Last week we went to Healthway clinic in Festival Mall Alabang. After the consultation, I needed to feed Lucas.
Before we went there, I’d checked online for a breastfeeding lounge at the mall. I found nothing, so I was surprised when I saw a sign at the concierge saying that there was a breastfeeding lounge at the food court.
Coming from the clinic, we went to look for the breastfeeding lounge. It wasn’t really easy to find. The maintenance staff didn’t know where it was. When we reached the food court, there was one tiny sign pointing to a door leading to the breastfeeding room.
As soon as we walked through that door, I was dismayed. It looked like those hallways intended only for the use of maintenance staff, and so it was grey, bare and unwelcoming. I hoped the breastfeeding room itself would be more cheerful.
It was not.
A security guard led us to the room, unlocking it and letting us in.
It was essentially a clinic, and the mall administration had simply added a curtain for privacy. It was cold and inhospitable.
As with most breastfeeding lounges, only the mother and the child are allowed inside. Oneal usually insists on coming in with us and helping us settle down, then he exits and waits for us outside.
The security guard waited till Oneal was done, and escorted him out, leaving us alone in the room.
As I fed Lucas, I read the breastfeeding policy. I wondered how many employees at Festival Mall Alabang are actually able to breastfeed and pump milk, and what kind of support their employers provide. If the breastfeeding room was any indication, it wasn’t very encouraging.