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Breastfeeding app launched in Shanghai

By Wu Ni | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-16 16:07

Plan hopes to create 1,000 nursing rooms for mothers across city.

Breastfeeding mothers in Shanghai will soon have more nursing rooms and will be able to find them more easily thanks to a mobile phone application to be launched by a local labor organization.

The Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions plans to establish about 1,000 nursing rooms in office buildings, shopping malls and other public buildings across the city in the next three to five years where working mothers will be able to breastfeed.

"After we collect enough information about the nursing rooms, we'll ask a company to develop the app and regularly update the information," Shao Xinyu, director of the federation's department of female employees, told China Daily.

Mothers will be able to install the free app on their smartphones and search for the nearest nursing room, she said.

About 240,000 working women got pregnant last year in Shanghai, and the city's baby boom is expected to last for three to five years, according to figures from the federation.

Many working mothers who returned to work after maternity leave of about three months found it hard to find private spaces to breastfeed, Shao said.

There are no official figures on the number of nursing rooms in the city, but Shao said she is optimistic that more will be set up.

Last year, the Catic Building was the first office building in Shanghai's Jing'an district to set up a nursing room. In Huangpu district, there are 10 nursing rooms in office buildings and more were set up at many other buildings belonging to major companies.

"As more companies set up nursing rooms, we'll encourage them to open the rooms to mothers outside of the company," she said.

China's Regulations on Healthcare for Female Workers state that companies with more than five breastfeeding mothers on staff must have nursing rooms. However, 93 percent of companies do not have nursing rooms, according to a survey of 2,390 mothers by parenting forum in August last year.

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