More maternity leave welcomed

July 9, 2020

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today welcomed the passage of a bill that will increase statutory maternity leave from 10 to 14 weeks.


Prof Chan said the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 will support and encourage working women to adopt breastfeeding for a longer period of time, thus improving their children’s health and development.


She pointed out that breastfeeding brings immediate and long-term benefits to both mothers and babies.


The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies up to about six months of age, and gradually introducing appropriate solid food while continuing breastfeeding until the child is two or older.


She added that the benefits of breastfeeding are proportional to duration and exclusiveness.


The Committee on Promotion of Breastfeeding, chaired by the Under Secretary for Food & Health, also provides recommendations on strategies and action plans to strengthen the promotion and support for breastfeeding.


The Department of Health will continue to promote and protect breastfeeding through a multi-pronged approach, including strengthening surveillance on the local breastfeeding situation.

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