China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

August 2, 2015
By Fan WenjunEditor: Amanda Wu
China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week
Yang Yuexin, president of the Chinese Society of Nutrition (CSN), speaks at the forum to promote breastfeeding on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

The Chinese Society of Nutrition (CSN) and Nestlé co-organized a forum to promote breastfeeding on August 1 in conjunction with this year's World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7).

President of the CSN Yang Yuexin and several breastfeeding experts attended the event and shared the latest study results with attendee Chinese families.

The first 1,000 days of life, from the beginning of pregnancy to a child's second year of age, have been internationally recognized as a key period for laying the foundation of a healthy life whilst breastfeeding remains one of the major measures that guarantees nutrition and health.

"Breastfeeding is conducive to infant health and produces a far-reaching influence into adulthood as well," said Professor Wang Zhixu, deputy-director of the maternal and child nutrition branch of the CSN.

"Research has shown that breast milk contains probiotics and prebiotics that can help infants build up immunity and reduce risks of allergy," Wang added. "In addition, such milk can pass on the taste of food so that infants can better adjust to tastes and accept dietary supplements."

"The components of a mothers' milk undergo dynamic changes to meet nutritional demands at different stages," said Yang Xiaoguang, a researcher with the Nutrition and Health Institute under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Breast milk provides the best protein combination, of which amino acid can benefit infants' healthy growth, according to the Maternal Infant Nutritional Growth (MING), a survey program initiated by Nestlé and completed by the School of Public Health of Peking University, the Nestlé Research Center and the Nestlé Nutrition Institute.

Breastfeeding is of great significance to maternal and child health. However, a survey showed that the breastfeeding rate was only 42.8 percent in eight Chinese cities.

In an effort to promote breastfeeding, the CSN formulated and released a guide on feeding 0-6 month old infants at the forum.

"Nestlé has always encouraged and supported breastfeeding," said Li Mingdao, vice-chairperson of Nestlé China. "The 'Nestlé: Start Healthy, Stay Healthy' program not only promotes the importance of breastfeeding but also teaches parents how to feed their babies scientifically and to prepare proper diets for nursing mothers."

Whilst providing knowledge on breastfeeding, Nestlé has also called on society to build a breastfeeding environment by establishing more breastfeeding rooms in workplaces and public areas.

Recently, Nestlé carried out a fertility protection policy in its branches around the world to provide full support to female nursing workers by exceeding maternity leave and drawing up flexible work schedules. Meanwhile, it has called on families to give more understanding to nursing mothers.

At the forum, presidents of 28 provincial nutrition societies signed a document to support breastfeeding and called on society to take action in improving breastfeeding rates.

China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

Professor Su Yixiang, director of the maternal and child nutrition branch of the Chinese Society of Nutrition (CSN), releases a guide on how to breastfeed 0-6 month old infants at the forum on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

A participant raises a question at the forum on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

A family consults an expert on feeding babies at the forum on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

A family consults an expert on feeding babies at the forum on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

China Forum Marks World Breastfeeding Week

Experts and attendees pose for a group photo at the forum on August 1. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]

(Women of China)

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