New York state law allows women to breastfeed in public but new mothers listed discomfort with nursing among strangers as a top reason they switch to formula earlier than the WHO recommended six-month breastfeeding period. Four students from New York University responded by creating a campaign called Latch that ranks participating establishments on how welcoming they are to new nursing mums and then gives out window stickers for them to display to potential customers.
As a breastfeeding mum of twins, I look forward to the day Malaysian cities will have similar campaigns. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be highly self-conscious, it can still get a tad uncomfortable to breastfeed a wriggly, curious baby that’s more interested in playing peekaboo by pulling away your precariously positioned nursing cover.
Lilie Pilie, a homegrown company that makes and sells nursing aprons has started a great initiative by teaming up with establishments all over Malaysia to create Breastfeeding Friendly Locations and also provides its nursing aprons for use by patrons of these places. I recently checked out four of these places with my little rascals.
1. PADDINGTON HOUSE OF PANCAKES
Website: Paddington House of Pancakes
Address: Unit 142-143, 1st Floor, The Curve, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Selangor.
Phone Number: 03-7732 9105
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm
This is the perfect place for parents who are pancake lovers as their menu features over 100 different types of sweet and savoury pancakes. There are both health-conscious and hearty options. I found their vegetarian-friendly dishes more tasty. Those containing meat items were a bit overcooked and dry. It was easy to manoeuvre strollers between the tables and while their basic chairs are not exceptionally comfortable for use by nursing mums, there are some cosy booths that are great for breastfeeding. The staff are also friendly and attentive. The place tends to get packed during lunch, so it’s best to go early. The Curve in general has good family-friendly parking facilities. Also, the main baby changing room and retail outlets are conveniently located on one floor – saving stroller-pushing mummies precious time needed to move between elevators in the mall.
2. STUFF YOUR FACE
Website: Stuff Your Face
Address: Lot 4-09, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandar Raya, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone Number: 03-2287 3070
Opening Hours: 10am to 7pm
This little café is a favourite of many families as it’s located on the same floor as all the kids’ activity areas (e.g. Jungle Gym, Roller Skating Rink) in Bangsar Shopping Complex. Its white washed walls and furnishings give it a homey feel, a great backdrop for its many colourful cakes, cookies, children’s books and toys. I tried their signature Hainanese chicken chop that was pretty good, but the roasted potatoes that came with it tasted a little sour and stale. The café seemed quiet even during lunch hour, so the food turnover could be slow and not as fresh as it should be. My helper had a pasta dish and my hubby tried the Nasi Lemak – both were decent but average at best. The children’s menu seemed more exciting with things like a Dr. Seuss inspired green eggs and ham (basil green omelette served with chicken ham), the Elvis fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, mini slider burgers and Ritz biscuit coated chicken nuggets. Indulgent diners can try the fried Mars Bars. As it’s located in a hidden corner with a clientele of mainly mummies and kids, breastfeeding at this location is fuss-free and easy. It seems also be a popular venue for birthday parties.
3. MARMALADE CAFE
Website: Marmalade Cafe
Address: 1F-18, 1st Floor, Bangsar Village II, Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone Number: 03-2282 8301
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm
The best thing about Marmalade is its cheerful and sunny interior illuminated by lots of natural light from its large windows. The kitchen has tried to make small adjustments to give classics a healthy twist e.g. chicken rice with brown rice, club sandwich using poached chicken yogurt pancakes and the like. My hubby’s Spicy Lamb Burger with rocket leaves and Haloumi cheese topped with Tzatziki, with a side of sweet potato wedges was good. My Spaghetti Agilo Olio tossed with chilli, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and prawns was filling but nothing special. I should have ordered one of their many wholesome salads that come in generous servings. There’s also good selection of fresh juices, great carrot cake and Last Polka ice cream. The private dining booths that allow for discreet breastfeeding and the play area for toddlers is probably why it still remains a popular spot for mums and tots who like to hang out around the main Bangsar area.
4. ARTISAN COFFEE BAR
Website: Artisan Coffee Bar
Address: UG, Bangsar Village II, 2 Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone Number: 03-7931 8978
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm
This is a place for serious coffee aficionados as it offers handcrafted cups of various blends. As I’m still abstaining from caffeine, I opted for the light yet creamy Red Latte, a decaf option made from South African Rooibos tea. Their little Jaffa and lemon slices are also lovely – they hit that sweet spot after a sip of some bitter brew. They also serve my favourite Last Polka ice cream as well as artisanal juices from local brands like Smooshie that have no added sugar or water. That said, there are limited choices here for those who want a proper meal or don’t drink coffee. The chain’s usual dark wood and exposed brick décor give it a soothing ambiance. Breastfeeding mums will like the sprawling space they have across from the main bar area as it has low, red cushioned seats where you can lean back and nurse in comfort.
Li-Hsian recently left a career in corporate communications to become a full-time mum to twins. She is learning new things daily as she tries to balance the romance of motherhood with the messy realities of her latest role.