Health minister calls for pri­vate breast­feed­ing rooms

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

HEALTH Minister U Myint Htwe said women should have ac­cess to breast­feed­ing ar­eas in public spa­ces.

The re­marks came yes­ter­day at the World Breast­feed­ing and Nu­tri­tion De­vel­op­ment Week open­ing cer­e­mony.

Most for­eign coun­tries have sep­a­rated ar­eas for women to breast­feed, he said, and Myan­mar should fol­low suit.

“There are breast­feed­ing rooms in Ger­man air­ports,” U Myint Htwe said. “You can close the door and breast­feed your child. Our coun­try should have that.”

He em­pha­sised the need for such ar­eas to also be made avail­able in hos­pi­tals and min­istries.

It is im­por­tant that moth­ers be able to breast­feed in public places, like restau­rants, su­per­mar­kets, and buses, with­out feel­ing shame, he said.

“Breast­feed­ing is re­ally im­por­tant,” he said. “We sup­port moth­ers’ breast­feed­ing their kids and should give them more re­spect.”

Each year, breast­feed­ing saves the lives of 820,000 chil­dren world­wide, he said, cit­ing a re­cent UNICEF re­port.

The mor­tal­ity rate for chil­dren un­der five is one in 19, while the rate of stunt­ing is 35 per­cent among chil­dren un­der five years old, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment data. NGO and gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives have fo­cused on pro­mot­ing ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing for the first 1000 days to boost child nu­tri­tion and health.

– Trans­la­tion by Khant Lin Oo

Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

Union Health Minister U Myint Htwe at­tended the launch of World Breast­feed­ing and Nu­tri­tion De­vel­op­ment Week in Nay Pyi Taw yes­ter­day.

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