Implementation of Mother-friendly Workplace Policies in Hong Kong Abstract

Vera MK NG

Although the Hong Kong Government and health care professionals have made many efforts to implement baby-friendly practices, a recent survey showed that the use of formula milk was still dominant among children in Hong Kong and the exclusively breastfeeding rate remained very low. Only a few Hong Kong women exclusively breastfeed their infants, and most stop breastfeeding within the first few months. Most employed women discontinue breastfeeding after returning to work. Many studies agree that a supportive workplace is crucial for employed women to sustain breastfeeding. It is necessary for the Hospital Authority to act as the pioneer to implement mother-friendly workplace policies. Many studies show that enacting workplace breastfeeding legislation and extension of maternity leave may facilitate employed women to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. It enables women to extend breastfeeding duration to achieve the global aim of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months. It is a preventive health policy, which may reduce the long-term cost in health care for child health and maternal health. Furthermore, breastfeeding may help in decreasing the government expenses for environmental protection.

Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2015; 15(1):11–5

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