Update: 10:58 | 16/05/2018
Only 24 percent of infants under six months old in Vietnam are exclusively breastfed and 22 percent of children are breastfed until they reach two years old.
Doctors and experts share the experiences and knowledge of breastfeeding.
The numbers were released at a launching ceremony of a breastfeeding campaign held by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ho Chi Minh City on May 15.
The rates are even lower among children whose mothers are workers at factories and have to stop breastfeeding early to return to work, heard the ceremony.
Lesley Miller, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Vietnam, said the campaign, themed “60 minutes working as a mum,” aims to create a better life for Vietnamese children.
The campaign targets female workers at factories, Lesley Miller said, stressing that nursing workers should receive support in breastfeeding in their workplaces.
Businesses should give nursing workers a 60-minute break each day in line with the Vietnamese Labour Law and build breastfeeding facilities, she said, noting that efforts made by the enterprises will significantly contribute to raising the breastfeeding rate in Vietnam.
The promotion of breastfeeding helps reduce the number of days off work of female workers, thus increasing the company’s productivity.
Yao Cheng Wu, Director of Pouyen Vietnam, said his company set up a breastfeeding room in 2013 and plans to launch mobile breastfeeding facilities to make it more convenient for nursing workers.
He added that 82 percent out of 74,000 workers in his company are female. Each female worker has 14 days of leave per year to care for their sick children aged under 12 months.
Meanwhile, breastfeeding enables infants to withstand infections. Therefore, the promotion of breastfeeding helps reduce the number of days off work of female workers, thus increasing the company’s productivity, he said.