To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2016 a mob of 50 mothers recently boarded a subway train in Nanning and breastfed their babies on the go.
This year marks the 25th World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated from August 1st to 7th. The event encourages moms from all around the world to breastfeed their babies to help improve their health and promotes events targeted at making breastfeeding more socially acceptable in public.
Luo Xiaoyun, one of the promoters of this subway “flash mob,” said that she hoped the event would help raise awareness and understanding among the public and result in a more friendly environment toward breastfeeding moms in the city.
According to NetEase, many passengers on the subway treated the women with the respect they deserve, offering their seats to the moms. One commuter surnamed Lu said that it’s not easy to raise a child and sometimes it can be kind of embarrassing for women who are forced to breastfeed in public because of the nationwide lack of public lactation rooms.
Another passenger, Auntie Wei, commented that breastfeeding is a very natural process, and she personally admires moms who breastfeed in public, touched by their love and courage.
“Breastfeeding is so amazing! It not only helps build a strong body and an intelligent brain for my kids, but it also gives them a sense of security,” said a mom surnamed Liu with two kids.
Currently, China has a breastfeeding rate of just 28%, much lower than the rate of most of the rest of the developed world. This has been the case for quite some time now. A decades-long propaganda campaign dissuading Chinese mothers from breastfeeding has been blamed for the disparity.
In recent years, the Chinese government has sought to release mothers from the grip of big baby formula by considering a ban on infant formula advertisements and encouraging special “lactation spaces” in public places and apps to help locate them.
However, thus far, the effort has produced little results. Earlier this year, some much-hyped special seats allowing mothers to breastfeed in private while on public transport were introduced in Pingxiang city, Jiangxi province. However, this is one of the few cities in China that offers this kind of option. For National Breastfeeding Awareness Day in May, moms in Fujian province gathered together in a flash mob and posed breastfeeding around town, calling for public lactation rooms.
By Sophie Wang
[Images via NetEase]