily. The bathroom has a child sized sink that I like even better than having step stools, though.
 

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How about toys or something like that for older kids who may or may not be nursing. A basket full of stuffed animals, little mirrors low on the wall... things like that.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Britishmum</i><br><b>Yes, I agree that the concept of nursing rooms can be double-sided. Great for employees for pumping, but I have an aversion to the provision of rooms in some places as it gives an implied message that you should be doing 'that' in private not in public.<br><br></b></td>
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True, what about an area in a lovely nook somewhere off the beaten path? Perhaps where sibs could also relax w/o being told don't touch?<br><br>
I was just contemplating writing to a local store I frequent to simply suggest a bench! Maybe now the letter will be a bit more specific!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Britishmum</i><br><b>I have an aversion to the provision of rooms in some places as it gives an implied message that you should be doing 'that' in private not in public... I liked the changing table etc, but resented the idea that I should hide away in this room, however luxurious, just in case someone should get a peek of my flesh.</b></td>
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I just have to say that I wish ALL public places (restaurants, stores, etc.) would have a comfy nursing place. DD at 7 months is so distractable that nursing her in public is almost impossible, unless she's completely starving & exhausted. And letting her get to that stage is not something I want to make a practice of! I can't tell you how many times I tried creating a little tent for<br>
us, but she hates having things on her head & is always grabbing or kicking, so scarves, slings, etc, are always pulled off.<br><br>
We were at a wedding in NY last week in a fancy rest., and I was expecting a ladies lounge w/ daybed, etc. (Yes, I know, living in a fantasy--forget the cost of NYC real estate) Anyway, no such luck--just a 2-seater, w/ stalls. I asked the hostesses whether there was somewhere quiet & out-of-the-way I could nurse, such as the office, and she asked her mgr & they said that "the quietest place is probably the ladies room." I resisted the urge to ask her whether she'd want to eat HER lunch in the bathroom, and went in to check it out. Luckily, the seats had lids, so we sat down & went to work. Well, every time anyone came in, she'd jump &<br>
look around when the door closed, jump when they started their business, jump when the toilet flushed, jump when the faucet started, and jump at any other unfamiliar noise. We then tried a corner of the diningroom, but it was right by a fountain, and she kept grabbing at the ferns. So we gave that up.<br><br>
Luckily, it warmed up a bit outside, so I grabbed a chair from the party, set it up in a corner on the terrace, and we used that, which was fine once she got really hungry.<br><br>
But a mom's lounge of some sort would've been VERY nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for your replies. I was surprised by how many there were in just one day. I hope more will continue to be posted.<br><br>
ITA about the risk of staff (or other guests!) assuming that if such a space is available, that's the only space where nursing is OK. I didn't think of it at first cause mothers nurse all over our museum, some walking around following toddlers at the same time.<br><br>
My dd decided at 4 or 5 months that she too would not nurse unless we were somewhere dark quiet and horizontal - YIKES! That really brought out my creative side. I heard from a couple of guests at work that they had a tough time nursing while at the museum because their babies needed the low-stim enviro, so I got to thinking....<br><br>
I proposed this management proposal to my manager, and he (usually a pretty liberal minded guy - lets me bring my baby to work, even to my annual review) asked "Does this mean that if a woman is nursing in "such and such exhibit" staff will ask her to come here to nurse?" DOUBLE YIKES! Blew my mind, but now I know to be more expectant of silly assumptions. I like the idea of the room being titled differently, maybe "baby care" or "mother's" room.<br><br>
So it's really to meet the babies' needs for dark and quiet, not the mothers' need for privacy (although that's a great benefit for those who have nursing in public issues). Right now there is one restroom with a bench for nursing. You can lock the door and sit down, but it's bright, tiled, smells like a restroom, is totally out of the way, etc.<br><br>
I'll try to get in touch with someone at OMSI and Nordstrom's to see what written info I can get ahold of.<br><br>
THANKS again!
 

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I'm in Europe, so the culture is a little different here, but the moms who use the Mothers Room at Ikea certainly don't feel like they HAVE to. The mothers' room is about 10 feet from the cafeteria, and I've seen more babies nursing there than I've seen in the mothers' room. That room is nice to have when you want it, though.<br><br>
I think a sign that says, "This room is here for your comfort and convenience..." and goes on to say something about how breastfeeding is permitted/encouraged wherever it happens would keep it from being a prison for nursing moms.
 

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I think a big part of this is making it a teaching opportunity for your staff. If they approach someone they need to go along the lines of "If this bench is uncomfortable for you we our Mother's Room has some comfortable armchairs, (rocking chair, whatever...) if you would prefer that." Also, if the room includes diaper facilities you ahve to make sure the trash will be changed often and/or that there is a diaper genie or something in there. No one wants to nurse in a room that smells like diapers.
 

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To avoid the confusion about mothers being "allowed" to nurse only in the "Mother's Lounge", you could post a large disclaimer inside the lounge.<br><br>
"While we have provided an area for mothers to relax with their children, feeding your child in other of the museum is not discouraged. We hope you and your family enjoy your visit."<br><br>
Or something like that.<br><br>
Oh, I just saw Ulrike's post. Ditto.<br><br>
Also, I too have a curious baby who will only nurse in a busy place when he's super hungry or sleepy. Otherwise there is much latch-on latch-off action and we end up covered in milk. A mama's lounge would be super. Especially if you brought a bit of the museum into that area. That's where you'll get to be very creative. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by UlrikeDG</i><br><b><br>
I think a sign that says, "This room is here for your comfort and convenience..." and goes on to say something about how breastfeeding is permitted/encouraged wherever it happens would keep it from being a prison for nursing moms.</b></td>
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea!!!!<br><br>
This way it makes the room available to those who want to use it, but ALSO makes it clear--(to moms, staff and other patrons) that moms are free to nurse wherever they need to.<br><br>
Brava!!
 

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I also love Ikea and their baby care room. Ours changes it about every 6 months, so each time I go it is decorated differently. One time they had little room dividers to separate the two chairs, most recently they have tracks on the ceiling that curtains hang in so they can be closed around the chairs.<br><br>
But at Ikea, we nurse where we need to nurse -- and with all those nice couches, chairs, mock living rooms, my best friend and I have a ball! And we have never been asked to nurse in "the room." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Like someone else mentioned, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has a nice little area in the "Discovery Space" that is for nursing. But they also have a comfy rocking chair out in the main childrens area by the sand box that women nurse in a lot. The door into the "Discovery Space" has a breastfeeding welcome here sign on the door. I have also seen bfing in the "busy town", the cafe, and in the Omnimax.<br><br>
They have a hugh pregnancy/birth area that includes a wall of birth pictures (some obviously @ home) This section includes info on breastfeeding as the best way to feed a baby, and does not mention formula at all.<br><br>
I use to work there, it is a great place.<br><br>
Yah for Portland!<br><br>
Victorian
 

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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has a great "Nursing Mothers Room." It's small and cozy, has a couch and chair, little lamp, changing table with mobile, clock on the wall, a few toys, and a phone to make local calls. This room is especially appreciated by my friends who have a baby and toddler--they can nurse the baby without worrying that the toddler will run off. You go to the front desk and a security guard will open the room for you. I was once approached while nursing my baby and the staff member said, "It's totally fine that you nurse right here, I just wanted to let you know we have a room on the first floor, if it's ever helpful for you." So nice. You can check out their site (<a href="http://www.naturalsciences.org" target="_blank">www.naturalsciences.org</a>) or call (919/733-7450) for more info--just so the folks at your museum know there are a few precedents for this.
 

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The MFA in Boston has a lovely nursing room, with outlets for folks who pump. You might want to go and see what it's like there, perhaps talk to their HR person to get a feel for how it works at another Boston-area museum.<br><br>
Great idea!
 
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