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Breastfeeding when out & about in HK

  1. #1
    katiefran is offline Registered User
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    Breastfeeding when out & about in HK

    I will be moving to HK in December with my son who will be 4 months old. He is breastfed and at home in Australia I take him out with me everywhere and feed him where-ever he needs to be fed and it's not a problem (I generally try to be as discreet as I can). I would like to know how attitudes toward breastfeeding in public are in Hong Kong? Is it considered acceptable to feed them anywhere? I have seen the list of places suggested for feeding on this site and it surprised me a little (not least because I wouldn't have time to find somewhere private to go should my baby decide he is hungry!) and made me wonder if it's usual to hide away when feeding your baby? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    jools is offline Registered User
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    Never hid away when breastfeeding; have breastfed wherever I have needed to. The only response I have ever got, is smiles from other mothers.

  3. #3
    ctrbabe1 is offline Registered User
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    I have breastfed my baby everywhere, too, without any problems. I do try to find a corner without too many people, and I cover up with a blanket, though. The only issues I've had are when we've been out to chinese restaurants with hubby's relatives. They haven't said anything to me, but I get the feeling from them that it's unacceptable, so I've had to go into the restroom or turn my chair around or something. I find that kind of humiliating and wish they'd give me a break.

    (Sorry, unacceptable is the wrong word to use, but I could tell they were very uncomfortable the times that I have breastfed at the table.)
    All the best,
    Katie

  4. #4
    Jo Bowd is offline Registered User
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    I also breast fed my son just about anywhere that was comfy for me in public places. Benches in parks on the street, shopping centre sitting areas, Chinese and Western cafes/resturants and public transport. If you are already used to dong this and are discreet, most of the time I don't think that many people notice - unless they are, or have been breast feeding mothers.

  5. #5
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i'm married to a local man too... i figure there's nothing in this world wrong with giving your baby the nutrition that it needs. if THEY have a problem with it, that is exactly that... their problem!

    i've fed everywhere as well, once even on a bench in the middle of maritime square shopping mall. i used a blanket for the first baby, but by the second baby, i thought that it just drew more attention to what i was doing. it wasn't like i was flashing my boob or anything.

    you will find some chinese very ummmm conservative. even in the hospitals they shut you away when you want to breastfeed...i just ignored them. if a nurse pointed me in the direction of hte feeding room i said that i was fine, and that this was the O&G dept. the women there better get used to it....

  6. #6
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    there shouldnt be any problems with you if you don't feel awkward. most people are too busy or hurried to notice anyway.

  7. #7
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    The culture here is one that covers up the breast. Very few people wear clothes which show large amount of cleavage, although skirts as short as you like are accepted! Because of this mothers who are breastfeeding in public do so very discreetly. Most wear two pieces and pull up the top from the waist – so with the baby in place very little is on show. I don’t think unbuttoning a blouse from the top would be tolerated. A few mothers I know prefer special nursing wear because this also covers the side view and any possible midriff showing.

    As the culture is one that is shy to show the breast it is assumed that you would be embarrassed to feed in public. Most people will assume that you don’t want to breastfeeding in public and so suggest other places. I think this is more concern for you than worry about the breastfeeding. Thus how comfortable you are with it is the main factor to how acceptable others will find it.

    Facilities wise Hong Kong is not a very friendly place for a mother with a new baby, whether she is breastfeeding or not. There are very few places to sit down and have a rest and this also means few places to sit down and breastfeeding.

    Our group also holds “Tea Breaks” – where we meet in local coffee shops. The aim is to encourage new mothers to have the confidence to breastfeed in public – it is much easier to do so when you are with a supportive group of other mothers. Details are at http://www.lllhk.org/Meetings.html

    The local media here seems to be fascinated by breastfeeding stories. So anyone and everyone who is asked to stop breastfeeding can make the headlines. Because of this there have been a number of high profile cases of mothers being asked to stop or move.

    The most recent case I heard was in fact just a misunderstanding. The mother who was asked to move thought it was because she was breastfeeding but the hotel staff was concerned because the mother and baby were sitting in the draught form the open doorway. A normal Hong Kong lack of communication!

    Eight years ago a mother was asked to move when breastfeeding in a famous hotel and the newspaper stories carried on for the next three weeks. Because of the publicity there was a TV programme about the subject of breastfeeding in public and a survey. 100% thought breastfeeding was best and 55% though it was acceptable to breastfeed in public. At the time only 40% of mothers were breastfeeding on leaving hospital now the figure is over 60%

    Generally I think that public breastfeeding is becoming much more acceptable – I definitely see many more mothers doing so. Also the people of Hong Kong are very friendly towards babies which makes taking them with you easier.

    Welcome to Jong Kong,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader in Hong Kong

  8. #8
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    I breastfed my son in HK and fed him wherever I was, whenever he needed feeding....including once on the MTR which did earn me some strange looks..but my son was hungry and I was covered up so I saw no problem.

    I agree most people will ignore you! Teenagers and children tend to notice and don't seem to understand- probably because it isn't partic. common to see breastfeeding Mothers in HK.

    But do not be put off by that! I wasn't going to let anyone put me off. I was doing what was best for my child and if other people were uncomfortable with that, that is their look out. I was always discreet.

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