This past weekend my hubby and I decided to take a quick trip to the Indianapolis Zoo. We have always wanted to eventually get a membership when we had kids and now seemed like a great time. The weather has been great, Camden loves the animals, and his birthday is quickly approaching. (And I couldn't think of anything really "big" to get him.) A year-long zoo membership was perfect!
I will post more about the zoo later, but I wanted to focus on a new area of the zoo, which I'm pretty sure is unique to Indianapolis' Zoo. There is a new exhibit at the zoo called Flights of Fancy: A Brilliance of Birds. There are all sorts of birds from probably around the world (I'm more of a seer/doer than a read-the-info person). We got to feed the birds, too, which was the highlight of my trip for sure!
The uniqueness of this area is that there is a great private, indoor separate area for nursing mothers to feed or change their little ones. Enter the Nursing Moms Nest, presented by Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.
A lot of people have misconceptions that a breastfeeding mother is shy or should go to these private places to hide. This is not a place like that. The zoo isn't kicking us out from nursing on a bench out in public. The beauty of this area is that it's indoors, quiet, and comfortable. Any nursing mother will tell you that all of those play a HUGE factor in breastfeeding. If you've ever tried to breast feed a very distractible infant with noises around (especially animals, birds, crowds of people), you know what I'm talking about. Also, it gets pretty hot here in the summer, cold in the winter, and rains whenever it wants to (hey, it's Indiana after all) so the climate-controlled area is definitely a must-have!
I must admit that the area was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It's like a mini-gymnasium. Okay, well maybe not that big, but it was roomy! Whoever collaborated to make this happen, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my my-toddler-won't-nurse-just-anywhere heart. :-)
The artwork was so heart warming and tasteful. They definitely incorporated the aspects of the zoo into the room decor, which I thought was a wonderful touch. They did some "finger" painting with the animals and there were pictures of animals with their young all around. Gorgeous, I say.
There were three private rooms with a rocker and footstool in each. (I assume, anyways, since I didn't go snooping into the two other occupied rooms.) The glass doors were tinted so you couldn't see into the area. There was also a place for you to sit and nurse out in the open, which I don't mind NEARLY as much as I did when first starting almost a year ago.
Overall, my experience at the zoo this time around was fantastic. It usually always is, but this just made it so much easier to bring my son and not have to miss a thing!
Side note: I love how awkward it seems to make the Zoo photographers whenever they see my camera is bigger than theirs upon entering. :)
No more nursing my son in the car sitting in the parking lot. It's conveniently smack dab in the middle of the zoo so you don't have to miss a single exhibit. Thanks again to everyone that came together to make this Nursing Nest a reality, because let's face it, this is something a lot more public places should adopt.