| Global Times | 2012-8-6 0:45:03
By Miranda Shek
A group of mothers staged a breastfeeding flash mob in Hubei Province on Saturday, calling for more public facilities for them to nurse their infants amid World Breastfeeding Week, which runs until Tuesday.
Some 30 mothers appeared at a shopping mall in the provincial capital Wuhan with their children and started breastfeeding in public at around 11 am. Their actions caught the public's attention as shopping traffic at the mall reached its height. The women dispersed quietly after a five-minute public display.
Zhou Qianyu, a 28-year-old participant in the flash demonstration, told the Global Times that more family-friendly facilities in China should provide nursing rooms for mothers.
"Breastfeeding is the most natural thing, but we often face discrimination," she said. "Shopping malls, hospitals and airports should provide women who breastfeed with a private environment."
Zhou's husband also participated in the flash mob and he fully supported his wife and the other mothers. "My wife often needs to hide in our car to nurse our 10-month-old daughter during the weekend family outing," he said. "We should give more respect to breastfeeding women, who are encouraged by the government."
The Ministry of Health said that it aims to have half of China's mothers breastfeeding before 2020. Now only 30 percent of infants are nursed exclusively by their mothers.
The World Health Organization claims that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of infant mortality by over 20 percent. The agency, in coordination with the United Nations Children's Fund, is calling for governments to establish nursing facilities in public spaces.
A press officer of the Shanghai Women's Federation, surnamed Huang, told the Global Times that mothers can better balance work and family if offices are better equipped to cater to their needs.
"Women are often obliged to give up work and nurse their babies at home," she said. "Simple facilities can provide much convenience for them."
Less than 5 percent of office buildings in Shanghai have special nursing rooms for breastfeeding mothers.
By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by all terms and conditions (See the Comment section).