Chinese experts have called for support from society to create an
an encouraging environment for breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week which ends Tuesday.
“Breastfeeding is crucial to children’s healthy growth and the health of the whole nation,” Lu Mai,
secretary-general of the China Development Research Foundation said at a forum on breastfeeding.
However, the rate of breastfeeding is relatively low in China.
The World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s Fund said that the breastfeeding rate among
six-month-old infants in China was currently lower than 50 per cent.
“It is mainly due to the deficiency of a support system for breastfeeding,” said Wu Haiying,
obstetrics department director of Henan Provincial People’s Hospital.
Also speaking, Liu Li, a young mother, said that she never received any guidance or services for breastfeeding
during the six-week postpartum recovery period.
“Mothers need support from both family and social communities, including medical care institutions and
workplaces and they also need legal protection and social security on breastfeeding,” said Ge Yanfeng,
with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
Ge’s view was echoed by a report released by the China Development Research Foundation.
“Measures should be taken to raise public awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, encourage medical
care institutions to provide professional guidance and help for new mothers, and improve the legislation
for maternity leave and the childbirth insurance system,” the report said.