First things first: In Washington state, your right to breastfeed in public is protected by law. So you can breastfeed in restaurants and parks, on beaches and ferries without fear of discrimination or recrimination.
That said, sometimes a nursing mama wants a little privacy and quiet. And for moms who pump, finding a suitable place to, well, express yourself while you’re out and about is like gold.
So we asked the true experts — our readers — about some great places to nurse and pump around the Sound. We also found some excellent crowd-sourced resources including Mamava and Moms Pump Here (more on those later).
- Nordstrom. Nordstrom, with locations in downtown Seattle, Bellevue Square, Southcenter, the Marketplace at Factoria and Alderwood Mall, is beloved for its comfortable women’s lounges; nursing moms also love the “mother’s rooms” located next to the lounges, with amenities such as comfy chairs, diaper-changing stations, outlets and sink.
- University Village. Not far from Molly Moon’s on the south side of University Village, the women’s lounge at this very family-friendly shopping center has plush couches, changing tables and even a small play area for toddlers. “This was my go-to when my little was nursing,” says one reader.
- Northgate Mall. At the north end of Northgate Mall and next to family restrooms, there’s a “decent nursing area,” says a reader. It has a rocking chair, stools, a table, outlets and a couple of toys. Toddlers will also appreciate the mini toilets in the family restrooms (located at both ends of the mall).
- University of Washington. Pumping and working on your degree? You’re set. The UW has at least 10 fully equipped lactation stations around campus; some even have a hospital-grade pump and sink. Visitors can use several of the locations, too.
- Woodland Park Zoo. The zoo, of course, offers many wild and wonderful outdoor nursing spots; just find a bench and a view. But it also has a dedicated nursing mother’s area in the Zoomazium, near the family restroom. You can also rent strollers and wagons.
- Pacific Science Center. The nursing room at Pacific Science Center, located in the toddler play area, is appropriately play-friendly with some books and toys for your older kids, according to a reader. (We’re not sure on the outlets and other pumping amenities.) There are also family restrooms on the lower level of Building 3, and changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms.
- Safeco Field. You won’t miss the game while you’re in the nursing lounge (main level, section 128, near guest services). According to the community website Moms Pump Here, the space includes a TV, reclining chairs and changing tables. It’s reportedly busy, though, so be prepared to make friends.
- Seattle Art Museum. The Moms Pump Here app reports that there is a dedicated nursing area at SAM, in a converted dressing room, with a desk-like shelf and a restroom nearby.
- REI. While you’re shopping for your next great outdoor trip, nurse or pump at REI’s nursing room that is inside the women’s bathroom at the flagship store. The bathroom is reportedly nursing and pumping friendly and has a door. It includes a changing table and two chairs.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has a nursing room for employees and visiting moms, which includes a comfy chair, table, sink and hand sanitizer.
- Southcenter. Southcenter’s colorful family lounge has family restrooms, nursing stations with outlets and curtains, couches and even microwaves (!). Other family-friendly amenities at the mall include a free play area, family parking and self-serve strollers.
- Redmond Town Center. Family amenities at Redmond Town Center are legion: You’ll find a family parking section, splash pad and music-themed play area and family restrooms large enough to bring a stroller in, mini toilets and sinks. There is a private nursing lounge between the family restrooms (near Cold Stone Creamery) with a lockable door, comfortable chairs, end table, sink and a changing table, though no outlets.
- Bellevue Square. In addition to the private nursing area at the Nordstroms in Bellevue Square, there is a comfortable ladies’ lounge near the center court area that’s often used for nursing.
- KidsQuest Children’s Museum. The museum has many seating areas that are nursing-friendly as well as its semi-private “Shush Station” in the Tot Orchard, with two rocking chairs and toys and books for young kids. (There are also outlets in the area.)
- Kirkland Marina Park. Any park is fair game for nursing, of course, but a reader gives a shout-out to Marina Park for its gazebo and secluded benches that offer a bit of privacy and fantastic views onto Lake Washington.
South of Seattle
- IKEA. The beloved Swedish superstore offers a "Baby Care Room" with comfy chair, changing table and sink.
- Sea-Tac International Airport. You can pump and nurse all day at Sea-Tac International Airport: It has a nursing mother’s area in the playroom with rocking chairs, adjustable lighting, footstools, electrical outlets and side tables. There are also six Mamava pods scattered around the airport for nursing and lactating mothers.
- Centralia Outlets. Just off Interstate 5 south of Olympia, this shopping center has a good nursing/pumping lounge in the bathroom near Eddie Bauer, notes a reader.
North of Seattle
- Alderwood Mall. This giant Lynnwood shopping center has a nursing lounge that has many state-of-the-art amenities: It’s a private locking room with a glider chair. Just outside are family bathrooms, changing tables and even a beverage vending machine, according to Moms Pump Here. Find it close to the play area.
- Bob's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm. A reader told us that Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm, located in picturesque Snohomish, has a “nursing cabin” with two private rooms with rocking chairs, changing tables and a wraparound porch with rocking chairs where moms can nurse while keeping an eye on other kids. The cabin does not have outlets. Be sure to check hours as the farm's hours change depending on season.
Four more ideas to make nursing easier
Mamava mobile app: Mamava is a company that makes freestanding lactation suites equipped with everything women need to pump and nurse in public, including power outlets, USB ports and a collapsible shelf to stash the pump.
Its app locates (and unlocks) Mamava pods for you, and also maps out other reader-reviewed nursing and pumping locations. Around the Sound, you can find Mamava pods at Sea-Tac Airport, North Seattle College and other locations including army bases, hospitals and health care locations.
Moms Pump Here: This community-driven company, which includes a website, social media platforms and nursing locator app, does everything but actually nurse your baby. You can find, rate and share nursing mom-friendly places to lactate via its mapped database (which includes 7,000 places around the U.S.). It also provides loads of information and tips about breastfeeding, pumping and general wellness on its blogs and YouTube Channel.
Hashtags: Find (and add) lactation-friendly spots on social media with hashtags including #seattlenursingrooms, #seattlelactationrooms and #washingtonstatelactationrooms
What you need for a top-notch pumping space: See this related article for more on what you'll need.