Since this is the Christmas season, it was absolutely necessary for me to take little Ezra on a shopping trip this week. And no matter how much I planned ahead, I ended up spending more time than I'd planned, which meant Ezra got hungry... at the mall.
I won't mention the name of the mall but for those of you familiar with the area that I'm in, it is a mall that is very close to my house and bears the name of a certain gemstone.
With a screaming baby, I calmly walked to the main desk at the mall and asked if there was a mother's room or a place in the mall that would work for breastfeeding. The young man at the desk said "No, but JC Penney's bathrooms are fairly clean."
Ummmm, would you eat your lunch there????
Can you just picture me, sitting on the toilet in the bathroom feeding a baby. Very sanitary.
I was surprised that he couldn't point me in the direction of one of those bathrooms with a lounge area like you might find in a Nordstrom, and I wasn't aware of one that wasn't actually inside the bathroom. So this means I'm going to breastfeed in public.
I found a lonely bench outside of Sears, covered up, and started feeding the baby. What surprised me the most, was how obviously uncomfortable I made many of the other shoppers. Many would look at me and then quickly look away, I even got a few dirty looks.
Anyone who knows me, knows that in situations like these - I tend to speak my mind. I almost whipped the cover off and started feeding him out in the open, but nudity isn't my thing, even if it's incidental. Plus, I don't want to make a scene and I still had a lot of shopping to do so getting kicked out wasn't really an option either.
I'm surprised, in these days, where you can watch a TV program that shows scenes that are basically soft-core pornography at 9 pm on a weeknight - people were throwing me dirty looks for feeding my kid with my boob in public. Yeesh.
I'm also surprised that in all my years of frequenting said mall, even four years of working there, that I've seldom seen a mom breastfeeding her baby. I've since been told that one of the stores might have one of those lounge areas, I will be checking that out another day. You can be sure I'm going to write the mall a letter in the meantime!
So, I'm curious. What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public? Never? maybe? covered? uncovered? only in certain places?
FYI, if you want to leave a comment and you don't use google whatever, you can leave it anonymously and just put your name, or not. :)