Most people I know do not feel comfortable pumping in public. It’s way different having a machine attached to you that makes your nipples look like they have a life of their own than feeding a baby. Then there is the cleanup and the removing of the machine. Some of this process can make a mom feel exposed, even the mothers who have no problem breastfeeding in public. Plus, finding an outlet and a nice setup can be challenging, and the thought of pumping in a bathroom is…disgusting. I almost thing it’s worse than breastfeeding in a bathroom because there are so many more ways (even if it is a minute chance) to contaminate the product because it isn’t going directly into the child.
Okay, so I do have ONE concern about lactation rooms- the idea that any employee or customers will now think it is okay to banish the breastfeeding mom into that room. I think what it comes down to is education. Maybe even stating the state law on the door of each room.
Should there be a place where a mom can feed her baby or pump in privacy? Absolutely! Should bottle feeding moms be allowed the same quiet space? You bet! It’s only when anyone feels like the mother should be obligated to go into these lovely comfort rooms rather than stay out in a public area where I could see a problem arising…which it may never become.
That is my challenge to all of you: help support lactation rooms and let moms know they are welcome EVERYWHERE. The room is just an extra step in support because it gives us all multiple options!