One of the most frustrating parts of breastfeeding a new bundle of joy is feeling confined to schedules. As a new mom with a baby who refused to latch, I would rearrange schedules to ensure I was at home every time I needed to pump. It never occurred to me to take my breast pump out with me, because I didn’t think there would be anywhere to pump. Fast forward two years and another kid later, I’ve started recognizing just how many businesses throughout Central Ohio support breastfeeding (in any form) by offering nursing rooms (also known as mother’s rooms) for women who either want privacy when they breastfeed or need to pump.
While this is a major plus for nursing moms everywhere, information about whether businesses have nursing rooms is hard to come by, making some outings stressful. Therefore, I decided to create my own map of nursing rooms across Columbus to share with other nursing moms looking for a little privacy or relief.
The newest mall to the Columbus-area features two separate nursing rooms complete with a seat, table, sink and lock. One room is located by the Samsonite store, another by the Banana Republic/Loft stores. Check out the online map for more details on specific locations.
Babies R Us
Fun fact: the floor plan of every stand-alone Babies “R” Us store has included a nursing room since the first location opened in 1996! That means whether you’re in Dublin, Polaris or Reynoldsburg–there is always a nursing room nearby. The nursing rooms are usually located in the back of the store but check with a store associate for the exact location.
Whether you’re participating in a walking club over the winter, or just trying to get a few errands done, Polaris offers two mother’s rooms — one upstairs near the food court and another on the ground floor near the Saks entrance. I’d call them mother’s areas, not rooms since they are both technically not private and in the bathroom area (be warned if that bothers you, but they do come with very comfy rocking chairs. Both spaces can be found on the mall’s map here. If you’re looking for more privacy, Von Maur offers a private mother’s room on the second floor of the store near the women’s restroom.
Nordstrom at Easton Town Center
I’ll be honest, I’m mildly disappointed that Easton offers so many amazing options for consumers, yet doesn’t seem to offer any nursing rooms for moms. Luckily, Nordstrom at Easton does offer its own nursing room when you’re out and about.
Out and About
Columbus Zoo/Zoombezi Bay
The zoo offers two dedicated nursing rooms at the zoo (one at the entrance to Heart of Africa, the other next to the carousel). Additionally, Zoombezi Bay has a nursing room near Tiny Tides. The zoo also allows moms to use the First Aid Station if those locations are full. Each nursing room is complete with a rocking chair. While the zoo’s map doesn’t call out the rooms specifically, they are well-marked when you arrive.
Columbus’ science museum is large enough to spend an entire day at, and luckily, they understand that babies need to eat. The museum provides a nursing room in the little kidspace (and a bottle warmer too!).
Columbus Museum of Art
The Columbus Museum of Art features a beautiful nursing room for moms. Did I mention admission is free on Sundays?
Columbus Main Library
I love when businesses plan to accommodate women! The newly renovated downtown library not only has a great children’s area (complete with a school bus for kids to play in), it was designed specifically to feature nursing room!
Nursing rooms are not just for the big library in the area! Whitehall Library features a very convenient nursing mother’s area near the entrance of the children’s area.
As part of OSU’s commitment to supporting nursing mothers, the stadium allows mothers to use the first aid rooms located near sections 17A, 16A for privacy. You can find more information in the stadium’s FAQ.
Headed to a Clippers game? Fear not friends! Through a partnership between Mount Carmel and the Columbus Clippers, the park offers two free-standing Mamava lactation suites that provide outlets/USB ports for plugging in breast pumps or charging devices, and a fold-down table, mirror and benches. Huntington Park is the first location in Columbus to partner with the company.
John Glenn International Airport
This list would not be complete without mentioning Columbus airport’s newest additions. In spring of 2017, the airport unveiled four nursing rooms for traveling moms looking for a little more privacy. The airport offers a nursing room in each concourse, plus another one in baggage claim. No more pumping in airport bathrooms!
Did we miss any? Tell us your favorite nursing rooms in the comments below to help out fellow nursing moms!
Guest Writer: Tara Parsell is a full-time working mom who spends her “free time” arguing with a smaller version of herself about how many toy cars are acceptable at the dinner table. She moved to Columbus in 2014, escaping the 300 ft sq apartment life in Manhattan. She currently lives in Powell with her husband and two kids. She is full believer in “real-talk” about being a parent, which usually includes lots of wine, sarcasm and the occasional tears.