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Can a nursery ban breastfeeding on its premises?

(117 Posts)
gemmamc Mon 01-Sep-08 15:15:39

I wonder if anyone here has had a similar experience. I am settling my ds into nursery. He is 10 months and still b/f. I still feed him during the day (as opposed to just in the morning and evening) because
1) I haven't managed to get him to take milk from a bottle and
2) because he needs a lot of breast milk for his Calcium: he is not much into solids yet and he can't have cheese, yoghurt, etc...He asks for the feed, and I have been giving it regularly around 2-3 pm.

When I picked him up Friday at 2 pm he was desperate for a feed. But when I asked whether it was ok of to b/f there (I guess I shouldn't have asked, I should have just done it!) I was told I couldn't feed him on the premises because "there are children around"(!!) and because other parents may get upset. I had to put him screaming in the pram and go home.

Soon I will have to leave him in there full time because of work, and I was hoping to drop in and feed him in the middle of the day (I work from home not too far from the nursery) as long as he still needs it. I know people who have done this in other nurseries...

But now I am really shocked by such a b/f- unfriendly policy and I even wonder if it's totally legal or at least consistent with guidelines for nurseries. It's known locally as a very good nursery, and I live in a part of London where breasfeeding is very widespread, so I didn't expect this at all.

I can't change nursery easily as there are waiting lists (also for good childminders there are waiting lists here!). What should I do? I can't afford a nanny by the way. I feel discriminated against too, because b/f for me is not so much a choice but a necessity given ds's allergy.

Tutter Mon 01-Sep-08 15:18:02

fucking abysmal

maretta Mon 01-Sep-08 15:18:27

I'm shocked by this. Have you spoken to the manager.

Tutter Mon 01-Sep-08 15:18:43

and i'm guessing that, atm, it's up to them

hopefully the law will soon change

scorpio1 Mon 01-Sep-08 15:20:12

sounds like a horrible nursery tbh

mine wouldnt mind at all

RhinestoneCowgirl Mon 01-Sep-08 15:20:18

That's appalling - have the other children never seen a baby fed? V strange.

Bainmarie Mon 01-Sep-08 15:20:45

Thats appalling. Hope it gets resolved soon.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 01-Sep-08 15:21:12

make an appointment to see the manager and ask him/her to explain the policy to you (I suspect it isn't policy, just some exceptionally stupid member of staff betraying just how useless they are.
I can't think it is illegal - these are private premises - but it is appalling customer policy and just plain rude.

bythepowerofgreyskull Mon 01-Sep-08 15:21:43

I would be trying to talk to the people who regulate nursery's (not sure that it is ofsted so young?) to find out if they have policies about babies being breastfed.. you may find they have some guidance that there has to be somewhere for a nursing mother to feed her child?

I am aware that is grasping at straws.. at the very least I would express my dissapointment to the manager/owner.

Lubyloo Mon 01-Sep-08 15:21:53

That's appalling. Is it possible it was just one misguided and ignorant member of staff? The manager may be shocked to find this was said to you

fleacircus Mon 01-Sep-08 15:22:14

Outrageous... whom did you ask? Was it the head? Is there a cafe or something nearby you could take him to? I know that shouldn't be necessary but if you can't feed him at the nursery and you do need to feed him it's an alternative.

maretta Mon 01-Sep-08 15:22:32

I agree - sometimes it's a member of staff that's dopey and nothing to do with the nursery.

PortAndLemon Mon 01-Sep-08 15:23:21

It's probably legal, but it would put me right off the nursery. Try to get the "policy" clarified in writing by management -- it might be one unreasonable member of staff making it up as he/she goes along.

Bumperlicious Mon 01-Sep-08 15:27:08


You should be allowed to feed him there and if he is going to be there FT and you need to feed him during that time you should be offered somewhere to do it. I would make an appointment with manager and explain that he will need to be fed during the day and can they provide you with a chair and, if they are so bothered about it, some privacy to do it. If they refuse I would try and contact the other parent and ask them if it will bother them. Not sure where you stand from a legal perspective. What body has oversight of nurseries? Osfsted? can you complain to them?

Fucking idiots angry

highschoolmusical Mon 01-Sep-08 15:29:31

This is SO wrong. But I am not shocked, there are some really ignornat people about.angry I would make an appointment to see the manager and have a word. I am cross for you.

highschoolmusical Mon 01-Sep-08 15:30:32

Speak to Ofsted if you get no joy. Arses!

ForeverOptimistic Mon 01-Sep-08 15:32:47

Is this for real hmm.

ForeverOptimistic Mon 01-Sep-08 15:34:12

If it is for real I would advise that you pull your child out of that nursery straight away.

I personally would not want my child looked after by people who clearly have no brain cells.

Tommy Mon 01-Sep-08 15:35:46

that is ridiculous - I'm assuming that it was a young member of staff who told you that and who equally had no idea what she (probably) was talking about.

When DS3 was settling into nursery, I would quite often give him a feed when we got there to settle him - I would just sit on the nursing chair in the baby room there!

nooname Mon 01-Sep-08 15:35:50

I would be really surprised if this is actually the policy of the nursery as they must have had plenty of breast-feeding mothers over the years come in to feed their babies??

I would definitely talk to the manager and find out what on earth is going on. Sounds very very strange for a nursery to take this approach and probably just a member of staff being thoughtless and stupid.

Jennysbean Mon 01-Sep-08 15:39:25

That is disgraceful. I am lucky enough to live in Scotland where the law is on our side and I think it's appalling that south of the border have not caught up yet.

Hulababy Mon 01-Sep-08 15:41:44

Talk to the manager before you do anything else.

anastaisia Mon 01-Sep-08 15:43:09

Definately speak to OFSTED if you don't get a satisfactory response.

I was a childminder for a short period of time and one of the things the lady who came out to do my initial 'suitable person' visit spoke about was supporting mother's who breastfed while using childcare.

It came up because I was doing a breastfeeding course - but she was talking about expressed milk (being absolutely fine) and even making arrangements if caring for a young baby for mum to visit or be met up with to breastfeed. There may have been some personal feelings in it for her but I'd imagine with the whole 'healthy child' standard they have to meet a nursery would be on ropey ground with a policy that doesn't allow breastfeeding.

FranSanDisco Mon 01-Sep-08 15:48:57

I agree with those who say it probably isn't policy but a dopey Nursery Nurse. I have worked in Nurseries and sadly some of the staff think bf is odd. They have studied child development, child care and education but still think bf is odd hmm. I would speak to the manager about this as it's not on imho.

LittleMyDancing Mon 01-Sep-08 15:51:00

erm - isn't a nursery a workplace? all workplaces have to provide somewhere for their employees to express milk in private if they need to, by law.

Can't see why they can't let you bf in the same place, wherever it is.

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