Beijing Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission recently held a press conference on plans to increase the coverage of baby rooms to all government institutions and enterprises across the city.
Although it is well-acknowledged that breastfeeding has important health benefits, many mothers in China still struggle to find nursing rooms in public places.
The Chinese Residents' Chronic Disease and Nutrition Report showed that the exclusive breastfeeding rate for China's infants under six months was 20.8 percent. Experts estimate that such low rate is due to the public's lack of knowledge, guidance and social support.
According to Chen Jingyu, secretary-general of Beijing Municipal Association for Maternal and Child Healthcare and Improving Birth Outcomes and Child Development, the setting up of standardized baby rooms is essential for promoting breastfeeding.
In Beijing, statistics indicate that for babies below six months who hold local household registration, the breastfeeding rate is 92.2 percent and about 72.5 percent exclusively are given breast milk.
Some 800 specific rooms have been established for mothers in the capital's workplaces.
Local authorities will focus on developing public nursing facilities in parks, large shopping malls and transport hubs such as railway stations, airports, coach stations and metro stations.
The newly-released National Nutrition Program specified that by 2020, the nationwide exclusive breastfeeding rate for infants below six months should reach more than 50 percent.
Meanwhile, maternal and baby facilities are supposed to cover over 80 percent of public places in 2018 and basically realize full coverage by 2020.
Related experts noted that such measures will further speed up the pace of the establishment of baby rooms in other areas.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)