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Breast/bottle feeding areas

(16 Posts)
KatyN Wed 21-Jan-15 18:22:26

Hello, I was shopping today and popped into the family loo with my son. I noticed two signs marking a breast feeding and a bottle feeding ara. They were not the same area. The breast feeding area was secluded had comfy chairs and a water fountain. The bottle feeding area had hard chairs and a vending machine which meant you would crack your head when you stood up.
This is not the first time I've seen this.
I've written t the store in question to tell them to sort their act out.
I bottle fed by son, it wasn't through choice. It cause me a lot of heart ache at the time. Back then I would probably have sat in the bottle area and cried. (Now I'd sit in the breast area and maybe hang a boob out just so I could be in the gang).

I wondered if other people felt like this, if you have more examples of this and whether now hat page 3 has been cracked you'd like to join my new campaign:

Bottle feeding is possibly sometimes alright and maybe we shouldn't vilify women who do so??

Kx

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 21-Jan-15 19:28:54

I have never actually seen a specific "bottle feeding" area, but then I suppose I never particularly looked for them. It doesn't offend or upset me, but it seems an unnecessary distinction. It would be simpler to call the whole zone a "baby feeding area", with a specific breastfeeding area. I would imagine the choice of chair is accidental or made by someone well meaning but misguided. The seclusion is probably because some woman at some times don't like to be in the public eye when feeding, and may want to be separate from men for example. The water fountain is useful as breastfeeding can make you very thirsty. These seem like reasonable measures, but to forget about formula feeding parents is poorly considered.

Rather than a campaign, just contact the individual shop/organisation and ask them to reconsider there arrangements. I don't think it was an attempt to vilify formula feeding parents, just an attempt to address the needs for breastfeeding mothers without engaging their brains.

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Thu 22-Jan-15 06:26:47

Maybe it's because formula feeding in public is less of a contentious issue?
Some women don't like to breastfeed in public due to the risk of flashing boob, or because so many people like to get offended by it. Whereas there is no issue with giving a bottle anywhere and everywhere. Therefore there is less "need" to provide a place to bottle feed in private.
I do agree that if they are going to provide a bottle feeding are it should be comfortable.

purplemunkey Thu 22-Jan-15 06:46:48

Agree with pp. There's no need for privacy for bottle feeding. There shouldn't be a need for privacy for breast feeding either but we all know that's not the reality. There have been enough threads on her and stories in the media for us to know that women are routinely asked to not breast feed in public or are asked to be more 'discreet' I have a 10 week old and am combi feeding. I'll happily (and have happily) bottle feed my dc anywhere. I am reluctant to breast feed in public though as I don't want a confrontation, its enough that I'd have my tit out in public I don't want to have to defend myself in front of lots of rubber neckers if I was approached by an ignorant person asking me to stop. I have seen a few of these breast feeding booths in baby changing areas and I think they're great. You don't need this for bottle feeding so this is a non issue. My local shopping mall has bottle warmers in the baby changing room too, I'd happily warm a bottle and go and sit out in the mall, leaving the booths for the breast feeders.

bigbluestars Thu 22-Jan-15 06:58:50

But the three aspects of the breastfeeding area are ones which breastfeeding women need- the water, the privacy, the comfortable chairs.
Positioning a baby to feed is a hard skill to master, and often takes many weeks to figure out- b/feeding women in the early days often need to use spectalli designed pillows, props, blankets etc, so a decent chair is very important.
Personally I would use a cafe if I was bottle or breastfeeding, or just a chair in the forecourt.

MadgeMak Thu 22-Jan-15 07:20:09

Where was this? I don't believe you actually, sounds like goady bollocks.

blacktreaclecat Thu 22-Jan-15 07:23:43

I agree, this would have made me cry when I was bottle feeding DS. I was very sensitive about it.
If I had another now I would sit in the comfy seats on purpose with my bottle - I'm just as much a mummy feeding a baby as anyone else and need a comfy seat!

bigbluestars Thu 22-Jan-15 07:24:46

blacktreacle- would you really have sat in a toilet enclosure to bottlefeed?

SpaghettiMeatballs Thu 22-Jan-15 07:28:02

They have this in John Lewis. It is because it is a unisex parenting room. Obviously men use it to bottle feed but not to breastfeed.

The breastfeeding area is around the corner so women can breastfeed whilst men change / feed their babies. AFAIK the chairs are the same though.

Personally I always breastfed my babies in the JL cafe with cake but I imagine women who prefer to use the privacy of a feeding room do so because they don't want to sit with men?

MadgeMak Thu 22-Jan-15 07:38:59

That sounds like a much more plausible explanation, Spaghetti.

MiaowTheCat Thu 22-Jan-15 08:02:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LetticeKnollys Thu 22-Jan-15 08:06:26

It's like this in Norwich Mothercare, there is one room for breastfeeding with those fancy American style nursing chairs and a water cooler and then a bottle feeding AND nappy changing room, the bottle feeding area is disgusting it smells like poo, I would never feed my baby there. I breastfeed but there was a time when I was beginning to wonder if I wouldn't be able to because we had a lot of troubles at first. It was upsetting enough without being segregated into those nasty conditions.

I understand that some women want privacy when breastfeeding but I don't know why there cant be a feeding room, maybe with an area behind a screen breast feeders can use if they're feeling particularly uncomfortable.

MadgeMak Thu 22-Jan-15 08:17:13

I'm sorry you experienced that, Miaow. Totally out of order. I just get sick of threads like these, pitting bottle feeders against breast feeders. Both camps need to be treated with respect (I recently had to sit with a group of mothers who all bottle feed and listen to comments like, it's a bit ick, and I bet the daddy's don't bond as well because they are excluded from feeding. Being shamed, chastised, and judged happens on both sides.

cowbiscuits Thu 22-Jan-15 15:03:47

Oh this is ridiculous. Anybody should be able to feed their babies anywhere, in comfort, no matter how they are fed. It's so damaging to segregate like that.

Yes, maybe some people want a bit more privacy - DS went through a phase at about 8 months where he'd only feed in a quiet place because he was too distracted, but I'm sure bottle fed babies do something similar, so just a quiet clean comfy area labelled as "baby feeding" would be all that was needed, no need to make a song and dance about whether its for boobs or bottles.

nottheOP Thu 22-Jan-15 15:09:05

It's John lewis isn't it? I never noticed the difference in chairs but it was handy to have somewhere free ie not a cafe, to sit down.

Sometimes bottle feeders can be oversensitive. No one really cares irl.

The difference will only be down to practicalities such as bfing taking forever slightly longer.

CoolCat2014 Thu 22-Jan-15 17:06:01

Was it mothercare? I've been to one store where there was a nicely decorated room with tub chairs for breastfeeding, and the bottlefeeding area was in with the baby changing area and had padded bench like seats. i think the idea is to give BF mums a little privacy - there could be dads changing in the other area. I really doubt the idea is to segregate or make bottle feeders feel bad. If it helps the chairs were not comfortable to breastfed in!

My local JL has booths, two for bottfeeding one for breastfeeding, all set up identical. I've only ever seen BF mums in any of them!

I Fear getting everything right for everyone is getting near impossible for stores. Damned if they don't provide BF facilities, damned if they do.

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