SM Malls, as noisy and crowded they can get, are still on top of my list for errands because a) They’ve got it all for you, b) Most of the ones I visit have breastfeeding rooms.
So it was last Sunday that I was doing groceries at Hypermart Fairview when I had to go and take a moment in the breastfeeding room with Basti.
Some comments about SM Fairview:
1. The guards and bathroom attendants don’t even know a breastfeeding room exists. A mom told me the attendant in the ladies room didn’t even suggest she go to the BF Room when she was seen feeding her baby in a restroom cubicle.
2. The BF Room is hidden away in the administration office area, but the guard manning the entrance will immediately open the door for you when she sees you have a baby.
3. There’s only one couch, but plenty of other chairs. There’s a changing table and a sink. The blinds are sufficient in giving the moms feeding their babies some privacy.
4. There’s a bench outside for daddies and other companions to wait.
Being a Sunday, the Breastfeeding Room was a busy station that day, with moms and babies of all ages and from all walks of life going in and out. Even if Basti is a marathon-feeder, I was kept busy by the little snippets of conversation I shared with other moms plus other observations I made. Due to my nature of being non-pakialamera, there were some things I was hoping to share with the moms I met, but found it not in my place to say. I’m not very good with unsolicited advice. Hence here are the things I wish I had said to the moms who shared my breastfeeding session last week.
To the mom whose toddler was sleeping on the couch: This is the breastfeeding room, not the child-sleeping room. Take your child home or suffer carrying him asleep in the mall. Give the couch to the moms who need it. (I did actually tell this mom to move over and give me some space to sit).
To the mom who had her three other children with her in the room: Tell your kids to wait outside please. They make noise and disturb the infants. The space is already limited and their constant “Hindi pa ba tapos?” whining doesn’t contribute to the serenity we are all hoping to have while feeding.
To the mom in red who was eyeing my nursing bra and top: Yes, there are such things as nursing bras. The one I was wearing was from SO-EN and costs a mere 270 pesos. The top was bought from Mommy Matters. Cool huh?
To the mom in blue whose monologue was this: “Ano ba baby, ang sakit ng kagat mo? Ano ba, kain ka na. Ayan tuloy dahil hindi ka sumisipsip nabasa na yung damit ko sa kabila!” Uhm, first, your baby’s latch is wrong. Second, it’s not your baby’s fault that your breasts leak. If it bothers you so much, then use nursing pads, for heaven’s sake.
To the lola who was changing her 2-year old apo: There are ways to change a child’s diapers that don’t involve panic, screaming, swearing, and stomping your feet. Also, please don’t let your 2-year old walk all over the changing station in his dirty shoes. Oh, and Lolit Solis wants her hairstyle back.
Spending time in public breastfeeding rooms will give you an idea how much work there needs to be done for the breastfeeding advocacy. I hope I do my part this August, World Breastfeeding Month, as a LATCH volunteer, a model for whatever Nursingmom is planning and through my blog.
Breast is best! Breast is best!!!!