Breastfeeding gradually losing appeal amongst Chinese women

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 08 Aug 2017, 19:59:55
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Breastfeeding gradually losing appeal amongst Chinese women

BEIJING, Aug 8 (The People’s Daily): China is facing a severe decline in breastfeeding. Statistics show that the proportion of pure breastfeeding among infants under 6 months dropped to 20.8 per cent in 2013 from 27.8 per cent in 2008, much lower than the world average of 38 per cent.

August 1 to 7 marked the annual World Breastfeeding Week, and “Sustaining breastfeeding together” was the theme of the event. 76.83 per cent of Chinese mothers returning to work after maternity leave choose to breastfeed their babies, but only 28 per cent of them are able to keep the practice, said Cao Bin, deputy inspector of the Department of Maternal and Child Health under China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. He spoke at a breastfeeding forum on July 31.

The ultimate goal set by the Outline for Chinese Children Development (2011–2020) is to achieve a breastfeeding rate of 50 per cent. In this regard, China still has a long way to go.

According to Gao Yixing, a programme officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chinese mothers’ choice of breastfeeding is influenced by multiple reasons such as society, environment, work and personal factors. “Sale of milk powders is surging while the breastfeeding rate is declining in the country,” Gao said, adding this is why the foundation promotes breastfeeding in the country.

 
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