Nursing (Breastfeeding) In Korea
April 24, 2012

Last December, I went to Korea with hubby and MF (who was only 11 months old then) and I’ve been wanting to blog about it… But somehow I never got down to it… Oh well, better late than never!

Korea is a great country to visit with kids! After much research, I discovered tons of interesting places for kids.  In addition, many mothers in Korea breastfeed, so it is not difficult to find nursing rooms, in Seoul at least.

There are nursing rooms in some subway stations.  If you look at the subway map on the train, the stations with nursing room will be marked out with a nursing mummy sign, so you can alight at a station with nursing room if you need one.

If you just need to change diapers, changing tables are usually found inside FEMALE toilets, so sorry mummies, daddies can’t help you much.

According to the official site of Korea Tourism Organisation, you can find nursing rooms inside high-speed KTX trains.  I didn’t use any such trains, I took a domestic flight instead (which is totally FREE of charge for MF!) and didn’t have trouble finding nursing rooms at all the airports I visited in Korea (namely Incheon, Gimpo and Jeju airports).

Nursing mums who are planning to visit Korea, please take note of the following:

  • Many nursing rooms in Korea are SHARED.  That means you can expect to be nursing in a big room with other mummies.  Even if there are private nursing cubicles, it may be just like a small partition, or a flimsy curtain, not a proper door with lock like what we commonly find in Singapore.  If you are shy, use your nursing shawl.
  • And because nursing rooms in Korea are shared, this is important: Some baby care rooms are strictly for females only! In Singapore, when baby needs his diaper changed, you know how mummy + daddy + grandparents all enter the diaper-changing room together? Please DO NOT do that in Korea! Since the diaper-changing rooms are also nursing rooms (that are meant to be shared), the Koreans do not lock the door when they nurse inside.  When their babies need to be changed, it is always just the mummy who goes into the room to change the baby. So PLEASE, daddies especially, DO NOT barge in! But this does not apply to ALL baby care rooms.. Some baby care rooms, like the ones in airports and major attractions like Everland and Lotte World, have nursing and diaper-changing areas that are clearly separated and daddies can enter the diaper-changing area.. My advice is: Always get the mummy to go in first to check if it is clear, before asking daddy to enter if needed.
With that being said, it explains the lack of photos in this post.. I didn’t manage to take photo of any nursing room in Korea, since there are usually other mummies nursing inside. But these are the places where I used nursing rooms:
  • Incheon Airport
  • Gimpo Airport
  • Jeju Airport
  • Lotte World
  • Everland
  • 63 Building (Seoul)

You can tell the list is not very long… Although I say nursing facilities are not difficult to find, it is still not as readily available as in Singapore.  I actually had to use my nursing shawl quite a lot, mainly because it’s too much of a hassle to scout for nursing rooms especially when you’re on vacation and trying to take in as much sight as possible. So whenever I needed to nurse, we looked for a quiet cafe and sat in the corner, ordered a drink and I’d nurse discreetly under the nursing shawl.

And in Jeju, other than at the airport, you can forget about trying to find nursing rooms.  We rented a car for our Jeju trip, and did all the nursing and diaper-changing inside the car.


  • WINNIE Phua says:

    Hi thank you for sharing your experience. I have a 11mth son and we are going Korea next week! Im worried that it’s difficult to find changing places for Bb. R e toilets clean? Most of e toilets have changing table? You went in Dec during winter was it super cold? Can you share how you dress your Bb?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      You should be able to find baby changing rooms at major shopping centres and theme parks within Seoul. However, if you are going to the historical districts or less urbanised areas, you may not be able to find one. Not sure if you are visiting other cities, i went to Jeju and did not see a single diaper changing room or table. Toilets in Korea are generally clean, but not all toilets have diaper-changing tables. You should be able to find one in the female toilets at subway stations.

      Winter in Seoul is extremely harsh. In December, expect freezing temperatures that may dip below zero degree Celsius. Thermal wear and a very thick jacket meant for sub-zero temperatures are a must. I usually put on thermal wear, followed by long sleeve shirt and long pants, followed by a thick winter jackets. Mittens and thick socks / boots also need to be worn. If you are using a baby carrier, bring a big thick blanket that can cover your whole baby while he/she is inside the carrier. If you are using a stroller, get a plastic cover that can cover the stroller to keep out the cold.

      Try to stay indoors as much as possible. Hope you enjoy your trip! 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Oh yes.. You will also need a thick beanie to cover your baby’s head and ears.

      • WINNIE Phua says:

        Omg! We keep checking e temperature n it’s ard 11 to 18 degrees now. We are going next week. But think I better go get some thermal wear for my son. Btw would you b selling your son’s winter wear? Did you bring a lot of clothes for him? Im lost at how.many jackets I need to bring for him

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Think November should be slightly warmer than December.. I borrowed winter clothings from my friend.. We brought tons of clothing for my baby, but hardly used most of them.. Hah. You can wear a layer of your babies’ normal clothings first, then put on the thermals followed by the winter jacket. That way you only need one set of thermals and winter jacket. In fact, if it is about 11 to 18 degrees, you may not even need thermal pants, maybe just thermal top to keep the chest warm. When we were at Jeju, the temperature was significantly warmer than Seoul (think about 10 degrees?) and my boy only wore one layer of long pants.

          • WINNIE Phua says:

            Hey thanks for e advise! Im also first time Mummy bringing 11mth old Bb overseas n start of winter! Mf looks v steady at 11mth!

            • bumblebeemum says:

              Haha.. We trained him really hard so that he could walk properly before the trip. But in the end we still carried him most of the time because it was so cold he refused to walk on his own. 🙁 .. Anyway enjoy your trip! Stay indoors as much as you can.. Lotte World is a great place to be, it’s indoors and warm and there are stuff for babies to play.. I’m sure your baby will love it there.

  • Joyce Chan says:

    Hi, I chance upon ur blog as I’m researching for my Seoul trip in April. I’m rather worried about diaper changing my LO (esp when I’m not really aiming to be at large departmental stores).

    Is it possible to change diapers at restaurants / cafes if the toilet does not have changing area?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hmmm.. diaper-changing can be tricky. How old will your LO be by then? Can he / she stand yet? If so, the easiest way is to get the child to stand in the toilet while you change the diaper with them standing. If your child cannot stand yet, maybe you can bring a stroller and change inside the stroller? And always carry a bunch of plastic bags with you to tie up and dispose the diapers.

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