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Breastfeeding room benefits mother and baby

She plans to exclusively breastfeed her first son until he is two years old as she realises that breastmilk can be good for health and immunity as per the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommendation.

As her house at Phanmanh village, Sisattanak district to her office at Saphanthong village, Sisattanak district is about 5 km; Ms Kinkesone Insixiengmay usually expresses milk at WHO's office where she works instead of returning home to feed her baby.

Ms Kinkesone Insixiengmay in the breastfeeding room at the World Health Organisation office in Vientiane.

The 31-year-old explained the benefits of a breastfeeding room, 2.4m x 1.6m, for her one year-and-five months old baby to Vientiane Times via email.

Q: How does a breastfeeding room benefit you and your baby?

A: A breastfeeding room benefits me and my baby a lot. Instead of going back home to breastfeed, I can pump in the office and keep some breastmilk for my baby. I can pump whenever I need to. Furthermore, the refrigerator is working properly and we only allowe lactating mothers to store breastmilk alone I am not worried about the quality of the stored breastmilk.

Q: How many times do you express your milk at the office? And how much breastmilk can you get daily?

A: Daily, I express my milk about two to three times and get 5-6 oz/time, so everyday I should get about 18 oz to bring back home and replace the used stored milk.

Q: How long do you plan to breastfeed your baby?

A: My initial plan was to breastfeed my baby for two years based on the WHO recommendation. Unfortunately I had to travel for work often when my son was one year and two months and my stored breastmilk were out of stock so my breastfeeding was skippe d.

Q:Why do you want to join this scheme?

A: I have learned from friends, relatives, colleagues and information on the WHO website and social media that breastfeeding has huge benefits to babies and mothers. I recognised that babies who were fed breastmilk will be healthy, and show good brain and physical development. For mothers, it seems that breastfeeding helps with weight loss after delivery. I believe that this is the wish of many women.

Q: Besides you, are there any women expressing milk at your office?

A: Yes, there are many women expressing milk at my office beside me, it is also good to have many breastfeeding mother at the office because we can share ideas and experiences with each other.

Q: What is the necessary equipment for expressing milk in this breastfeeding room?

A: The necessary equipment for expressing milk is a breast pump, refrigerator to store breast milk (the refrigerator should store expressed milk only, it should not be stored with food). It is ideal to have a table, chairs or couch, proper lighting, fan or AC, and curtains for privacy.

Q: Have you ever fed your baby with formula milk? Why?

A: I never fed my baby with formula milk from newborn to one year and two months old. Once he was one year and two months old, my baby started to drink fresh milk and this was complemented with foods suitable for his age.

This breastfeeding room was established last year at WHO's office. Vientiane Times also asked WHO representative to Laos for the reason why this breastroom was established?

Q: What were the reasons why this breastfeeding room was established at your office?

A: Returning to work after maternity leave has been one of the big gest reasons that mothers stop breastfeeding. We believe that mothers should not put in the position where she has to compromise on breastfeeding, so the breastfeeding room can support mothe rs to continue breastfeeding even after they return to their workplace.

By Xayxana Leukai
(Latest Update August 15, 2017)

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