Breast-feeding pushed for infant health
China’s top health authority is urging that greater efforts be made to encourage breast-feeding.
It improves maternal and infant well-being, but its popularity has declined over the past decade despite clear health benefits, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said.
Globally, about 35 percent of deaths of children under age 5 are attributed to malnutrition, and increasing breast-feeding can decrease the infant mortality rate by 13 percent, Wang Guoqiang, vice-minister at the commission, said. Wang spoke at an event marking the World BreastFeeding Week.
“China is one of the countries with the highest employment rates for women, and guaranteeing women employees’ rights to breast-feeding is very important to decrease the mortality rate of infants and promote their healthy growth,” Wang said.
Less than 28 percent of babies under 6 months old were exclusively breast-fed in China in 2013.