＜母乳－給孩子最好的禮物＞ Breast Nursing: The Best Gift for a Child
Macau has been promoting breast nursing actively in recent years. Previously, Director from the Department of Society and Culture, Tan Junrong, said that the Department of Society and Culture would be the first to promote breast nursing actively. In fact, the Government has all public health facilities and parts of social facilities equipped with nursing rooms. Civil servants who choose breast nursing will even be entitled to 1hour as breast nursing time. According to Government statistics, Macau’s initial breast nursing rate is as high as 80%, which is 50% higher compared to a decade ago. However, the current continued breast-nursing rate is only 20%. Macau’s Mother Association said it is affected by the working environment and facilities in all aspects in the city.
澳門現時很多媽媽選擇餵哺母乳，這歸功於衛生局近十年對餵哺母乳的推廣，衛生局定期舉辦產前講座，向有興趣的婦女、孕婦及其家人講解餵哺母乳的好處、方法以及定期請一些資深的哺乳媽媽來分享經驗及知識等。澳門母親協會會長林詩敏指，現時所知母乳中包含的營養已經超過 300 種，配方奶粉只能仿製到約 70 種營養。
A lot of mothers choose breast nursing in Macau nowadays, which can be attributed to the 10-year promotion on breast nursing by the Sanitary Bureau, which holds regular prenatal lectures to explain the benefits of breast nursing to women and their families. Inviting some deeply qualified breast nursing mothers share their experience and knowledge regularly. The President of Macau’s Mother Association, Lin Shimin, said that breast milk contains over 300 types of nutrition elements, while formula milk powder can only copy around 70 types.
Also, milk powder formula can’t copy the antibodies present in breast milk, which is very important to the baby, which needs more protection especially during the first six months. Later, babies will get in touch with the outside more often, but their own immune system is still insufficient in some cases, and that’s why breast milk is important in terms of delivering more protection.
Lin Shimin said that the breast-nursing rate kept rising before, but afterwards it started to grow slower. The main reason is that there are more and more couples need to work. However maternity leave is only 56 days. After maternity leave , mothers will face breast-nursing pressure at their workplace, especially those who work on shift. They give up breast nursing due to many reasons, including misunderstandings regarding milk power, believing that they are similar. Families disagree on breast milk, so they tend to use milk powder to replace breast milk secretly. In terms of facilities, nursing rooms may not be enough. There is a misconception that mothers who take medicines shouldn’t breastfeed, for instance, which also contributes to the decrease in breast nursing.
Ling’s mother was touched by the sentence “Breast Milk is the Best Gift for Child”. Out of the love for her child, she chose breast nursing, because she wanted to give the best to her baby. Breast nursing was a tough task for her. Ling’s mother said that a newborn baby needs to be fed every three hours, but she still suffered from pain due to delivery and mental fatigue. What’s more, Ling used a milk bottle at the beginning because the baby got confused with the nipple, preferring not to eat rather than be fed through the nipple.
Misfortune never comes singly. Ling’s mother got mastitis after the second week of delivery. She had fever as high as 40 degrees. Her breasts swelled and got quite hard, which was very painful. It was so painful that her hands couldn’t be raised, and the whole body suffered altogether. Her family wanted her to use milk powder due to her sufferings, but she never gave up. With the help from a professional therapist, she finally made a full recovery.
For those mother-to-be who plan to breast nurse, Ling’s mother suggests to get a deeper knowledge about breast milk, including its advantages, technique and method of breast nursing, understanding the production of breast milk, researching good clinic information, among others. It is necessary to tell your families and husband what your choice is because support is the key to success. Sometimes, ancillary products will help a lot. For example, it would be very painful and damage the skin that sucking the nipples with wrong way ,.However, there are most products can help relieving the pain.