Finding a clean and private space to breastfeed or extract breast milk in the workplace situation can often be embarrassing and stressful to a new mother. Nursing mothers may be forced to do it either in the toilet, in the surau or in some secluded and may be unhygienic places. So, with a view to help nursing mothers, our Pharmacy lecturer, Norshidah Harun, came up with the idea of setting up a lounge for breastfeeding mothers at Unikl.RCMP.
Prof Dr Mohd Syafiq bin Abdullah, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences accompanied by Prof Rohaiyem Yahya, the Deputy Dean, Academic, launched the breastfeeding room also known as the Nursing Mothers' Lounge. The ceremony was held at UniKL RCMP, Tasek Campus on Monday, 21st December 2015.
Prof Ruhaiyem said, "UniKL RCMP Tasek is the first UniKL campus that has made such a facility available for nursing mothers. The breastfeeding room is an initiative to improve the welfare of mothers among the workforce and to provide the much needed facility within the workplace. At the moment there are six new mothers who are breastfeeding their infants and the lounge will provide a comfortable place for them".
Fadziah Ismail, the advisor of Nursing Mothers' Lounge thanked the management for allocating a specific place for breastfeeding mothers and being very supportive towards this effort. In her research entitled "Work Related Determinants of Breastfeeding Discontinuation among Employed Mothers in Malaysia", the findings show, "returning to work after the completion of their maternity leave was one of the main reasons women ceased breastfeeding. A mother's decision to continue or discontinue breastfeeding is highly dependent on the support available to her at the workplace. Flexible work options and lactation breaks were identified as the main factors that facilitate breastfeeding at work".
She added, "Enabling women to continue breastfeeding at work has benefits for the infants, employees and the organization. Barriers in the workplace and early return to work can significantly impact breastfeeding practice. There is evidence that supportive workplace environment gives a positive impact in the continuation of breastfeeding".
The lounge is equipped with a mini refrigerator, sofa, chairs and a generally soothing environment to help mothers relax while breastfeeding their babies.
Zahaimi Abdullah Sani