“A study that analyzed data from a national public opinion survey conducted in 2001 found that only 43 percent of U.S. adults believed that women should have the right to breastfeed in public places. Restaurant and shopping center managers have reported that they would either discourage breastfeeding anywhere in their facilities or would suggest that breastfeeding mothers move to an area that was more secluded.When they have breastfed in public places, many mothers have been asked to stop breastfeeding or to leave. Such situations make women feel embarrassed and fearful of being stigmatized by people around them when they breastfeed.Embarrassment remains a formidable barrier to breastfeeding in the United States and is closely related to disapproval of breastfeeding in public.” Excerpted from The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
TXBC often receives reports of mothers being asked to cover up, go to the restroom, or even leave the business when they try to breastfeed a hungry baby. Although many businesses welcome breastfeeding moms, it would be helpful for moms to be able to easily identify these businesses.
Businesses can let moms know they are breastfeeding friendly by displaying a sign or decal on their door saying “Breastfeeding Welcome Here.” KellyMom offers a free downloadable sign at http://kellymom.com/blog-post/breastfeeding-welcome-here/
Businesses can train their staff to treat breastfeeding mothers just like bottle-feeding mothers. They can share with their employees the meaning of the Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign or decal and the store’s policy to make breastfeeding mothers feel welcome. It is good policy to make breastfeeding mothers feel welcome. They will appreciate the gesture and tell all their friends.
Are the businesses you visit breastfeeding friendly? If not, take a minute to encourage the manager to put a Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign on their door or window and to make breastfeeding moms feel welcome by all employees. Let’s make Texas breastfeeding friendly, y’all!