[ 2007-08-03 14:30 ]
China has launched a campaign to persuade more women to breast feed, worried that Chinese babies' development lags developed countries because they are not fed properly in their first months of life.
|A woman breastfeeds her baby in Bordeaux, southwest France April 27, 2006.
The government is also worried about the growing use ofpowdered baby milkformula -- which many Chinese believe is more "modern" and better for the baby.
"Breast milkis a necessary and ideal food for a baby, and the nutrients it contains are the most suitable for the baby's digestion and nourishment," the Health Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement on its Web site (www.moh.gov.cn).
"For mothers,breast feedingis beneficial topost-partum recuperation," it added, without saying what the breast-feeding rate was in China.
Chinese babies put on less weight in their first six months than babies in developed countries, the ministry said.
"The main reason is parents lack scientific knowledge about feeding," it said, adding that problems caused by poor baby nutrition might includemental retardation.
There was a particular problem in the countryside, where parents did not know when or how to best start introducing solid food to babies or how to balance their nutritional requirements, the ministry said.
Studies around the world have shown that breast-feeding has many advantages for children including reducing infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea.
Other studies have shown that babies who are breast-fed for the first six months of life grow better without getting too fat.
powdered baby milk：婴儿奶粉