© UNICEF HK/2015
About Say Yes to Breastfeeding
Giving children the best start in life begins with breastfeeding. Breastmilk has an extraordinary range of benefits on a child’s survival, health, nutrition and development that formula milk can never substitute. Breastfeeding also contributes to maternal health and can reduce public health care expenditures in the long term.
UNICEF and the World Health Organization recommend the initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour after birth and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years old or beyond. Care should be taken in regard to safety, nutrition, age appropriateness and responsiveness when providing complementary goods to infants.
According to a breastfeeding survey conducted by the Department of Health in 2019, as many as 88 per cent of mothers of babies born in 2018 initiated breastfeeding on discharge from hospitals, but the exclusive breastfeeding rate of Hong Kong infants at 4 months was only 29 per cent. In other words, there is room for improvement in the breastfeeding rate.
The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, in collaboration with Food and Health Bureau and the Department of Health, launched the Say Yes To Breastfeeding campaign in 2015 to educate the public on how to support the needs of nursing mothers, and to provide mothers with better community support for sustaining breastfeeding.
We are pleased to have received support from different sectors since the launch of the campaign. Over 653 workplaces and 178 premises have already pledged their support to Say Yes To Breastfeeding. Many mothers hope to respond to their babies’ needs anytime, anywhere. To respond to the increasing demand on breastfeeding facilities and support, we have rolled out the Gold Label and Blue Label acknowledgement decals to encourage more premises, including hotels, retailers and restaurants, to welcome breastfeeding mothers.
Organizer – UNICEF HK
The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) was founded in 1986 and was established as an independent local non-government organization to raise funds through public donations, partnerships with companies, special events, etc. to support UNICEF’s work. UNICEF HK also promotes and advocates for children’s rights via organizing education and youth programmes in Hong Kong.
UNICEF HK promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding. In 1992, UNICEF HK formed the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Committee to promote and support breastfeeding in Hong Kong. The Committee was registered as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association in June 1994 aimed at promoting breastfeeding and protecting infant health.
We are committed to creating a healthcare environment that enables mothers, families and other caregivers to make informed decisions about optimal infant feeding. For more, visit www.unicef.org.hk