When I had Baby Arabian Notes, I was pretty nervous to go out in public at first as I just wasn’t confident with breastfeeding and thought of having to do it in public just didn’t make me comfortable. It’s something that I became pretty used to after time, once we’d settled into a routine, though it was still preferable to me to try to only go out between feeds wherever possible! Whilst breastfeeding is positively encouraged here in the UAE, and with the law on our side even, it’s certainly not something that we should feel uncomfortable about or worry about, but I know that just like I did at first, there are also lots of other women out there who do feel the same.
So, for those of you who do feel more comfortable with a little privacy, here’s some of the baby feeding rooms I found on my travels around the city…
There are actually very few malls that don’t have these facilities, although some are considerably better than others as you’ll see!
Ikea actually has at least two of these rooms, and although they’re small they were quite pleasant with nice decor, a comfy chair, good changing facilities and even a cot!
Yas Mall is a great mall for breastfeeding and has some great areas… the larger ladies toilets have cordoned off semi-private seated waiting areas before you reach the bathrooms which are fine to use – I have used those areas myself previously and seen many other women do the same.
My favourite feeding room at Yas Mall though had to be inside Babyshop… two comfy chairs even with footrests and a functional changing area. What else could you ask for? The pictures below are of the Yas Mall Babyshop, though it’s worth remembering that all Babyshop stores have these rooms, you may just need to ask where they are, and they’re not all quite as nice in my experience… their newer stores have nicer rooms.
One of my other favourites is The Galleria mall. They have really large changing / feeding / breakout rooms that are even equipped with TVs! There’s also a little table which is great if you have other older kids in tow too, and a big comfy seat.
It’s also worth noting that The Galleria mall also has parent and child parking spaces! I’ve looked for these at so many malls and so few have them! Even Abu Dhabi’s newest, Yas Mall, doesn’t have ANY parent and child parking spaces. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s not about being near the mall door – it’s about having a space wide enough to pull the buggy up next to the car door to get the baby in and out of the car seat easily! This can be so difficult in a normal space, especially when someone invariably comes and parks at a most inconsiderate angle next to you! Tell me I’m not the only one who’s been there… sweating in the heat and struggling to get the door wide enough to get the baby back into his car seat?!
Mother care at Abu Dhabi mall also has a changing room that could be used for feeding, though I’m not sure if there’s a chair. And Mamas and Papas also have changing facilities too.
The rooms at Al Wahda Mall amount to no more than just a tiny, stuffy room with a hard chair and separate changing facilities which are usually inside the toilets.
Mushrif Mall has a larger room that also has changing facilities, and at the other end of the room there’s also a toilet since it doubles as a disabled bathroom.
In fact, the only malls I have come across that don’t have some sort of facility are Dalma Mall and WTCAD although you can find Babyshop stores with feeding rooms in both of these malls.
And as a final note, it has also often been mentioned to me by friends that if you’re really stuck, you can use the female prayer rooms and as long as you’re being respectful to the space and not leaving a mess or anything, people won’t mind. These are clean and comfortable and usually have a little bench or seat outside.
If you know of any others or have any other suggestions that might help others then please do feel free to let me know in the comments below. 🙂 I hope you found this useful!