Friday, May 14, 2010

Facilities for nursing mothers

Had an interesting excursion to Morrisons this afternoon. I forgot one key component for dinner that Leigh asked me to get (it wasn't on the list and isn't something I usually look for...if that's any defence!) and managed to buy reduced fat coleslaw instead of tasty full fat. I also needed to feed Leo while I was there (which I knew I would) and thought I'd do it while having a cup of tea in the cafe. All going well until I get to the checkout and realise that I spent the £5 I thought I had in my purse yesterday and all I had was coppers and silver left! Fortunately I managed to cobble enough together to save some embarrassment!

I've also discovered that although I can do the bulk of my shopping in any store, there are a few select items I have to go somewhere specific for. At Morrisons it's pickle, beetroot salad (both of which are just inferior in Asda!), a reasonably priced pomegranate juice, and Green Giant sweetcorn, no added salt or sugar (I also used to buy my Vileda sponges there but couldn't see any today. This is a disaster - I'm going to have to start eking out my supplies!). At Asda I get chorizo, own brand Shreddies (why do Morrisons no longer stock these??) and (hurray) liners for washable nappies - no more wasting money on postage ordering online.

Mainly though, I was disappointed about the facilities for nursing mothers and I'm going to send an email to Morrisons! I knew I'd have to feed Leo and had decided to do it in the cafe. I got a trolley first because there aren't usually many baby ones there, but as I couldn't see anyone else in the cafe with a trolley I thought I'd leave it in the lockers they provide. Except that the family trolleys don't fit into the lockers! I just left the trolley on its own which wasn't too bad as I hadn't done any shopping but I'd have been reluctant if it had been full. To be fair, I didn't check to see whether trolleys weren't actually allowed in the cafe, but as noone else had one I thought I should leave it behind. It may be that this isn't actually an issue as what else are parents going to do with babies who are too small for the highchairs?

The next hurdle was that the chairs are fixed to the tables in the cafe and there wasn't quite enough room to sit with Leo on my lap feeding! I had to execute a slightly odd half on, half off the seat manoeuvre so as not to squash the poor boy. Interesting. I did check out the baby change facilities afterwards to see if there was any provision for nursing mums in there but there wasn't. So my other question is that if a mum just wants to feed her baby and not buy anything from the cafe, do the store mind her just using the cafe for a seat? Not great Morrisons.

It's a bit better in Asda - at least they have a chair in the baby change room, but there's not really enough room for a trolley too! The last time I had to do an emergency feed stop, I'd finished shopping and had a full trolley. It was a tight fit getting me, 2 boys and the trolley in the change room - the only way I could manage it was to ram the chair provided right up in front of the toilet. Not the nicest way to feed your child. The chairs in the cafe are movable which is good.

All I really need is a space big enough to get me, the baby, a trolley and a chair in, preferably not having to sit right up against a toilet. There must be space somewhere in these huge stores.

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