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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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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...?

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.

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

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

She just walked off with a cats bum grin

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.

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

How did you deal with the complaint giles?

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 12:01:57

The other day I was with my littlest baby and her dad in Burger King I went to sit in the window because I'm fond of watching the world go by and he said " I know it's fashionable at the moment but is the window the best place to sit"

A lady overheard and much to my amusement said "it's not fashion it's just normal" then looked at me and smiled, I think she was a mumsnetter

zoemaguire Mon 24-Mar-14 11:59:57

Why would a woman breastfeeding stop somebody else buying shoes nicecupoftea? She wasn't barricading the store room...

tiktok Mon 24-Mar-14 11:59:06

Please explain, Fusedog. She had four other children with her. She was buying shoes for them. What is political about seeking the most convenient way of multi-tasking?

It's ok to say 'oops, silly me, I didn't read that bit. My stupid prejudices about bf women meeting their babies' needs got in the way of me making a thought-through response.'


5madthings Mon 24-Mar-14 11:54:14

Bollocks was the op being political, she was buying shoes for her older children and whilst doing so her baby needed feeding so she fed the baby. Why should she trained up two floors with her other children in tow to go and feed the baby in what is likely to be a nappy changing room which they have stuck a chair in and then called it a feeding and changing room. Who wants to sit next to a stinking nappy bin to feed their baby.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Mar-14 11:47:55

YANBU. May as well plug in and go for it, buying shoes for more than one child often takes longer than a feed anyway! It shouldn't bother anyone.

TheScience Mon 24-Mar-14 11:43:56

Fusedog, did you not read the OP? She wanted to by shoes, not go to a different floor with several children to sit in a stinky room. How is that political?

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 24-Mar-14 11:41:44

Have u ever seen a feeding room? They are usually off the toilets or changing area and stink. Wouldn't feed a rat in one of those.

And why should she drag her kids up two floors?

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 24-Mar-14 11:37:55

Why should she fusedog?

The feeding room was two floors up from where she needed to be,she was trying to buy shoes.

If you think feeding a baby or buying shoes are political actions then you are part of the problem

Fusedog Mon 24-Mar-14 11:34:14

Confirms my view that a lot of this breast feeding this had become political

Why would you feed to the shop floor when a room has been provided

tulipsaredelicious Mon 24-Mar-14 11:05:02

Haven't read this thread but can guess where it's gone.



Sorry for the caps but I can't believe we're still having this conversation.

As for feeding covers - they're unneccessary but if some people prefer to use them and their LO doesn't object then fine. It's no one's business.

Our culture is so fucked up WRT boobs, the only thing to do is keep calm and carry on.

Oh, did I say?


justasmallone Mon 24-Mar-14 10:58:35

Ofgs of course yanbu, actualky very considerate if you ask me. Sometimes its hard for people to understand if they havent been in that situation. (Mum if 4 here)

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Mar-14 10:54:59

I wouldn't force someone to interact with me while feeding.

That's very squeamish noble of you Purplepoodle, but not very practical for OP who is in a shop with a squealing baby and several older children. OP needs to get the kids shoes bought. The baby needs to be fed. I think a shoe shop is a particularly easy situation as you're sitting down anyway. Don't know about OP, but I find that I am sitting in a shoe shop for ages when I have to get shoes for all DC. Getting the baby fed while I do it is purely practical. And the shop assistant is generally looking at the kids feet, not my chest. No-one's forcing her/him to do anything remotely unpleasant.

Purplepoodle Mon 24-Mar-14 10:41:41

Sorry haven't gone through the whole thread. I'm an experienced bf and have no problem feeding in public. I am aware that my bf could make other people uncomfortable so I wouldn't actively engage a shop assistant while bf but would have no problems sitting on a bench ect.

I used to get very uncomfortable around bf before I had children so I wouldn't force someone to interact with me while feeding.

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