In March 2010, the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 was signed into a law. Also known as Republic Act 10028, it required all establishments or institutions to have lactation stations, or nursing stations, which would provide privacy to mothers who need to feed their babies while they’re out. Since then, nursing stations have been set up in malls, airports, and workplaces in compliance to this requirement. At present, however, supermarkets, restaurants, bus stations and other public facilities are yet to catch up with this ordinance.
Republic Act 10028 requires lactation stations to be equipped with a sink for hand washing, a cooling facility such as a refrigerator to store expressed milk, electrical outlets for breast pumps, a small table, and comfortable seats. Many breastfeeding stations in malls even went beyond these requirements to make breastfeeding comfortable and relaxing for moms. Let's take a look at some of the breastfeeding stations around Metro Manila, and what moms have to say about them.
1. SM Megamall Location: Lower ground floor of Building A (near the food court and exit to Bank Drive). Its entrance is through the mall's clinic. Facilities: a sofa, side tables, and a changing table. Note: SM Megamall is the first mall in the country to put up a breastfeeding station in 2006.
"Their lounge has been useful to me because we frequent this mall. Their seats are comfortable and amenities are okay. Having it beside the clinic is an advantage in case I need medical assistance for myself or my baby." - Ludy Adrao, Senior Accounting Analyst, mom to Lyka, 9 years old and John Louie, 3 years old
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2. SM Mall Of Asia
Location: Inside the mall clinic, at the far end of the 2nd floor on the Southside, Entertainment Mall, fronting Cosmic Kids. Facilities: a sink, changing table, electrical outlets, and cushioned seats.
"Their nursing station is clean and well-equipped." - Mercy Yu-Lim
3. SM Cubao Location: Inside the Department Store, near Cashier 21 and Baby Co. Facilities: cushioned seats with armrests, sink, electrical outlets
4. SM North EDSA
Location: Lower ground floor of City Center, near the food court. Facilities: cushioned seats with armrests, sink, electrical outlet.
5. SM Centerpoint Sta. Mesa Location: Ground floor inside the clinic, near SM Appliance Center Facilities: electrical outlet, changing table, 1-seater sofas, easy access to the restroom Note: Only mother and baby are allowed inside for the duration of the feeding.