Breastfeeding is becoming more common in Hong Kong, mainly because it is healthier than giving formula milk to infants. However, the existing facilities for breastfeeding in public places here are inadequate.
Many mothers cannot find a suitable venue to breastfeed their babies. When not at home, some mothers give their infants baby formula although they know breast milk provides the best nutrients.
I think the government should provide a suitable place for mothers to breastfeed their children away from the public eye.
I suggest that special nursing rooms be set up to facilitate breastfeeding in new buildings. For many years, the breastfeeding rate in Hong Kong has been very low. The new facilities will encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies.
People need to show more support for breastfeeding mothers.
Haley Yu, King Ling College
Thank you for your letter, Haley. I agree that Hong Kong doesn’t make life easy for breastfeeding mothers.
But here’s my suggestion for a suitable venue for mothers to breastfeed their babies: anywhere they want!
It’s ironic that many people promote breastfeeding as being the healthier option for babies, but are opposed to seeing it in public. The idea that it is somehow indecent is both outdated and unfair. Of course some women may prefer privacy when breastfeeding, but no woman should be made to feel ashamed for needing to feed her baby, no matter the time
Having to breastfeed in a public toilet, which is what many people suggest, is both inconvenient and unpleasant. After all, none of us would expect to be forced to eat our lunch in the loo.
What’s more, when a baby is hungry, you can be sure that everyone within a three-kilometre radius will hear about it. So if it’s a choice between allowing a mother to breastfeed her baby in public and having to listen to a baby screaming because its hungry, I know which I’d prefer.
You’re right that people need to show more support for breastfeeding mothers, but perhaps the best way to do that is to change our attitudes towards breastfeeding and become more accepting of seeing it in public.