Wait and watch
The Royal Civil Service Commission has amended the provisions with regard to the maternity leave and paternity leave beginning this month. Now all the mothers working under the civil service will be provided a paid leave of six months and paternity leave for ten days with a view to promote family values and children’s welfare in line with GNH policy of the country.
While the importance on breastfeeding and he underlying of exclusive breastfeeding and the underlying health impact to the child and the mother. It has also been motivated by the findings from the National Nutritional Survey (2015), which show that the exclusive breastfeeding rate in Bhutan has been found to be only 51.4%. Studies have shown that t he prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight can be improved by promoting six months of exclusive breastfeeding, among others.
According to the World Health Organization breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children and one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. People who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese later in life. They may also be less prone to diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests; but globally only an estimated 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed for six months.
Breast milk gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breast milk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate nutrition.
In addition to that and in keeping mind that good nutrition and care during the first thousand day of the child development which is between the period of women’s pregnancy and her child second birthday sets a health foundation for all the years to come. As such the baby feeding break as extended to the time till the baby turns one to two years of age.
In case of teaching and medical professional a mother with the baby up to 2 years may be allowed to extend lunch time from 12 noon to 2 PM. The management is to ensure that the services are not affected as a result of such arrangements. But there has been no provisions made for the medical professionals carrying out 12 hours night and keep themselves awake serving the sick patients.
As private sector is one of the major employer of the county and without the amendment of the rules with regard to maternity leave , the female employees in the private sector will have to wait till these legislations comes into force. The wait may bear the same fruit for them too.