Tamil Nadu Marks 'Breastfeeding Week' With Launch Of 300 Public Rooms

05/08/2015 3:53 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr
Mum Kali cradles her two-month-old baby daughter at a nutrition rehabilitation centre in Madhya Pradesh, India, 13 May 2013. Her baby only weighs 1.8kg, and is severely malnourished, partly because Kali didn’t breastfeed her from birth due to cultural beliefs. But, with help from the UK, she is now receiving counselling on breastfeeding and specialised care that will help her baby get back to normal weight. One in two of all children in Madhya Pradesh are undernourished and a million children have severe malnutrition in the state, with a nine times higher chance of death than well-nourished children. Picture: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development.

Coinciding with the UN-backed World Breastfeeding Week, Tamil Nadu saw the launch of over 300 public rooms that can be exclusively accessed by women who need to breastfeed.

These enclosures are set up by the government to assist several lactating mothers, according to this report by ANI (video below) who in the past, are forced to wait or feed their children in public.

Last month, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa had announced the launch of this event to help mothers deal with the difficulties of feeding their children in public places. In addition to this, the CM also inaugurated mother’s-milk banks in seven government hospitals, including Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, Theni, Salem and Thanjavur, according to this report.

Locations of these public rooms include the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CBMT) where a centralised air-conditioned room provides eight compartments (separated with a curtain) that are also staffed with nurses.

One young mother interviewed at one of the rooms lauded the initiative. "This is really useful for me," she said, "Usually I had to feed him in public before sending him to a day care centre."

See the video of the report here:

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