Jump to content

Do parents rooms make bf'ing in public less accepted?


  • Please log in to reply
63 replies to this topic

#26 lucky 2

Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE
I've always seen these rooms as a parent choice, not to keep mums away from society, but for those that are not comfortable, or have distractible babies etc. I hate that quite a few of them are little better than a toilet.

Yes, that's what I thought. I'd change dd's nappy there but frankly some of them smelt like toilets so I couldn't wait to get out of there, there is no way I'd feed in there, foul.
I fed anywhere in Melb (and I have worn thongs to major shopping centres ph34r.gif).
Some major centres do have good facilities so I have fed in them as well, it all depends on the smell, the vibe of the room (if I can put it that way) and the colour scheme (sort of kidding).

#27 ubermum

Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:35 PM

Not less accepted, but it does make people who are uncomfortable with it feel like they can tell you where the parents rooms are. rolleyes.gif  I have had that happen to me twice. I told both people that the parents room didn't have a highchair for the toddler that was having lunch while I fed the baby or a table for my lunch and drink.  I also added that I preferred not to eat near the smell of the nappy bins. The last time I was breastfeeding, I always did it in the food court for convenience. I only visit the parents room to change a nappy.

#28 Pooks Combusted

Posted 08 June 2012 - 05:38 PM

Ubermum I would have just told them to go **** themselves biggrin.gif

#29 Fright bat

Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:03 PM

It's not a woman's responsibility to forgo her own sense of modesty in order for society to accept breastfeeding. 'Society' just needs to get over it. Breastfeeding rooms give women an opportunity to breastfeed and be out of the house, if they don't like to breastfeed in public, and so I think they should exist.

As for the idea that there is a 'culture' against public breastfeeding - I feed DS2 (8 weeks) anywhere and everywhere, and have done so since he was 2 weeks old, and have never even had a strange look.

#30 casime

Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:13 PM

I spent the last two days in Melbourne, and I fed in the Bourke st mall, at a yum cha, in the foyer of the regent theatre and at the Queen Victoria Market.  I don't think many people even noticed, and I was quite surprised at the people that noticed, and gave me a smile.  I certainly didn't feel uncomfortable (and I'm pretty sensitive).

That said, I think that having parents rooms are great, as not everyone wants to feed in the middle of the mall.

#31 tibs

Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:13 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 08/06/2012, 04:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I avoid taking DD to places where I have no privacy to feed.  I am deeply uncomfortable feeding in public and only do when it's unavoidable.

I also deeply resent the tone some others take that the desire for modesty is somehow second-best or regrettable.


Agreed.  I too get the sense from many posters on EB that you are a second rate breastfeeder if you aren't doing it out and proud.  Then you get the FFs chiming in that your right to modesty doesn't trump their right to a comfy chair to bottle feed in so f-off  rolleyes.gif   You can't win.

QUOTE (pookems85 @ 08/06/2012, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think anyone should not breastfeed publicly, but I really dont understand the notion that you should.


Yes this sums it up for me too original.gif

#32 michie0moo

Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:57 PM

QUOTE (deejie @ 08/06/2012, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think there are women who are a bit embarassed about feeding in public. As the Mum of two very strong, distractable babies I can completely understand. I have lost count of the times I have flashed the general public while trying to get them to feed properly.

I don't think it makes feeding in public less accepted, but I do hope that it helps those women that do feel a bit self conscious continue to breastfeed knowing they have somewhere where they can be comfortable when out and about.


I agree with this. My sister is quite shy and so preferred parent rooms or the use of a breastfeeding shawl, but as she got more comfortable, she was less fussed. I got a shawl (for feeding on a long flight) but DD was more distracted by it than anything so I didn't use it. I have breastfed pretty much everywhere - DD is now 2 years, and I actually prefer not to use parent rooms because I like to people watch, snack, have a coffee etc while I feed, and the rooms are either crowded or occasionally smelly. I've never had any negative comments either, though I've heard of people getting them. I do feel like I get more stares these days - a pregnant woman breastfeeding a toddler is something people don't see that often I guess, but so far no one has been rude enough to actually say anything. As it turns out, a lot of the time I can get DD to wait until she gets home though.


#33 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE
I too get the sense from many posters on EB that you are a second rate breastfeeder if you aren't doing it out and proud. Then you get the FFs chiming in that your right to modesty doesn't trump their right to a comfy chair to bottle feed in so f-off   You can't win.


You're probably right.

I am lucky enough to have found that the general public I come across, not to mention my circle of acquaintances/friends/family, are generally less judgemental than many on EB.

I BF two children wherever I needed/wanted to.  I don't remember ever being looked at funny, or sideways, let alone having anyone ever make a derogatory comment to my face.  



#34 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE
I too get the sense from many posters on EB that you are a second rate breastfeeder if you aren't doing it out and proud. Then you get the FFs chiming in that your right to modesty doesn't trump their right to a comfy chair to bottle feed in so f-off   You can't win.


You're probably right.

I am lucky enough to have found that the general public I come across, not to mention my circle of acquaintances/friends/family, are generally less judgemental than many on EB.

I BF two children wherever I needed/wanted to.  I don't remember ever being looked at funny, or sideways, let alone having anyone ever make a derogatory comment to my face.  



#35 eachschoolholidays

Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:00 PM

Where I feed depends on how I feel at the time.  

Yesterday, I fed at a resturant while waiting for my lunch to arrive.  Today, I fed in the car before going to a hair appt.  However, had there been a feeding room nearby I probably would have used it.

If I am going to sit down somewhere and have lunch, a coffee etc, then chances are that's where I'll feed.  If I don't plan on doing that, then I'll probably go to a parents room.

I don't deliberately feed in public, but I don't deliberately feed in private either.  I just feed.

#36 MintyBiscuit

Posted 08 June 2012 - 09:47 PM

QUOTE (tibs @ 08/06/2012, 06:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Agreed.  I too get the sense from many posters on EB that you are a second rate breastfeeder if you aren't doing it out and proud.  Then you get the FFs chiming in that your right to modesty doesn't trump their right to a comfy chair to bottle feed in so f-off  rolleyes.gif   You can't win.


I've seen it come across that way at times, but I think I understand the underlying point. I'm no militant breastfeeder, but I feel comfortable breastfeeding in public so I prefer to do so in the hope that it might contribute ever so slightly to normalising it. I think everyone should feed wherever they're comfortable, but I do also think if someone is comfortable feeding in public it is good for normalising BF in public.

Ergh, I don't think that came across very well.


#37 meemee75

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:12 PM

My BF in public days are mostly over I think.
Not because I am embarrassed.

DS like to come off and on, say "mama' then squeeze my nipple while emitting an evil chuckle. He then sits up,  but screams like a banshee when I put my boob away ohmy.gif

I don't think the general public needs to see that biggrin.gif

The joys of feeding a 14 months old I guess.

I did/do BF anywhere/everywhere and used parents rooms sometimes. I just depends on the situation. Often if DD needed to toilet I'd feed DS in the parents room since I was there anyway

Edited by meemee75, 08 June 2012 - 10:13 PM.


#38 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:20 PM

There is a group of people who seem to think that the existence of parents' rooms means women have no "excuse" for breastfeeding in public.  I think ubermum's post is an example of this.

As for breastfeeding in public being accepted, in my experience I have been subjected to disapproving looks and passive aggressive comments.  Granted this was when feeding an older baby/toddler, supposedly deemed less "acceptable".  I was too intimidated to feed my young baby in public so don't know whether I would have received the same reactions or not.

Edited by bottle~rocket, 08 June 2012 - 10:23 PM.


#39 Soontobegran

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 08/06/2012, 04:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I avoid taking DD to places where I have no privacy to feed.  I am deeply uncomfortable feeding in public and only do when it's unavoidable.

I also deeply resent the tone some others take that the desire for modesty is somehow second-best or regrettable.



It does seem that sometimes unless you are the type to sit and feed anywhere and everywhere you are thought to be doing breast feeding a disservice.
Choice is great, I do not see the existance of feeding rooms as the reason people will not feed in public. Those who are happy feeding in public will anyway, those who would rather not use the rooms......what does it matter?

#40 lucky 2

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:30 PM

Breast feeding in public is something women have a right to do, if they wish.
It exposes the general population to this normal way of feeding a baby and allows women to be a part of everyday society.
Women who don't mind feeding in public can do that and hopefully feel comfortable and even proud, if that's the way they actually feel.
There is nothing wrong with feeling brave or proud. Or self conscious or awkward or very uncomfortable.
Those that don't mind can sit in a cafe and those that don't feel comfortable doing that can use the parent rooms.
Some parenting rooms are in desperate need of a make over (too small and smelly) and more are needed so women are able to take their babies out of the house if they want to and feed their babies where ever they feel most comfortable, in a parenting room, in a cafe, on a bench, in a bank etc, etc.
FTR I did feel proud and brave that I could bfeed in public and that doesn't say anything about anyone else, it only says something about how I feel about myself.
That isn't to say I didn't feel a bit uncomfortable at times, sort of like I was "asking to be looked at" in a way, or a bit too "in your face" but I did it anyway, and like many women, I never did get hassled for bfing in public even though I was ready with a (in my mind) cutting retort.

#41 kadoodle

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:30 PM

I was the helper at kindergarten with my 3 yr old today.  When the 10 month old wanted his morning tea milk, I suddenly had 20 little faces crowded around for a good look.  So he got distracted and wanted to join in their conversation.  Then one asked me how the milk go got in there.

Sometimes privacy is what you want!

#42 new~mum~reenie

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:41 PM

I see that it can be used as a "please go do that in the parents room" argument by those who are 'offended' by public feeding.

But at the same time, they def have a place. For the mums and bubs still trying to work out latching, for the mums who's baby is easily distracted, for those who need to get into the right position that a bench won't provide.

I was most comfy and best latch made by sitting cross legged on a bench, or at least one ankle crossed over the other knee. But before we both worked it out, I did feel better in a quite corner of a cafe etc. I never liked the feeding rooms for the stench of poo.

I might add, the only comment I had was a Nanna sat right next to me when I was feeding on a bench in the shops. She just gave my feeding bub that adorable Nanna gaze and told me I was doing a great job original.gif it was simple, but so affirming. I lost my milk when DS was 9 wks old sad.gif but it was lovely.

#43 new~mum~reenie

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:43 PM

QUOTE
I was the helper at kindergarten with my 3 yr old today. When the 10 month old wanted his morning tea milk, I suddenly had 20 little faces crowded around for a good look. So he got distracted and wanted to join in their conversation. Then one asked me how the milk go got in there.

Sometimes privacy is what you want!

But.... They'd probably be less curious if they saw it every day, IYKWIM....

#44 Pooks Combusted

Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:51 PM

I went out for coffee with a new friend today, she was bfing and I was ffing and her son kept pulling off to chat to mine, and both boys looked quite interested in each other's meal. We did get looks but decided it was because our boys are so cute, and not because of her nipple flashes. If anyone had said anything about her bfing I would have jumped down their throat, and she'd do that for me re the ffing. I don't understand why anyone 'should' make use of parents rooms.

Later we fed them again in a parents room because it was busy and noisy at the shops. Do you know what? I did want the comfy chair, and she didn't want the modesty, but we still went in there. I guess we both took the spot of a rightful bfer who wanted modesty huh tibs?

I don't see why a bfer 'should' use the parents room or why a ffer 'shouldn't'.

How about parents just do what's best for them and their kids and stop the ****ing measuring contest of who is the best or most deserving.

FFS.

#45 EmilyStrange

Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:44 AM

Ummm... when was it unacceptable to wear thongs at a shopping centre?

I breastfeed everywhere/anywhere.  When I first started going out with my newborn I tried covering up with wraps and whatnot, which I found incredibly difficult.  I felt more comfortable baring all to feed, so used a parent's room on occasion, but preferred going to the car and feeding and changing there.

Then I worked out how to layer singlet tops so I could lift the inner one up and the outer one down so that I didn't show anything but my nipple, which was in bub's mouth anyway.

As I got more confident, I didn't care so much about covering up because DS likes to touch and stroke my boob when he's feeding so the doubled up singlet system went out the window too.

I've fed in the middle of the big downstairs foodcourt at Chadstone, and the only person who stared at me in a disapproving manner was the grandmother of another baby whose mother was formula feeding her child.  I've fed "on-the-go", walking around Target on Bourke Street with DS on my boob while I was browsing items.  I just got smiles from other parents.

QUOTE
I was the helper at kindergarten with my 3 yr old today. When the 10 month old wanted his morning tea milk, I suddenly had 20 little faces crowded around for a good look. So he got distracted and wanted to join in their conversation. Then one asked me how the milk go got in there.


My 4 y.o. nieces too have a good look when I'm feeding DS - they tell me how they drank up all the milk from their mummy's boobies, so there's no milk there anymore.  They've also asked to see the milk, so I squeezed a little out, and that seemed to puzzle them.  The next day though, they told me that they went to a farm and their daddy squeezed the udder of a cow and milk came out, so they'd had a think about it and put two and two together original.gif

I think the reason why breastfeeding is a "learned" skill is because we don't see it happening often in public.


Editted for spelling.

Edited by EmilyStrange, 09 June 2012 - 01:49 AM.


#46 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 09 June 2012 - 02:38 AM

I feed where ever, when ever, but if a parents room is the most comfy spot, Ill go there. In this town they are NOT comfy, so I feed either in a cafe, with bub in sling while I shop, or outdoors if its nice.
I dont think that parents rooms discourage public feeding at all. The same with those BF covers. I thin they are horrible, and draw far more attention than a baby on a boob, but if it makes a mum comfortable enough to feed when she needs to, rather than in a toilet, I say go for it!

#47 BetteBoop

Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:23 AM

QUOTE (new~mum~reenie @ 08/06/2012, 10:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I see that it can be used as a "please go do that in the parents room" argument by those who are 'offended' by public feeding.


EBers have used this argument so you can see how there's potential for prudes to try to segregate women feeding babies.

I was like Ange Vert. A few negative comments about BF from friends made me very conscious of offending others.

I confined feeding DD to parents' rooms. I tried shawls but they were a hindrance and BF tops were a waste of money. In hindsight, I wish I'd been more militant about BF.

#48 Datrys

Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 09/06/2012, 08:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was like Ange Vert. A few negative comments about BF from friends made me very conscious of offending others.


With respect, BB, that's not quite like me.  If anything I have been encouraged to feed publicly more rather than leave others to go and feed privately.

I just don't want to or like to.  I'm a big girl (at least in the bust), and I've never got the hang of feeding discreetly or on the go.  And a feed typically takes an hour.  I want to sit somewhere at least semi-comfortable where I'm not on display, feel free to wrangle my giant boobs of doom as necessary (not for the sake of others but myself), and get on with it.  I'm not the sort to be revealing in my clothes at any other time, and I don't want to start now.

#49 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:14 AM

QUOTE (tibs @ 08/06/2012, 06:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Agreed.  I too get the sense from many posters on EB that you are a second rate breastfeeder if you aren't doing it out and proud.  Then you get the FFs chiming in that your right to modesty doesn't trump their right to a comfy chair to bottle feed in so f-off  rolleyes.gif   You can't win.
.

I have breastfed in public because a) it suited me and my baby at the time (by far the most important reason) and b) I hope it helps normalise breastfeeding.  

By stating this, I am not in any way implying that other mothers should also breastfeed in public too.  Or that they are "second rate" if they don't.  Or anything.  

Edited by bottle~rocket, 09 June 2012 - 12:18 PM.


#50 Franny Glass

Posted 09 June 2012 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (Bam1 @ 08/06/2012, 04:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In a certain way it puts into people's minds that BFing should be done out of sight, in a similar manner to breastfeeding shawls and I find them personally both unnecessary.

This is not to say I don't think others shouldn't use them. It is more important for rooms / shawls to be available to help other women continue to BF their children then any message I think they send out.


QUOTE (Ruffles @ 08/06/2012, 04:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it is a tough call.  I feel sad for mothers who are embarrassed or ashamed to BF in public, and am glad they have somewhere to go.  But I also feel annoyed that our society makes these mothers feel ashamed or embarrassed.

I suppose ultimately, I hate that we need them, but I'm glad they exist.  (How's that for fence-sitting? biggrin.gif )


QUOTE (EmilyStrange @ 09/06/2012, 01:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the reason why breastfeeding is a "learned" skill is because we don't see it happening often in public.
Editted for spelling.


I generally agree with the above comments. I know this is an unpopular and perhaps militant view, but I'd really love to see more women BF in public as it would help to normalise it. I've been feeding anywhere and everywhere the past 9 weeks and quite honestly, I have seen only 1 other mother BF in public during this time. And I have daily outings! Plenty of babies in Perth too. My mum has even noticed the change, since she BF us in public in the early 80s - apparently it was a lot more common to see then and she has definitely noticed a drop-off.

I do worry that the lack of BF in public may have something to do with such low rates of BF by 6 months.

However I definitely think parents rooms are important for those who would otherwise not be BF.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.