Readers, I am curious. How do we mothers feel about signs like these?
A teacher friend of mine (male) posted this photo on Facebook this morning, saying this made about as much sense as the “Free Speech Zone” sign at his university. Assuming that sign actually exists, I would be deeply ambivalent about it, just as I am about designated nursing mothers’ areas. On the one hand, I think that they are a lovely gesture, and when I visited SeaWorld a year and a half ago, I called the room pictured here “a mother’s dream.”
I was out of the Orlando sun, in a clean and air-conditioned room, nursing Maggie in peace while Connor and Seamus ran their grandparents ragged. Maggie only nursed for two minutes that day, but I confess I was in that room for a good bit longer, enjoying the respite. I think there should be rooms like this for mothers at every amusement park, and you should not have to be lactating in order to gain entry, either.
On the other hand, I think that a “nursing mother’s lounge” is less about a breastfeeding mother’s comfort, and more about the comfort of everyone else. Please, mommy, go nurse your baby somewhere we can’t see you. If breastfeeding were truly accepted in our society as it should be, there wouldn’t be a need for designated boob-out areas. There aren’t designated bottle-feeding areas, and I think that’s because no one gets skeeved out when a mom pulls out a Dr. Brown’s.
Here’s what one Facebook responder to this photo had to say:
Like the Free Speech Zone, these areas are condescending and limiting in their designation. The whole U.S. should be a free speech zone, much as any chair or lounge should feel suitable for a nursing mom. Shouldn’t be a question.
I totally agree with her. On the other hand, these rooms are kind of nice, as long as they’re not filthy.
So I’m curious as to what you all think. Are these rooms pro-nursing? Or are they counterproductive, because they perpetuate the idea that nursing is something that should not be done in public?