Guangzhou to Make Life Easier for Breastfeeding Mothers

Source: China Daily

The capital city of South China's Guangdong province is expected to become the first on the Chinese mainland that allows working mothers whose children are less than 1-year-old to take an hour for breastfeeding during working hours in the months ahead.
Those who give birth to twins will have two hours, and likewise, three hours for triplets, according to the Regulations on the Promotion of Breastfeeding in Guangzhou, which was passed by the Guangzhou People's Congress on Tuesday.

This is the first local regulation to promote breastfeeding in China. The regulation will come into effect after it is passed by the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress in the following months.

Employers will treat lactating women's nursing time as normal working time and pay them the normal wage, the regulation said.

After maternity leaves have ended, lactating women employees who have difficulties returning to work due to breastfeeding can apply for extra breastfeeding leave for up to 12 months, till their children are 1-year-old.

And they can negotiate with their employers for their salaries during the breastfeeding after their breastfeeding leaves have been approved by their bosses, the regulation said.

Meanwhile major government service centers, medical units, shopping malls, parks, museums, railway stations, bus terminals and related public venues are required to set up special maternal and child rooms for lactating mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Those that have yet to establish such maternal and child rooms when the regulation comes into effect will be fined between 20,000 and 50,000 yuan ($7,142.86), the regulation said.

Breast milk is the best food and nutrition for infants, and the regulation will help further promote breastfeeding in the southern metropolis, said Liu Xihong, a childhood nutrition expert with the Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center.

Cheng Hongxian, a Guangzhou office worker, said the regulation has great significance in Guangdong province, which has the country's largest number of female migrant workers from around the country.

"It will help promote breastfeeding in the province and benefit the mass of working mothers," she said.