Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nursing in Ikea

Neither Ashley or I are nursing right now. We have both spent our fair share of time nursing though. I am not sure how good Ashley's stories are of nursing in public, but one of my favorites was nursing my daughter in Ikea.

I praise Ikea (at least the one near my house) for having family bathrooms, having family area where nursing is encouraged- they have chairs and diaper changing stations and even small little sinks for the little ones. It is nice and refreshing. Maybe because they are a European company??

Anyway, here I am, trying to pick out some new Ikea furniture. I believe it was a new TV stand? But I had my 6 month old daughter in tow with my husband and my mother in law. We were on the bottom floor and searching through rows and rows of boxes trying to find the right item. Cue tired, hungry baby. So I sit down on top of one of those flat boxes with a bed or a night stand or a desk in it and I start nursing my baby. I don't have a cover nor do I feel like I need one. My mother in law is slightly embarrassed once she notices what I am doing... well, she doesn't notice... she just realizes that I am not following her anymore so she starts looking for me and my husband tells her I stopped to nurse.

(By this point in our relationship my mother in law already knows I am a crazy hippie midwife so she quickly realizes not to say anything because it would be wasted words. )

About 5 minutes later an employee sort of strolls over to me, probably an 18 year old male, very nice and very polite, and he casually mentions that they have an excellent nursing area if I would prefer to do "that" somewhere more private. (he said that only because I am sure breastfeeding or nursing were scary words to him that hadn't been used much in his life.)

**poor kid** I wasn't embarrassed in the slightest but he was so nervous trying to talk to me and let me know that I had another option. The whole time he was talking he was trying not to look at me and I am sure it was because he didn't want to upset me.

So I could have taken this two ways. I could have been annoyed, furious, or outraged that this young man dared to tell me to nurse somewhere different. Assuming he was treating me like a second class citizen and making me feel like I wasn't allowed to feed my baby how and where I wanted to.


I could have taken it as a nice young employee who probably listened to his new employee orientation when someone told him that nursing was allowed in the store, but to offer mothers a more private place if they felt more comfortable somewhere else.

What happened after that is I thanked him so much for the offer, I was aware of the nursing area, but I was almost finished and I was very comfortable where I was at- sitting on some random box in the middle of the store. Truly I wasn't comfortable, but I was almost done and I really didn't want to get up. So the young man walked away, I finished up, and then I met my husband and mother in law at the check out and went home. End of story.


Kate said...

Amen. Good for you :)

Rhe Christine said...

i like the crazy hippie midwife part of the store, LOL! way to live it proud mama!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it so difficult to cover yourself? I am all for breastfeeding in public, but I think you should be considerate towards those that don't feel comfortable seeing your bare breasts. I'm sure this young man would not have been so uncomfortable if you were covered up.

Misha said...

Hey "Anonymous", if you don't want to see a nursing mother's breast- DON'T LOOK. You are uncomfortable because you have sexualized the breast. Breastfeeding is not sexual, it's nutritional. I think formula feeding is offensive, do I have the right to tell everyone to stop doing it in front of me? No. Neither do you. Mind your own business and quit staring at mom's breasts, perv.