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The Right To Breastfeed: An Open Letter to the SM Supermalls Management

December 7, 2011

Let me break the happy-happy-joy-joy tone of my blog for one post. Below is a letter I am addressing to the management of SM Supermalls, following some very disturbing reports of breastfeeding mothers being harassed by the mall’s security guards.

Background: Paola Loot, head mommy of Mommy Treats, received a report from one of her clients, Mona Lisa Valle, that she was told to stop breastfeeding in public last December 3, 2011. Mona was sitting at the tables of a doughnut shop, waiting for her husband, and needed to breastfeed her baby. No stranger to breastfeeding in public, she did so without much thought.

As she was nursing, a security guard approached her and said, “Ma’am meron po tayong breastfeeding station. Doon po kayo magbreastfeed.” (Ma’m there is a breastfeeding station, please breastfeed there) To which she replied, “Alam kong may breastfeeding station. pero sa kabilang building pa yun. May hinihintay kasi kami. May problema ba?” (I know there is a breastfeeding station but it’s at the other building. We’re just waiting for someone. Is there a problem?)

Here’s the disturbing reply of the guard:

“Bawal po kasi magbreastfeed in public ma’am kaya nga may mga itinayong breastfeeding station ang SM para doon magbreastfeed.” (It is forbidden to breastfeed in public, ma’m, that is why SM put up a breastfeeding station so you can breastfeed there)

This was done in full view of everyone in the vicinity and it became a spectacle. In Mona’s words, “all people were staring at me as if I was a shoplifter or a criminal…he made me feel I did something terribly wrong”.

So here is my letter.

===

To the Management of SM Supermalls:

I have long been a fan of your establishments. Not only is a trip to an SM mall a convenient shopping experience where everything is under one roof, I also like that the bathrooms are child-friendly, equipped with changing stations, and that there are ramps everywhere for strollers. I also like that you promoted breastfeeding by establishing breastfeeding stations that not only serve their purpose, but also stand as a symbol that mothers and their nurslings are welcome in SM.

On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, Paola Loot, Noemi Dado, Nona Andaya-Castillo and myself visited the administration office of SM Megamall to report an incident of a mother being asked to cease breastfeeding in public by your security staff. She was told that breastfeeding in public was NOT ALLOWED in SM Malls and the purpose of the breastfeeding station was so that she can and should breastfeed there. We left our contact information with the people who entertained us. I told them that I will wait for their reply. The people we spoke to had no clue about any existing briefing, policy or guidelines about breastfeeding mothers. They were also clueless about the existence of the Expanded Breastfeeding Act, the law promoting and protecting the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

At first I thought that it could’ve been an isolated incident, the mistake of one guard ignorant of how to approach a nursing mother or of the SM breastfeeding stand. But then we received two more reports of similar incidents: one in SM San Pablo and one in SM Davao. Both reports were the same as the one we received recently. Both mothers were told that breastfeeding in public WAS NOT ALLOWED in SM Malls and they SHOULD use the breastfeeding station.

What I really want to know are:

  1. What is SM Supermalls’ stand and policy on breastfeeding in public?
  2. How are your security staff briefed on how to approach breastfeeding mothers?
  3. Is there a written policy in your security handbook saying that breastfeeding mothers should be asked to STOP BREASTFEEDING in public?

I personally am disappointed, angered, and insulted by the reported incidents. As a breastfeeding mother, counselor and advocate, I know that it is hard enough for mothers to successfully breastfeed in the comforts of our own homes. Being harassed for breastfeeding in public, which takes courage for a lot of mothers out there, is something that is not helping the cause, and is something that is actually a hindrance to a mother’s right to give her child the best nourishment she can give.

I am waiting for the management’s response on the serious matter above, and I am hoping we can work on ways to reorient your staff and your security. I’m hoping this can be resolved and I still have faith that SM will listen and take steps to correct and educate their people. I am banking on all the awards and commendations your establishments have received for the SM Breastfeeding ProgramΒ  to do so.

Sincerely,

Eliza Santiago-Ypon

========

My stand:

  1. It is every woman’s right to breastfeed her child anywhere and anytime.
  2. Whether she bares her breast or uses a cover is HER CHOICE.
  3. No one has the right to tell a breastfeeding mother to go elsewhere to breastfeed or to cover herself because she is being offensive.

I still believe SM will listen. Their efforts to make their establishments family-friendly are commendable so far. I’m hoping they will not let us down, and that they will live up to the awards and commendations they’ve received from the Anvil Awards, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Department of Health for the SM Breastfeeding Program.

If you or a friend have ever experienced being harassed for breastfeeding in public and would like to share your experience, please leave me a message through my Contact Form. I will keep your identity confidential if you wish, but I do invite you to step up and speak out. Have courage, because you are not alone.

This is far from over.

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133 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2011 11:20 am

    Absolutely ridiculous that women are not free to breastfeed in public! My wife feeds our baby anywhere she wants–and rightly so. I hope SM understands that an infant can’t be told “Stop crying for ten minutes; let’s go to the information counter to find out where the breastfeeding station is — if there even is one!” Breastfeeding stations are an welcome convenience, for sure. For those we are grateful. But if women cannot use them for one reason or another, it is their choice. Ridiculous to reprimand them!

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 11:29 am

      Thanks Kiddo! I knew you could relate!

    • Jochebed Gutierrez permalink
      January 31, 2012 2:50 pm

      Yes, I agree 100%.

      we moms should practice that right to breastfeed anywhere without feeling embarrassed.

  2. December 7, 2011 11:37 am

    I truly hope SM management could enlighten us on this matter.
    And yes, I am one of those who appreciated SM having breastfeeding stations in their malls, ang layo lang esp. if you are on the other end of the building! A mom just needs to b-feed her baby wherever, whenever, however she wants. It’s the only natural thing to do, a hungry baby can’t wait.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 12:23 pm

      Well said my friend.

  3. MamaNiSkye permalink
    December 7, 2011 12:02 pm

    AMEN!!! Since when did breastfeeding become a crime? That’s sad… to think in their briefing eh they said they were “kid-friendly” daw… how about the baby of Mona who needed to be fed? Aist, they need to review the laws on breastfeeding and being more “kid-friendly”…

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 12:22 pm

      I’m really hoping for their quick response. The breastfeeding groups are ALWAYS ALWAYS willing to help orient staff about breastfeeding issues, for SM or anywhere actually.

  4. December 7, 2011 12:31 pm

    I hope SM will listen and give a feedback. I like that SM has breastfeeding stations but reprimanding a mom for breastfeeding in public is definitely not okay. Sana hindi lang for display ang breastfeeding stations nila at awards. A mom should be able to feed her hungry baby, wherever, whenever she wants!

  5. jess permalink
    December 7, 2011 12:32 pm

    ah where and when do you go to the malls? i would like to be there when you start breastfeeding your child.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 1:40 pm

      Would you allow a man to say what you just wrote to your mother, wife, sister or daughter? Shame on you Jess Palacios.

      • winyan mae jose permalink
        December 7, 2011 4:33 pm

        @jess shame on you indeed! ogling at a breastfeeding mom is sick. they are called MAMMARY GLANDS for a reason. i am a breast feeding mom, and i wont let MEN like you stop me from breastfeeding my child anywhere, at anytime.

      • December 7, 2011 9:27 pm

        Perfectly said, Eliza and Winyan Mae.

        For my part, I was breastfeeding at SM Tarlac at an outside seat of a resto which was located next to a restroom. While waiting for my mother who went to the restroom, I fed my cranky baby. Then a utility man kindly offered, “Ma’am, may breastfeeding station po do’n.” To which I replied, “No, okay na ako dito.” Then he nodded and smiled, and went away. His tone was more of a kind concern for our comfort rather than a condescending one.

        I’ve likewise fed at the Baby Center of SM Pampanga, and the salesladies were all helpful and supportive, even providing me a chair.

        SM Clark’s BF station naman has sira-sirang upholstery ang couch, it’s such a turn-off.

        I’m breastfeeding an 18-month-old and if this same incident happens to me in the future, well.. I’d like to see the guard try. >:-S

      • Eliza permalink
        December 7, 2011 11:17 pm

        The utility man had more sensitivity than the security guard, it seems! I’m still waiting for feedback from SM about it. It would be great if it really were an isolated incident. What alarmed us were the similar incidents in two other malls. Diba when you get into a tiff with a security guard their defense is always, “ginagawa ko lang naman po ang trabaho ko.” If it’s coming from a policy, written or not, then we have to do something to correct it.

  6. Jenny permalink
    December 7, 2011 12:41 pm

    Thank you for taking a stand for us, breastfeeding moms! I agree that it is already hard as it is to be able to successfully breastfeed a baby and even harder to sustain breastfeeding a toddler (not because the child doesn’t want to but because society seems to frown upon it). A supposedly family-friendly establishment should support us all the more!

  7. Allison permalink
    December 7, 2011 12:59 pm

    why not allow breastfeeding in public? cause it’s indecent? then if that’s the case, they should not allow people wearing short shorts/skirts inside the mall and clothes that show the cleavage, etc. public display of affection should also be disallowed.

    i agree with one of the posters here. what if the baby has the sudden urge to nurse and there’s no breastfeeding station near you? what will you do? tell your baby to wait while you make a mad dash to the other building?

    • Marge Zarate permalink
      December 8, 2011 5:28 pm

      I agree with the argument that if breastfeeding in public will not be allowed, then the idea of prohibiting indecency, most especially the public display of affection should be prohibited too. (Let’s see how foreigners honeymooning here would react to that. It would surely affect our tourism industry.) Sometimes its hard to explain to children why supposedly mature adults behave inappropriately. But its impossible to explain to hungry babies to wait for a few minutes until we get to the breastfeeding station.

      I actually would like to bring to light hospitals who are not breastfeeding friendly or are not child-friendly, to outpatient moms with babies. Should I mention their names? Hint: JCI accredited. First, its difficult for me to bring my baby to the hospital because there’s no diaper-changing area in the comfort rooms. I have to change my baby’s diaper or clothes on the sink. Its a blessing I can afford a changing pad but how about those who can’t or haven’t learned yet about the tool? There was a couple with a newborn, the new mom needed to change her baby’s nappy and it was obvious that they were already troubled trying to find a way to change their baby’s nappy. The dad was also at a loss, since the pedia was entertaining a patient. He was probably thinking of changing nappy in the doctor’s clinic. So I offered to lend my changing pad and they were very grateful. And second point, there’s no breastfeeding area in these popular hospitals. I am used to nursing in public but I can see that there are first-time mothers who are in need of areas to “practice” in. When I was starting to breastfeed in public, my ob-gyne allowed me to nurse in a cubicle in her clinic, and when I was confident already, I managed to nurse in public. Through generous acts like that, more mothers can breastfeed longer.

      Thank you very much for this initiative. I will always be your supporter and fan! πŸ˜€

  8. December 7, 2011 1:05 pm

    oh, this issue is making me so angry! mothers should never ever be forbidden from or humiliated for breastfeeding in public! SM management, are you reading this? that was one huge blunder on your part. you should not only apologize to the mother publicly, but also try to educate your employees that IT IS NOT A CRIME to breastfeed in public.

    we should demand a public apology from SM. this is so WRONG.

    is there any way i can help?

  9. December 7, 2011 1:21 pm

    my two lovely daughters were breastfed, i am an advocate of breastfeeding… baka kung ako inapproach nung guard nahampas ko ng bonggang bongga πŸ™‚

  10. December 7, 2011 1:28 pm

    well said eli. i really hope that SM gives their side on the matter. moms do the shopping for the family and SM should be commended for trying to be mommy, baby and family friendly. this is their chance to enlighten us what their policies are and what they intend to do for moms who breastfeed in public. i’m thinking that maybe the policy and the implementation got mixed up.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 2:30 pm

      That is my suspicion too.

  11. enna permalink
    December 7, 2011 1:50 pm

    I find this very ridiculous! It’s not as if there are breastfeeding stations in every floor and in every corner of the mall. As I’ve noticed recently, there are more ATM stations than there are restrooms even. I think this should be brought to the attention of the head/president of SM Cares. SM Cares is the humanitarian arm of SM Supermalls (the way ABS-CBN Foundation is to ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp).

  12. December 7, 2011 2:31 pm

    While I support breastfeeding in public, I’m not too comfortable agreeing with “Whether she bares her breast or uses a cover is HER CHOICE.”

    The breastfeeding stations should be allowed to serve their purpose (comfort of the mother, the child and the public), but if it can’t be helped, please at the least cover up.

    Yes, mother and child should be allowed to breastfeed at their most convenient times. Then again, the public also should be spared of having an unexpected (possibly awkward or uncomfortable) view while they’re trying to enjoy their meal.

    Courtesy goes both ways.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 2:40 pm

      Some mothers will tell you, between a person’s sensibilities and the uncomfortable feeling of the baby being covered while feeding, they’ll choose their baby. I myself do NOT use a nursing cover because it’s futile – at almost 2 years old, my child already has the choice to take the cover off himself. I also think, how would I feel eating while my face is covered? I have other ways to nurse discreetly in public and my doing so is testament to the fact that it can be done without exposing yourself to the world. There are several Public Service Announcement videos on YouTube about nursing in public from all over the world. If you do have the time and are willing to learn more, please do take a look.

      • December 7, 2011 3:21 pm

        Yes, I am informed and like I said, I support it. I highligthed this because I felt that tone (sense of entitlement/discretion) was missing earlier. Glad you added it.

      • Michelle Ong permalink
        December 7, 2011 6:16 pm

        It’s interesting to me how people find breast exposure due to breastfeeding uncomfortable, when a similar amount of breast is exposed in most billboards, magazine ads, and common everyday clothes. I’m still breastfeeding my child (now almost 4), and when he was younger and had to nurse more frequently, we nursed in public when we had to and we both didn’t like using nursing covers. Personally I thought I’d add to the effort at making a breast that’s “at work” (as opposed to “on display”) a normal sight. Kung ako siguro napagsabihan ng guard, sasabihin ko, wag mong pakialaman yung dede ko. nagtatrabaho. πŸ™‚

      • Lala permalink
        December 7, 2011 11:53 pm

        This is so funny!

        “wag mong pakialaman yung dede ko. nagtatrabaho. ”

        Dadagdagan ko yan nang, “Mag trabaho ka nalang din. Manghuli ka ng shoplifter!” :))

        Reading all your comments made my night. πŸ™‚ Go breastfeeding mommies!

      • cheryl permalink
        December 8, 2011 6:59 pm

        hi. my children and i also opt for no cover feeding.. πŸ™‚ i, myself, feel that nursing without a cover is less obvious. Breastfeeding clothes do provide discreet openings for feeding. Usually people sitting next to me while i feed think my babies are just sleeping. when in fact they’re already nursing. πŸ™‚

      • Joy permalink
        December 28, 2014 3:26 am

        I also cannot cover my baby while breastfeeding for the fear that he will suffocate with his own carbon dioxide. The baby’s nose is already pressed against the breast while breastfeeding and there’s little passage for air. In my opinion, covering the baby will only make the people more curious. I breastfeed in public but I need not show my whole breast or attract attention. My baby needs only around 1-3 seconds so he can latch on then the rest of the breast is covered by the blouse while he sucks. I bet few to non will be able to catch me showing my nipple on those 1-3 seconds with the size of my nipple being smaller than my baby’s head and with me sitting behind other people or far from them they’d have to come closer in order to see it.

    • December 8, 2011 5:40 am

      The public should be aware that there is nothing awkward or uncomfortable in breastfeeding.
      There is nothing awkward and uncomfortable when you see the boobs of sexy girls in billboards – so why would it be uncomfortable for you to see actual breasts feeding a baby?

    • Jethy permalink
      December 8, 2011 8:05 am

      as a nursing mother myself of a recently turned 1-year-old, i support everything that’s been said here about our rights on breastfeeding. well everything but baring breasts being HER CHOICE (am with LodRose on this). am sure your intentions are good, but it struck me as arrogant. often when i hear or read that term “her choice”, it’s about abortion. so i end up associating the term with something negative, self-centered, and self-entitling. exceptions and sensibilities aside, we also need to be sensitive of others. even when our baby’s needs supercedes theirs. courtesy indeed works both ways. i nurse in public. i’ve nursed on my feet while shopping. sometimes i even nurse or pump at my office cubicle in the midst of my colleagues. but i politely ask if they didn’t mind.

      and exposure arguments aside, am glad that malls such as SM and Eastwood have breastfeeding stations. i agree that it doesn’t mean that’s the only place we can do it.

  13. marissa permalink
    December 7, 2011 2:34 pm

    This made me sad. It’s not right to approach and interrupt a breastfeeding mom and tell her to stop bfeeding, more so telling her that it’s bawal to bfeed in public..in front of a lot people pa. Since when? SM should do something about this. Make their policies clear. If they really doesn’t want to see kids nursing in public, why not put up additonal bfeeding stations that are more accessible to everyone. They have a BF station nga but it’s located at the farthest end, useless din di ba.

  14. December 7, 2011 2:56 pm

    I haven’t been breastfeeding for very long, but I am completely supportive of your letter and stance! I actually don’t find the breastfeeding stations very pleasant to use in the SM malls which I have been to, and honestly would prefer to NIP. If they seemed clean and hygienic, and didn’t smell so strongly of urine… maybe I would feel better about using the rooms. I hope that SM can clarify their stance and make policy amendments if necessary.

  15. December 7, 2011 2:59 pm

    So furious right now. If they don’t respond, I think this calls for a nurse-in!

  16. December 7, 2011 3:02 pm

    I read this post yesterday also from Mommy Treats and I felt insulted that they found breastfeeding in public to be a horrendous thing to do. Though they did not explicitly say it, the fact that it’s not allowed implies that it’s an embarrassing act. How can feeding a child for sustenance be embarrassing? If anything, moms who breastfeed in public should be praised for they are courageous and brave enough to feed their hungry child, despite the stigma of breastfeeding in public. Sadly, not everyone embraces breastfeeding as a way of life. But I am confident that in time, with more breastfeeding information and education available, and with more brave and confident breastfeeding moms and advocates, breastfeeding will be embraced. I have seen how far breastfeeding has come (and been accepted by more and more people) since the time I first nurtured my eldest child. I admire you for taking a step in educating (and reprimanding) the biggest and most influential establishment in the Philppines. I hope you hear a response from them soon. Can I repost this entry in my blog to bring the word out?

  17. Divine Chico permalink
    December 7, 2011 3:37 pm

    I completely agree with your post. It is hard enough to breastfeed exclusively. I am so close to giving up. That kind of humiliation could have added more stress if it happened to me. My baby is 5 months old and I have been breastfeeding direct since even the Medela freestyle can’t pump my milk out. Now I’m scared to breastfeed in SM. I’ve breastfed more than 5 ocassions at SM baby section in Makati and the sales people have been supportive. They would even give me a chair. I did not know they had a breastfeeding station, but even if I did, it usually is more convenient to breastfeed wherever I am when the baby cries. I breastfeed every 1.5 hours and it would be just so tiring and time consuming to go back and forth the breastfeeding station. I am hoping SM would address this issue ASAP. Thank you for taking a stand. It encourages all breastfeeding moms like me.

  18. patricia permalink
    December 7, 2011 4:00 pm

    the la leche league website has a really nice article on breastfeeding in public. http://www.llli.org/nb/nbnovdec00p196.html

  19. Mommy Rambo permalink
    December 7, 2011 4:17 pm

    Because of that, I will go to SM tomorrow and breastfeed my baby in public! If they want to stop me, they can try, and I will come back here and let you know how it went!:)))

    • Paula Chua permalink
      December 8, 2011 1:54 pm

      same thoughts in my head right now!! infuriating how that mom was treated… if they do that to me and my child, and i will run my mouth to no end, maririndi talaga sila!!

  20. Michelle Lalic permalink
    December 7, 2011 4:25 pm

    I hope SM will do immediate action for that matter.

  21. December 7, 2011 4:31 pm

    Hi. I believe I reported to Paola that incident in SM Davao. It happened last Saturday while me and my children are enjoying a trip to the mall. I blogged about it myself. I also asked my brother who works at SM regarding the guidelines on breastfeeding in public. Whether the guard reprimanded me for sitting on the stairs or for breastfeeding while sitting on the stairs does not matter. My point there is, he (the guard) shouldn’t have reprimanded me for breastfeeding at all.

    I am disgusted and angered every time I recall the incident. After telling me those, he talked to another guard and the second guard looked at me. That made me feel disgusted and ashamed at that time.

    Here is my post regarding that incident: http://diapersandstethoscope.blogspot.com/2011/12/incident-at-sm-davao.html

    When I read about another incident in SM Manila, I immediately texted Paola. I have her number because I always order cookies from her.

    I am hoping that the management will do something about this. I do not know how to describe how mad it makes me feel even at this time.

    • December 7, 2011 11:16 pm

      a little clarification, the incident happened on a friday.

      • Eliza permalink
        December 8, 2011 12:30 am

        Which one? Yours?

      • December 8, 2011 7:16 am

        Yes mine. I initially said last saturday. That incident happened on a friday.

  22. December 7, 2011 4:35 pm

    I’m hopeful that SM will give notice and take action to this matter. And that they will orient their security guards and all mall personnel.

  23. sinisterspark permalink
    December 7, 2011 4:50 pm

    I read about this on twitter last night. Thank you for your fair and calm article. I was very surprised to hear about this since I also breastfeed openly in mega often and have never been reprimanded; mind you, I did it during crowded mall days and sometimes even in the hallway seating areas of some restaurants. It may be a case of lack of clear policy and an opinionated, close-minded guard.

  24. December 7, 2011 5:15 pm

    At first, I appreciated it when SM created a space for breastfeeding moms in their malls. I’m a new mom and breastfeeding for the first time, kaya medyo shy pa ako to breastfeed in public. But later on, I find it too much of a hassle. Before you can just go in, breastfeed, change the baby’s diapers and leave an optional thank you note in their notebook. Ngayon dapat mag-fill up ka pa ng form while holding a crying baby bago ka papasukin sa breastfeeding station. Not to mention nasa kasulok-sulukan pa ng malls yung breastfeeding station nila, and sometimes marumi at malamok.

  25. France Irish permalink
    December 7, 2011 5:27 pm

    Tama!!

  26. December 7, 2011 5:45 pm

    I’m trying to understand if that comment was meant to enrich the discussion or to humiliate the blogger. Which is it?

  27. December 7, 2011 5:54 pm

    i hope SM will take immediate action on this. i exclusively breastfeed my baby since he was born and until now that he is 20 months old. i also don’t use a cover when breastfeeding coz my baby feels uncomfortable with it. but i know how to discreetly do it and without exposing my breast. i love to shop at SM, good thing i didn’t experience that coz i always breastfeed my son at their department store.

  28. Bessie permalink
    December 7, 2011 6:48 pm

    This makes me think 2 things:

    1) SM’s breastfeeding initiative is nothing but PR, i.e. breastfeeding is not something they truly understand, appreciate, or respect. They probably got on the breastfeeding bandwagon because it was something that was gaining momentum, and something that would make them appear that they ‘care’. So probably, all those efforts : the breastfeeding station, breastfeeding talks sponsored by Baby Co., etc. are all for show. I was in a marketing for a good part of my life…this is not a very far-fetched idea. Companies do this to project that they have a heart, when all they really want is more sales.

    2) The breastfeeding stations were built NOT to primarily to make it convenient for nursing mothers, but to protect the rest of the shoppers who might find breastfeeding in public appalling. In other words, hide those nursing moms somewhere secluded where no one can see their shameful act of nurturing.

    What a disappointment.

  29. Lee permalink
    December 7, 2011 6:51 pm

    It’s either a mix-up in policies or SM is embarrassed that breastfeeding mothers would cause a public spectacle. If its the later, what dirty minds they have! Regardless, it shows that Filipinos (men and women) have a long way to go trying to comprehend the breast is for something else other than ‘sex’. I think people should tweet this or post this on the pages of news networks like GMA 7. Or make this article viral. That’s the only way SM will respond.

    Besides, SM breastfeeding rooms normally fit around 2-4 people and is tucked away together with their clinic like an after thought….have they seen how many people actually go to their malls?

  30. camille permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:05 pm

    I cannot understand why some people get uncomfortable seeing a breastfeeding mum, when it is the most natural thing in the world. Breasts are made for the one reason that is to feed a baby. I get so angry when I read things like these. Why would you prohibit a breastfeeding baby to eat anywhere when other people can eat anywhere they please. I am a staunch supporter of breastfeeding, I breastfed my eldest til he was 3 1/2, and is currently breastfeeding my 8 month old and will be doing so until she wants to (will be hard work since i will be going back to work in a few days). I breastfeed everywhere – in the bus, in the train, in the library, malls – everywhere. don’t care if anybody gives me an odd look cos hey i’m doing what is right for my little one.

  31. December 7, 2011 7:33 pm

    When and why (Oh God) did breastfeeding become offensive to others?!?

    Even if the breast is exposed it’s not out there to titillate (pun intended) or offend anyone. It’s not there for public consumption (again with the pun), just the baby’s.

    And LodRose, no offense but I cant imagine why anyone would be bothered or made uncomfortable by the sight of a breastfeeding mom.

    There is no sense of entitlement in Eli’s statement about moms having the right to chose whether or not to cover up while breastfeeding – because they are entitled to make their choice. Their baby. Their boob. The one who’s bothered by it should be the one to look away.

    • December 7, 2011 11:07 pm

      No offense taken Tanya.

      Let me repeat, I personally support breastfeeding in public. But it is a given that it should come with at least some effort of discretion.

      As we respect the mom and kid’s right to be fed whenever hungry, shouldn’t the public be extended the same courtesy by practicing a little discretion by some effort to be discreet about it?

      People would not need to look away if there’s nothing to look away from in the 1st place, and not because it’s appalling or an embarrassment.

      I wouldn’t take it against the mom if she really can’t cover herself, but the aggressive message of “I’m sticking my boob out to feed my kid NOW! Don’t look – you freak!” (when it was all an accidental glance that cannot be avoided on public areas) does not get any sympathy from me.

      • Eliza permalink
        December 9, 2011 6:43 am

        None of these women use a cover. What do you think?

        http://breastfeedingandlactivism.blogspot.com/2009/11/posters-from-new-zealand-breastfeeding.html

      • Breastfeeding Mom permalink
        December 9, 2011 2:35 pm

        No, the public should not be entitled to that courtesy. It is the moms who are entitled to the courtesy of no judgments. It’s your problem that you are embarrassed, not the mom’s. The embarrassment people feel from seeing a mom’s breastfeed was a result of the campaign for formula milk. Formula is like the forbidden fruit that made Adam and Eve embarrassed that they were naked.

        See if you still think this way after you’ve tried to breastfeed your baby.

    • Alexis permalink
      December 8, 2011 9:37 am

      Regardless of whether or not we do understand why some people are offended by public breastfeeding and the sight of breasts (doing nature’s purpose), we have to realize the FACT that there are people out there who are offended or are made uncomfortable.
      It would be equally wrong to disregard the feelings and rights of these people. I believe in breastfeeding, I have breastfed both my daughters and I would usually do it whenever or wherever my daughter would demand it, not caring whether it’s ok or not to the person(s) near me. But see, us breastfeeding moms saying “you people shouldn’t get offended seeing mother’s breastfeeding” is the exact equivalent (albeit opposite) of “them” saying “don’t breastfeed in public, it’s offensive”. Opposite sides of the coin. So if do value our right(s), we should also value theirs, regardless of how wrong we think they are. As LodRose said courtesy runs both ways.

  32. victoria permalink
    December 7, 2011 7:55 pm

    so disgusting. here in cebu, di ko nga alam nasaan ang breastfeeding station nila. what if gutom na ang baby ko, hahanapin ko pa ba yon? who cares if i breastfeed in public. makipag away talaga ako. hmp!

  33. December 7, 2011 8:33 pm

    I’m very sad to hear about this and I look forward to hearing what sm management has to say. It takes courage to breastfeed in public and I hope this incident will not discourage bur rather inspire moms to prove that there’s nothing wrong with it. Thanks so much for the initiative.

  34. December 7, 2011 9:44 pm

    If you are uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding then don’t look. Why would anyone tell a mother to stop feeding her child?

  35. karen permalink
    December 7, 2011 9:57 pm

    i dont know which is better — SM having breastfeeding stations (and yet their personnel treating mothers this way) ….or Ayala Malls which have no facility for breastfeeding.

    • sinisterspark permalink
      December 8, 2011 10:52 am

      In glorietta you can use the family lounge which has teo cubicles dedicated for breastfeeding/ pumping. Dunno lang abt other ayala malls.

  36. marlboro runner permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:12 pm

    if i were there with my wife breastfeeding our baby, ako mismo magpapatawag ng manager at sabihing bawal. then ill show them the breastfeeding act. gutom si baby then deal with it.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 11:14 pm

      It’s nice to hear from such supportive husbands such as yourselves. You guys are powerful allies for the advocacy! #award

  37. Bituin Gallana permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:37 pm

    Thank you for speaking in behalf of all breastfeeding mothers. I appreciate it. Is it ok to repost some points that you’ve made? Thank you.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 11:13 pm

      Of course. πŸ™‚ Thank you for speaking out.

  38. Cats permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:57 pm

    Hmm… disappointing incident definitely. Not in defense of SM Megamall or anything, but I frequent the mall (ever since giving birth December last year) and have been seen quite often by SM personnel, including guards, breastfeeding everywhere and anywhere. In fairness I’ve experienced no such incident. I’ve only used the bfeeding station once. Maybe it was an isolated occurrence? (I hope?)

    • Eliza permalink
      December 7, 2011 11:13 pm

      Neither have I. We’re in Megamall most of the time because of business or something or the other on the gallery floor and I’ve sung praises for SM many times. That’s why I am still hopeful something positive will come out of this.

  39. marian permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:13 pm

    don’t they know of the magna carta for women that breastfeeding is promoted by the state? SM should get pinged for that..this is gender discrimination! why is the media and politicians not all over this???

  40. marian permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:14 pm

    don’t they know of the magna carta for women that breastfeeding is promoted by the state? SM should get pinged for that..this is gender discrimination! why are the media and politicians not all over this???

  41. December 7, 2011 11:16 pm

    I breastfed my son for one year. Kahit saan, kung saan kami abutan. Nasa tao naman na tumitingin yun. If you’re not comfortable seeing a woman breastfeed – and then don’t look!

    May I share your open letter to SM on my blog? I cannot believe how breastfeeding is thought of offensive!

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:30 am

      yes please. Thanks for your courage! πŸ™‚

  42. Bave permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:20 pm

    such a pain in the eyes reading incidents like this. Im saddened by how hypocrite these mall managements been. They just put up the nursing station so as to tell everyone that THEY SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING or they are BREAST FEEDING FRIENDLY establishment but THEYRE NOT!

    I have availed their stations for the past three years Ive been nursing my son (2 years ago) by choice and nurse my child outside of it also by choice. I hope with this collective effort we can send our message not only just to SM but to all public establishment how important our advocacy is.

  43. ana permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:20 pm

    who cares kung makita at ma expose ang breast ko, as a mom i have to tend to the needs of my child first and that is to feed him whenever and wherever he likes. eh sa probinsiya nga eh kahit saan puwede at di pa uso mga nursing wear.

  44. Ethel permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:26 pm

    I commend you for being so calm with your open letter. I can just imagine the kind of restraint you had to muster when you wrote it! I am so angry just reading about these stories of fellow breastfeeding moms. Wherever, whenever they want to breastfeed is every mom and baby’s rights.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:29 am

      Thanks. I don’t want this to be a blame-fest. I don’t think a boycott is smart nor practical. What I think is that SM should live up to our expectations as a family-friendly establishment. Nakikita naman nila our passion. We’re willing to be part of the solution! So much feedback for improvement from the comments here alone.

  45. Chi permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:40 pm

    Came across a link to this article in FB. I am so angry!!! Anoba??? It’s a struggle enough for women who can’t breastfeed as easily as others, then you get harassed when you breastfeed in public? I, for one, have breastfed my baby EVERYWHERE –in malls, in parks, in CHURCHES, in markets, in vehicles. sa restroom na lang yata ako hindi nakakapag-breastfeed.

    Personally, though, while I’ve already tried breastfeeding in SM malls, both in and outside their BF stations, I have never been approached by a guard and stopped from feeding my child. Otherwise, like a previous comment mentioned, nahampas ko sya nang bonggang bongga. I am not averse to making a scene if I feel my rights are being trampled on. And it is my right to feed my child when and where I want.

    I am not an exclusive BFeeder because my supply couldn’t really keep up with her demands, however much I tried, so I feed my daughter directly as often and as much as I can. She is now 2 and still feeds from me at night and in the morning. And I will breastfeed her in public every time she wants to.

    Thank you for sharing this. Will forward this to my friends.

    I am likewise looking forward to SM’s response.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:27 am

      I would never want you to nurse in a restroom. Hindi naman tayo kumakain sa banyo diba?

      • Chi permalink
        December 8, 2011 10:23 am

        hehehe. I know someone kasi dito sa office who pumps her milk in the restroom, and I am discouraging her. Sabi ko, parang hindi naman sanitary to pump in the restroom kahit pa laging may attendant to clean up. In the context of your reply, hindi naman tayo nagluluto sa banyo, di ba? πŸ˜€

  46. marian permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:54 pm

    What we can do is post this on walls of celebrities and politicians you subscribed to on social networks! hopefully enough notice will be created for them to take notice and investigate the matter and create a law that protects the rights of nursing mothers to breastfeed their children anywhere anytime! help spread awareness!! stop this outrage against nursing mothers! i posted this on abs, gma (network), pnoys website and tom o’s fb. I doubt they will take notice but maybe if a lot of people will demand they will not ignore this.

  47. Angelica permalink
    December 8, 2011 12:00 am

    Grrr.. I am furious right now. I breastfed my first until I got pregnant with my second(7mos) whom I am breastfeeding right at this moment and it makes my blood boil because of those people who are so narrow minded about these things. Does SM’s campaign for breastfeeding all for show?!? Two years ago, when I found out that SM Malls already have a breastfeeding station, I got the courage to go to the mall with my family which I did very rarely because I was still ashamed of “showing my boob out in public”. I had to use a nursing cover which is so much hassle because my baby is not comfortable with it. Excited as I was about the breastfeeding station(SM City Dasmarinas) which means I don’t have to use the cover, I was so disappointed to see that it was closed so I had no other choice but to find a place to sit and breastfeed my baby. So now with my second, I don’t intend to use the cover ever again and already have the courage to breastfeed anywhere. Whatever happened to the breastfeeding station in SM Dasma? Well every time I go there, it’s closed but I never mind anymore. I hope more mothers, especially first timers would support breastfeeding so this kind of foolishness will end.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:26 am

      I salute your courage, fellow breastfeeding mom! πŸ™‚

  48. December 8, 2011 12:17 am

    Still no feedback from SM? They’re always so inconsistent with their message. Nakakairita rin sobra yung mga staff nilang walang common sense & courtesy.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:26 am

      None yet! Let’s give them time!

  49. Candice permalink
    December 8, 2011 12:36 am

    As an editor of a parenting site, I made sure to tackle this topic — from a legal perspective. I don’t run the site anymore but the articles (written end of 2009, when the latest breastfeeding act was passed) are still live. Hope they help:

    http://www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/breastfeeding/public-places-expert/
    http://www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-rights/

    To quote from the articles: “No one has the right to stop you from breastfeeding in public. The law says you are free to breastfeed anywhere you please.”

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 12:37 am

      Thank you for sharing these Candice!

      • Candice permalink
        December 8, 2011 12:42 am

        Sorry, I meant written end of 2010. Also, the references (RAs, DOH statement, etc) are noted. Just click on “Show References”.

        Hope the issue gets resolved.

  50. Nadia permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:20 am

    Sana media will get involve on this hindi yun kung ano anong walang kwentang issue pinag uusapan nila. Why through them ipamahagi nila sa buong pilipinas na me batas about breastfeeding in the public. so that people like those guards na walang common sense hindi yata nagbreastfeed sa nanay nya noong araw o kaya walang kamaganak na nagbrebreastfeed ay maliterate.

  51. December 8, 2011 1:51 am

    I love how diplomatic you are in this post… unfortunately, I am not in my blog post, hehe

    http://www.mecasmom.com/2011/12/shame-on-sm-management.html

    Hopefully, there would be a lot of improvements in SM’s breastfeeding policies (like, hello, mixing it with the clinic? even if nobody uses the clinic, the message is… germs will be there in that confined space, so why would I take my baby there?)

    And can malls just take up my breastfeeding benches idea? Haha.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 2:08 am

      I actually love the benches idea!!

  52. Chino permalink
    December 8, 2011 4:35 am

    I believe that the security personel approached the nursing mom in a polite manner. If not, the nursing mom should have reported this to SM Supermalls Administration Of SM mega mall. It is the right of every mom to feed their child any time and any where…maybe the security personel is just concerned with the mother (her boobie might sliped away or someone is watcjing her as she feeds her child) Let us all be happy that at every SM Supermalls they have a breastfeeding station.

  53. ProudMomma permalink
    December 8, 2011 8:21 am

    RIDICULOUS!!!!! No offense to bottle feeding moms out there, but if their little ones start crying, why can they just whip out their bottles anytime, anywhere? Don’t breastfed babies have the same right?

    I hope the next post I get to read is how we can nurse publicly without all those unwanted stares or glares from the public or even just the update on the response of the SM Management. I surely hope that its a positive one. I have scanned the RA10028, but is there a provision on breastfeeding in public? I know that some countries don’t consider breastfeeding as indecent exposure and they allow moms to nurse anywhere they prefer. (for the author of this post) Hope you can enlighten me on this one, so in case some guard or person approaches me and tells me to take my boob and baby somewhere else, I can recite my rights as a nursing mom.

    Posting a link from YouTube (New Zealand breastfeeding awareness ad), for those moms who feel, felt or who will feel bad being reprimanded on breastfeeding in public. I hope that one day (and soon) all Filipinos will be supportive of breastfeeding. enjoy!

    For all the nursing moms out there: you are doing great… I am so proud of all the sacrifices that you are making to give the best for your babies.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 10:43 am

      Yes, there is legislation in other countries protecting moms breastfeeding in public. They can be charged with lewd conduct and it is considered a felony in some. Even the act of telling a mom to cover up is considered against the law.

      For starters, here’s the breastfeeding legislation per state in the US: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389

      I hope someday we’ll have something as explicit.

  54. Mac permalink
    December 8, 2011 11:28 am

    My motto has always been, have bench (or chair) will breastfeed. And I have done so in the most unusual places! My favorite spot in greenbelt 5 is by the steps at the center of the mall. Another more unusual place is in between rows of shoes at Payless shoe store. The sales lady was kind enough to bring me shoes to try on while I fed my daughter!

    I hope this incident does not mean moms are now confined to breastfeeding in nursing stations just because a mall put one up. Using these rooms should be a CHOICE and not mandatory.

  55. Meg Prime permalink
    December 8, 2011 12:41 pm

    In my view, SM is a melting pot of sorts.

    It welcomes all sorts of people in its portals. I see people belonging to various cultures and religions patronizing their malls. For me, I think the management is just looking after the interests of ALL their customers.

    Not all cultures and religions would find breastfeeding in public to be in accordance with their sensitivities.

    That is why SM Management built the Breastfeeding Stations for the benefit of mothers who would like to breastfeed their babies.

    I think the point is that their management would like to ensure that NO SINGLE CUSTOMER will feel alienated or offended when they use all PUBLIC AREAS and FACILITIES.

    • Allison permalink
      December 8, 2011 4:58 pm

      if that’s the case SM should also enforce a strict dress code. cause sometimes those revealing clothes some mall-goers wear are offensive for some religions/cultures. and besides the mom who encountered the harassment was doing it discretely and was in fact wearing a nursing top. it’s not as if she’s bearing her breasts for everyone to see.

      If SM Management wants breastfeeding mothers to use the breastfeeding station, they should have made them more accessible and not place it in one side of the building. what will you do with your screaming hungry baby? tell him to wait while you rush to the other side of the mall?

      • December 9, 2011 12:36 pm

        I agree. I’m a regular SM customer and a breastfeeding mom myself. As much as I would like to use their breastfeeding facilities whenever my baby would demand to be fed – the station is either at the farthest end of the mall or closed because the medical personnel is not in the clinic. They usually have to call another guard (who would happen to be on another floor or opposite end of the building) to bring over the spare key. If the guard was so concerned about someone staring at the mother while she was breastfeeding – hindi ba dapat yung nakatingin ang nilapitan nya at pinaalis? In my opinion, it’s more offending to stare at someone you have no business looking at than feeding a hungry baby. Just my two cents.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 8, 2011 8:57 pm

      Nope that’s not SM’s stand at all. Is it yours?

  56. Marilen permalink
    December 8, 2011 4:38 pm

    This is crazy! Have they replied? Please tag or copy me when you get a reply and let me know what I can do to help. Great job Eli!

  57. December 8, 2011 6:13 pm

    Occupy SM! Breastfeed in protest! I wonder what SM would do if they have a deluge of lactating moms in their food court?

    Seriously, as much as SM welcomes people from various cultures and religions~ nasa Pinas pa rin tayo! Since when did breastfeeding become offensive sa mga pinoys in general? Mas child and mom friendly ang bansa natin compared sa West.

    No Mom should be put in that position, breastfeeding is taxing enough lalo na if you’re trying to keep your milk supply consistent. Breastfeed babies require hourly feedings, I feel for you, Sis 😦
    Also where exactly is this breastfeeding station located? I have not encountered one. I can just imagine how tiresome it would be looking for one in SM MOA.

    • December 8, 2011 9:12 pm

      I was actually thinking of the same thing. Go to SM as a group and breastfeed in public.

      It’s frustrating because I always thought that they are breastfeeding friendly….NOT!! I was also enraged because the mother who was reprimanded is a friend of mine. If it was “bawal” to sit in that area without buying anything, then the guard should have said so. He may have used the excuse that breastfeeding in public is forbidden…and he has to mind his tone too.

      If they forbid breastfeeding moms to nurse in public then they might as well forbid those formula feeding moms to mix the formula milk in public. Don’t get me wrong. I still think breastfeeding is a choice but what can you do if your baby is hungry? Just listen to them wail while you look for the lone breastfeeding station inside the mall? There’s only one breastfeeding station in MOA btw. And can you imagine the size of the mall?

      I don’t care. I will still nurse my toddler in public.

  58. Meg Prime permalink
    December 8, 2011 7:44 pm

    Am not a part of SM Management but in my opinion, they were just performing their duty “as a good father/mother of a family” in trying to balance out the interests of their customers.

    For example, a mother of 5 children with different interests, preferences and beliefs will definitely ensure that all of them will get equal treatment and will try not to show favoritism and not side with anyone.

    Same is true with the SM Management, they will ensure that the interests of Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, Protestants and Iglesia Ni Cristos will be protected kasi nga, their customers belong to these diverse and divergent groups.

    Breastfeeding mothers are also customers of SM, that is why they catered to the needs of this sector by building those Breastfeeding Stations. But we should remember that that is just what they are…a SECTOR within the large customer base of SM.

    There are other sectors that do not share the needs of the Breastfeeding mothers….so their interests will also have to be protected and taken care of by the SM Management.

    • Richmom permalink
      December 14, 2011 10:27 am

      @megprime, I have a feeling that you don’t have children of your own and therefore have not experienced or know how a mom feels when her baby is crying and hungry. Most of the time we need to breastfeed on the spot.
      Even grown ups of all nationality and religion have the natural instinct to seek out food when hungry…it’s a basic necessity. So why can’t a baby be breastfed anywhere when hungry? While we grown ups can delay our need to eat, you can’t tell a baby to wait.
      Breastfeeding Stations are like an added perk to breastfeeding moms who shop in malls..it doesn’t mean that that’s the only place we can breastfeed in. Just like Eliza said in her updated post after speaking with the SM director of Breastfeeding… If you have a reserved parking space alloted for you, does that mean you can’t park anywhere else?

  59. annabc permalink
    December 8, 2011 8:37 pm

    They are the ones who should be penalized for not allowing this. It only shows that still a lot of people are ot aware of what breastfeeding really is. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, it’s most natural thing to do. Any person who is hungry can grab food anywhere in the mall. This is discrimination to the breastfeeding moms and most definitely this is discrimination to the babies!

  60. December 8, 2011 9:59 pm

    I hope the management will start shedding light on this matter. And they should put more breastfeeding stations, not just one and in the farthest corner of the mall.

  61. concon permalink
    December 8, 2011 11:21 pm

    this is upsetting. if I may share, I find the staff at the BFding station near National Bookstore (SM Megamall), quite rude.

    2 lang sila na staff. My yaya was with me, bit bit mga gamit ni baby, bag and all. SO i do understand and respect na bawala may kasama sa loob ng BFding station. So I told yaya jen to wait for us sa labas ng door, may mga bakante chairs naman. I needed the assistance of Yaya jen kais super likot baby ko while bfding… I wanted her to be within reach sana…. ayun, sinungitan kami ng staff and talagang pinalabas at pinatayo sa yaya jen sa labas… to think na 2 lang sila na staff na nagdadaldalan at maraming vacant chairs inside.

    ay my blood is boiling, recalling this incident.

  62. December 9, 2011 1:03 am

    good job on the letter, eliza! even going to SM w sina paola and nona is one big step. i hope they respond and implement changes in their policy soon.
    been breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere in sm, yan pala, hindi pala ako nahuhuli!

  63. December 9, 2011 3:47 am

    I just noticed that the last two commenters who’ve sided w/ the SM guard both have this habit of EMPHASIZING with ALLCAPS. Parang iisang tao lang nagco-comment. Hmmm…

    SM has no right to stop women from breastfeeding in public; this is made clear in a link that was already posted here earlier (http://www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/breastfeeding/public-places-expert/). So for anyone to say SM is protecting the rights of those who may be offended by breastfeeding in public, here’s the simple truth: breastfeeding anywhere is protected by law, regardless of feelings and sentiments of others.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 9, 2011 4:31 am

      For this comment I will now give you my favorite hashtag: #award

  64. JAne Marcos permalink
    December 9, 2011 11:03 am

    I am a breastfeeding Mom too, it was dissapointing to know that SM has a policy too reprimand mother’s who breastfeed outside their breastfeeding area. I think the guards are just following the rules or what their superior told them to do so but he has to be polite and practice being a father or put himself on that situation. I am sure he has a mother, sister or wife who also practice breastfeeding.

  65. sunshine permalink
    December 9, 2011 11:37 am

    being a student nurse before, I’ve learned about the importance of breastfeeding on demand, they should know about it. Babies should be fed whenever wherever they wanted to whether it’s on public or wheresoever.

  66. Breastfeeding Mom permalink
    December 9, 2011 12:32 pm

    Thanks to formula companies like Nestle, many have become uncomfortable seeing moms breastfeed. My friend’s mom in law said breastfeeding is so backward and makes her look like a promdi. It’s society’s problem they are awkward seeing breastfeeding in public. Let it not be a problem or awkward for the mom. 50 years ago, moms would breastfeed even in the jeepneys. Kung awkward ka, de wag kang tumingin! Ikaw ang may problema, hindi ang nanay. Why should I compromise the best food for my baby because you are awkward.

    I like the nurse-in idea! It will send a message both to SM and the public that it is all right to breastfeed in public with or without a cover! Di ba crime ito to stop or embarrass a mom from breastfeeding?

    I proudly breastfed my two girls, now teens, for a total of 27 months. That they are healthy, intelligent, emotionally stable, confident, I credit to breastfeeding.

    SM has to make this right, otherwise it would seem that breastfeeding is only an image campaign and not an issue they take to heart. I sent this message to my friend from SM who may help. I will keep posted for the reply.

  67. December 9, 2011 1:13 pm

    Thanks for posting about this. Shared your blog entry to my friends who are/were from SM admin. I was told they’re already looking into it. Maybe if we call the attention of enough people “up” there, they will finally get a response from them. Please update us if anything comes up from your end.

  68. Joedi Jalandoni permalink
    December 9, 2011 10:24 pm

    It’s really a shame for SM malls to be doing this.

    My wife is a breastfeeding advocate she has been exclusively breastfeeding our twenty three month old daughter ever since she was born. We frequent malls every weekend with our daughter and she breastfeeds in public every time. So far we never had any experience like what was posted. We were in Hong Kong weeks ago and my wife would even breastfeed in the MTR, the malls, while standing in line for a ride in the Disneyland Resort or even while literally walking in the street. We never got any stares or negative comments from anybody.

    I have also been encouraging the new mothers in our office to breastfeed just like my wife. I would explain the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and their newborn child. It would usually take me some time to “convince” them to breastfeed considering that I’m male but because of my position and my stories about my wife’s successful experience in breastfeeding, I have managed to influence some new mothers to breastfeed. It’s a shame that a lot of them were not properly informed and encouraged by their OBs and pedias to breastfeed.

    What the SM malls are doing will even make it hard for me to convince other new mothers in our office to start breastfeeding.

    We are with you in this fight.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 9, 2011 10:35 pm

      It’s so nice to hear from the dads of breastfeeding families! Keep up the good work spreading the word about breastfeeding! If you need any assistance, send me a message and we’ll have our counseling team help out whoever you refer.

      There’s an update on the SM issue. Please check the latest post!

      • Joedi Jalandoni permalink
        December 9, 2011 10:40 pm

        Thanks! Just read your latest post. Good job!

  69. riya15 permalink
    December 10, 2011 10:42 am

    Mommy Mona told us the story about the incident. It is quite disturbing. To think that years ago, I have seen many moms breastfeeding their baby’s in public. On my part, I think that SM should review their policies and educate their staff. And the public should also be taught that its not indecent to breastfeed in public and should know about the rights of a breastfeeding mum so that they will be aware.

    I am a breastfeeding mom din to my 5 month old baby. I feed him at home before we go to the mall kasi alam ko na gugutomin siya dun and that he will refuse his bottle kasi he wants to directly feed on my breast. There were incidents na nagwawala na talaga sya dahil sa gutom, and pag ang baby eh gutom, gutom talaga yan, you can never tell them to wait.

    My problem with SM Cagayan de Oro is that they do not have any breastfeeding stations. So nung nagwawala na ang baby ko, takbo2x pa ako sa paghahanap ng place kung saan pwede ako makaupo para mag breastfeed sa kanya, while he was already crying and cranky. Buti nalang the gf of my cousin works in one of the stores in sm, kaya dun ako nakaupo and nakapag breastfeed. I just hope that SM CDO will have breastfeeding stations or at least lounge man lang para pwede mag breastfeed anytime.

    Miss Eli, I hope you could address this sa SM management sa pagpunta nyo ngayon, na walang breastfeeding station sa sm cdo.

    Thank you so much and I hope that your meeting with them will have positive feedbacks.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 14, 2011 10:33 pm

      SM read all our comments. Do let me know when a station pops up in CDO!

  70. December 12, 2011 5:29 pm

    Hi Eliza, this is Steph Esguerra, staff writer for smartparenting.com.ph. We are very much interested in letting the greater public know about your experience breastfeeding in SM, as we can tell this is also the constant dilemma of other nursing moms. If you could kindly e-mail me your contact details and perhaps we can schedule an interview soon? Thank you! Hope to hear from you.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 13, 2011 3:46 am

      Hi Steph! Sent you an email. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  71. bing permalink
    December 14, 2011 1:54 pm

    for me, there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. gutom na yung baby mo, hahanap ka pa ba ng pagka-layo-layong breastfeeding station? as long as you have a scarf or cloth for cover. SM is trying to be revamp their malls to make it more accommodating that’s why they made breastfeeding stations. but the management has been ignorant and inflexible as to set a rule that it is only allowed in the breastfeeding stations. it defeats their intention to make the mall more accommodating to customers.

    • Eliza permalink
      December 14, 2011 10:32 pm

      I’m glad everything has been resolved though. Thanks for the support! πŸ™‚

  72. Mimi permalink
    May 30, 2012 2:38 pm

    I want to know what happened to your complaint. Can I just say SM should be blamed on this. But I have to say, security guards are rude these days. They don’t know how to treat customers well. Even salesladies. I’m not saying, all of them, but most of them are bad-mannered. I know they are uneducated but it doesn’t mean you must be disrespectful too. I think SM should train their people beforehand especially regarding with their manners.

    For instance:

    Scene in SM North.

    Girl: Guard nasaan yung Forever 21 na boutique?
    Lady Guard: The block po, Ma’am.
    Girl: Ok thank you…
    Lady guard: (silently whispered) Ambisyosang palaka si ate…

  73. December 28, 2012 2:59 am

    I breastfed my baby at the breastfeeding station of SM here in Las Pinas. Apparently, the nurse just really got into my nerves! She was so tamad, masungit and not helpful at all! sinabihan lang akong wag ko kalimutan maglog sa logbook nila! wow! that’s the least of my problems when I needed her help more when I was there. So SM, kung sinasabi nyo na bawal magbreastfeed in public at may ginawa na kayong breastfeeding stations, pwes, baka naman gusto nyong itrain ang mga nurse and staff nyo na nagbabantay sa stations na ito!
    Shame on you for harassing a breastfeeding mom!

  74. Anna permalink
    June 1, 2013 3:56 pm

    Well said!

    If my baby is hungry and already crying, I will feed him – whenever, wherever.

  75. Winlove permalink
    December 13, 2013 9:51 am

    i havent checked if there are any developments re:this incident..but because im so pissed by what that employee said to the mommy and because i go to sm malls most of the time and i also BF.. i researched and found this:

    “We also give mothers an option to breastfeed their children at any location in our malls and have trained our staff to assist them so that they can nurse their children comfortably. ”

    this is SM. on their Program on Women and Breastfeeding 》 http://smsupermalls.com/programwomenandbreastfeeding

  76. Joy permalink
    December 28, 2014 3:00 am

    I don’t see why breastfeeding is offensive when it is a natural way of feeding. It is offensive to the baby if someone interrupts him taking his milk. My boy is 5 months now and we’ve been breastfeeding since birth. I breastfeed in restaurants, in the car, and often times in church. Nobody ever told me that it was offensive. In fairness to SM City Cebu, I also tried breastfeeding in the children’s department while waiting for the salesman to assemble the stroller that my husband and I wanted to buy. I wasn’t informed of the Breastfeeding Station (I’ve read that it’s far from the children’s section) but the salesman was kind to offer me a chair to sit on while breastfeeding. Exposing the breasts in order to breastfeed is nothing to be ashamed of, we breastfeeding mothers should be proud that we are sources of nourishment.

  77. Joy permalink
    May 5, 2015 11:53 am

    So far wala pa namang sumita sa akin and my baby is now 13months. We breastfeed anytime, anywhere ( strike anytime, anywhere). If ever mangyari yan sa akin ewan ko na lang. Lagi ko sinasabi, i take my breast out not for people to see but to feed my baby when she needs to be feed. Baka tatarayan ko ang sisita sa akin lalo na pag di ko alam or malayo pa ang bf station. Bakit ko gugutumin anak ko and have her wait na makarating pa kami ng area ng bf station when I can feed her naman while on the go or anywhere. HELLO? I breastfeed even in restaurant too. Wala akong paki sa ibang nakakakita. And LordRose, I nurse in public without cover ( i bought nursing cover) because my daughter dont like it at napakainit dito sa atin 5mins pa lang for sure pawisan na anak ko. It is not indecent to breastfeed in public.

Trackbacks

  1. The Problem with Breastfeeding Stations | The Lazy Mama
  2. The Right To Breastfeed: An Open Letter to the SM Supermalls … – Your Guide To Breastfeeding
  3. Breastfeeding Station – SM North EDSA « mom at home
  4. Can you Breastfeed in SM Supermalls? | Embracing Everyday

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