For nursing moms, outings with a new baby can be difficult. In addition to toting gear and prepping for meltdowns, there's the nagging concern about whether they'll be able to comfortably breastfeed their babies. Experienced moms know how to make nursing work just about anywhere — park benches, dressing rooms, even while walking. But breastfeeding is easier and more enjoyable when there is a comfortable, restful place to sit.
Recognizing this, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns partnered with the San Diego Padres to launch a nursing lounge at Petco Park in downtown San Diego in 2016. The first of its kind on the West Coast, the lounge provides a soothing, shaded spot just for moms and babies.
"We know moms don't want to stop participating in activities just because they have a baby," says Trisha Khaleghi, CEO of Sharp Mary Birch. "They still want to get out and enjoy all San Diego has to offer. We're really proud to be able to support nursing moms in our community in this way."
Located in a suite on the park's terrace level, the lounge features a comfortable sofa and rocking chairs; a private restroom; amenities including a sink and changing table; plugs for breast pumps; and even a refrigerator. A glass wall rolls up and additional outdoor seats provide a prime view of the third baseline and game below. A female concierge is on-hand during each game to welcome moms into the lounge and provide assistance as needed.
"It was great," says Victoria Smith, new mom to daughter Harper, after a recent Padres game. "I was able to sit and rest, knowing I had everything Harper and I needed right there. She and I were both so much more relaxed and our day went more smoothly because of that. If we're keeping score, this is a winner as far as I'm concerned."
For the media: To learn more about the Sharp Mary Birch nursing lounge at Petco Park, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.