Welcome to the Milk Lounge
It isn’t easy being a nursing mother.
Carrying around a child for nine months and then finally giving birth are both extremely arduous tasks that only certain women will ever understand. These events only mark the start of a lifetime of work and love yet to come.
When it comes to newborns, the first few months can seem like an eternity. Working mothers are expected to get their professional lives back on track while dealing with their postpartum recovery and taking essential care of their newborn. The hardest step of all, that working and full-time moms alike understand, is how hard the rest of the world makes nursing a newborn.
Now, a new establishment is hoping to make life easier for new moms everywhere while also tackling the terrible stigmas that come with nursing.
A Brief History of Breastfeeding
Should you choose to breastfeed, most experts recommend doing it for about six months without giving your child any other food or drink. Afterwards, it’s up to mothers (and their bodies) to decide how much longer to keep breastfeeding, all while introducing new foods to their babies.
Unfortunately for new moms, societies around the world do not think highly of the practice, thanks to longstanding stigmas.
Since Ancient Times, the idea that breastfeeding is too “common” or a practice of the lower class has prevented many mothers, especially of higher classes, to do so. They often employed wet nurses in their stead. This attitude especially took off in North America by the end of the 19th century, and formulas became the popular choice for new mothers to feed their babies until after WWII. From the 1960s onward, more mothers returned to breastfeeding, but unfortunately we still see the shame associated with it, often taken out on the mother by strangers.
Nursing in Public
These days, chances are you’ve heard numerous stories online or on the news about women who were harassed for breastfeeding in public (or trying to). It may surprise you to learn, then, that breastfeeding in public is legal in all 50 states.
In 1999, the Federal Government passed legislation that prohibited government funds from being used to stop women from breastfeeding on Federal property. Also passed was a law that clearly stated “a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.” While most states also have laws permitting mothers to nurse in any location, public or private, (Idaho is the exception), it’s still an issue that makes headlines. Women doing so are condemned as “inappropriate,” “unsanitary,” or even “promiscuous.”
Luckily, one business-savvy mom is hoping to provide a safe space for new moms, their infants, and the rest of their friends and family as well.
A New Solution
Meet 23-year-old Charlotte Purdie. After becoming a mom at 21, she quickly learned how easy it was to feel unwelcome as a nursing mother at coffee shops. Like many other moms before her, she soon became familiar with the pain and embarrassment of being told to breastfeed in private or leave public establishments if she needed to feed her child.
That’s when she decided to make a cafe specifically designed for new mothers and young families. Soon, the Milk Lounge was born. Now she’s turning it into a franchise.
Check out some pictures from the new establishments!