New nursing mothers have a lot to juggle, as they see to the needs of their babies first before even considering their own wants and needs. If you are going out to a restaurant or cafe with a friend who is a nursing mother, how can you show consideration for your friend so that she can enjoy herself more and relax?
The biggest concern for a nursing mother who is going out to a restaurant to eat is how she will be able to see to her baby’s needs. If the baby sleeps throughout the meal, then she will be able to relax with her friends and enjoy their company. However, if the baby is crying, needs to be fed or changed during the meal, she will feel more self-conscious about her baby and worry in case others in the restaurant are disturbed. Always keep in mind that a nursing mother will put her baby’s needs first, even if that means leaving the table two or three times during the meal to take care of her baby. Show consideration for the mother and her baby by helping her to collect her bag of supplies as she heads to the ladies toilets with her baby without making a fuss about the interruption. If she needs to leave the table straightaway, wait for her to return before ordering the meal, or else place your order and ask for the food to be delivered within 15 minutes or so, to allow the mother adequate time to care for her baby.
Friends can make a big difference in a nursing mother’s trip to a restaurant by offering to care for the baby by holding the baby or distracting the baby if it is crying so that the mother will have a break to eat her meal. Mothers with young babies often feel that they are ruining the outing for everyone else. But a true friend will never even suggest that the baby is a nuisance or that the mother should have left the baby at home with the father or a babysitter.
Nursing mothers should be supported and encouraged to enjoy themselves when they go out for a meal so that they can relax and make the most of their time spent with friends. If you make the slightest suggestion that the baby is causing a disturbance, the mother will feel guilty for even bringing her baby along or she might feel protective of her child and resentful at the remark and avoid coming out with you again in future. That is why kindness, compassion and empathy are required when taking a nursing mother out with you to a restaurant.