Last night I spent most of a lovely evening out with good friends in a bathroom stall. Let me explain. It was my husband's good high school and college friend's birthday and we all went to celebrate at a steak house just outside our town. Baby Posh Play usually loves restaurants so we thought he would do great. He was such a good baby only he got hungry part way through the night so I whisked him off to the ladies room for a little dinner in a more quiet environment. The bathroom stall. I know breastfeeding in public is a controversial issue which seems a little ridiculous to me. Most of us were breastfed right so why does everyone make such a big deal out of it? Guys get to peel off their shirts in summer and flash us their sometimes (usually) unattractive bods so who cares if I cover mine up and feed my baby discreetly at a dinner table? Out of respect for the group I usually skulk away to the nearest bathroom just to avoid confrontation about the appropriateness of public breastfeeding.
So we sat in the bathroom stall. Baby Posh Play eating away and me chatting with him quietly and enjoying our time together. The thing is I love him so much I could spend ten minutes with him in a sewer and be completely content. Only it occured to me. Why was I sitting in a totally expensive restaurant on a toilet feeding my baby? Cleanliness issues aside it just isn't that comfortable. Why has our society tucked away breastfeeding moms and not made more accomodations for them? If it wasn't 100 degrees here I would probably go to the car only we can't do that here in the summer. Why can't public establishments at least put a freaking chair in the bathroom for moms to sit down and properly feed their babies?
I started thinking about all the older establishments that we frequent and how many of them have makeup rooms and dressing areas of the bathroom where ladies used to apply makeup, chat and I am assuming breastfeed.
Nordstrom does it right! I love their plush ladies rooms with a whole room just for breastfeeding. One mall in our area has family bathrooms where they have breastfeeding areas and stalls, comfortable chairs, flat screen TVs, bottle warmers and more. I have started trying to only shop there just because it is so much more convenient and I want to support a company that makes accomodations for moms. As a new Mom it is hard enough figuring everything out that it would be nice if we were actually an accepted part of society and not some group relegated to behind toilet stall doors.
Don't even get me started on those horrible Koala Care diaper changers in public bathrooms. Not only are they usually in the most inconvenient place in the whole bathroom they are never stalked with the liners they claim should be used. I have never in my three months of breastfeeding and diaper changing in public bathrooms ever seen a stocked Koala Care diaper changer. Not even in the expensive steak house. Come on America let's start treating breastfeeding Moms like the loving women that we are. Let's at least start building public bathrooms with chairs!
(This cute bathroom chair courtesy of Eddie Ross).