When I go into a public restroom, I generally avoid touching as much as possible, will hang my purse on a hook or even hold it rather than putting it on the floor. I'll use paper towels to open to door as I leave, especially knowing germs live best in moist environments, and that a very good portion of people don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.
Could you imagine eating in there? Plopping your butt down on that public toilet with some woman's dirty tampon string hanging out of the wall trashcan in the stall next to you, someone else's dribbled urine on the floor, and having your meal put on your lap?
Seriously, I kind of gag thinking about it. I wouldn't eat in the bathroom at my house (though apparently some people do, ugh) so I'm especially confused when people tell women that their baby should. You know what I'm talking about: nursing in public bathrooms.
If you consider the above hyperbolic, I can understand that. But seriously, next time you're out and about, at a restaurant or the mall, I want you to just sit there and consider that every time someone flushes, especially since public toilets don't usually have lids, urine and fecal matter particles go flying through the air. Women who hover pee (if no one hovered, no one would have to, ladies!) get some of that on the seat or the floor, then it gets on shoes and we spread the yuck around. Seems like the perfect dining spot complete with the sweet sounds of people peeing and pooing around you in their own little stalls, the delicious scents permeating the air!
Are you grossed out yet? The Australian Breastfeeding Association wanted to make sure people got the visual, or I guess, the audio:
Check out this video with a toddler ....
Honestly, I know that it's really easy to quickly say, "Just feed your baby in the bathroom," but if you give it a few seconds thought, that phrase may pop out of the mouth easily, but the actual reality of it is pretty ... well, disgusting. In fact, the reality is bad enough and offensive enough that Puerto Rico requires government buildings to have non-restroom nursing areas, and many states have laws requiring employers to provide a place for employees to pump or nurse that specifically, again, is NOT a bathroom.
And yet time and time again, by employees, by strangers, sometimes even by other fellow mothers, women are told to take their infant to the restroom and sit on an open toilet or take up a whole handicap stall or sit on the sink's counter or what, just stand awkwardly, and nurse. Sometimes, especially with small babies, nursing can take 20 minutes, sometimes 40 minutes! Honestly, not only is it horrible to think about spending nearly an hour in a public bathroom listening to bowel movements, but it would ruin any outing with other people who would be forced to wait for you, eat without you, or just do their shopping while you sat in the restroom. It's just NOT a good option.
Not to forget the source of the dilemma, your baby, we know that the smaller the baby, the more often they eat -- also, the weaker their immune system. Some people still wait weeks or even months before really taking their infants out, and if they were forced to keep them in one of the grossest places in public for extended periods of time ... is that even healthy?
Now, let me say though, some places like Macy's have areas in the bathroom that are still separated far from the toilets, even behind curtains with comfy chairs and a water fountain and those are awesome -- they're separate enough to negate the complaints. But most places have nothing. If you choose to use the bathroom to feed your baby, honestly, that's fine. I wish you wouldn't and felt more comfortable being somewhere more comfortable and less germy for the both of you and feel that society shamed you into thinking you needed to be somewhere gross to feed your baby, but it still is your choice. You can check out these tips for nursing in public.
But for anyone who has ever told another mom to go to the bathroom to feed a baby, I'll make you a deal -- you eat your dinner sitting next to me and my daughter there in the stall. We'll have a delightful meal together.
Do you think a woman should go into the bathroom to nurse?
Image via YouTube