You’d think that the hospitality industry would be pretty accommodating if you ask where in a hotel you can pump milk. I mean, how often have you had a workshop or conference at a hotel?
I was scheduled to attend a day-long workshop at Novotel Manila in Araneta Center, Quezon City. I emailed to inquire about a place where I could pump my milk.
Me: Good afternoon! I am attending a whole day workshop at Novotel in Araneta Center tomorrow. I would like to ask where I can go for some privacy so I can pump breast milk.
Please be advised that the most private area in the 3rd Floor is the restroom. You may also book a room for 6 hours at PHP 2,783.00.
Me: It is incredibly unacceptable to suggest that I pump breast milk in the restroom. Would you tell a guest to take their meal in the bathroom?
Is there an empty function room or conference room, or even a business center that can be used for this purpose? The clinic, perhaps? Pumping only takes 15 minutes.
Please accept our sincerest apologies on this matter. We have coordinated this to our higher management and we are pleased to inform you that we will allow you to use our clinic located at the employee’s area. Please approach our Duty Manager should you wish to use it. Once again, we sincerely apologize for this matter.
Thank you. This is better.
For your reference, I have made the same request at different hotels and venues, and none of them have suggested that I use the bathroom or check into a room.
Shangri-La at the Fort offered the use of the breastfeeding room at Kerry Sports Manila.
Legend Villas and Crowne Plaza both offered the use of their business centers.
Even the AIM Conference Center allowed the use of either an empty function room or their clinic.
Almost all malls have either breastfeeding rooms or clinics where breastfeeding mothers can feed or pump.
Rustan’s department store always has a breastfeeding room of its own.
Even Shopwise, at least in Santana Grove, Parañaque, has a breastfeeding room.
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I think they eventually figured out I was rather upset.
I went to the workshop early, and I asked where the clinic was. I found out that it was quite far from the workshop venue. However, the hotel’s business center was right beside our workshop room. I talked to the staff , and she agreed that I could pump there if nobody else was using the facilities. Such a simple solution!