Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Out and About and Hungry

One thing I have to be aware of, as a parent of a nursing infant, is the relative comfort of places to breastfeed while in public. Knowing that seeing strangers' boobies tends to make people edgy (where do you look? eye contact? it's awkward.), I always feel the need to tuck myself and my baby away in a hideout when it is meal time. As a result, I have very strong opinions about different places and judge them based on how easy and pleasant they make breastfeeding for the patrons. When impressed or horrified, I will blog give credit here, so that others in the TC know which places are great and which suck.

We go to malls a lot. It's free, climate controlled, and stimulating for small children. Most stores/malls don't have a good space for nursing--many women end up feeding their children in toilet stalls. I refuse to do that; there is no way in hell I would eat my meal in a public bathroom, so how could I allow my child to do that? Ick. It took me about six months into motherhood to realize that dressing rooms work relatively well (better than going out to the car, anyway), though it is hard on the back to sit on those half-benches, plus you end up having to stare at yourself half naked in the big mirrors under the bright lights, and who needs that? But there is one store that rises above the others in awesomeness--Macy's.

Usually we shop at Maplewood or Rosedale Malls, and the Macy's at both malls have large lounges inside the ladies' rooms. There are couches, end tables, and magazines, and best of all, they are separate rooms from the actual bathrooms, so they smell nice (or neutral, anyway). They are big, so if you have a female shopping companion or two, there is plenty of space to sit around and chat. I have not yet found a place as accommodating as Macy's. I will say, though, that I went to the 3rd floor of Macy's as MOA, and I was disappointed to end up in a fitting room because they had a regular crappy bathroom. But it is possible a sweet lounge exists there, just not on the third floor.

Kudos to you, Macy's! My baby and I appreciate all you do. Penney's could learn from you (I couldn't even get my stroller in the fitting room there...).

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