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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Breastfeeding in HK: Sassy Mama's Top Breastfeeding Spots in HK

I love Sassy Mama! Breastfeeding Month is around the corner and it's wonderful to be able to update my HK breastfeeding station information even better. I had to post this up!
#BF1st1000days

Sassy Mama's Top Breastfeeding Spots in HK

We’re approaching breastfeeding awareness month, and we think it’s quite an exciting time to be nursing right now! With #normalisebreastfeeding trending on Twitter, women are stomping out the stigma attached by some to public nursing. Here at Sassy Mama we are all for “whatever works for you” so if you’ve chosen to go the breastfeeding route, the main thing is that you feel comfortable and relaxed when you take control of lunch.
Now, relaxing can be a little difficult at the best of times on this small island with over seven million inhabitants. When there’s a hungry mouth grappling at your bosom and you’re in the middle of the ifc at lunch time, it’s not likely staying calm is going to be the first thing you think of. As long as you venture out armed with whatever you might need and a solid plan of where the nearest pit stop is going to be, there’s no reason why you can’t both put your feet up and enjoy a snack. We’ve rounded up a few little feeding getaways — nursing havens for a quiet (ish) moment with your little one. In fact, this list is so blooming useful, we think it would make a good app… you heard it here first.


CENTRAL / SHEUNG WAN

1. Stuck in Central? Hop, skip and jump to Tiny Footprints on Duddell Street, it’s a feeding haven with comfy chairs, a changing table and a curtain to give you and your bub some privacy!
2. There are a few feeding hot spots in ifc mall, the best one being on P1 in the women’s toilets. Yes it’s small, yes we’re living in Hong Kong here…
3. One of our fave maternity wear stores Mayarya welcomes all new mums to breastfeed in their “nursing-friendly” zones, with no pressure to purchase! There’s also a washroom with a baby changing table – super convenient for mums seeking a safe haven.
4. More Central – Eugene Centre and Bumps to Babes have cubicles too, yay!
5. The Mandarin Oriental’s Powder Room on the ground floor of the Landmark is a changing and feeding delight!
6. It’s good to know us new mamas always have a place to catch our breath and get our feed on at Annerley.
7. Prince’s Building on Chater Road in Central has a few baby rooms on the 3/F near Mannings with nursing facilities. There’s also a ladies’ toilet on the 1/F with a big couch for breastfeeding.
8. There’s a feeding room in Hong Kong Park just opposite the Shangri-La (again not hugely glam, but it does the trick).
9. There’s a changing room at Macau Ferry Terminal – who knew! You can get to it via Maxim Restaurant on the ground floor.
10. Don’t forget hotels are usually a failsafe option! Check out the MarriottShangri-La and theHyatt if you’re on the Hong Kong Island side.
11. Another handy tip is to ask in department stores if you can use a changing room cubicle, such as Marks and Spencer or Lane Crawford.

CAUSEWAY BAY / WAN CHAI / NORTH POINT

12. The Hong Kong Central Library is a quiet building with a dedicated Babycare Room in the children’s library on the 2/F for breastfeeding – just contact the staff for access!
13. Pacific Place in Admiralty is a good spot – either next to Lane Crawford home or there’s another one on the second floor. It’s one in one out though, which can be a slight drawback.
14. There’s a nifty nursing room in Lee Gardens Two on the 2/F with a changing table and a chair for a quick feed!
15. Times Square has a small nursing room on the 9/F with comfortable chairs; also, there’s a room on the 3/F opposite Zara with a toddler-sized toilet.
16. If you’re doing a bit of shopping in Tai Koo, the 2/F of Jusco Department Store has a nice changing area for a break with the bub.
17. Also check out Cityplaza, there are changing areas on both the G/F and 3/F.


SOUTHSIDE

18. You could always check out Tree in Horizon Plaza – the chicest, most eco-friendly place to feed a hungry baba.
19. The comfy couches at Choice Cooperative are perfect for feeding while out and about in the Aberdeen / Wong Chuk Hang area and owner Ifat has created an environment where breastfeeding is 100% supported and welcomed.
20. On the ground floor of Stanley Plaza you can find a changing room accessible to both mamas and papas on the G/F near the toilets – excellent news.
21. Head on over to Bumps to Babes for a cubicle nurse on the 21/F of Horizon Plaza!


KOWLOON / NEW TERRITORIES

22. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, Elements Shopping Mall has a couple of great nursing spots! The main changing room is located on the G/F opposite La Creation Bakery and has four changing tables plus a lockable private room for feeding. A smaller changing room is also available on 1/F next to Brooks Brothers.
23. Shopping in  Tung Chung at the Citygate Outlets? Bring baby to the changing room on Level 1 next to Calvin Klein Jeans (search for the tiny cubicle off the corridor to the women’s toilets). It can be noisy and a bit cramped, but it’s the best place for getting some privacy in the popular mall!
24. Ocean Terminal at Harbour City in TST is incredible! The nursing space outside Toys R Us has three private rooms plus changing tables, a small play area and bottle warmers! Yup, TST with a new born is actually do-able!
25. Another spot in Kowloon is at Olympian 3 in Olympic City. Located between Bon Bon Tea and Chicks, there’s a neat space with two private rooms and a changing table. If you’re in the adjacent Olympian 2, escape to the changing room on the G/F next to women’s clothing shop Bershka. While not super comfortable, it’ll do the job!
26. There are a couple of baby changing rooms in New Town Plaza, Sha Tin but expect a queue or two…!
27. New Town Plaza in Sha Tin has a couple of baby changing rooms, although there may be a bit of a wait.
28. If you’re braving the crowds in Mongkok, escape to the 5/F of the Langham Place Hotel for a private changing room.
29. Ikea in Megabox is a fun little spot for nursing for all you Kowloon Bay’ers with water dispensers, wipes and a changing table!
30. Finally, the government provides breastfeeding areas in many of its local facilities – check out the full list here!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hakab Na 2014 for August 2 (Saturday)!!!

August marks Breastfeeding month again! #BF1st1000days #hakabna2014

Breastfeeding is a public health issue. While some mothers say breastfeeding came to them naturally, some found it difficult. In a mother’s most vulnerable stage, she needs to get the best support from the birthing center or hospital to the home, the workplace and within the community.

In celebration of the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, the Facebook group Breastfeeding Pinays (BFP) will organize a half-day breastfeeding activity called Hakab Na 2014. The event seeks to promote the importance of providing proper support to all breastfeeding Filipino families. 

I'm excited to be part of this wonderful event again this year and more so since it would mark more than a year of breastfeeding S. It was faster this time around since I know where to find the proper support for a successful Breastfeeding Journey. 



Some background of what happened at last year's Hakab Na 2013...
About 100  breastfeeding mothers around Metro Manila, along with their families were able to join us at Aristocrat Roxas Boulevard Branch in Hakab Na 2013 despite the heavy rains. This event is open to all who's currently breastfeeding, planning to breastfeed, and those who's kids have weaned already, and to anyone who believes and supports the breastfeeding advocacy. I wrote about more about Hakab Na 2013 here.

This year at Hakab Na 2014, this event will be held simultaneously in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo on August 2, 2014 (Saturday) at 9:00 am with venues all around the Philippines:-
  • Manila: Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
  • Cebu: Ayala Center Cebu Active Zone in Cebu City (hosted by the Cebu Breastfeeding Club)
  • Davao: Stockbridge International School (formerly Tumble Tots) in Davao City (hosted by Breastfeeding Pinays – Davao)
  • Negros Occidental: Santuario de la Salle, University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City (hosted by the Bacolod Mom and Baby Club and the Institute for Negros Development)
  • Iloilo: Iloilo Provincial Capitol in Iloilo City (hosted by the Breastfeeding Ilonggas)
  • In Cagayan de Oro, Mommy Bright Side is hosting Hakab Na 2014 at the Ororama Cogon on August 1, 2014. 
Hakab Na 2014 will be held in coordination with the Big Latch On – an international activity where mothers will latch on their babies from different locations around the world at the same time. In 2013, there were 14,536 mothers in 845 locations in 28 countries participated in the event. 

Hakab Na is an activity where we will all breastfeed our babies at the same time. We're doing this together with other breastfeeding moms who will also be doing the same activity in other countries For the Manila event, aside from the simultaneous latching, we're also planning on having (a) an activity to get to know each other; and (b) talks on extended breastfeeding (breastfeeding babies who are older than 6 months).  
I was told also that there are also surprise activities in-store that will knock your socks off so I'm excited!

This will be the second year that the now 25,000-strong BFP group will be staging Hakab Na. BFP expects to surpass last year’s record of more than 225 mothers who simultaneously latched their babies, including 100 mothers in Manila, 90 in Cagayan de Oro and 30 in Davao.

In the Manila event, BFP will be conducting a talk on Breastfeeding Babies Beyond 6 Months. A minimal registration fee of P150 will be collected for every mother and baby/child pair which includes a baby souvenir shirt, snacks and loot bag and P100 each for companions 7 years old and above to cover snacks.

Interested parties can join by registering at http://bit.ly/HakabNaMnl2014