Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Field!

We love going to watch baseball. And even though they aren't the greatest of teams, the Mariners are entertaining, and their field is great. We love to take our boys, watch the game, wander the stadium, play on the playground, and of course EAT! And last night, I was finally able to take advantage of all of those things!

Phase One: Breastfeeding at the stadium.
Too frequently, I read about mom's getting flak for breastfeeding at the ball game. Not me, not at Safeco, not ever. In fact, the employees there have always been great about it. They help me find an open seat in our section that isn't in direct sunlight, or need a little more space for a nursing/sleeping babe. They do have a nursing lounge, which I have used when a kiddo needs a quiet respite to nurse and reconnect, but never once was this suggested to me (which I would have construed as a suggestion to hide). 

Phase Two: EATING!
So, going gluten/dairy/soy free is not the easiest. I am sure anybody knows this. But going to the ball field just SCREAMS hot dogs and beer. Or, at Safeco, Ivar's, microbrews and Garlic fries. Ok, so maybe it is a little stuck up, but it is great. And last night, I was able to enjoy GF fish and chips from the Seafood Shack on the second level (they use rice flour for the batter!) and they have even started carrying Redbridge GF beer at select stands. Also, upon hearing my fish wasn't all the great on first bite, the guy come back with a bigger batch of freshly made ones that were divine!  They have expanded their options for many food restrictive or choice fans. So, even with the embarrassing 3 homeruns given up in the 5th inning and subsequent loss, last night was a WIN!

Phase Three: Celebrating the Field and a single suggestion for improvement.
I like to honor positive efforts. It sucks to only hear complaints, so I like to taut the positive as much as I would the negative. So, I sent them a little note doing just that. Don't know that I will hear anything back, but I did what I could. Here is my letter:

I would just like to thank you for creating a truly supportive family environment  at the ball field! Too often I hear of mother and babies being bullied for breastfeeding in public, but that has NEVER been my experience when visiting Safeco Field to watch our Mariners. Not only have your employees been accommodating when we needed to change seats to get our children out of the blazing sun on a perfect sunny day, or find more space to nurse comfortably, but never once have they suggested the  available nursing lounge. Which although is very nice (great for my distractable babe) might give the impression of encouraging seclusion. Thank you so much for all of this! My only suggestion would be to introduce the International Breastfeeding Symbol. Not only to make the lounge easier to locate  for those who would like to use it (currently the signage has a bottle on the sign, which isn't exactly supportive of breastfeeding), but also to display the Field's support in any seat or location your breastfeeding fans have permission to be.

Thank you again for providing my family with a great place to spend time together.

Link to International Breastfeeding Symbol: http://www.breastfeedingsymbol.org/download/
Yeah, I stole the picture. It is of us, but I my camera phone was dead, so this was all there was!

UPDATE: Safeco Field now uses the International Breastfeeding Symbol! I wish I could have snapped a picture of it up on the jumbo screen. I can't say it was because of this email, but I won't discredit myself either!

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo! That is a great letter to have written.

    I've been really impressed by Safeco as well. Not only did I have no problems breastfeeding there, I just felt that in general they were super family-friendly. My parents were in town, so they dressed us all in (gasp!) Red Sox gear, and still, the Safeco employees were so solicitous. :) They directed us to the gate to let our stroller through, told us where to get our boys certificates celebrating their first game (Alrik's first), let us know about the Kids Run the Bases afterward, showed us to the elevators, chatted with Mikko and gave him a baseball card, etc.

    I'm really glad they included the breastfeeding symbol now, and I definitely think it was your letter that did the trick!