Being a mom is hard enough without the added stress of having to find a good place to nurse your child while you’re enjoying a day out shopping. We, (as totally experienced teenage girls), went to seven malls to check out and rate their nursing rooms based on the following criteria:
We also took the liberty of looking out for added extras and details that were worthy of bonus points.
Parkview Green FangCaoDi (芳草地):
When you walk into the mall, one of the first things you see is a sign pointing to the location of the nursing room. Even the directionally challenged would have no problem finding this one!
We literally had to yell “anyone there?” at the top of our lungs so as not to barge in on anyone because there was a curtain instead of a door that could be locked.
As pristine as a children’s hospital’s waiting room.
It’s got everything you can ask for: a comfy chair, a place for your baby to sit, a changing table, and even a shelf to put things on.
The walls are painted, the color scheme is gorgeous, and you have a toy airplane hanging from the ceiling. FangCaoDi has taste. (But apparently not enough taste to have a door that locks.)
There are six nursing rooms in total at Indigo Mall, located in various places except for the first floor. The prevailing superstition is that being on the first floor will magically take away a mother’s need to nurse.
The door has got a working lock, so we can’t ask for much more.
Very clean and has zero bad odors, despite being right next to the bathrooms.
There’s a nice padded chair where you can sit and nurse your baby.
There’s a toilet inside the nursing room so the mother can do her business without having to drag her baby into the public bathroom. However we’re not sure how hygienic this is.
There are two nursing rooms in the entire mall, and both are in the children’s section. To be fair, a lot of mothers may shop there, but what about the rest of the mall?
Who decided that putting a nursing room between a giant shop and an elevator bank was a good idea? Also passersby, thanks to the translucent frosted glass walls, will see your silhouette while you’re trying to nurse in privacy. On top of that, the door has no lock, so the only item standing between you and a gross lack of privacy is a measly curtain.
Looks brand new – maybe because no one can bring themselves to use them.
If you want somewhere more comfortable than a wooden bench to nurse your baby, you’re out of luck.
Sorry, Solana. Not giving you anything here.
The maps tell us that the nursing room is on the third floor, but don’t tell us where on the third floor. We walked around in a large circle before we found it.
There’s a large sliding door you have to put your hand on before it can open. Downside is that the same door also leads to the ayi’s locker room.
It’s right beside the cleaner’s locker room, so the assumption is that it is kept very clean, and it was.
Standing room only.
It’s a room?
The Place (世贸天阶)
There’s only one nursing room in this Mall and it took us going around circles for the a third time before we were able to find it; it’s literally in the middle of nowhere.
This room was awarded full marks; partly because the door locks, partly because nobody can find it. They use frosted glass, but it’s opaque enough to offer privacy. (Take notes, Solana!)
Doesn’t look like anybody has been able to find it! Spotless.
Two plush benches, a small corner table, a changing station, basically everything you can ask for.
Adorable kid-friendly stickers on the walls! Very cute.
Joy City (朝阳大悦城):
We had a lot of initial difficulty with finding the nursing rooms. Thankfully, we were able to ask the information help desk. But we also had to ask the information help desk.
The only place where a nursing mom can get any semblance of privacy is by walking through a space which was likely intended to be for mothers to relax, but ended up being used as a general leisure space considering the man napping on the couch. Even then, all that stands between them and the public is a flimsy curtain (Solana and FangCaoDi strike again).
While the general area appeared to be clean (though smelling vaguely of cigarettes), there was a used tissue on the table that would presumably be used to support the breast pump. Not the best atmosphere.
I mean, there was a chair and a table, and a full-length mirror so that you can make eye contact with yourself while you nurse, if that’s your thing.
Looked kind of like a changing room. Reminded me of better times.
Sanlitun Taikoo Li (太古里):
Someone had to show us where the nursing room is, but there were no signs of it until after we walked into the bathroom corridor. I guess you can try your luck at every bathroom in Taikoo Li before you find it.
It had a working lock, which is more than could be said for some others (we’re looking at you, Solana, Joy City, and FangCaoDi!)
Honestly, not horrible, but the cigarette smell is a huge turn-off.
There’s a couch to lie down on, a sink, a changing station, and a baby seat (which I’ve now dubbed the Baby Chamber).
The ambient sink lighting made me feel like I was about to lock eyes with my soulmate at some speakeasy in the 1920s.
Photos: Ally Huang, Abby Chung, Rylie Xiong