Breastfeeding in 2017-18 is pretty good. Everywhere you go there is most probably a nice parent room available where children can play, parents can feed and change their babies and mums can breastfeed in peace (this is relative). The first few times I visited them I was SO impressed! Now I expect them.
So far in my breastfeeding journey I haven't had many 'bad' stories. It normally goes well and I'm able to feed Charlie in public. However since he's 5 months I've been trying to keep the breastfeeding at home or in quiet areas as Charlie is too curious. I think this goes for many older babies.
'Not many bad stories' until I attended a sporting event that was held in an older venue. One day I went to a Tennis Club which is a prestigious club in an old stadium (meaning that facilities aren't very new). I was with Jarryd and my dad but without Charlie my son. Therefore I had brought my breast pump. I was hoping (and also planning) not to use it but I didn't know how long we would stay so I would maybe have to pump not matter what. Side note - I can now enjoy my outings without bringing my pump at night but not during the day because I feed Charlie the most then.
We had been there since 10:00am and so around 4:00pm I really needed to pump (crying face emoji). I then went looking for a parent room or a disabled toilet where I could have some privacy. I also needed a power outlet as I had forgotten the batteries (10 crying face emojis). I couldn't find one. I asked security, paramedics and event staff who told me they thought there was a parent room SOMEWHERE.
I went in circle for about 40 minutes. Then I thought I'll try to go into the club even though I wasn't VIP. I explained the situation to the security guy and he told me only VIPs could get in. He thought there was a parent room in the stadium. So I went back looking. I went back to my seat and told Jarryd and my dad what had happened and they were as furious as I was. The three of us then went back to the club entrance and requested to speak to someone else to get in. They finally let me in.
The security guy told me to use the disabled toilet on that same floor, I went in there and there were no power outlet. REALLY? So he sent me upstairs and after speaking to 3 different people I spoke to the CEO of the club. A WOMAN (thank God for that). She quickly understood my situation and allowed me to use a meeting room where I could express. It was not glamorous let me tell you. When I was done she spoke to me again and apologised.
I explained that I spoke to various people and no one seemed to know where a woman could either feed her baby in peace or express her milk in private. She said I should have come to the club entrance straight away. How was I supposed to know that? A simple sign around the stadium would have done it.'WE DO NOT HAVE A PARENT ROOM AVAILABLE IN THE STADIUM BUT IF YOU DO NEED ONE COME TO THE CLUB ENTRANCE.' Well I think they might have some kind of sign next year!
What I've learned from this experience is -
Don't be shy to ask.
Ask the right people. I realised I asked a few men. I should have perhaps asked only women? However, It shouldn't be like this. Event staff should all be briefed on the same information and should be able to offer assistance to everyone. The CEO was lovely and did what she could to assist me.
Don't wait until the last minute to express. In my case I should have expressed an hour earlier. But I couldn't be bothered as you could guess.
Triple check you have all the parts of your pump when you are planning to express when you're out.
French Canadian living in Melbourne. I'm a business owner - Fitness M8 Personal Training. I'm fun and social and sometimes I worry but I normally have the ‘I do what I want and/or can’ attitude.
Hood: Pascoe Vale South
Motherhood in 5 words: Love, fun, surprising and overwhelming.
Fav family friendly place: Melbourne Museum children area for sure. You get a 6 month free membership when you have a baby and it’s so great to go with the babes.
Coffee order: Cappuccino
Blog: Charlie’s Maman
Honest insights into motherhood with a bit of fun and unlimited vino.