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To bf on the shop floor when there's a feeding room?

(262 Posts)
TheFlumpFlan Thu 20-Mar-14 19:38:39

I think I was being the exact opposite of inconsiderate, friend thinks I was.

In short:

I was on a shopping trip from hell (4 kids wanting school bits) which was unproductive and I was heading back through the department store to the carpark when I saw they had a clarks shoe bit with a sale (empty). I plonked down, asked the assistant if she had ds1 and ds2 size shoes and started to feed whiney velcro baby in order to be heard rather than screamed over. I'm an experienced feeder (top up, other down) and can easily feed strolling around without flashing a nipple though I sat this time with my back to the main walkway. The assistant replied to my request with 'we have a feeding room', I smiled back and said I was fine and asked again for the shoes. She suggested I feed there and popped back, and gave directions, to which I said I knew it was two floors up, full of mothers who are trying to soothe tiny ones who don't need my lot staring at them/ being loud plus I was in a rush. She looked so grumpy getting bits out and affronted by me. I'm not particularly confrontational or particular about bf (I've ebf, mixed and ff equally loved children) but it got my back up a bit. I didn't flash her, was polite, as were the children (though I doubt they would have been stuffed into a small room with nowt to look at) and it was easier for all than listening to a screaming baby.

My sister, mum and friend all maintain it is unreasonable to publically feed unless you must, and stores provide a feeding room so people like me don't take up space feeding or put off others shopping. Yet even the dad on his own didn't look fussed when he came over (I think noone noticed). They say I may have put of business and it's just inconsiderate.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 24-Mar-14 12:04:48

I worked in catering/pubs for many years. Only once have I ever had a complaint about someone feeding their baby.

These "offended" people really do seem to be in the major minority and not remotely worth worrying about.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 24-Mar-14 12:06:38

How did you deal with the complaint giles?

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 24-Mar-14 12:08:01

Asked her if she'd eat her dinner in the toilet and that she's free to move tables just let me know the number so I can change the ticket.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 24-Mar-14 12:12:12

She just walked off with a cats bum grin

oscarwilde Mon 24-Mar-14 12:41:31

Slightly off topic but I did have a fitting for a feeding bra while in labour.... the shop assistant did do a double take but the service was welcoming, helpful and pretty speedy grin

YANBU - and the attitude of your family is appalling My sister, mum and friend all maintain it is unreasonable to publically feed unless you must, and stores provide a feeding room so people like me don't take up space feeding or put off others shopping

Iggi101 Mon 24-Mar-14 12:52:16

I haven't rtft so apologies if this has already been said.
We need some prosections to happen to businesses who continue to try to prevent babies from receiving milk. This may make employers actually train their staff in how to deal with this situation (ie don't do anything!) and make them think twice about such harassment in the future.

MistressDeeCee Mon 24-Mar-14 13:00:23

Well - you had 4 children with you, you were shopping and needed to get bits done, and feeding room was 2 floors up. You'd have had to take your DCs with you into the feeding room, too. I felt tired just reading all that! So I dont personally think YWBU at all.

The weird attitude some have to breastefeeding in this country still surprises me. Makes it seem as if breasts are ok on page 3 of a newspaper, tv for instance, but using them for feeding is a dirty act that shouldnt be seen.

Im not British/didnt fully grow up so possibly thats why I have a different attitude to it in that, before I came here I didnt realise people even batted an eyelid at breastfeeding and that it can be viewed as unseemly..or even un-natural, that a woman would breastfeed in public. Im not saying whilst growing up new mums were breastfeeding publicly all over the place; but in the corner of a shop, at a cafe, at relatives homes when we were visiting do see it. Its perfectly normal, not even a debate.

Still, it is different here so that's that. But common sense should still prevail in terms of a woman accompanied by a baby & other DCs on a shopping trip. Id fully understand why she didnt want to traipse 2 floors up and jam into a feeding room with her brood. Do people complain when they see women breastfeeding publicly...?

SaveTheMockingBird Mon 24-Mar-14 13:25:21

Ofcourse YANBU. I would have done the same and probably have done very similar. I have breastfed in public a lot and never encountered any bad feeling from anyone. The shop assistant was being unreasonable.

Gwlondon Mon 24-Mar-14 13:41:18


Sorry but I think breastfeeding covers are about as practical as burkas, in fact the ones I've seen draw quite a bit of attention to breastfeeding. Carrying another mound of fabric around is not my plan.


I feel like that too about the nursing covers. But I can see how some people really want to be covered up. (After I mentioned it on a mumsnet thread and people responded about difficulties getting a latch etc) I could never get a scarf to stay in place.

I think we have such a long way to go until people are more relaxed about. I BF for years but still don't know where to look when my friends feed. I try and look away while they get their latch then look back after!!

Also there needs to be better designed and reasonably priced nursing clothes available. And more mums just doing it where and when they need to. Needs to be normalised.

Gwlondon Mon 24-Mar-14 13:46:13

That should have read "more better designed and reasonably priced nursing clothes....."

halfdrunktea Mon 24-Mar-14 15:05:49

Yanbu - the feeding room is there if you want it, but it is not the only place to feed. I would have done the same as the OP.

MistressDeeCee Thu 27-Mar-14 01:36:57

Feeding rooms & Childrens' clothes department should be on the ground floor of stores, so as to make it easy for parents. Its rubbish that they're shoved out of the way on higher floors of shops. Child-friendliness is selective to the point of being not child-friendly at all. Its paying lipservice, often begrudgingly it appears. A parents' money is the same as any other persons' money - so give them the convenience that others not encumbered by baby & buggy are afforded.

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