Conversations with SM Davao

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I finally had a meeting with the SM Administration. Did you know that their department is different from that of the department store and the supermarket? I didn't know that. So anyway, despite the rain that's been happening the whole day, I finally got to meet the manager of SM Administration. They are the ones handling the mall.

Our meeting happened in one of the coffee shops in SM Davao. She asked me what happened during that time. So I told her the whole story. She apologized in behalf of the guard which I accepted. She told me that maybe they need to re-orient the guards regarding breastfeeding and how it has been passed as a a law. The good thing about talking to her is that she was a breastfeeding mother herself when her kids were younger. That made the whole conversation very light. She assured me that they never disallow mothers to breastfeed in public. I told her that since that incident had occurred, part of me is scared to bring my kids to their establishment.

In the middle of our conversation, their (as far as I could recall) Assistant Manager joined us. They were honest to say that they never require mothers to use their breastfeeding station. That it is there for anyone to use if they want to, and that they never told their guards to tell mothers to use their breastfeeding station. On that same topic, I told her that I once used the station with my second child but I never really felt comfortable using it. For one, the leather seat was so low, I find it hard to feed my baby given the fact that my breast hang low. When I sit, baby tends to rise which gave me a hard time. Second, there was no area to put my baby in for me to wash my hands. There was a sink outside the door but how can you use it if you can't put the baby down. Which leads me to my third point of not allowing the yaya to come in. It would be a big help to have an extra hand to hold the baby for a while while cleaning my hands or to reach something inside the bag while feeding my baby.

They asked me things that breastfeeding mothers need, like how high should the chair be and do we need pillows while feeding. They informed me that they are going to do renovations on their breastfeeding station and that they would give my suggestions to their design team. All the while they thought that the leather seat was a big help when in fact it's hindering mothers to feed.

Another point we've taken up was on using the lavatories for washing our kids. I told her that I once complained when an attendant stopped me from washing my kid. I told her that some mothers prefer washing their kid's bottoms rather than just using wipes. She told me that we could use the room for persons with diability. I told her that I was able to do so while traveling in Manila but I was never allowed to use the room here in Davao. She told me that the attendant were informed that mothers may use the PWD room and that they should teach users the function of bedet. Knowing this is a very big help.

All in all the conversation was informative for me and hopefully for her. I'm expecting big changes to happen soon.