A Guide to Breastfeeding in Public in Dubai
You might be surprised to learn that breastfeeding in Dubai is well accepted
28 August 2017
Breastfeeding is a topic that can spark conversation between all mums-to-be and mums-already across the world, but it is ultimately a choice that any mother should feel comfortable making if they wish.
If you are an expectant mother or new mum living in Dubai and you have chosen to breastfeed your new born, there are some things to consider.
Some might be surprised to discover that Dubai and its many attractions, restaurants, malls, and cafes are breastfeeding friendly – with few mothers ever being rejected or confronted for feeding their child.
In fact – in Emirati culture, women are encouraged by the Government to breastfeed until their child is 2 years old… So long as it’s done in a discreet way.
So to help you mammas out, here’s some advice for new mums or nursing tourists in Dubai:
1. Practice makes perfect
Practice a few times at home while comfortable, or before you start to feed in public.
2. Be discreet
Carry a huge scarf or specialised nursing cover with you while out and about. Yes, it can be a little tricky to get used to the balancing act when holding a new born, encouraging them to latch and eat, and cover up all at the same time. But with some practice, it will become easier.
3. Double check you're comfortable
With the UAE's cultural norms in place, it is understandable for some new mothers to feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public while living or visiting here. But don't worry - if you're really not sure and wish to double check, we're sure the staff at the restaurant or place your visiting will be more than happy to help you feel comfortable, or direct you to a place where you might appreciate the privacy. This is not to say that you're asking permission - but instead advise mums to make sure they're fully comfortable before beginning their baby's meal time.
4. Wear accessible clothing
Modesty is a huge part of Dubai’s cultural norms, and so be sure to wear clothing that makes it easily accessible for your little one to feed. Things like a nursing bra, a button shirt or similar so you don’t end up having to pull your t-shirt up to reveal your lovely post-baby belly!
Try to begin feeding before your baby gets too impatient – or else risk a more stressful experience for you both.
Private places for breastfeeding in Dubai
There are some options across Dubai if you would prefer some privacy while nursing your child, which include the following:
- Malls like The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall and Mirdif City Center all offer great baby facilities that you can sit in, lock the door and relax with a chair and changing mat. At The Dubai Mall, there is even a microwave, water and small toilets for toddlers to use. If you can’t seem to find an empty room, try going to the highest floor, which are often less busy.
- Find a baby shop – especially the larger ones, as they have feeding rooms or huge changing rooms that have enough space for a pram to fit in, too.
- Shop changing rooms, with permission from staff, are a great place to hide away and get ultimate privacy while nursing.
- While it’s not ideal, the back of your car with the A/C ramped up is an easy spot to ensure baby gets the meal they’re craving – without the fuss!