Being a new mom with a nursing baby can be stressful, especially if you need to be out in public for more than a couple of hours. If you don’t want to hire a babysitter or have to go home just because your baby is hungry, public places that are considered “breastfeeding friendly” can be very convenient. But where can you find them?
In 2011, Target faced disgruntled mothers after a shopper in Texas was asked to cover up while nursing. Since then, Target has done some work improving their breastfeeding policy.
Target’s employee handbook now states that guests may openly breastfeed anywhere within the store, but employees can also offer a more private place when asked. Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in the fitting rooms as well, even if others are waiting to use the rooms after you.
In August, Illinois Governor Rauner signed a bill that required all major airports in the state to have breastfeeding rooms. While smaller airports will not be required to add breastfeeding rooms, O’Hare and Midway are expected to have the additions by 2017.
A study in 2014 stated that 62% of American airports already consider themselves “breastfeeding-friendly”; however, only 8% actually offered a space besides the bathroom for mothers to nurse in privacy and comfort.
Barnes and Noble
Even though most states have laws that give women the right to breastfeed in public, it is still a common occurrence for nursing mothers to be asked to cover up or use a bottle. After a woman in New York was asked to cover herself or leave while breastfeeding in Barnes and Noble, the chain has since made a pledge to make its stores friendlier to nursing mothers. Now, Barnes and Noble allows women to breastfeed anywhere they feel comfortable within any of the store’s branches.
Most Nordstrom stores include a nursing room as part of the women’s restroom, as well as a lounge area where mothers with small children and strollers can take a break from shopping, as well as feel free to openly breastfeed their children. Some locations also offer Mothers’ Rooms, which are identified by breastfeeding symbols on the door. These include comfortable chairs, outlets, changing tables, and sinks for a private area to breastfeed that is completely separate from the women’s bathrooms.
In February of 2015, one IKEA store put up a sign that welcomes moms to breastfeed whenever and wherever they feel comfortable throughout their vast selection of home furnishings. It reads: “Nursing your baby should be as comfortable as possible. Where and how you sit can make all the difference so take your time and find a seat you both can bond with.”