Living in a baby friendly community

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about baby friendly communities. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

Do you live in a baby friendly community? What do you think qualifies has having a baby friendly community? This is what comes to mind for me:

  • accepting of nursing in public
  • changing tables in public restrooms
  • helpful/understanding to mom’s (and baby’s needs)

I haven’t had any issues (yet?) with nursing in public. If anything, I’ve received only friendly and understanding smiles from other women. I think most of the time people don’t even realize what I’m doing, even though I rarely use a cover. Once at a restaurant, our server must have realized what I was doing and she waited until Ryan was finished before coming back over to the table–not that she had a problem with it, but she was being considerate in giving me privacy. She later told me she had many kids of her own (and now grandkids too), so she recognized well the signs of nursing in public 🙂

It’s my second bullet point that my community fails at. What about where you live??? I am shocked at how many public places do NOT have changing tables in the women’s restroom! And a few I’ve encountered, while they DID have changing tables, they were shoved into a tiny “koala care” bathroom stall and the table folded down directly above the toilet. There was barely room to move, the table wouldn’t lay flat, and when my mom used it to change Ryan, his burp cloth fell–yep, right into the toilet. How do they think that is accommodating to women? When you have a squirmy, poopy baby, you need fast, easy, convenient. Not cramped, stressful and difficult.

As for bullet number 3… it’s a pretty general statement. I guess what I mean is having other people in the community be respectful and aware. Like holding open doors for you when you’re carrying your baby in a car seat with your purse and a diaper bag and your breast pump. Or holding the receipt for you at the checkout counter while you try to sign it when holding your baby at the same time (yes, I’ve had cashiers do this for me! and I noticed and was grateful!). I’d say I’ve had pretty good luck in my community with understand people. Sure, there have been a few here and there that let the door slam behind them when I’m about to walk in with Ryan… but nothing outrageous.

The most important to me is probably the ability to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. This is largely a personal issue though–whether you use a cover, nurse in private, use a “mom” area–but you deserve respect too. Speaking of those “mom” areas–I have found that most places do NOT offer these. Are they around where you live? Not that I’d necessarily use them because I’ll nurse anywhere I find a seat, but the comfort of some couches or something–or just the feeling of having a place set aside for you and your baby–would be kinda nice. What types of stores or places do you find these in? I have yet to encounter one.

Is your baby community friendly and what does that mean to you?

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

14 comments to Living in a baby friendly community

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