In time for the start of the 2015 MLB season, the Great American Ball Park (GABP), home of the Cincinnati Reds, has opened a nursing suite sponsored by Pampers. Yay! The Cincinnati Reds understand the needs of women and their babies! Those were my initial thoughts when I heard the news. The suite includes rocking chairs, bottles, bathrooms, changing tables and – of course – giant flat-screen TVs so visiting moms do not have to miss any of the action while away from their seats.

For years, teams have been implementing new ideas in an attempt to attract more women – they’ve created custom merchandise, added specific food items to their menus, and even increased the number of women’s restrooms in their facilities. However, the addition of a nursing suite to the team stadium/arena is a pretty new concept – the Seattle Mariners are the only other franchise we’re aware of that has a ‘nursing lounge’.

As a recent mother, I have discovered how unequipped some places are for mothers and their babies… and that makes me feel that these establishments don’t want babies to be present. As a direct result, I have found myself not as interested in going to live events since having a child – many teams’ facilities simply do not meet my current needs as a new mother. However, after hearing about this new room at the GABP, I would definitely be interested in attending a game there! While some establishments are making it clear they do not want to cater to kids, the GABP has done just the opposite. This new space demonstrates the Reds are looking out for the needs of those with babies, which gives a whole new weight to the term “family day at the ball park”.

I would love to hear from GABP attendees about the new nursing suite – are you using it? Is it helpful? If all goes well with the space, hopefully other teams will take the hint and jump on the mother/baby bandwagon and create similar areas at their facilities. As pioneers of this concept, I believe the Cincinnati Reds may have a (well deserved) leg up when it comes to raising a new generations of fans.

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