STEUNG SEN, KAMPONG THOM PROVINCE -The Ministry of Health (MoH) and partner organizations are encouraging breastfeeding by providing lactation room for women working at the Women Affairs department in Kampong Thom province to ensure young children receive sufficient breast milk.
Prak Sophonneary, Secretary of State at the MoH, emphasized the importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy and the need for mothers to choose nutritious foods.
Talking to Kiripost, she said,
“Breastfeeding is the perfect food. It is natural and free from chemicals. It provides safe and high-quality nutrients without any cost. By breastfeeding, we save money and promote the health of our children."
She further mentioned that the MoH has collaborated with partner organizations, including MUSEFO-GIZ, to establish breastfeeding rooms in workplaces.
"In some workplaces, it is convenient for women to either store breast milk or bring their children to work. Having dedicated spaces for breastfeeding makes it more accessible and convenient," Sophonneary noted.
Shawn Baker, Chief Program Officer at Helen Keller International, stated that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising food prices, and climate change has disproportionately affected families with children, especially the most vulnerable populations.
Baker emphasized the importance of focusing on these populations to ensure they have access to good nutrition.
"We are pleased to have a lactation room here today. Breastfeeding is an essential component of good nutrition, and Cambodia has made significant progress in promoting breastfeeding. Our focus is to ensure that all working women have access to lactation rooms," Baker explained.
The organization's next project aims to support farmers involved in agricultural initiatives, focusing on producing nutritious foods at an affordable price, which will benefit the Cambodian community.
Sanne Sigh, Advisor of MUSEFO-GIZ, expressed the importance of promoting breastfeeding to improve children's health and establish a strong connection between mothers and their children.
She highlighted that breastfeeding provides benefits not only for children but also for mothers, reducing the risk of cancer.
"I understand that breastfeeding can be challenging initially, but it is worth it. Breast milk is the best food for babies. My advice to new mothers is to have faith in your body, trust your instincts, and do what is best for your child," Sanne emphasized.
Sorn Sothy, Chief of Planning and Statistics at the Provincial Department of Women's Affairs in Kampong Thom, said the benefits of breastfeeding for a child's growth includes protection against illnesses and overall safety compared to powdered milk.
Sothy shared that she breastfeeds her child while also providing nutritious supplementary foods.
"Breastfeeding not only benefits our children's health but also saves us money that would otherwise be spent on daily expenses," Sothy said.
Theng Chamroeun, a finance officer at the Women Affairs department in Kampong Thom province, chose to breastfeed her child because she believed it provided health and safety benefits without significant costs.
She appreciated the availability of a lactation room at her workplace, which allowed her to bring her child to work.
"Our department, especially the Women's Affairs Department, is incredible for women. We can work and take care of our young children simultaneously, which is highly beneficial for us," Chamroeun shared.
Currently, there are 28 lactation rooms located in factories and enterprises, serving more than 20,000 factory workers in Kompot, Kompong Thom, Kendall, and Phnom Penh. The organization aims to further promote breastfeeding in targeted provinces, Hou Kroeun, Country Director of Helen Keller International, told Kiripost.