Breastfeeding mums can store their milk at work

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:15am

I refer to the letter by Yoyo Sin Tak-yiu (“Offices should have area for breastfeeding”, March 20).

Due to the lack of proper breastfeeding facilities in offices, most mothers choose to give up breastfeeding their babies when they are at work. However, they do not necessarily have to do so.

Even when they are returning to work, they can try to get into the routine of expressing and storing their breastmilk.

In this way, the mother is not only able to keep up with her breastfeeding supply, but will also be able to let their baby continue having the benefits of breastfeeding, even if she is not with him/her.

Thus, mums can consider storing their pumped breastmilk there, at the back of the fridge. For easy identification, they can maybe store it in milk bottles and mark them clearly with stickers with their names, so that it will not be removed by office colleagues. This way, a mother does not have to take her baby with her to work. It’s not just inconvenient in most cases for her to do so but the temperament of a newborn is usually unpredictable, and this can greatly affect and disrupt work in the office.

Though most new mums now choose to breastfeed their babies, having acknowledged the benefits, such as breastfed babies are more resistant to infections and diseases than those who are fed formula, and the mother has a much reduced chance of developing breast cancer, they are reluctant since Hong Kong society is still not very accommodating.

I have been to Hong Kong a few times, and my general observation is that the city is still a long way from accepting breastfeeding as a normal part of the life of a mum.

In some countries such as Australia, it is very common to have nursing rooms alongside public restroom facilities; and as far as I know, in each of the restrooms, there is a separate nursing room. And Hong Kong should really have more such facilities.

Eunice Li Dan-yue, Singapore