Last week, we had to go to the Apple store to take care of a problem with my iPhone. While we were there, I had to back up the old iPhone to my laptop, which, if you own an iPhone, you’ll know can take quite a while. For 45 minutes, I held Elsie. She made it for a while, but eventually she got squirmy and fussy. It was time to eat. We hadn’t planned for a long stay and I was without a diaper bag. The Apple Store is bright and cheery and, by design, doesn’t offer even a corner of seclusion. The lack of a diaper bag meant that I didn’t have a blanket to cover up with.
Breastfeeding in Public – my experience in Ann Taylor
October 19, 2009 4:30 pm
I could have just fed her. Some people are comfortable openly breastfeeding in public. I’m not opposed to the idea and have certainly nursed my baby in public many times, but never without a cover-up and certainly never in the middle of a well-lit Apple store full of very young, unmarried men. My baby was already drawing attention to herself. She is eight months old and her idea of nursing is ten seconds of nursing, pop off, look around, see if she missed anything and then she goes back to nursing for a few seconds. We do that until she gets full enough to not want to go back to nursing. Her current style of nursing certainly isn’t the most modest approach. A distracted eight month old and full-on breast exposure seem to go hand-in-hand. My breast being someone else’s eye candy is just not my cup of tea. It seemed even less ideal in that particular crowd.
So, for the first time in my nearly six year nursing career, she and I left and headed for a dressing room. Ann Taylor next door was very kind and accommodating. After the debacle a few years ago with Victoria’s Secret not allowing a mom to breastfeed in their changing room, I’ve intentionally never asked to use a dressing room to nurse. I didn’t want to be told no (I’m quiet & would find that terribly embarrassing) and have always anticipated at least a strange look from the usually single girl who has no idea what it means to nurse a baby. I’m also usually well equipped with a sling!
Going into Ann Taylor, I wasn’t sure to who to ask, so I just talked with the first person I saw setting product out in the front of the store. She seemed educated on the topic and politely said, “Of course!” and led me straight back to their dressing rooms.
As she let me in the dressing room, she mentioned that I could use the space for as long as I wanted. They kept it quiet in the back. Nobody knocked on the door to see if I was “finished” yet. The staff treated me just like any other customer as I headed back to the Apple store fifteen minutes later with a now-happy baby.
Thank you, Ann Taylor, for training your staff well. I was in your location on the second level of West County Mall in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ll remember that your store is there next time I forget my blanket in the Apple store!
Have you had a good experience nursing your baby in a public location? Tell me about it. How well are other companies educating their employees about proper accommodations for breastfeeding women?