Skip to main content
Sojourner Marable Grimmett's picture

Tell us about Table for Two and how it began.

Table for Two (TFT) is a community organization that seeks to establish public lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers. We provide grassroots and real-world approaches to building global breastfeeding acceptance. The signature TFT campaign asks the important question, " You wouldn't eat in the bathroom, so why would you expect you expect a baby to?" was created by co-founders Sojourner Marable Grimmett and Monica Lindsey Ponder in 2011.

Tell us about an experience you've had that conveys the importance of Table for Two.

In public locations locally and broadly, lactating mothers are asked to feed their children in the restroom or to call in advance of their travel plans to arrange a private room to pump or breastfeed in national airports. Table for Two (TFT) seeks to build awareness so that this basic human rights will become a reality. The TFT campaign is a resources for anyone looking to build lactation rooms in their community and workplaces. The first project was to establish designated lactation rooms at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) the world's busiest airport. Currently, there are no designated lactation rooms for employers or customers at Atlanta’s Airport. Instead nursing moms have to call in advance to secure a private place to pump or breastfeed. While there are no lactation rooms there are 15 designated smoking lounges. Through the work of TFT and many lactation organizations and supporters designated nursing rooms will open this summer at HJAIA. All breastfeeding mothers deserve a safe, secure, and comfortable place to pump and nurse.

What moms said about their experience breastfeeding at HJAIA:

"I can remember walking around engorged trying to locate a place to pump when I was out and about. I nursed Madison for 14 months and wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything in the world!” – Tanya C. from Atlanta, GA

“I asked the Delta customer service agent to help me locate a lactation room, and that was the best they could come up with. I had to sit on the cold, hard, granite counter so I could be near the outlet. Families, needing to use the room, knocked on the door the whole 20 minutes I was in there. When I exited alone, I got angry stares. That was one of the only moments I wished my pump bag wasn’t so discrete." - Erina T. from Savannah, GA

" 9 years ago when I was nursing Lawrence, I actually had to nurse him in the airport bathroom!! Who else eats in the bathroom?" – Shae P. from Atlanta, GA

What data do you use to show the importance of breastfeeding and the impact of your work?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have wonderful resources and statistics featuring recent data on breastfeeding rates including articles, infographics, dashboards, and videos.

What is one thing the person reading this can do to support Table for Two?

Unfortunately, many mothers stop breastfeeding prematurely due to the inconvenience and lack of privacy. The painful reality - allowing milk to "dry up" when women are not ready to stop nursing - can cause tremendous grief, depression, and disappointment for mothers anxious to provide the most important nutrients to their newborn. Working mothers should stand up, speak up, and request private lactation rooms in their workplaces and public places across the world to continue expressing milk for their newborns without shame or fear of humiliation. TFT creates a support group for women to fight for the right to nurse and pump in a private and clean working environment.

What is an area of breastfeeding support that is being overlooked and what should be done about it?

Areas of breastfeeding support are being overlooked in encouraging breastfeeding early in the pregnancy, and engaging and supporting fathers to promote breastfeeding. Mothers and fathers who are educated early are more successful.

What's your favorite breastfeeding resource (ie, article, blog post, video, website)?

In addition to ROSE and Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association, here are several breastfeeding resources I appreciate:

  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation.

  • -- The World Health Organization are leaders in health information for the entire world.

  • -- CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is committed to increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public's health.

  • -- La Leche League International's mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

  • -- The Bump is from the creators of The Knot and The Nest gives first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools -- all in one savvy online community.

This post is part of the #BlkBFing Next Door: Local changemakers in the African-American breastfeeding movement shine for Black History Month. Read more posts here.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!