I know that we shouldn’t be embarrassed to breastfeed our babies in public and that finding a private place to nurse your baby can sometimes feel as if you are admitting defeat. I know that we should be educating the world that breastfeeding is okay and not something secretive or dirty.
But even with all of these causes and responsibilities placed on our shoulders, there comes a time when mother’s need a little privacy to nurse their babies.
Maybe it’s because you have a particularly distracted toddler, or your baby just needs some peace and quiet to nurse to sleep. Perhaps you just don’t feel like being put on display that day.
Modesty is an important issue for many women as well, and that’s okay. Sometimes, no matter how much you want to prove to the world that breastfeeding in public is okay, you need some solitude.
But how do you find a decent place to nurse your baby without resorting to a public bathroom? Here are some ideas for finding a quiet place to breastfeed your baby.
You might be surprised as just how many options there are now days for nursing mothers out in public. Many stores and malls make an active effort to provide a lounge or secluded area, usually near the woman’s rest room. Sometimes these are called a quiet room or a family room.
The Dressing Room
A dressing room is similar to a bathroom stall without the toilet. There are likely germs in there, but if you think about it, where can you find a public place to nurse your baby that doesn’t have germs? At least nobody will be in the next stall wondering why they hear baby noises and not a trickle.
You might feel awkward asking for a dressing room if you have no clothes to try on, but I have had nothing but approval when I tell the dressing room attendant exactly what I plan to do in there. If you are worried then grab a shirt and nobody will know the difference.
Off the Beaten Path
Look around for a chair or sitting area that may be out of the way or off in a corner somewhere. This is a great option if you don’t want to hide completely, but would still like a comfortable place to sit that is away from the busy areas.
Of course, the quickest way to find a comfortable spot is to ask. A store clerk or employee can give you some ideas of where to find some privacy or a comfortable spot to sit. There may not even be a need to tell them what you plan to do. Just tell them you need a spot to sit and relax, perhaps in a private place.
Express your concern
What if you don’t have any luck in finding a place? My advice would be to express your concern as respectfully as possible. Let an employee know that you were unable to find an acceptable place to sit down and tend to the needs of your child.
When you get home you can call or write a formal letter to management. Take it one step further and ask other breastfeeding mothers in your area to call and write letters, as well. They can simply state that they would like it if that particular location were more breastfeeding friendly (or simply more mother-friendly!)
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