I Fed My Baby Where You Peed

It wasn’t until I was placed in a bathroom to feed my brand new baby that I understood the pure anger a mother feels when stores don’t accommodate breastfeeding mothers. I hadn’t really thought about it. I read about it, I heard about it but I’d never experienced it. It’s not that I didn’t care, I just didn’t give it a second thought. I can tell you it’s something that won’t infuriate you until you’re standing there, in a dirty bathroom, trying to feed a new baby while standing up that you realize just how wrong it is that stores don’t educate their staff or have a halfway decent place we can just sit down. Just for a few minutes. Just so our babies aren’t eating in a place that someone just peed all over the seat and didn’t wipe up because frankly they don’t care or even worse, did a number two minutes before you walked in.  Think about that one…

This my friends is the actual bathroom.

You may be wondering why I took a new baby into a store. Well it’s simple. He’s number 3. Life still has to go on. I have two other children that need me. That particular day my daughter needed something specific from a store. So we packed up our family and headed out. Because I’m breastfeeding he didn’t have a choice. Into the car he went. It felt good to get out. To walk around. To see people. To breathe the fresh air in.

We got into the store and my daughter seemed to take what seemed like forever. I knew at any minute that little man of mine was going to want to eat (blessed with a cluster feeder over here). As I heard him get restless I figured I better have a game plan. Preparing myself to feed him was way better than waiting until the last minute. I walked over to the the young lady standing by the changing rooms and I kindly asked her if I could use one of the changing rooms to feed my baby. It wouldn’t take long. There wasn’t a single person occupying them. Not one person. She looked at me and excitedly said, “Oh, we have somewhere you can feed your baby.” I was surprised but excited that they had a nursing room. Why wouldn’t they?! They were a large well known company. Then she opens the door for me and it’s a bathroom, yes, a dirty, stinky bathroom.  


The better part of the story is that when the manager found out I was in the bathroom this young lady came over to quietly knock on the door to let me know it was ok to use a changing room to feed. Quite honestly I was in shock and my baby was hungry. I did stand there and nurse him enough to keep him content. What’s a woman to do with engorged breasts and a postpartum state of mind?! I walked out to grab my husband (who was being apologized to by the manager countless times) and let him know I was ready. Like I really don’t want to shop here ready. To some you may be wondering what the big deal is but to women who’ve experienced this or could in the future. It’s. A. Big. Deal. 

It was in that very moment that I realized how crazy it is that companies don’t consider this. This wasn’t a mom and pop shop. This was a well known store that carried baby clothes. A place that would clearly have breastfeeding mothers in it. A store that could afford it. We aren’t asking for a spa like room with comfy chairs and lit candles. We are asking for a place to take a seat, to feed our babies and a place that’s clean. I can feed just about anywhere but I’m on baby #3. I’m comfortable and confident feeding. I can manage to feed my baby fully clothed, boobs concealed and little attention drawn to myself but it isn’t like that for everyone. First time, even second time moms won’t feel that way. They want privacy. They want to feel comfortable feeding their baby without worry about having a Janet Jackson half time moment while trying to just figure out what exactly they’re doing. Is this really too much to ask? I want to be clear in this is not just for the breastfeeding mother but for the mother wanting to sit down and feed her baby a bottle. It’s for any mother…

Take a minute to consider what it would feel like if you were asked to eat in the bathroom.  Regardless of whether or not you breastfeed – just think about it.


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