Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fashionista Mommy Adventures: Breastfeeding in Seoul

At the end of last August, we went for a trip to Seoul, Korea, bringing with us our newborn baby, Alexa (who was only 3 months at the time) and was joined by my brother and sister-in-law, Zyan. Some had commented that Alexa was too young to be on a trip overseas (the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul took about 6 hours) but the thought of bringing Alexa with us was not made on purpose; our tickets were booked even before we knew that I was pregnant with Alexa. After much deliberation, we decided to bring her along (because she's breastfeeding so it made a lot of sense to bring her along on this trip).
Breastfeeding in Seoul is actually a pleasant experience as all of its metro stations are equipped with a nursing room. Here's some of the photos: 
Here's one at Gapyeong Station, the station that you have to get off if you're intending to go to Nami Island.

However, the room is locked most of the time so you may want to go to the station's management office and request them to unlock the room for you.

Inside the nursing room at Gapyeong Station. The room is equipped with a basin to wash your hands, a changing table and right next to the changing table is actually a sofa where you can nurse in peace. 

Nami library at Nami Island.

The nursing room is located inside Nami library, so you may want to walk right through this door to get to the library. 

Here's the entrance to the library.

The door to the nursing room is located at just behind the entrance to the library. I just love the cheerful colors!

And here's the inside of the nursing room, it's equipped with a changing table, a microwave (for I'm not sure what because you're not supposed to heat up breastmilk with the microwave), a baby cot, a changing table and a bench for you to nurse.
At Lotte Department Store, Myeongdong:
This is among the best place to nurse that I've ever been to! There's a baby care centre located at the kids section in the department store (if I'm not mistaken it's located at the 5th floor of the building) and this place is equipped with a changing station, a waiting area complete with couches, a very helpful staff that can help and guide hapless parents like me, a private nursing room and a private sleeping corner for the babies.
The entrance to the baby care centre. Here's the waiting area complete with its green couch. Some parent even chose to feed their babies here and there's some highchairs provided just for that.

The view from the sleeping area. There are about six baby cots in this area, it's actually very quiet here as there's a glass door separating this area making the room very, very quiet.

Alexa in the baby cot. Actually at this moment she was quite grumpy because she's too tired from all the excitement and sleepy at the same time. However, despite the soothing music that they had on in the room and the cool conditioning system, Alexa only managed to sleep for only 10 minutes =(.

The nursing area. This area is separated by a piece of fabric covering the door opening. The room is complete with several nursing pillows and a humidifier. It could comfortably fit about six to seven mummies at the same time (it's that big!).
At Itaewon Station:

The nursing room is located inside the station's management office.

And it's also complete with a changing station, washbasin and sofa.

At Seoul Tower:


This one was rather small though, the nursing room was equipped with the basic sink, changing table and sofa but the sofa was placed right behind the door so it wasn't very comfortable as you might have to watch out for people opening the door and the door hitting you while you are nursing.
At Seoul Incheon Airport:

This one was located at the departure hall (there were some mommies using the room so I couldn't take any photos of the room's facilities).

And this one is located also at the departure hall, after you've gone through immigrations before boarding your flight.

So, if you're traveling with a baby to Seoul, be rest assured that Seoul is very baby friendly, every metro station (and most of their department stores) are equipped with a nursing room, just make sure you look for this sign:

I love my experience of traveling to Seoul and I love the fact that they respect the mothers enough so much so that there's plenty of nursing and diaper changing rooms everywhere and there's even special seats for pregnant mommies, or mommies with kids on the metro.

Here's my brother with his six months pregnant wife in the metro =).

So for mommies who are planning to travel to Seoul, be rest assured, there's plenty of nursing and diaper changing rooms in Seoul =).

However, the metro stations are not very stroller friendly so it might be wise to invest in a good baby carrier. Luckily we bought an ergo carrier specifically for the trip and ended up using it everyday!

Have a great trip!

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

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