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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.

ChaffinchOfDoom Thu 20-Mar-14 19:53:48

bornfree can you link to the real law to quote? grin
Im in England, and thought it wasn't actually in law that you caould feed wherever, it is the law in Scotland, bf mothers are protected there, I could be wrong, this is what Ive been told though

TheFlumpFlan Thu 20-Mar-14 19:53:55

I have no principles when it comes to saving a bit on school shoes and getting free of shopping hell so I bought their discounted shoes and ignored her. Rhino hide.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Mar-14 19:54:11

I have fed outside the main entrance to asda, in a shoping centre, in the car, in restaurants, in the park (that was chilly) in shops, walkignn round the supermarket, in church, but never in front of fil.. confused

ZenNudist Thu 20-Mar-14 19:55:41

Yanbu in your shoes I'd want to kit out kids and get out not traipse around trying to get everyone into a feeding room.

Shop assistant clearly not used to bf babies, sometimes it's as much a comfort thing as a food thing and it's not always regular or planned.

Disappointing to be criticised by your own family!

Sid77 Thu 20-Mar-14 19:56:37

I always thought feeding rooms were for the benefit of the feeding mother, not the other customers. So if you, as a feeding mother, feel more comfortable feeding privately then you can. If you don't require such privacy then you don't have to use the feeding room. YANBU

NiaceGuidelines Thu 20-Mar-14 19:57:49

No YANBU. This really pisses me off actually. It is a covert way of saying 'we dont want you breastfeeding in public'

I was feeding my DS in IKEA whilst having lunch with a group of children and mums, and a member of staff came over and pointed out the feeding area. I told her I had seen the feeding area but didnt want to sit away from my family and am quite happy here. I then got a very defensive anxious reaction of ' oh no of course not, we just wanted to let you know its there' I was sitting beside it I could see it for myself.

John Lewis pisses me off too. They provide facilities but the feeding area is still in a dark corner next to the baby change and loos. Put some sofas in the cafe and put a sign up saying these seats are priority for BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS. Until they do that they are not, in my mind providing great facilities.

For me the question is, would I eat my lunch there. No? Then I'm not feeding my baby there. If people really gave a shit about supporting breast feeding mothers then they would provide comfy sofas in corners etc.

'Feeding Areas' are not supporting breastfeeding, they are giving the message that we need to hide away.

TheScience Thu 20-Mar-14 19:58:42

YANBU - I've not used a feeding room in my life and still managed to feed a baby adequately.

I certainly wouldn't leave what I was doing and go to another floor, with other children, to use one.

aermingers Thu 20-Mar-14 19:58:48

YANBU. If you had not been interested in purchasing and were sitting blocking up the shopfloor while paying customers couldn't get around you then you would have been unreasonable. But the fact that you were just giving a nip while you bought meant it should have been totally fine.

quietbatperson Thu 20-Mar-14 19:59:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheBody Thu 20-Mar-14 20:01:34

not for the first time today I feel mumsnetters inhabit another parallel universe.

I have bf all my kids anywhere and everywhere with no funny looks, no comments and no tutting ever heard.

also I have never heard or seen of anyone who buys their boys dresses. (whole other thread.) grin

where are these huffing tutting people? I really could have done with a huge row while I was hormonal.

op you should have pulled your baby off and squirted her face with breast milk, I inadvertently did just that to the back of a mans head on a flight, he was sat in front and dd pulled off suddenly and it spurted out like a sofa stream. so it's possible. try it,

failing that write and complain to Clark's head office.

your relations and friends are daft knobs too.

WilsonFrickett Thu 20-Mar-14 20:01:59

Oh FGS. You are legally entitled to feed where you like and I suggest someone who's business involves catering for parents should probably get behind the programme. Piece of nonsense, YANBU and I'd drop a note to their head office if you can be bothered.

Feeding rooms are there for the convenience of mothers - if you needed to get fractious older children out of there as quickly as possible then it's hardly convenient to make a detour to the feeding room, is it?

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Mar-14 20:03:35

I'd've done the exact same as you!

ChaffinchOfDoom Thu 20-Mar-14 20:04:49

Pregnancy and maternity discrimination: non-work cases

This section has effect for the purposes of the application to the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity of—


Part 3 (services and public functions);


Part 4 (premises);


Part 6 (education);


Part 7 (associations).


A person (A) discriminates against a woman if A treats her unfavourably because of a pregnancy of hers.


A person (A) discriminates against a woman if, in the period of 26 weeks beginning with the day on which she gives birth, A treats her unfavourably because she has given birth.


The reference in subsection (3) to treating a woman unfavourably because she has given birth includes, in particular, a reference to treating her unfavourably because she is breast-feeding.

ooh it is in law - definition of 'being treated unfavourably'

definitely write to clarks H/O - their primary customers are mothers

ArtexMonkey Thu 20-Mar-14 20:11:22


I have never used a feeding room since the one and only time I went in one in Boots with newborn dd, and the stench of the fucking nappy bin nearly knocked me out. Tiny cupboard with a bin full of shitty nappies in it? Err no thanks. I went and sat on a chair in the pharmacy bit.

plumnc Thu 20-Mar-14 20:12:44

Apart from the fact that it is sad that people take offence seeing a baby eat, most feeding rooms are disgusting ie right next to changing mats and stinky nappy bins EEEEW!

NiaceGuidelines Thu 20-Mar-14 20:12:53

where are these huffing tutting people? I really could have done with a huge row while I was hormonal

You have to look quite hard for them thebody failing that, just misinterpret any gesture to mean they disapprove of your breastfeeding. They might just not like their coffee but it doesnt matter, the righteous indignation you feel is exactly the same.

NiaceGuidelines Thu 20-Mar-14 20:18:20

Actually, on a serious note, pe3rhaps we could start a Mumsnet campaign to get feeding rooms and baby change facilities out of the same space. It's wrong to expect a baby to eat in the same little space he and a whole load of other babies have had their bums changed. It's wrong to expect a mother to think that is acceptable. How on earth are we going to address the issue of shame, embarrassment and self consciousness that surrounds breastfeeding if women are expected to feed their babies in the same space that 'shit' is being dealt with. And this is being breast feeding friendly and providing facilities? Fuck off!!!! We have one of the lowest uptakes of breastfeeding in the western world for goodness sake. It isn't surprising.

fluffyraggies Thu 20-Mar-14 20:21:40

I am the least militant person on MN, i imagine. However i really feel like i would love to take part in a sort of 'MN mystery breast feed' survey, in which BFing mothers pop into a few well known shops local to them, breast feed discretely and then report back here on a thread with their experiences.

It would be interesting to see which establishments have failed to advise their staff of the law regarding BFing. The negative publicity might prompt change.

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 20:23:41


JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 20-Mar-14 20:31:12


StealthPolarBear Thu 20-Mar-14 20:35:47

Agree fluffy. The rooms are there ifbyou need them not to be hidden away in!
Eight why should it matter to the member of staff that the mother was feeding. I assume the feeding child wasnt getring his or her shoes fitted in which case you would have a point

WorraLiberty Thu 20-Mar-14 20:38:19

Have you posted about this before OP?

It seems very familiar.

TheBody Thu 20-Mar-14 20:40:10

can't see the point in those rooms anyway?

the more people see bf the more people will see it as a normal way to feed a baby. as is ff too in my opinion.

I reiterate, any sour looks/words pull baby off and 'do the squirt' right in the face.

LemonBreeland Thu 20-Mar-14 20:44:06

YANBU! Feeding rooms are for your comfort should you nee it. It does not mean you have to go there.

And treas bloody minded? really? I thin it is quit obvious it was a lady trying to get through her shopping trip as quickly as possible. She had no need to make her other children bored whilst she fed a baby when ahe could easily do it while doing something else.

I would complain about the shop assistant. she needs some training.

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 20-Mar-14 20:44:24

YANBU. That's all (others have covered the legal aspects up thread).

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