Ma Yili, a leading film artist and the Special Advocate for Breast Feeding and Early Child Development of UNICEF China, speaks at the launching ceremony of "10 Square Meters of Love", a campaign aiming at establishing breastfeeding rooms in workplaces and public buildings in China on Thursday, May 30, 2013. [Photo:CRIENGLISH.com/LIU KUN]
The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention have jointly initiated a campaign called "10 Square Meters of Love", for the benefit of breastfeeding mothers and their children.
If you are a breast feeding mother who has returned to work, this could be inspiring news.
The "10 Square Meters of Love" campaign is calling for the establishment of breastfeeding rooms in public buildings and workplaces throughout the country.
Gillian Mellsop is the UNICEF China Representative.
"We are very concerned about the dropping rates of breastfeeding in China. They are some of the lowest in the world, unfortunately. And this is why we chose this as an issue for this year's Children's Day campaign. But it's also about involving the workplace, helping the workplace become more family friendly towards women and towards families."
One aim of the campaign is that any company or organization can log onto a web portal for the campaign (unicef.cn/10m2) and register for a breast feeding room from June 1st onwards.
The breastfeeding rooms, of no less than 10 square meters, are asked to adhere to a set simple international standard such as maintaining hygiene and privacy.
Also, a mobile application mapping the locations of all such facilities in China will soon be available.
Breastfeeding mothers can download the application and find the closest to them.
Ma Yili, a leading film artist, is the Special Advocate for Breast Feeding and Early Child Development of UNICEF China.
"Breastfeeding is fantastic but hard to describe. The bonding between breastfeeding mothers and their babies are very intense. Also, breastfeeding helps the mother to build a strong sense of responsibility."
Wang Lixin, a gynecologist and obstetrician at Beijing Nursing Association, explains how breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the child.
"Breast milk at the first seven days after the baby's birth contains a lot of antibodies that help the baby combat diseases. There are also smaller chances for breastfed adults over 40 to get obesity and diabetes. Breastfed babies also tend to be more intelligent. For the mother, it helps her lose weight. It even reduces the risk for mothers to get breast cancer in the future."
The launch ceremony has also witnessed the first group of registrations of breastfeeding rooms in both public institutions and private enterprises.
Baidu, China's leadning search engine, is one of them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dong Anmin is Baidu's Administrative Director.
"Before joining the campaign, we've already had a breastfeeding room for five years in our company. It's about 30 square meters. It cost a little, but this doesn't matter. Staffs in our company are generally young so they are in need of this. We want the mothers to balance better between family and work.".
UNICEF China says the country's exclusive breastfeeding rates are low while infant formula sales have grown at about 15 percent every year.
Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months old - the gold standard - has dropped to 28 per cent in China.