As of today it has become much more convenient for families to find spaces to breastfeed their children. The official “10m2 of Love” mobile application is now available free for download to iPhones and iPads. The app shows the physical location of all breastfeeding rooms registered in the “10m2 of Love” campaign.
“10m2 of Love” is a digital breastfeeding advocacy campaign that aims to locate, register, certify and publicize breastfeeding rooms, both for employees during work hours and for patrons and customers in public buildings and stores. The campaign was launched in May 2013 sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the National Centre for Women and Children’s Health, CDC (NCWCH).
“The new 10m2 of Love mobile app not only makes it easier for the public to find registered breastfeeding rooms,” said Tim Sutton, Deputy Representative of UNICEF China. “It will gradually make breastfeeding – the best source of infant nutrition known to man – more visible and more supported by society.”
China’s exclusive breastfeeding rates are low while infant formula sales have grown at about 15 per cent per annum. Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months – the gold standard – has dropped to 28 per cent in China, according to official data.
In recent years many families across Asia have become concerned about the safety of infant formula as a result of frequent product recalls and reports of contamination,
“We’d like to remind mothers and fathers that there is no more need to worry. Breastfeeding is the perfect food. It is not only completely safe: it prevents disease and makes children healthier. It is hygienic, organic, non-polluting, and best of all: completely free,” observed Mr. Sutton of UNICEF. “Our message to all mothers and fathers is make an unshakable commitment to breastfeeding. This is one of the best possible things you can do for your child.”
A broad consensus of health authorities believe that no substitute can come close to providing the significant lifetime health benefits that human breastmilk provides for children, and that the dramatic decline of breastfeeding, especially in developing countries, poses serious health risks to children.
Ma Yili, UNICEF Special Advocate for Breastfeeding and key spokesperson for the 10m2 of Love campaign, shared her special wishes for the launch, “The 10m2 of Love gives children the most tangible love.” A short video documenting her participation in the campaign was shown at the event.
One of the key goals of the 10m2 of Love campaign is to help more families sustain exclusive breastfeeding and to support breastfeeding mothers who return to work. To date a total of 276 10m2 of Love breastfeeding rooms and spaces have been established in 52 cities in China. About 217 of the rooms are open to the public with another 59 set up in companies and workplaces for employee use. Campaign sponsors aim to continue registering and mapping breastfeeding spaces indefinitely.
In addition to showing the GPS location of every registered 10m2 of Love breastfeeding space, the app also provides answers to frequently asked questions about breastfeeding as well as a directory of breastfeeding peer support groups and counselors. Today’s launch will be soon be followed by release of the android operating system version in November 2013.
The campaign has established a web portal (www.unicef.cn/10m2) where any organization can register breastfeeding rooms for staff or for patrons and customers which adhere to a set of simple international standards. All interested companies and public spaces are strongly urged to join the campaign and show the world online and in smartphones of their commitment to children.
The venue for the launch was generously provided by the Indigo Mall which has also registered a total of six 10m2 of Love breastfeeding rooms for the public.
For further information, please contact: Dale Rutstein, Chief of Communication, UNICEF China: +8613910973801, firstname.lastname@example.org( mailto:email@example.com ); or Liu Li, Communication Specialist, UNICEF China, +8613701066671, firstname.lastname@example.org( mailto:email@example.com )
10m2 of Love website: unicef.cn/10m2
10m2 of Love hashtag: #10m2