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Baby-care rooms make mothers' lives easier

By XIN WEN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-09-16 09:09

As of last month, more than 6,400 baby-care rooms have been set up across Beijing to lend a hand to mothers and provide a useful service for working women, local authorities said.

The Beijing Federation of Trade Unions assisted in the establishment of the newly built rooms, which come with tables and at least two chairs, power sockets and a specialized refrigerator, said Zhang Xiuping, director of the women's employment department at the federation.

Companies and institutions able to provide better facilities are encouraged to add wash basins, water coolers and milk warmers for mothers and their babies, she added.

The federation has cooperated with other departments in the city to ensure regular provisions of daily necessities, including milk storage bags, milk cleaning agents and breast pads.

For example, the baby-care room at the Beijing Museum of Natural History covers an area of 16 square meters. It contains couches, three baby-care tables, a storage desk and supplies such as diapers and cleaning wipes.

Yang Yueling, deputy director of the museum's general office, said the museum was one of the pioneers in setting up baby-care rooms in Beijing, and the room has been open to the public since June 2016.

"It is convenient for tourists, and the museum's female employees have also benefited from it," she said. "There are special rules for the management of the room, with a specially assigned person responsible for cleaning."

The trade unions at the BAIC group, one of China's largest automobile manufacturers, have expanded on the proposals and set up baby-care rooms in different workplaces, including offices, research and development bases and manufacturing plants.

Xu Zhenhua, director of the BAIC Group Federation of Trade Unions, said the company follows the principle of simultaneous design, construction and use.

"Each of our baby-care rooms has been designed and renovated as needed by the company, and we pay close attention not only to the facilities, but also to the rooms to ensure they are compact and practical," she said.

Female employees in the capital city have taken advantage of the rooms.

Liang Shihui, a 29-year-old new mother who is a white-collar worker, returned to her company in Chaoyang district recently.

"I was very worried before I went back because I have to express milk two to three times a day, and I need half an hour to prepare and clean equipment such as the electronic breast pump," Liang said.

"But our baby-care room on the second floor has eased my anxiety and provides me the best place for breastfeeding. When I see the pink walls, they improve my mood."

In recent years, the Beijing Federation of Trade Unions has continued to facilitate the establishment of baby-care rooms in companies and public places throughout the city and has compiled a manual on their operation.

"As for the next step, we will follow the municipal government's goal of setting up baby-care rooms in all public spaces in Beijing, and we will encourage all companies to build standardized baby-care rooms," the federation's Zhang said.

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