“We compel the Washington Nationals organization to consider this upgraded amenity to Nationals Park”


From Change.org:

“We realize it is not mandated by law that your facility provide any accommodations, however we implore the organization to consider the fans and their families who love coming to games with their nursing and bottle-fed babies, but do not want to be isolated from enjoying a game we have paid a ticket to see. Additionally, for mothers who may be away from their children for the extended period that a game lasts, it would be courteous for the Washington Nationals organization to provide a space for pumping mothers to take a break in a private, sanitary space to express milk as necessary while attending a baseball game.

An ideal sanctioned Family space in Nationals Park would be ADA-compliant and include:

Comfortable armchairs for the nursing and bottle-feeding parent
Outlets for plugging in breast pumps
Counter space for diaper changing
A sink, trash cans, possibly lockers for renting
HVAC temperature maintained at a level which would be comfortable in a Dressing Room type of environment
Possible adjacency to the children’s play area
Privacy from the passing crowd
Display and sound of the live baseball game

We compel the Washington Nationals organization to consider this upgraded amenity to Nationals Park in order to better provide the team’s fans with an experience and accommodations to be expected from a family-friendly organization.”

You can read the full petition here.

178 Comment

  • I would prefer if people not take their babies to games, or movies. Period. So I see not having these facilities as active discouragement of a massive distraction of everybody else trying to enjoy themselves.

    • 1) a baseball game is VASTLY different from a movie, seeing as how the MLB markets to families and 2) HAVING this discourages parents from keeping their crying baby near you – it’s a quiet place to go to both feed/soothe baby and keep angry baby away from people.
      I’d never bring my kid to a ball game because baseball games are boring as hell and the unhealthy nature of that much sun exposure at such a young age. But if I were, I’d LOVE a lounge. Kids can easily get overstimulated and act out as a result – a place to go and nurse or a clean place to change a diaper is always a good idea in a civilized society.

      • I stress the word BABIES. I don’t think parents get just how irratating babies can be to people around them. Personally, I would not mind creating outright bans on children under 4 or 5 for many places. If they cannot behave, they do not belong there. I consider babies an active public nussiance in almost all circumstances.

        • a 4 or 5 year old isn’t a BABY. And, pretty sure many people find the way most people behave and sporting events to be irritating.

          • Yeah, and they get kicked out. If I screamed in a public space to the point where other people were being disturbed, I would be at best asked to leave or at worst arrested. Why should it be different for children?

        • I would not mind creating an outright ban on bigots like you.

        • Wait, are you also advocating bans on all irritating people? No drunken bros, loud talkers, the social awkward, etc.

          Life is life and you can’t choose who you sit next to in a large crowd.

        • How do you feel about the drunks at Nationals games? Because I’m pretty sure that in my decade of attending Nats game I’ve never had a problem with babies, but there sure have been a whole lot of drunks that created an “active public nussiance (sic)” there.

          Sorry that I want to attend a baseball game with my daughter and pass on the love of the game. If you don’t want to be annoyed by other people, watch the game at home.

          Hoping you’re just trolling, but seriously….you want to ban KIDS from baseball games?

        • Don’t feed the troll

        • My baby slept through most of the games that we took him to during his first few months. That and nursed with me in an empty row. Definitely toddlers are a different story, but parents should be responsible with either getting them out of their seats if they are rowdy (walking around the park, etc) and/or giving them french fries to occupy their mouths/hands.

    • also, I once had to attend a attend (voluntold) a baseball game with my office while I was a nursing mother. My child wasn’t with me. I had to bring expressed milk with me – with friggin’ ice packs and all – to the game. And couldn’t stay because I had to go home and nurse (or back to work and pump). It would be nice if moms didn’t have to decide and could instead go out with friends/coworkers AND pump/store

      • THIS. I don’t even have kids and I’ve heard that’s a huge frustration.

      • Why did you have to bring milk with you if you didn’t have your child? Maybe you meant take milk away with you from the game??

        • Because I was coming from work to an afternoon game, where I had pumped during the day and needed to bring it with me to the game in order to then bring it home. So no, that’s not what I meant.

  • How about no. And while you’re at it, get rid of the children’s play area. The power of give me a god damn break compels you!.

  • As someone who had to hand express to relieve pressure during a much welcomed trip to the ballpark without my baby, I and the toilet seats and floors of the National’s Park restrooms heartily endorse this message.

  • ah

    Wouldn’t renting a luxury box fit the bill?

    Or is this petition really “we want skybox amenities for bleacher prices”?

    • This was exactly my thought. I’m sorry but even legitimately disabled people don’t get treatment as special as what this group of parents is asking for. The world does not revolve around you and your kids…

    • A lactation room is not the same as wanting “skybox amenities for bleacher prices.” Pretty sure this commenter is a troll. However, while I am not a parent, I do not think it an unreasonable request for these facilities. breast-feeding children or expelling breast milk can be time-intensive or messy, and I think most people may agree that the request for sanitary and comfortable accommodations to do so is not unreasonable.

      • Well then why the TV and sound?

        Also, isn’t it bad for babies to be in the hot sun as long as a baseball game takes?

        • Fair enough, but I suppose it goes along with the idea that if you need to breast-feed, you may still be able to hear the game or see it, if you have a paid ticket. This petition is requesting all of these accommodations, but perhaps the stadium could find a solution that is agreeable that may not even include a television. Also, I can’t speak to whether babies should be at baseball games, but I have some coworkers there today and the sun ain’t shining and it ain’t so terribly hot either.

        • They play sound in the restrooms and have TVs for the concession lines, so I’m not sure why that’s the part of the proposal that hangs you up.

      • +1. I’m guessing that the people here who are trying call foul have never breastfed themselves or had close/friends or family members who did. The request seems like an easy enough one to accommodate, too. It’s not as if these amenities are terribly expensive or difficult to provide.

      • I honestly don’t understand these kinds of requests. Parents went for many years without having special “lactation” accommodations and all this special treatment like “expectant mother parking” etc. It’s really getting ridiculous. Plus, it was their choice to bring a baby to a sporting event or attend when they knew they would need to pump. So yes, I do think it’s an unreasonable request.

        • Agree that these accommodations have not always been around, but modern conveniences and “special treatment” for people with different needs is an ever-evolving thing. Additional accommodations for new mothers have sprung up over these past few decades, as have additional accommodations for others with special needs. Sure, new mothers chose to go to a game, and it isn’t like they HAD to be there, but it would be nice if they could find a place to be able to take care of new mother things. It’s a request and I personally do not find it unreasonable. Now, those “shoppers in training” grocery carts are another story… 🙂

        • jim_ed

          I’ve never understood these kind of answers. People went for many years without indoor plumbing, but I don’t think the Nationals would appreciate it if I decided to drop a mean deuce in the middle of the concourse. I’m not even sure I agree with the request, but this logic is dumb.

        • this isn’t the same as expectant mother parking – that’s BS. Many mothers hand expressed in bathrooms (very unsanitary) or DIDNT GO OUT. People are acting like this is going to somehow inconvenience them by existing. I don’t get it. And I hate baseball so I’d never use it, but if I did, it wouldn’t bother me that this exists. I’d be happy more families were going to games vs sitting at home watching on TV.

          • Nationals would very ostensibly raise ticket prices to pay for these renovations, so yes, while that is not my dog in this fight I can see where people would be upset on the grounds of it simply existing if they would have to pay for it indirectly and would never use it.

        • From my understanding it was unusual to breastfeed until recently. So new moms attending baseball games in the 50’s, 70’s, etc didn’t have to worry about pumping.
          Also, back in the day you could park right in front of a store, so expectant mother parking wasn’t really necessary.

          • Formula became popular in the 1950s, but breastfeeding started making a comeback in the 1970s.
            My guess is that lactation rooms weren’t an issue until recently-ish because electric pumps were less common, and also because of changing cultural norms.

        • People also went for years without indoor plumbing, but you’re not complaining that they’ve installed that at the stadium, right? Jesus christ what a stupid comment.

          • I’m really tossed by the concept of this plumbing on parity with breastfeeding/parenting. Everyone poops (see childrens’ book of same name) but not everyone has kids. Statistically speaking the ratio of parents:childless is skewed unfavorably for parents in inner city environments.

    • It might very well make good business sense to do this, especially if it attracts families with other children that might enjoy the game while mom uses these facilities. However, it’s not stated, but strongly implied that they should do this out of the goodness of their hearts. I don’t think it would be unfair at all if the Nats charged for this like any almost any other service or amenity in the park.

      • charging defeats the purpose. They could rent out lockers for storage, sure…but charging is pretty unnecessary if you want to encourage people to attend.

        • Free beer would drive attendance too, but nobody would take that petition as serious as this. I’m not suggesting that the good PR and fan satisfaction would’t make this worth it for them to give away–it probably would and I’m sure they have teams of MBAs working on the business case. But these are pretty Gucci requests. Think how much a nice private bathroom in the park would cost anyone else?

          • I mean, I wouldn’t want a TV with the game on, but I’d imagine if I cared about the game or were a season ticket holder then yeah, I’d want to see the game while nursing/pumpinb. I’d rather it be quiet, but I can sleep just as well in the seat outside lol

        • Keep in mind we’re talking about a professional sports organization here, charging for EVERYTHING possible is just what they do

  • On a slightly unrelated note: those new metal detectors are completely unnecessary in my eyes. Security theater at its finest.

  • The Cincinnati Reds are have just debuted a new breastfeeding lounge. In general I’m not a baby fan, but I worry more about their safety at ball games than I do about their crying (mostly because of sun and heat, plus the environment itself must be stressful for them.) Total speculation, but in general Cincinnati and DC have very different dynamics and I’d be willing to guess that the need for something like this is greater in Cincinnati.

  • Nats did respond, “As part of planned 2015 season projects, we are in the preliminary stages of creating a state-of-the-art space to accommodate nursing mothers, and hope to have it completed and open by the All-Star break,” team officials wrote in an email. “In the interim, we will work to address the feedback in the petition, including ensuring the game is broadcast in the current space, the room’s use is clearly identified and that the temperature is more consistent.” “

    • So they already have a space, but it isn’t nice enough for the petitioner? Could someone use this room for cleaning a stoma, giving meds, etc?

      • no, they don’t have a space – they let women use a conference room with zero privacy, zero climate control (if you’ve never nursed, it’s VERY common to get hot flashes….talk about miserable, a hot flash while you are nursing your child in public at a game), no means to see the game (which, if you pay for a ticket, I think you should be able to do). It’s not a dedicated space with a sink or a number of outlets.

        • So the conference room doesn’t have a door or do they have windows you cannot close?
          Can you see the game from inside the bathroom? I’ve only gone twice, so I do not recall. If not, then I don’t see why this room would need that function. Nursing is no less a natural function than using the bathroom.
          I get that women are nursing, and unlike many people here, I love kids, but going to a game is a luxury item. I’d be totally fine if this was something for employees of the park, but I just don’t think someone sitting in the stands has a right to request such accommodation or upgrades.

          • Nursing and going to the bathroom aren’t the same thing. Sorry. And a paying customer has the RIGHT to request anything. The business can say no. They have every right to do that. Peeing takes a heck of a lot less time than nursing, which takes less time than pumping. I didn’t pump or nurse there – I brought my pumped milk, the heavy ice packs, and then left after an hour because I knew I’d have to pump again and needed to get home. Bathrooms don’t have outlets. Bathrooms aren’t sanitary. I don’t see baseball as a “luxury”, especially when they market $5 tickets to families. But baseball is LONG so the reality is a nursing woman there for the whole game will have to pump or nurse. I see no reason to make it more difficult and disuade them from staying longer or attending at all. I researched my options before the game I went to – I saw nothing on the web site (at the time), so I just stayed for a little while and left. And I dislike baseball, but I like nice weather and shake shack, so I would have liked to stay!

          • They sure do, and it seems you all will have it hopefully before year end. Luxury primarily meant not required in life, but the other meaning can certainly fit. Just because something is cheap doesn’t make it any less of a luxury to the right person. If your child was eaten up by mosquitos, should they provide netting or did you accept that risk when you went to an outdoor game?
            PS Shake Shack and nice weather are available throughout DC not just at Nats Park. 🙂

          • which is why I don’t go to nats games….but I was part of an office social event to a game. Which I had to leave early. And generally, in 2015, breastfeeding is a luxury given the fact that people have to return to work environments that don’t support nursing and that poor people and minorities are given formula all the time at hospitals. But, you know, who cares about them. It’s all about rich white women who want to nurse in luxury boxes anywhere they go. Climate controlled luxury at that!

          • Equating nursing and using the restroom is ignorant as hell.
            I don’t have strong feelings about lactating at baseball games (I’d’ve breastfed in my seat) but that common response makes me angry. How can you compare an infant’s nutrition with taking a piss? At a ballpark, no less? Would YOU eat in a ballpark restroom?

        • If you’re in such a delicate condition perhaps you shouldn’t be going to a baseball game then.

      • I don’t have children, don’t like children, and don’t want children. But you might consider being a little sympathetic to people who do and still want to live their lives outside in the world instead of trapped at home. These are not outrageous demands. And yes– I’d say that it would make perfect sense to welcome people with other medical issues into a room.

        • +1 to “I don’t have children, don’t like children, and don’t want children. But you might consider being a little sympathetic to people who do and still want to live their lives outside in the world instead of trapped at home. These are not outrageous demands.”

    • I have pumped at Nats Park, and taken up a stall in the ladies’ room while doing so, and felt guilty because someone probably really had to pee and had to wait longer for a stall. I hope they’re serious about getting a lactation room online by the all-star break.

  • I seriously thought I passed some kind of room set aside for nursing mothers in the ballpark last year. Was I hallucinating or do they just want it to be upgraded from whatever it currently is?

    • You’re right. See jindc above.

      • The only thing going through my mind is how they’re going to limit it to ONLY nursing mothers. An indoor, air conditioned room that’s not past someone checking that you have a special ticket…that’s just asking for drunken, overheated people to step in and cool off.
        Maybe they can charge a small fee for the use of the room, and then you can get a special ticket indicating it? Though honestly, I’d be tempted to pay a bit extra to have access to A/C whenever I wanted during a July game lol.

        • “here’s my breast pump” or “here’s my child”. They can post an employee there. You CAN pay extra to have access to A/C – there are places in the park with it. And, you know, not be near a bunch of nursing moms. I love the impression that people are demanding something crazy because they want AC or a sink for like 20 minutes. Maybe 30-40 in a very, very long game.

          • For the record, I think it’s a fabulous idea and most likely very needed (I wouldn’t fully know if it is needed from a personal perspective, but I can imagine). I just think that there are plenty of people who would abuse it (people who don’t have kids and wouldn’t be using it for its intended purpose), so all I’m saying is that the park may need to consider that in its implementation.

          • You’ve touched on 2 of the 8 requests. If it was simply a sink or AC, maybe I wouldn’t mind as much, but comfy armchairs is on there too. AC and a sink aren’t even the top 2. Usually the most important stuff comes first.

          • janie4

            But it’s not just A/C – it’s A/C, and comfortable chairs, and privacy, and a separate water supply. As you said, other people in the park pay extra to go where there’s A/C, and better comfortable chairs, and less having to deal with the crowd. Why shouldn’t nursing mothers pay for the access and additional amenities they want?

          • A/C is important because many nursing women get hot flashes. And if you’ve ever had a child skin to skin, it’s VERY warm. But I guess if we forego the a/c, which is a stupid request to be upset about – the comfy chairs are helpful for women (like me) who had a very difficult time nursing unless in a certain environment. I think the petition is worded wrong and modeled too much after what the Reds installed courtesy of P&G. I’d be happy with a table, outlets, and chairs with high backs (to support nursing in a variety of positions). and a sink. I’m glad I don’t think poorly enough of people to assume this type of set up would be misused. I work in a building with 25k people and our rooms aren’t fancy, but they are nice and never abused. It’s not THAT difficult. Just seems people are upset because they wouldn’t be able to use them. It’s really not a big deal. It doesn’t need to be “state of the art”, but TO ME the outrage is all a part of a greater race to the bottom. “well I never got this treatment so BLAH!”

          • and a sink (not sure why it’s water supply…probably water source?) and privacy are very important. Especially privacy considering the number of drunks. Sink because it’s a bodily fluid. But maybe you pee and don’t wash your hands, I don’t know? how you handle your bodily fluid is your biz

          • I’m not coming at this from the position of a curmudgeon who missed out. I plan to have kids, so yes, this situation could benefit me. I still don’t like it. If nursing mothers are paying extra for it, then i’m fine with it, but otherwise it seems very unfair.
            They could use an ever changing code like Chipotle. You just check in and show proof or whatever and get it for that game, but I think it should be accessible to people who need similar services like the folks I mentioned above. I don’t think mursing mothers are more important than someone with a stoma, etc.

          • they aren’t “more important” but have different needs/requests. Jesus. SO glad not everyone has this view of “if you’re special, pay for it”. My MIL has very bad hearing loss – she exclusively goes to Regal theaters because of their hearing devices that are free. If they charged for it, she wouldn’t go. Luckily, there are companies that see a benefit to creating a welcoming environment for customers for a variety of needs.

          • Disability vs a choice. I’m not sure why you keep comparing the 2. Hearing aids should be free, there should be spaces for wheelchairs, and there should be movies available for disabled folks. I do not agree that people who chose to have children (even that is a luxury for those folks who are unable and too poor to afford IVF) are in that category.
            If you are unable to afford the costs of a game, be it ticket or nursing room, then you should find another activity or stay home. Easy!

          • This “disability vs. choice” argument astounds me. It’s like the hardasses who say that pregnant women shouldn’t be offered a seat on the Metro, because it was “their choice” to get pregnant. Jeez — a temporary need for an accommodation isn’t any less valid because there was volition involved.

          • I’ve never offered my seat to a pregnant woman nor would I. She is welcome to ask, and if I’m not having a bad knee day, I’ll be happy to get up for her. I’d do the same for someone who had worked 14+ hours on their feet. I’m probably in the minority though on the latter.
            A temporary need for an accommodation does not have to be free. The distinction between a disability whether temp or perm and a pregnancy is important to me in that regard. If you’re buying a movie ticket, you should have what you need to watch it, in this case a hearing aid. The aid is a basic necessity required to do this activity. A nursing room is not a basic function required to watch a game.

          • Anon Spock, I understand you would not give up your seat for a pregnant woman, but do you brake for them in the crosswalk? 🙂 Just ribbing you!

      • here’s the article about it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/04/08/hundreds-sign-change-org-petition-for-nursing-moms-nationals-say-change-is-on-the-way/?postshare=9821428527134472

        I’m very spoiled because at my job, we had great nursing room – they aren’t even lavish, but they have chairs, a fridge, access to a sink, and a code you need to enter for privacy. And they’re clean. I’m not a lactivist at all (had major struggled to nurse), but I think that, unless you’ve BTDT, it’s very hard to understand the need to a clean, private, dedicated space to pump or nurse.

  • First, you cannot “compel” them to do anything.
    Second, didn’t your mother teach you to say “please”????

  • I can’t take this seriously because the misuse of compel brings visions of exorcist type confrontations to my mind’s eye.

  • The petition would be more convincing if the authors hadn’t incorrectly used the word “compel”. “To compel” means to force someone to do something. Clearly they meant to say something like “strongly urge”.

  • Jesus christ people. If you have a child of breastfeeding age, just stay home. Do EVERYONE a favor. You get to see the game, the kid doesn’t hurt his ears, and your seat neighbors dont have to listen to crying babies during the whole game.

    • I have to agree here. If I know I’m going to freeze to death while I’m at a game, I either bundle up or stay home. I don’t ask the stadium to provide a heat lamp over my seat or a special room with a fireplace so I can be more comfortable while I’m there. If they actually build this “mother’s only luxury box”, I’d expect them to charge extra for it’s use.

    • You do realize that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed until they are a year old, right? Are seriously suggesting that our society would be better off if all new mothers were trapped in their houses for a full year?

      • Recommendations are not requirements, and while yes, a child may be smarter because of breast milk, you are not going to convince anyone that the need to breast milk coupled with the desire to see a living sporting event necessitates anything.
        On a side note, I do think jobs need facilities. The difference being work is a need and seeing a baseball game is a want.

      • Yes. And not going to a baseball game or movies or places where people value not having to hear screaming infants, does not entail being “trapped in your house for a year”.
        Having a kid is a decision.

  • Is this for real?

    I breastfed and never in my right mind would have considered taking an infant to a baseball game. It is a super loud, very crowded “young kid to adult type” crowd. People screaming, waving/throwing things around. On top of the fact that I can’t imagine anyone at a baseball game would want to endure sitting next to my screaming baby anyway.

    The game is what, 2-3 hours, can you not plan that far ahead? I know I planned more than 2 hours in advance being a “pumper”. Being a parent to an infant, especially if you are breastfeeding means you give up on some things for a ~year. This is one of the many things.

    This just screams “ridiculous”. I weep for humanity sometimes.

    • “I did this, so why can’t everyone else” (only game I went to wasn’t crowded…day time, some other crappy team, so maybe not all games are like that?). As a mom, I just hope that future moms have it easier and can enjoy themselves more than I did, never away from home for more than 90-120 minutes. Not fun.

      • +1 – just because you didn’t want to do it, doesn’t mean that everyone has to follow your lead. When my kids were young and nursing, they were quite literally on my hip at all times and went with me everywhere. So if I went to a game, the baby went too. I was perfectly happy to be away from home as much as I wanted to be (which was a lot) with a kid in tow. Pumping is not as easy for everyone as it is for others. Personally, I would rather take my nursing baby than my pump, have to worry about how and where I would store my milk, etc.

      • To be fair, when you choose to have a child you are choosing to make sacrifices. If you want to go to baseball games at your leisure, either don’t have a child or accept that you CHOSE to do something that will cause you inconveniences from time to time.

        • It’s true. Mothers should only be mothers. Never leave the house. Moms don’t need lives outside their children. And no one ever should be inconvenienced by a room they wouldn’t ever see or probably even notice if they did walk by. Ludicrous!

        • I agree. But I don’t see why offering this is a BAD thing. People seem genuinely offended by the idea.

    • +10 @Becca

    • This is the most responsible response I have read in this thread.

    • Your lack of empathy towards others who may face different circumstances than you is really astounding. To me, this request doesn’t seem ridiculous at all. I’ve had to pump in all sorts of places, and to have such a facility would be helpful for moms. And the current option doesn’t cut it.

    • A mother with common sense. This is not rocket science.

  • The Nats also don’t “need” to provide local/craft beer, half smokes, radio in the bathrooms, etc., etc., but customers are clearly interested in it.

    When my son was first born, we brought him to several Nats home games, and I was always impressed by Guest Services, with things like complimentary stroller check. I don’t think this is something that the Nats should be “compelled” to do, but it’s a reasonable request, which could have a positive impact on a lot of fans (and parents of future fans), and it’s hard to imagine that the stadium doesn’t have an underused room they might find that’s great for this purpose.

  • I’m sure the team would be happy to provide these accommodations for you. Of course, you should be prepared to pay more for these added accommodations that only a few people per game would require.

  • Smilla

    That list of amenities made me think of the riders that musicians put in their contracts for concert venues: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstage

  • Considering how much the Nats want to be family friendly, I’m surprised they don’t already have a lactation room. Personally, I think it would be nice, and I’m glad they are offering it. I have taken all of my kids to games since they were young, but definitely preferred the experience more once they were out of diapers. In my honest opinion, it generally too hot and too boring for young kids. Hell, my 9 year old was bored silly by the 4th inning at Opening Day this year. As far as nursing goes, I really wish this country were more open to nursing in public. When I nursed my kids, I did it in public, sometimes with a cover, sometimes without. I totally respect other women who need/want privacy, and also respect that babies get super distracted sometimes so a quiet, cool place to nurse is amazing as an option, I just wish it was more socially acceptable to nurse in public.

    • From various comments in this thread, it sounds like 1) the Nationals currently do have a lactation room, but it has some significant drawbacks and 2) the Nationals are planning to put in at some point in 2015 something very similar to what the petition asks for.
      So now I guess the thread is all about people arguing about whether there _should_ be a lactation room, whether parents _should_ take babies/small children to baseball games, etc., etc. 😉

  • I would just hope that “Americas game” (whatever that means) is family friendly, recognizing that families come in all forms and have different needs. Some people need beer and bbq to enjoy a game, some people buy $5 tickets and bring the whole family since a babysitter costs an asston. A nursing moms room doesn’t inconvenience ANYONE or make anyones life worse. Nor will it really cost much. But a lot of people are upset because “I didn’t have this when I was young!” or “I want AC too”. It doesn’t make sense. I would hope that if I had a daughter, when she’s old enough to be a mom, all this BS is normalized. People don’t bat an eye about special movies for kids with sensory issues, or schools than ban peanuts. It’s all just part of making having and raising children a little easier in a society that goes out of its way to generally make it difficult to be a successful parent (school hours, parental leave, childcare, ect). #endrant

    • “…..raising children a little easier in a society that goes out of its way to generally make it difficult to be a successful parent” – You can’t be serious?

      • All those kids raised outside of the US/Western Europe must have terrible, wretched lives. Ask me how I know.

        • With that said, I agree with your point that an extra room to accommodate mothers seems like a reasonable request. It’s just that the original petition has such a dense “DC Urban Moms” aire that it’s hard to get through.

          • OH yeah the wording in the petition totally screams DC Urban Moms. I think the poor wording is doing a lot to cause this debate. A lactation room at a family friendly facility shouldn’t really spark such a debate.

          • So, so, so true.

        • again, the race to the bottom astounds.

      • yes, I’m serious – 18-24 month wait lists for even crappy day care, schools that continue to let out when most parents are still working with poor after school care options, no paid leave of any kid for parents (family leave, not just parents), F’in school lotteries to try to get your child in to a good school (talk about ridiculous in a ‘developed’ country) ect….many reasons parenting in this country is unnecessarily difficult and disproportionately hurtful to women’s economic realities. But neither here nor there.

        • Hear hear – the US is woefully behind many of its European peers in terms of supporting child rearing.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Not just behind most European countries or other relatively wealthy countries; the U.S. is the horse’s ass of most of the world with respect to supporting child-rearing.

        • I will say, I think that many of the things you just address are isolated to cities like DC. I know plenty of young parents in dozens of areas who don’t have those problems, the ones I know who do live in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and DC and its suburbs.

        • None of this is remotely pertinent to the point being discussed, which is that there are multiple rules, laws and customs in the US that make it difficult to be a parent. No one’s suggesting that kids are going to be working in the fields (??) – but that there are a multitude of policies that could be put in place (some relatively inexpensive, some more costly) that could make it easier. That Jindc can successfully navigate parenthood doesn’t mean (I) there aren’t improvements to be made in social policy, and (ii) there are many, many people in DC and the rest of the country who really, really need some help.

        • My life as a mom is great – because I can afford it. When you can’t, you’re F’d. But, you’re an expert on all things. I bow down. (and he won’t have to work while in college like I did because my husband went to war twice and we saved up all that money. Lucky, lucky us. You’re welcomed to do the same – it’s a great career)

          • Actually, I cannot join the military because of an eye condition. I found out at MEPS (that’s in-processing for the military). So yes, I’d consider your hubby VERY lucky to be able to do something I have wanted to do my whole life.
            If your hubby happens to be a Col or above and wants to grant me a waiver, please send him my way.
            No expert on many topics, but you actually agreed with me that your wealth makes parenting easier so….thanks, I guess.
            I also said that America isn’t perfect. Yes, there are plenty of parent related issues than can improve, but it could certainly be worse too.

    • Well, you’ve convinced me. I have been SUPER edgy about babies since my sister-in-law made it a point to purposefully (AND LOUDLY) breastfeed in the front row of my 30 minute wedding ceremony when she easily could have worked around it. I don’t see how this hurts anyone, and I can see how it would benefit all women (including those without children.) I think that the petition was worded horribly, but I support the idea.

    • +1,000. I’m shocked (and disappointed) by how many people here seem to think that this is an unreasonable request for a “luxury” accommodation.

      • The Nats ALREADY have pumping facilities, so yes…they already provide a version of whats being “demanded”. Some women apparently don’t think it is sufficient.

        It is the lack of foresight, the demand for facilities that the rest of the b-ball game going public pays a lot of extra money for, and a bit of bad parenting in my view that is getting people rankled. There are some environments that are simply unfit for infants. The decibel level alone is reason enough to keep an infants ears away from a stadium.

        And if you are having to walk the concourse constantly to keep your kid out of the sun, or away from the screaming, then you aren’t seeing the game anyway, so why are you even there?

        Vegas bills itself as “family friendly” too, but there is no way I would have taken my breastfeeding infant into a smoke filled casino, or around all the screaming drunk people on the gaming floor.

        You breastfeed for ~10-14 months. Is either planning ahead a little bit, or is giving up one season of live baseball really going to be a hardship?

        • “and a bit of bad parenting in my view that is getting people rankled. ”
          Well, I’m glad we have that settled. Please post a list of things you like to do with your child – I’ll bet you $10 I can find at least three that I consider “bad parenting.”

          • When my child was a breast feeding infant, I kept him in a safe, predictable environment that wasn’t full of drunk people and dangerous levels of sound. An environment that I could control and have all the necessary accessories needed to cater to him. Some pretty basic environmental requirements that any parent I would think worth their salt would want to emulate for the infant stage. But hey, call me old fashioned.

          • +1 Hit the nail on the head. Do they make baby ear plugs?

          • So your argument is basically, “People who bring nursing infants to baseball games are bad parents, and shouldn’t be there in the first place, so there’s shouldn’t be well-appointed lactation rooms.” Gotcha.

          • dcd,

            You keep changing the argument. I don’t know if its because you realize you’ve already lost this one or what but putting words in my mouth isn’t going to help your argument.

            No, I don’t think parents who take their fragile infant to places with tens of thousands of unpredictable, excitable drunk people crammed into a small space, and with dangerous levels of sound are going to win any parenting awards, no more so than if they took them to a rock concert.

            As far as the lactating part goes, they have some facilities set up. They may not be the most luxurious or private, but then again you purposely went to a paid function knowing it would last be 2-3 hours long, without planning one iota into the future.

          • Well, I guess you’re free to disagree, but if you think what I wrote isn’t a fair paraphrase of the sum of your beliefs on this topic, you should go back and reread your posts (and perhaps strive to articulate your thoughts better).

          • @Anon spock: They may not make baby ear plugs, but they DO make baby ear protection in the form of noise-cancelling headphones. I have a pair that my daughter has worn several times. Based on her non-reaction to sudden loud noises when wearing them, they work quite well.

        • They do not have pumping facilities. They have a conference room that can be used for nursing IF it is not already in use for something else. There is no place to pump in there. I mean, I suppose you could sit next to an outlet, but I’ll bet that a lot of people are going to complain when they walk by the uncurtained windows (right next to a highly trafficked area I might add) and see a woman being milked by a machine. I don’t agree with the entirety of the petition, but if you are going to are going to be this fired up about this issue, please know what you are talking about. And I say this as a woman who was an exclusive pumper that planned ahead so I didn’t have to pump at the ballpark.

    • janie4

      Actually, Jindc, people do discuss schools that ban peanuts, and what impact that has on other children when peanut butter is a stable cheap food service for the poor, and where competing rights and responsibilities end. People discuss it a lot.

      • +1 Very happy I’m not the only one to notice that inaccuracy.

      • And those people that complain about peanut butter at schools are even bigger jerks than . . . well, than anyone, because they are saying that they want their kid to be able to eat what s/he wants, and never mind that an accident could cause another child to die. But I digress.

        • Why stop at peanuts? There are any number of fatal allergies. Let’s get rid of everything that one kid cannot have.

          • Because (i) peanut allergies are generally more severe than most other allergies (it’s a different physiological reaction), (ii) peanut allergies are much more common than other food allergies, for reasons no one knows, and (iii) peanut allergies have a not infrequent history of dramatically increasing in severity – what was a mild reaction one time can, for no apparent reason, transform into anaphylaxis at the next exposure. That’s why there’s often a preemptive ban on peanuts.
            But, to your point, if there is a student at a school who has a fatal allergy to a specific food item, I would fully expect the school to ban the item. Wouldn’t you?

          • @Jindc,

            Oh, that’s some sound ivy league logic there. Because someone disagrees with what you think, they are lonely?


          • dcd any allergy can increase in severity in theory. I’ve met someone allergic to pork…epipen and all, so merely stopping at what is now fatal wouldn’t seem likely to cover everyone since it could get worse later.
            There are people with severe dairy allergies. You want schools to ban milk?
            Becca- yea, I didn’t get the connection, but I guess I’m lonely. I’ll have to let my friends know so they can console me. LOL
            jindc- Shout and scream, and if you’re still losing the argument make a feeble attempt to insult the other person. I thought the old saying was if you cannot say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Maybe that is some of that 2015 parenting.

          • Of course any allergy can increase in severity **in theory**, but peanut allergies often do **in practice**. (Aside – is there a better way to emphasize words in posts?). As I said, peanut allergies are demonstrably different than other allergies, in severity, physiological reaction, and sensitivity. It’s a whole different animal. If a kid has a fatal allergy to milk, I imagine there would be steps taken to address that (though banning milk seems unlikely).
            But, you didn’t answer my question – are you opposed to banning a specific food item if a child has a fatal, very sensitive allergy to it? What is your preferred alternative? That the kid just roll the dice? That the 4 yo learn to be more careful? That we give the responsibility to the teacher? That the kid just not go to public school? I’m really (for a change) not trying to be snarky – I just don’t see an alternative. And I certainly don’t see one for peanuts.

          • 1. Italtics or bold.
            2. I think they should have separate schools for severe allergies where it’s guaranteed that everything is free and clear. Even if you ban peanuts, there is a chance some kid might have had some at home then they kiss little Johnny, and he dies. I am generally opposed to banning a specific food because 1 or some kids happen to be allergic. I may change this thought for really young kids because they are too young to grasp the concept. I would also support home schooling at any grade. What if you ban peanuts but someone brings them anyway? Are they expelled? Is the parent fined? Can the school be sued? (This would not apply to the separate schools since they’d be guaranteeing it’s free of x allergy, and only people who agree to that parameter could attend.)

  • I’m a little late to the conversation, but I’d be thrilled for some approximation of the request to come to fruition. Baseball is a family game, and I’ve absolutely brought my daughter to games in the past, and plan to do the same with the next baby. We use ear protection (even larger issue at the hockey games we’ve brought her to!), pick a seat in the shade or spend a good chunk of time walking the concourse, everyone wears hats/sunblock/whatever, and we have a nice time. My daughter was always fascinated by what was going on around her and not fussy, but we absolutely would have left our seats if she were upset to not disturb those around us. And for those complaining about young kids at baseball games–in my experience, the obnoxious drunk people have always bothered me MUCH more than kids, even before I had my own.
    And yes, of course, no one can or should force the Nats to provide this amenity. However, given that it’s a sport (and team) often marketed to *families*, it would be a nice gesture that might win/keep future fans.

  • “I want to be a parent but I don’t want to make any of the sacrifices necessary of someone who just brought an infant into the world.”

    • What an awful comment.

    • This reminds me a bit of when I was horribly sleep deprived and struggling with post-partum anxiety a month or two after returning to work, and someone asked me how things were going. I said it was hard, and the response was, “well you knew it would be going into it, didn’t you?” I didn’t respond, but I didn’t take too kindly to the comment either.

    • You are truly a nasty person.

  • There are many parents in D.C. with inflated senses of entitlement, but I don’t think this is a case of that.

  • epric002

    as expected, breastfeeding is just as contentious as cyclists and pit bulls! but what the hell, i’ll throw my .02 in anyway. i’m the eldest child of “lactivist”. i happen to despise baseball and have been to a total of 1 game as an adult. i also don’t want kids, and don’t especially like being around noisy/ill-behaved children in many situations. but it never occurred to me that people seriously believe that nursing mothers should essentially confine themselves to their homes for the duration of nursing, which can indeed last longer than 14 months, and with multiple children can stretch for many years on end. i think the request for a lactation room is totally reasonable, though the tone of this one was a bit off-putting. and i also agree with anon at 4:15 about how prudish this country is regarding breastfeeding in public. i would not be surprised were there to be a complaint published to PoP about how too many women were breastfeeding at baseball games! but again, some women are comfortable with it, and some aren’t, and that’s their decision. i’m definitely not going to get all bent out of shape because nursing moms are requesting a lactation room and the nat’s are going to provide (an improved) one for them- good on all of them.

    • Nicely put.

    • “people seriously believe that nursing mothers should essentially confine themselves to their homes for the duration of nursing” Oh yes. And more. Kids should be kept out of public, because all babies are “crying babies” and all toddlers are “screaming snotty toddlers”, all the time, obviously.
      The other one that drops my jaw is people who say “well, you chose to have kids. Don’t involve me in YOUR choice.” Wha… I just… What do they think will happen if everyone chooses not to have kids? Who will feed them their pills in the nursing home? Do they not want their social security funded??

      • I don’t have any issue with kids in public, but some places are not designed for kids. I do not want to stumble over your kid in the restaurant because you’re letting them “explore” or hear them screaming in a movie. There are plenty of sweet, awesome kids out there and plenty of horribly brats. I was a horrible brat. My parents did not often take me out to restaurants, movies, or anywhere else where my screaming and hollering would have been inappropriate. If we did go somewhere, and I went off the deep end, we left.
        I know some people commenting here hate kids. I’m not one of them, believe me. I’m the former server retrieving your kid from the kitchen or stopping her from running into the street because you let her run off. I should never have had to do either of those things.

        • I agree with all that – but it’s really apples and oranges. You’re talking about kids misbehaving/inattentive parents. Many kids sit nicely at restaurants, even fine dining.
          That’s not the same as “some places aren’t designed for kids.”

          • No, it isn’t. Let me break them out.

            1. I think there are some places were children shouldn’t be allowed. Let’s say places with smoking allowed or on gun ranges when they’re very young, for example. Health and safety is my reasoning.
            2. Parents need to police their children and accept that some kids are unable to go out in public without causing a disruption and if a disruption occurs, they should leave and deal with it rather than subject those around them to a noisy, messy time.
            3. If a child is well behaved, they should be able to go to lots of places with their parents save for #1 above.

            Hopefully, all the fruit is in order now.

        • And all of those things are the parents’ fault. Just like a grown up acting like an ass in public is the grown up’s fault, but we aren’t looking to ban adults from the ballpark or say they can’t have beer while they watch a game. I’d rather have a crying kid on all sides of me than the drunk Mets fans we had the misfortune of sitting in front of on Monday.

          • I’m not looking to ban kids from the ballpark, but I know some people are, and I responded partly to put in the I like kids but… For drunk ppl, concessions and bars in general should be more vigilant in cutting people off before it gets to that point. I don’t see why it has to be a crying baby or a drunk fan…why not neither?
            The unwillingness to police yourself is the underlying issue in both cases. Don’t drink yourself into a stupor, and if your baby goes into screaming mode, leave.
            Maybe some people really do HATE kids merely for being around, but I think it is ultimately an issue with the parents who let anything go. The kids have merely become the focus for the anger.

        • This! The problem isn’t really with the child either (well, usually)- it’s with the parents, and how they parent. I would say the majority are pretty good parents, but there are those really bad parents out there that think everything their child does is divine providence. The end up creating these monsters, and I blame no one but the parents.

      • Sorry, but I strongly disagree @wdc. Who will feed me my pills in a nursing home? One of the roughly 60 million people under the age of 18 in this country, I imagine. I don’t really understand the thought process of “I NEED TO REPOPULATE THE PLANET.” Sorry, I just don’t get it. I DO support establishing an improved space for breastfeeding mothers at Nat’s park, though!

    • +1

  • I think people are getting a little carried away here. This is not some “luxury nursing suite”, it’s an out of the way room with A/C and a sink (let’s not think for a minute the Nats are going to build something like the Reds have in 2 months). There is no way it will have a view of the game, but a working TV sounds reasonable. The current solution is a hot conference room with a view of an escalator and N. Capitol St (woo!). To make it useful it simply needs the A/C turned on (easy fix), a TV and two brain cells that know how to operate it (easier fix!) and a sink (harder fix resource wise, but a simple solution, there is exposed plumbing running all over the stadium). I bet the end product will be the same room just gussied up a bit with the A/C and TV turned on during games, maybe a couple of the arm chairs that are in the club level lounges. Is that really some excessive accommodation for new mothers? More importantly, how does it infringe on anybody’s enjoyment of the game? The haters on this thread need to get a grip. The ballpark should cater to all ages, not solely to people who seem to think that nursing mothers and their babies should stay out of sight and out of mind.

  • I compel the Washington Nationals to spend less time caring about your children, and more time learning to field ground balls cleanly and get base hits with runners in scoring position.

  • I Dont Get It

    Closed yesterday with gentrification and today with nursing mothers. Looking forward to tomorrow afternoon. 😉

  • The Washington Nationals organization compels you to buy season tickets!


    • +1,000. I’m so glad I’m reading this at home rather than work. I just laughed so hard.

  • saf

    Compel? That’s an odd use of the word.

  • Ridiculous! As someone who actually has disabilities/is mobility impaired, it’s outrageous and wildly offensive that these folks are evidently ignorant enough to be trying to compare what is (with exception of rape survivors, bless) a conscious and voluntary decision to raise children with people struggling with disabilities. ADA-compliance for all parents, my derriere. What next, give them handicap placards too? You can hire a babysitter, I can’t buy my freedom back.


  • Just wish you obviously childless people would stop confusing the babies with the lactating moms. Two separate humans. Getting a babysitter doesn’t change that.

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