Breastfeeding in the City
So basically my life at the moment revolves around breastfeeding Ella. We have not implemented any sort of feeding routine at this point, we are feeding "on demand", which means when Ella is hungry, she eats! This can be anywhere from every 2 to 5 hours. There absolutely nothing regular about this, which can be a little frustrating as you have absolutely no control, but we are getting used to it. Irregularity is our new normal.
This is all ok when we are in the comfort of our own home. It does mean, however, that in order to leave the house and not become a total hermit I need to be willing to breastfeed in public places. This is not something that I am totally comfortable with, and at this point I am not sure I ever will be! I did do my first café breastfeed last week in Three Bags Full (an awesome place near us in Abbotsford). I had a huge snood on which I used as a cover, but it was really fiddly and I couldn't actually see Ella, and we are not practiced enough for her to be able to latch on totally on her own. However I do think I got it done without flashing any nipple, so I'd consider it a success. And I am happy to report no one said anything rude to me or gave me any dirty looks... in fact I am pretty sure that most people there didn't even notice!
|Nothing to see here people!|
Regardless of this first experience I am still a little reluctant to feed in public on a regular basis. However I have discovered the most amazing places exist: Parent Rooms! These are rooms with couches, sinks, change tables, microwaves and private rooms so you can breastfeed baby in private. Some even have toys for toddlers to play with, so your other child can be occupied while you are feeding the baby. I like that these are specifically called "parent" rooms, as it means that dads can feel comfortable going in as well. The discovery that these exist have made venturing out into the city so much less stressful for me. The parent rooms I have discovered and visited so far are located in:
Victoria Gardens (pictured)
Melbourne Central (this one is actually called a Parents Retreat. Luxury!)
I think there are Parent Rooms in most major shopping centres like Chadstone and Highpoint and also at places where there is typically lots of children, like the zoo. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that these rooms exist - I no longer feel tied to home around Ella's random feeding schedule. Amazing!