Is Breastmilk Best Served on the Toilet?


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 



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ethan... ethans_momma06

Assomeone who had to pump for work in the bathroom- HECK NO. Even super clean bathrooms are... well BATHROOMS.

ankle... anklebitr


thedg... thedgoddess

HECK NO. It's nasty!  I'm sorry but it is possible to BF discretely without anyone noticing and they have no right to ask you to do it in the bathroom. I am so tired of folks equating it to an elimination function!  They would never eat in the bathroom.

Lynette Lynette

great post!!!  there is a few people I would like to get this message too!  They can go eat on the toilet!

Chantal Long

i was once told to feed my baby in the disabled toilets. I asked them if they enjoy eatting there dinner in the toilet? i found a dark corner and breast feed there

Phils... PhilsBabyMama

Ewww, NO!  I NEVER nursed my son in a bathroom and NEVER will!  I seriously think the "feed your baby in the bathroom!" people are just as moronic as the "why can't you just use a blanket?!?" people.  I wish people would just back off and stop haranguing moms who are just trying to feed their children. 

Great post, Christie!

Shanin22 Shanin22

Of course not. I hope that more moms not only feel comfortable to nurse in public, but feel comfortable to stand up for other mothers doing it. I'm sure most of us have been in a restaurant and seen some young mother looking confused and upset when the waiter "insists" that she move to the bathroom "for that." In situations like this it's important for women to feel support from their peers and community. It's embarrassing and upsetting to be called out in public for feeding your child... many moms just give in. I hope next time you see something like this, you stand up for her right to feed in public and encourage her to continue caring for her child where she is.

Xakana Xakana

Of course not! But I 'hover pee" and have never got any on the seat or floor, thank you very much--I'd wipe up if I did (but I am NOT sitting down if I have to). I also flush other toilets as I walk through on the way to pee or wash my hands. Since I have two little girls using the same bathroom at the same time, there's usually at least three clean seats when we leave, lol. I'd never nurse there nor ask someone else to.

On my DDC, there was a girl who complained about someone pooping in the stall next to her while she was pumping. It was hard, but I managed not to point out that she was in a place for pooping, NOT pumping and the other woman had no way of knowing--and was in the right place to do her business! Ew!

I heard one woman in the stall next to me at one function struggling to feed her baby and I just wanted to tell her that I'd nurse next to her anywhere else if she'd feel more comfortable and just come out of the nasty bathroom. I did point out that there was a nursing area at the front of the bathroom--as I was leaving. Cowardly, but I just felt SO bad for her and didn't want to make it worse for her by making it obvious it was obvious what she was doing.

0Jenna0 0Jenna0

Disgusting!! No one should ever have to eat on a toilet... ever! The end.

mtnma... mtnmama111

HELL NO!!!! My first would also whip any cover I attempted off AND unlatch so that everyone would get to see what I was attempting to cover, so there is a reason some of us aren't/weren't draped in blankets as well...

When bottle feeding mommas are sent to the bathroom as well- then MAYBE I could see the sense in that request- but as that never happens.. well I'm just going to have to go with people are dumb...

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