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.
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.