I never really liked the idea of a public breastfeeding room. The idea of some forced facade of comfort, inconvenience of location, the feeling of imposed separation rather than intimacy or community…
However, in practice and in reality, such a room can be a lifesaver for many families.
A private, quiet place to express breast milk is vital for many mothers. This kind of room is also useful in busy, loud areas like airports where an overstimulated baby can benefit from a break in the cacophony. It’s also generally a less-populated space than a public restroom, making diaper changes easier and quicker instead of stressful.
The fact that businesses and public venues in our country are stepping up to treat mothers and children to comfy, competitively lavish, Yelp-worthy spots to rest and renew is wonderful. It’s the thought that counts at least, and I can tell that many public establishments are really trying, if not fully succeeding just yet. (No worries, us mothers of tiny tikes know how to shed a grudge).
Interestingly, it may be especially helpful if the space is NOT called a public breastfeeding room (more on that in a bit). And even more so if the space is designed with educated intention.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed about what makes or breaks the overall quality and acceptability of a child care room.