Public Breastfeeding is a subject that evokes a great reaction in people. On one side, there is a strong opinion that women should breastfeed anywhere and anytime the baby is hungry. Many others agree that public breastfeeding is fine IF the woman stays covered up, and does it in a discreet manner. There is still a third group that may be reluctant to admit it, but feel uncomfortable around women breastfeeding among them. It is not a popular opinion but it happens. If you are a nursing Mother and have been in a situation where you must feed your baby in public, you may have experienced a disapproving look but hopefully, have been too busy to notice or care. Here is one woman’s story.
She was out with her newborn and a friend. Her baby was 5 weeks old and it was one of her first trips out with her new baby. They were at a large indoor mall and just walked into a large home store. (Similar in size to a Linens & Things type of store) Her baby began to wail the easy-to- recognize-newborn cry. It had been about 2 hours since she had fed him and it was time again.
She glanced out into the mall. All the seats were filled. Her car was at the other side of the mall, too far away to get to. She asked an employee in the store, “Do you have a restroom?” The answer that she was given was “No. There is a public restroom about 12 stores down the hallway.” As she tried to think of another option, she noticed a sign in the back that said BEDDING.
She made her way to the back of the store, hoping to find a chair or other piece of furniture. There was nothing. In the semi-private bedding section at the back of the store, she attempted to stand with her newborn as she got ready to feed him. It was too awkward. She would have to find something to sit on. The numerous display beds seemed to be the only option.
She took her blanket and her baby and discreetly as she could, got the tiny baby to latch on. She was not as experienced at feeding as some mothers and couldn’t help but feel nervous in the store, out of her comfort zone. Her baby sensed this and was having trouble staying latched on and eating.