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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SM Malls Harass Breastfeeding Moms

Interrupting the scheduled posts on my blog to share these two very important posts from Eliza and Ambquezada, which were in contrast to my own experience with nursing in public

From Eliza:  The Right to Breastfeed: An Open Letter to the SM Supermalls Management
From Ambquezada: An Incident in SM Davao

It is quite ironic especially since several programs have been launched this year promoting that "Breastfeeding is Welcome" in public establishments.  Plus SM Mall of Asia even hosted a photo exhibit showing breastfeeding moms all over the mall!!

So this makes me wonder why the change in policy?  Just because the mall has a breastfeeding station does not mean that the mom can ONLY BREASTFEED IN THE BREASTFEEDING STATION!  And if you think that families with kids shouldn't be exposed to breastfeeding moms, READ THIS and learn why children SHOULD witness breastfeeeding in public.

Breastfeeding mothers have the right to feed their children whenever they get hungry!! Know about your rights as a breastfeeding mother in the Philippines and stand up for them!


Topaz Horizon said...

I read the SM Davao incident and left a comment asking the mommy what the tone of the guard was. Kasi what he said was actually, "Bawal umupo sa stairs" not "Bawal mag-breastfeed." I think he was saying, "Don't sit on the stairs because that's loitering. Try our breastfeeding station so that you'd be more comfortable."

I breastfed my son and am a staunch believer in breastfeeding. But I think we should keep calm and be calculating when we're addressing this issue. Especially since we're dealing with men. It's an emotional issue for us but you know men, they tune us out once we start beating our breasts and tearing out our hair.  

I suggested to Power Plant Mall that they should have a breastfeeding station, for example. They thought it was a great idea but I also think they don't want to give up valuable real estate. So instead of bringing up my rights as a mom and the rights of my child to feed, I said, "But you'll benefit so much! You can sell ad space. You have moms sitting there for 10-20 minutes. Captive market! You can bombard us with ads from the toy shops and baby stuff and supermarket! Then you get to keep us shopping longer because, I, for example, go home after just 2 hours at a your mall since I can't nurse comfortably. But if there's a nice place to nurse, I can stay all day and spend lots of money!" They became enthusiastic only after I mentioned money!

These people care about one thing only--money. So we attack their weakest point. Methinks we'll see results faster that way.

Annemargauxquezada said...

Point well taken po. But since my baby was crying and my kids were riding the train ride, I could not leave them. Add to that I have 3 strollers full of grocery items. I could not just leave where I was sitting and go to the second floor and walk a 100+ more steps just so I could sit in their "uncomfortable" breastfeeding station. Plus he saw the 3 strollers full of items.

Their station was a bit far from where we were. And if his intentions were to point me to their breastfeeding station, he could have been more polite. He was talking to me as if it was such a big fault to sit their and breastfeed my crying baby.

Mind you an old man was sitting there too but he did not reprimand him. He was only talking to me!

Topaz Horizon said...

Thanks for clearing that up! I replied sa blog post mo na :)

Actually, I was telling Eliza earlier that maybe breast feeding stations is a bad idea. It just reinforces the belief that nursing moms should be hidden away like we were doing something bad.

I seriously don't know why we think this way. Is it our being Catholic? The overly religious upbringing?

Anne Margaux Quezada said...

thank you ma'am frances. I read your reply but instead of clicking "Publish", I clicked "delete". Would it be too much to ask if you could post your reply again?

Rone Valles said...

I really do think the breastfeeding stations were put up to get the breastfeeding moms out of sight.  Also the guards must have been briefed that breastfeeding can only be done in these stations.  Otherwise why would they stop these moms from feeding their babies?  I really don't understand why breastfeeding in public is such an issue when it is the most natural thing to do.

Alex said...

Hi Ann, I am from Davao too. I find the breastfeeding station way too far. Two years ago I had to breastfeed my son infront of the grocery (where Shoti Squid Balls is) and an SM lady came up to me and told me that I can go up to the breastfeeding station and feed my son there. She was polite calm and so willing to help. Since my son was distracted and was not willing to "hide" inside the nursing bib I decided to take the SM lady's advise and walk to the breastfeeding station. When I got there it was closed! I am in SM every week I always see people in the stairs near the train specially in the afternoons.  Why were you asked to leave?

Anne Margaux Quezada said...

He told me that it was prohibited to sit on the stairs. I was willing to obliged with that because I've seen instances when people were told not to sit on the stairs by the guards. (That shows how frequent I go to SM).

But he saw me breastfeeding. Why couldn't he have gave me a few minutes to feed my son? I wasn't offending anyone, I was covering my son while feeding. It didn't take too long because the ride was over soon and my baby has fed enough and didn't like being covered.

Just because they have a breastfeeding station, does not mean that I have to feed my baby there and only there. As as you have said, the breastfeeding station is way too far. In fact it's located in their extension building.

Anne Margaux Quezada said...

I have fed my son at the department store and grocery area before. I always get that certain look from other customers and even the SM staff, but never have anyone approached me and told me to use the breastfeeding station up until that day. 

Mall goer said...

Para san pa ang breastfeeding station kung di naman gagamitin? Malalayo din ang mga CR ng malls. So, should we just pee anywhere we want? We live in a civilized society. Let's act civilized. Not because you're a mom who foolishly brings your infant to the mall to be exposed to billions of germs will rules be bended for you. How will you react if suddenly, hundreds of poor moms from the squatters area will start breastfeeding their infants in the malls because, pinapayagan naman pala? Just because you are middle class eh exempted ka? SM invested in putting up non-income generating breastfeeding stations for people like you to use. So use them! Common sense naman and don't show to the public what you should be doing in private.

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