NEWSFLASH! You need to feed your baby. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, you have to do so several times a day. You can’t just feed your child Korean BBQ all the time like a middle aged Korean man.
When I was planning my trip to South Korea with my 6 month old, I asked my Korean born future sister-in-law if it was cool to nurse in public. She told me that it wasn’t a hard no, but almost all women go to designated nursing rooms in malls or shopping areas to nurse, and that it wasn’t really acceptable. I found this a little weird, did you have to go to a mall to nurse?
I was worried. What would I do if I was on the go and I needed to nurse post haste? I wasn’t planning on frequenting malls all the time, plus I’d be out of our hotel room the entire day, which means I’d need to feed my baby multiple times a day in public. What if I offended the locals and someone taekwondo’s me in the neck? Or worse, what if someone gave me a dirty look? My head swirled with worries, but what really happened was exactly the opposite of what I had dreamed up.
From my brief experience, South Korea seems to be quite progressive and supportive of breastfeeding mothers. This was a pleasant surprise as women should have the right to feed our babies wherever we go, no matter if its from a breast or a bottle. South Korea seemed to support this right and knows how to make mommas feel really comfortable while out in public. Having these rooms over the 3 weeks I traveled through Korea was an absolute treat. If we had more nursing rooms in Canada, we’d see a lot less uncomfortable mom’s banishing themselves to dark and dreary broom closets and leaky bathroom stalls when they need to feed their babies in public.
What I loved about these safe baby havens:
- They are a quiet place if your baby is over stimulated
- Baby needs a diaper change
- Baby needs to take a short nap (YES some nurseries i visited had cribs)
- Mom needs a small break (some nurseries had foot massagers)
- If you need to heat up or prepare your formula (Most nurseries had filtered water, microwaves and even bottle sterilizers)
- A place to breastfeed your baby in a quiet and comfortable space so they aren’t distracted and you don’t feel exposed
- Dads we’re allowed in the rooms, and were often in there helping the mom’s out which I loved to see. Feeding and changing babies isn’t just the mom’s job.
Some of my favourite amazing nursing rooms
Sajik Stadium – Busan Lotte Giants Baseball
Gimhae Airport Nursing Room Busan
Haenyeo Museum Jeju Island
Aqua Planet Aquarium Jeju Island
Nursing Room Secret Garden Changdeokgung Palace Seoul
Incheon International Airport Seoul
This was the Cadillac of all nursing rooms in my opinion. It made me wish I had frequented some of the high end malls in Seoul to see what they were like. This nursing room was the fanciest and even had a scale to weigh your baby. It was a nice last visit to the wonderful nursing rooms of South Korea.
When a nursing room wasn’t around
Nursing rooms at home?
The only nursing rooms in Edmonton (a city of a million, mind you) are:
- Rogers Place the concert and hockey arena. They say CLEARLY on their website they DO NOT have a nursing room, however if you ask guest services 2 or 3 times, they will direct you to their nursing room after suggesting you nurse in a family bathroom. The nursing room is very small, has only 2 spots to sit, a place to change your baby and a TV. I believe they don’t want to over advertise because it’s so small for such a large arena, but while in the nursing room during an Oilers game I met 7 or 8 momma’s who needed this safe haven for over stimulated and hungry babies.
- Ikea supposedly has one but I haven’t been yet. In true Ikea fashion, they have it all to keep families happy on a day out so that you spend money with them. GENIUS.
Have you ran into any nursing rooms in Edmonton, Alberta or Canada that I should know about? Comment below, message me on Instagram (@SamGSama) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org