Breastfeeding During the Listing Presentation... Is that All Right with You?

By
Real Estate Agent with Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.

 During a recent listing presentation, I met the beautiful grandaughter of the octogenarian homeowner willing and ready to help grandmother with the delicate issues of selling the home. A young, smart, beautiful professional teacher, she was in town for a few days with the purpose of helping grandma with the move, and she brought her newborn baby girl with her.

   After the customary "Cooks' Tour" of the house, we sat down in the living room where grandma was, to go over the paper work, schedule open houses, hours of brokers tours, when and how the house will be shown, etc. But the baby started crying, so the mother excuse herself and went to tend to her daughter, she come back a few minutes later with a small blanket covering the baby, she was breastfeeding her, and sat a bit tilted away from the sunny window, which put her diagonal from her grandmother. Then she asked that incredible question: "... do you mind if I feed the baby while we talk? Oh, no, not at all, I quickly responded. I did not know any other way to answer that question.

  While feeding, the baby kept moving her little hand and exposing mom's boob, giving me
random nip flashes. Thankfully, she did not realize the type of view that I was being offered, what is a man to do in a situation like this one? I struggled to keep my eyes on her eyes, so I remembered one of the lessons I learned earlier in my Real Estate training, listen carefully and make lots of notes, write everything so you remember important things later. Bringing down my gaze obviously was a good tactic. Not that it lasted too long. I had lots of questions, after all this was a big house, you know.

   Needless to say I was very comfortable with the situation, however after asking a few of my colleagues what would they have done, the gender pretty much dictated the pros and cons of conducting business under these circumstances. Breastfeeding during a business meeting is perfectly O. K. by me. Other people seem to be uncomfortable with the sight of a mother feeding her child. For men of course, breast are complicated, breast are dual-purpose machines, and we men can have some trouble completely severing the link between boobs and sex and replacing it with boobs and nurturing babies.

 

  The sight of a woman's breast should never be an issue for anybody. The mermaids of Piazza Del Neptune in Bologna, Italy have water shooting out of their nipples, and it is one of the most visited places for tourists. I also heard about the protest organized by nursing mothers in a subway in New York, after being harassed, they decided to spend a couple of hours with their babies feeding them in public, to make a point.

This is one of the most natural things to do for a mother. (I only wish the local mothers will organize a similar protest in the bay area ... I will definitely offer my support! and will go protest with them side by side) By the way, those ladies in New York actually helped introduce legislation in congress to protect a woman's right to breastfeed on federal property where she and her child have a right to be. The bill was signed into law on Sept. 28, 1999 by then president Clinton.

 
  We were able to accomplish our goals of putting a good plan in motion to sell the house. Because of the baby interruptions, this meeting took a bit longer than the average, after all, a listing presentation includes lots of details. After this meeting, I went to the office and read the notes I so diligently wrote, here is a partial list;

Wood burning fireplace
Bottle feeding is unhealthy!
Upgraded electrical system
new roof was installed just 3 years ago
Go Baby Go! Babies should not be covered while feeding!
First Open House next Sunday afternoon
Babies should nurse around the clock!
Pacifiers should be outlawed!
Great partial views!

Needless to say this was an interesting business meeting, worth remembering. But it does not appear to be a clear answer to this type of meeting. What would you have done?

 

Posted by

The Realtors In Motion       Antonio & Alexia Cardenas   

                  "The Realtors In Motion" 

         CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.

                  Visit us on line at:

www.listedbyantonio.com or call (510) 326-4263

                     Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!

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Ambassador
401,458
Virginia Hepp
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale

Nine brothers and sisters, 56 nephews and neices, 100s of cousins....I probably wouldn't have noticed.  Might be a gender thing.

April 01, 2010 09:56 PM
Rainmaker
122,503
David Dee
Real Estate - San Gabriel Valley (L.A.) & N. Orange County CA
IRN REALTY

Antonio/Alexia, looks like you'll get them the great internet exposure for their home and sell quickly. :D Looks like you handled it well and professional.

April 01, 2010 10:01 PM
Rainmaker
83,473
Samantha Davault
Fort Worth, TX
DFW Urban Realty

Oh my!  What an interesting post.  While I agree it is a perfectly natural part of life, I also believe a little discretion is advisable.  Your notes were pretty funny though.

April 01, 2010 10:01 PM
Rainmaker
231,945
Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co.

Hi Antonio-

A parent has to do what a parent has to do.  In real estate, you have to roll with it all...

--Sara in San Antonio

April 01, 2010 10:01 PM
Rainmaker
71,450
Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin
Mullikin Family Realty Group Realty Executives - Integrity

Nursing a baby is very natural. It should not be a big deal. She thought she was being discreet.

April 01, 2010 10:05 PM
Rainer
35,001
Whitney Peddy
de Luxe Homes & Estates

Ha! I guess she felt comfortable with you being their agent.

April 01, 2010 10:11 PM
Ambassador
1,850,511
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

I am a pro nursing babies anywhere they want to be fed advocate, big time! I had 6 babies and I nursed them all. And I nursed them all past 2 years of age. In fact 2 out of the six nursed until they were 3 and my last baby- which was the last baby I will ever have ( too old now to have anymore) well, he nursed off and on til he was almost 4. 

When i first nursed my first baby- in 1979- it was considered indecent. Something that God intended to be the most nutritious food for humans- indecent! Well, I was a rebel. Still am. Don't ever tell me I can't nurse my babies and I joined Le Leche League and I would petition for allowing moms to breastfeed. 

One time here in Florida- I was nursing my baby when Nestor and I were out eating at a restaurant- the waitress asked me if I could please go nurse him in the bathroom! I told her, " Sure Sweeties- I will go nurse him in the bathroom when you have your lunch in the bathroom!" Well, little did she know, there was legislation here in Florida that states that nursing moms can nurse in restaurants or anywhere else for that matter. 

In some states, still to this day, a mother can get put in jail for nursing in public. Disgusting! So what is the baby to eat while the mom is in jail???? 

To me,  a bottle in a baby's mouth is sad and disgusting but not a boob. That is what breasts are for, nurturing our babies as well as wonderful side effects for the mothers- like the more babies you breastfeed the less your chance of getting breast cancer! The more you breastfeed the longer you live, the list goes on and on not to even mention for the baby! Not one of my kids ever had ear problems, snotty noses, not one has ever been seriously sick and they are are thin and no obesity. 

I can go on for days and days about this. But I will stop for now:) Katerina 

April 01, 2010 10:11 PM
Rainmaker
48,304
Ingrid Laine
Sr. Loan Officer, North End, Virginia Beach
C&F Mortgage

My husband had a similar experience he was freaked out! Not that he minds public breastfeeding but it was just him, his female client and the baby. He saw everything! He felt flashed, and guilty for seeing it.

In your case perhaps she should have asked how comfortable you were before she started feeding. There could have been a 15 minute break in your meeting. Also.. there are breast pumps for those times you know you are going to be out all day.

-Ingrid

April 01, 2010 10:18 PM
Rainmaker
128,041
KAREN SANCHEZ
...Marketing your home like no one else will.
Real Living Hamilton Landon

Go Katrina!  Me too.  I always covered.

You are in their home. They live there.  Natural things happen at home.  If she hadn't feed the baby the appointment would have been much longer becasue baby would have been grouchy and Mom uncomfortable.

April 01, 2010 10:21 PM
Rainmaker
150,561
Kristen Ueckert
Real Estate Pro in Keller, Texas
Ueckert Realty LLC

L O V E it. Go mom. And hilarious writing. You apparently wanted to stay and give your best attempt at being professional and mature, which is admirable ? but you were clearly distracted! If you start saying body parts vs. contract terms, you may need to excuse yourself, if there is a next time, for your own sake!

April 01, 2010 10:22 PM
Ambassador
1,850,511
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

Just another added note: Out of my 6 babies- all grown now except our 7 year old- NOT one of them EVER had a bottle, ever. They went right from breast to cup. I will never forget how much I laughed when I was pregnant with Nestor and My baby ( the other 5 were from my 1st marriage) and Nestor had two children with his x who were NOT breastfed. Anyways- we were shopping for baby stuff and he went over to get some bottles, I told him baby is not having bottles, he didn't get it. He bought them and they were never used. I still smile thinking about that. 

April 01, 2010 10:24 PM
Rainmaker
262,886
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West

Antonio:
I guess it's all in a days work....  But, your Blog was a lighthearted & entertaining.

April 01, 2010 10:27 PM
Rainmaker
188,733
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
"The Realtors In Motion"
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.

Virginia, yes, indeed, I grew up with 3 brothers and 3 sisters, so we were exposed to everything, not a big deal.

David, yes, we did sell the house too quickly... darn!

Samantha, Oh, she was very discreet all right. I'm glad the baby wasn't...

Sara, you are right, babies apparently need to be feed at all times... what is a Realtor to do?

Pat, I agree with you.

Whitney, She was comfortable, she did not notice the baby flashing me

Katerina, It does look like I hit a nerve with you, I totally agree with you, that is the most natural sight we humans see, why would a woman has to go to the bathroom to feed her baby? I love the answer you have that waitress in Florida. Good for you.

Thank you all for your visit!

Antonio

April 01, 2010 10:27 PM
Rainmaker
262,886
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West

Antonio:
I guess it's all in a days work....  But, your Blog was a lighthearted & entertaining.

April 01, 2010 10:28 PM
Rainmaker
262,886
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West

Antonio:
I guess it's all in a days work....  But, your Blog was a lighthearted & entertaining.

April 01, 2010 10:28 PM
Rainmaker
188,733
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
"The Realtors In Motion"
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.

Ingrid - so your husband also was exposed to such behavior? and he felt guilty about it? I must confess, I felt rather... blessed!

Karen - It is true, it is their house, they call the shots, I am merely a visitor. After all, she asked me if it was O.K. with it. and I was...

Kristen - Thank you for your kind words, and I like the word admirable, referring to my behavoir. Unfortunately I could not time my next visits to the house and feeding times. The baby apparently did not go by any clock.

Katerina, you crack me up. poor Nestor had no clue.

Pat & Steve - I am glad I made your day

Thank you all.  

Antonio

April 01, 2010 10:42 PM
Rainmaker
48,304
Ingrid Laine
Sr. Loan Officer, North End, Virginia Beach
C&F Mortgage

Antonio,

Yep, he is very conservative in that regard. We both are so very ok about public breastfeeding. It just caught him off guard. We have 2 kids and personally I was a bit more discreet but to each her own...

-Ingrid

April 02, 2010 11:04 AM
Rainer
19,420
Paul Chavez
Albuquerque Realtor, NM EcoBroker, and General Contractor
Earth Origins Realty

Breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy food for babies.  High five to the breastfeeding mama, and to all who normalize breastfeeding whereever they are!

April 03, 2010 07:15 AM
Rainmaker
660,279
Pacita Dimacali
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
Alain Pinel

Guess it depends on your cultural exposures. Growing up in the PHilippines, this is all-too common. It wouldn't have bothered us at all!

April 07, 2010 04:36 PM
Rainmaker
188,733
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
"The Realtors In Motion"
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.

Ingrid - thanks for the clarification, She was discreet all right. she behaved like a lady, with all fairness to her.

Paul- I'm with you, Moms are happy, babies are healthier and innocent bystanders, like me, don't mind it at all.

Pacita- did not think about the cultural exposures, but you are right, for other cultures this behavior is absolutely normal and is the only way.

Thank you all for your visit.

Antonio

April 07, 2010 08:26 PM
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Rainmaker
188,733

Antonio & Alexia Cardenas

"The Realtors In Motion"
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