BREASTFEEDING rooms should be provided at all shopping complexes and public places to encourage more mothers to breastfeed their babies, said deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
He said the local government should consider imposing the provision for breastfeeding rooms as a condition in new building plans while the management of existing complexes should take the initiative to set up the rooms on their premises.
“We don't want to be all talk but no action in supporting the call for mothers to breastfeed,” he told newsmen at the National Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Seminar organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia on Friday.
USM vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Razak and organising chairman Haji Ellias Zakaria were also present.
Dr Hilmi also urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to set up pregnancy health advisory centres to provide health screening and advice to couples planning to have babies.
The centres, he said, were vital in preventing hereditary diseases in newborns as parents would first know their health status before trying to conceive.
“I will also propose to the state Islamic Religious Council to include the topics on pregnancy and health into the manual of its pre-marriage courses,” he said, adding that an “unhealthy” nation would slow down the country's growth and development towards achieving Vision 2020.
Dr Hilmi added that husbands must also be equally aware about pregnancy and breastfeeding in order to understand the changes their wives undergo while pregnant.