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Campaign to help moms find breastfeeding rooms

By He Dan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-31 02:07

A national campaign promoting breastfeeding rooms in workplaces and public building was launched in Beijing on Thursday to help more babies benefit from "natural food".

The United Nations Children's Fund and the National Center for Women and Children's Health launched the "10m2 of Love" campaign as a prelude to celebrations of International Children's Day, which falls on Saturday.

Campaign to help moms find breastfeeding rooms

Volunteers with babies participate in the "10m2 of Love" campaign in Beijing on May 30, 2013. [Photo by Zou Hong/Asianewsphoto] 

The campaign organizers have established a web portal — unicef.cn/10m2 — where any organization can register breastfeeding rooms for employees or customers that adhere to international standards.

The suggested criteria for establishing such facilities in public buildings include a clean room with moderate temperature, a low and comfortable chair and wash basin or hand sanitizer. Formula advertisements and similar information is banned. In workplaces, extra requirements include an electric socket, so working mothers can use a milk pump, and a storage space for breast milk.

The campaigners are also working on a mobile phone application that can map the locations of all breastfeeding facilities in China. They plan to launch the app this year.

Dale Rutstein, chief of communication at the UNICEF China office, said there is little information to show how many private spaces there are for breastfeeding in workplaces and public buildings in China.

"That's also one reason for us to create a database (on the mobile app)," he said.

"Breast milk is nature's true super food for babies. No artificial substitute compares," said Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF China representative.

"Yet, it is harder than ever to find time or space to give babies all the benefits associated with exclusive breastfeeding for six months. Many things need to be done but we decided to start by supporting mothers trying to continue breastfeeding after their return to work," she said.

Sun Xiaoyu, a kindergarten teacher who has breastfed her baby girl for the past 14 months since she was born, said she has to pump milk in the toilet at work and in many public places that lack breastfeeding rooms.

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